THE BLOG
03/31/2016 06:41 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

You're Only Fooling Yourself

If you think loving your body isn't important, the only person you're fooling is yourself.

You don't have to look like a supermodel to love your body. It's all about choosing to embrace yourself the way you are right now, this moment, muffin top and all.

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Photo by Elina Khachaturyan, hair by Christine Poindexter, clothing by Nike, shoes by New Balance.

A TeaTox isn't going to help you love yourself more. It's just going to make your poo runny and leave you feeling more depleted than you already are. And chances are that when you get through it, IF you get through it, you'll wind up face first in the bargain Easter candy bin because of having deprived yourself.

There are tips and tricks that you can implement in order to love your body, but they're not the kind you would expect. They don't involve spending hours draped over the elliptical, or counting the number of grapes in your afternoon snack, or doing laps around the house before dinner to satisfy your Fitbit. Rather, they start with looking inward at why you stopped loving yourself in the first place, and walking your way back out until you can like what you see in the mirror.

This doesn't mean that you should abandon any and all desire to exercise. In fact, it's quite the opposite. After being a lifelong athlete, then overdosing on too many "quick fix" workout routines and diets trying to get back in shape after multiple back surgeries, I had to completely reframe physical activity for myself. Instead of using terms like "exercise" and "workout" and "fitness," which all made me feel like I was carrying the expectation that I was trying to make my body look like Heidi Klum's -- which is gorgeous, but not a healthy goal for me--I started thinking of it as showing my body love through movement.

Not running to burn off what I'd eaten that day, but running to feel the sensation of my legs in motion. Not lifting weights to tone up my "problem areas," but because I enjoy the feeling of moving those weights because it reminds me that I'm powerful. Not competing with the woman on the mat next to me over who can look more like she belongs in a Lululemon ad, but getting deeper into my yoga practice and learning how to hold equal energy in all parts of my body at once to achieve the pose. Through this kind of thinking, I've fallen back in love with moving my body, and with my body itself.

Loving your body is important, because it's a foundational piece of living at full amplitude. How many times in our lives have we ended a sentence with, "...when I lose 10lbs"? Every time you delay gratification, or achievement, or fulfillment, you distance yourself a little further from your greatness, and shield away another tiny piece of yourself from the world that would benefit us all.

So the only question is, how much longer do you want to keep fooling yourself into thinking it's okay to feel the way that you do about your body? And how much more time, money, energy, and resources do you want to pour into trying to change yourself before you decide to turn the lights on and see the perfection of what you are, and who you are, in this very moment?

Check out the #healthyatanysize community to find support and connect with other women who are working on this, too!