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You don’t need to have the body of a super model to feel beautiful and empowered. If body insecurity is getting in your way, this advice from some of our Best Bodies participants might change your view for the better. 

1. Love yourself first and the rest will come naturally.

“I work with many women on positive weight loss and body image issues; and I say this to almost everyone I serve: ‘You cannot hate yourself into loving your body.’ Give gratitude to your body for what it offers you every single day: your breath, your ability to walk into your favorite coffee shop, your arms to embrace your partner, your stretch marks that bear evidence that you gave life to a child. If you are accustomed to being disappointed with or even loathing your body, start with just one thing you can appreciate, and hopefully, love. Add something else the next day, the next day and the next day. That’s what fuels transforming a life — and your body  if that’s what you desire.” -Laura Wagner

“Self Love! Take a deeper look at yourself and tell yourself what you love about yourself.  Be thankful for one part of you, every day. If you don’t like something, change it!” -Lee Anne Alsup

“I wish women would love themselves and work on their mindset before working on their bodies. Having a nice body doesn’t get you what you want in life. Mindset, inner peace and happiness, confidence, passion, and drive. That’s what gets you where you want to be. How we look in these bodies does not ensure happiness, it’s how we live in them.” -Whitney Newby 

“You have to love yourself first internally,  then it will show up on the outside no matter what size or shape you are.  I found that for my husband at least, it’s not my size or what I’m wearing that fires him up,  it’s my confidence and passion that make the fireworks.” -Joy Mays

“Be the best version of [yourself] and not focus on what others think.” -Amie Isabel

2. Stop comparing yourself to others and letting society dictate your life.

“Let’s not physically compare but yet be inspired to live healthy. Happily make healthy and joyful choices. Meditation is an absolutely fantastic method to access the mindset needed to release the repetitive bombardment of how a body is ‘supposed’ to look.” -Karen McKnight

“Everyone is different. It took me a long time to be grateful for the body I have and realize the amazing things I can accomplish with it. Finding that peace and acceptance that we are all not built the same way has helped me personally overcome issues. Quit comparing yourself to others and embrace the strength and beauty within yourself.” -Bethany Brown

“Stop comparing and competing with one another and with the images you see on social media. Celebrate each other and encourage one another. Focus on taking care of your health and wellness opposed to getting skinny or losing weight. God made each of us different, so we all look different and we need to embrace that.” -Jen Mannarelli

“When I turned 50 I told myself: ‘I will not let my age limit me.’ Society tells women that after a certain age you are less relevant to the world. I call total bull on that! I am stronger, fitter, and happier than ever. I am 52 and a grandmother! I say to women, do not let society or anyone tell you what you can or cannot do.” – Jennifer McCall Kuhl

“I wouldn’t say that it’s what women should do as that seems demanding, but something we as a society should/could suggest is changing the language and how we as women talk about other women when it comes to all issues not just body image. And as an entire society how we view body image because it’s much more than the surface, it’s deeper.” -Ashley DeVault

3. Remove negative thoughts and thoughts of judgement.

“Every woman has their own thing they dislike about their body. But you can’t let that paralyze you. When I find a problem with my body I try to just work for a solution. Sounds silly but it takes my mind off the problem and puts it on the resolution!” -Karen Stout

“I want women to know that their worth is not tied and dependent to the number they see on the scale. When I was obsessed with the scale, I hated myself and the scale literally dictated my day, confidence, happiness and choices I made.” -Ashley Marble 

“I wish that women would know first and foremost that no body is perfect. We need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and surround ourselves with people in our lives who will build us up and remind us how special we are. Make a list of all the things your body does for you: dancing, running, smelling, singing, breathing.  In return take care of it so it can keep doing those things!” -Melissa Goodlett 

 “Not feel that others are judging them. Also, the day you stop learning is the day you start to get old.” -Barb Cullen 

“I wish women would stop fixating on their flaws and start looking at themselves from the ‘big picture’ of who they are.  I also really wish women would stop filtering pictures of themselves in an attempt to look perfect on social media and instead present themselves as the people that their loved ones see on a daily basis.” -Lauren Deerwester  

4. In the end, it’s all about how you feel.

“The most important realization comes with the feeling I get when I strive to take care of my body knowing it’s giving me an increased opportunity to live a healthier longer life to best care for those who need help caring for themselves.” -Roxanne Hack-Smero

“In a world full of things you cannot control, your body and physical wellbeing is something you can [control]. Being healthy gives you a sense of strength, builds confidence — allows you to hold your head high and stand up for yourself. I take pride in being a good role model for my children. I tell them all the time: ‘You are given this one body for your entire life. You must take care of it. No one else will. No one else can do it for you. You are strong, you are beautiful. Act like it, believe it, embrace it. Don’t waste this life you are given.'” -Beverly Blanton

5. Small victories are still victories. 

“Focus on “non scale” victories, like How do your clothes fit?, How is your energy?, How many squats or push ups can you do now versus two weeks ago? These are real life and measurable victories you can’t get from a scale. I think once clients start to see they’re getting stronger their image and mindset start to change.” -Jamie Stich 

P.S. She lost 60 pounds and is stronger than ever. 

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