Have you ever stopped and asked yourself this question? Be honest with yourself, why do you wake up at 5:30am and go hop on the elliptical for 60 minutes every morning. Or maybe you go to SoulCycle, SolidCore or some crazy boot camp. Why do you leave work at 5pm go to the gym to meet your trainer for 30 minutes and before happy hour? Why?

There are a lot of different answers to this question and I’m sure they change on a day to day basis. As a trainer, more often then not these are the answers I get.

• I want to look good.
• I want to be lean and toned.
• I want to be able to eat what I want.
• I want to look good in a bikini.
• I want to weigh “x” pounds.
• I have “x” event coming up.
• I want to be able to go drink alcohol and not get fat.
• I want to be “x” percent body fat.
• I want to look good naked.

Now I understand all of these answers, believe me. I’m not perfect. My wife knows full well that I have my fair share of days I think I look awful. My stomach is bloated, my calves are too big or my skin is breaking out like a teenagers. But over all I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’ve been blessed with pretty dang good genetics and parents who somehow taught me how to have incredible self esteem. Many of you might not know this but my loving mother was actually over weight for the last third of her life. At 5’ 7” after having 8 kids and bad kidneys she must have fluctuated between 170-250lbs. But you know what, she never did talk about her weight. She would cook healthy meals, exercise and take overall good care of herself despite the weight that her body held onto. I never once heard her speak negatively about her body and I consider myself blessed to be raised by such a strong woman. Even though she struggled with her own health she never let it get in the way of her life or how her children viewed her or their own bodies.

So why is it that a client who has potentially 10 pounds to lose can be so hard on themself?

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve worked with clients and they’ll talk to me about how if they could just be leaner, they

Would finally find love.
Would be more successful.
Would be worthy of love and affection from their parents or friends.
Would finally look good in clothes.
Could finally eat what they want.
Could finally do what they want.
They’re partner would love them more.
They’re partner wouldn’t cheat on them.

Most women live with this constant judgmental whisper, even those beautiful women you see on fashion magazines. Yes! That woman who you see in that tiny bikini on Shape Magazine more than likely looks in the mirror and does not see how beautiful and worthy she really is.  So today I’m going to tell you a secret.  It doesn’t matter how fit, how lean or how big your boobs are. Many of us think that if we could only eat cleaner, exercise harder or get smaller that we will somehow be happier, life would be perfect and we’d be worthy of that life. But guess what, this is not the case. No matter how lean, fit and healthy you eat if you’re not able to love yourself just as you are no beach body or incredible workout is going to make you feel enough.

So what do we do?

We find ways to love ourselves just they way we are. Whether you feel you have 10lb pounds to lose or 150lbs to lose you get one body, one life and the first step is to appreciate that gift. From there it’s in your control to do what you want with each of these. My mom chose to teach her kids how to eat well, how to enjoy cooking and how to love the outdoors. I played basketball because it was FUN! I now run a boot camp because, yup, you guessed it…it’s FUN! So when you exercise, do it because you love it, because your body feels good doing it and because mentally it makes you happier and enhances your life. The journey to a life of abundance and gratitude starts with the love, affection, and attention we give ourselves. When we can truly love ourselves-right now, in this moment-we can give the best of ourselves to others.

You are an incredible person and you deserve your love.

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Written by: Maria Brezler

Maria Brezler has been a fitness expert and wellness coach for the past 15 years.