Every day, everywhere we look, we’re bombarded with images of beautiful bodies. Bodies that are toned, muscular, and lean. These bodies smile, and look happy. They tell us that if we only worked hard enough, wanted it bad enough, we could look like them, and we too could be happy. As if true happiness depends on being smaller, no matter the cost.

As a result, we slave away in the gym, spending hours on treadmills and elliptical trainers – because cardio is king. We cut (and track) calories, track steps, track centimeters and kilograms as if they were currency. All in the name of ridding ourselves of cellulite, wobble, jiggle, and bulge. Once these things are gone, maybe then we’ll be happy.

How much time do you spend worrying about what your body ‘should’ look like, instead of stopping to marvel at what an amazing machine it actually is?

Here’s a ‘truth bomb’ for you: Your body is ALWAYS (yes, ALWAYS) working for you.

Despite how we may feel when we look in the mirror – too much cellulite, not enough tone, (why won’t my turkey arms just go away!?) – our bodies are actually NOT working against us. They work 24/7, 365 days a year, for the duration of our lives on this planet to maintain homeostasis – a place of health and well-being, where all bodily systems are in balance.

Our bodies perform more complex and intricate processes than we can possibly imagine, without ANY cognitive input from us. We breathe, our hearts beat, our muscles work, and we can experience love and joy and pain. We can reproduce – grow an entirely new and individual human being – in the space of nine months.

All of this should be awe-inspiring, and nurture a deep and profound love and respect of all of the things our bodies get right.

And we want to focus on that dimply skin on the backs of our bums and hips and thighs?

Any excess weight, pain, niggles, headaches, rashes, swelling, or lethargy are signals from our bodies. It’s telling us to stop and listen in the only way it can. This isn’t our body conspiring against us in an effort to stop us attaining our goals of six pack abs, ‘thigh gap,’ or ‘bikini-bridge.’ It’s our body, in all of its infinite wisdom, trying to get us to take actions that will return us to optimal health and balance.

What matters is that your body functions the way you need it to, in order to do the things you love to do; spending time with your loved ones, going for forest walks, or playing with your children. Sure, if your body is of a size or weight that prevents you from doing the things that you want or need to do, then it’s important to work towards over-coming these obstacles. However, it’s absolutely imperative to love yourself and your body, and all of the amazing things it does, every step of the way – and not save that love for when you reach your goal.

Working towards a health goal doesn’t have to mean that you don’t love yourself, or that you view your body in its current form in a negative light. In fact, working towards achieving better health should never be motivated by self-loathing. It should only ever come from a place of love.

There is no guarantee that when you meet your goal – whatever it may be – that your body will look or behave exactly the way you want it to. If you haven’t learned to respect your body at every stage, you’ll be left feeling disappointed, discouraged, and deflated. Even after all that hard work, you’ll ultimately feel like you failed.

Because you don’t look like the model on the cover of Women’s Fitness Magazine? Don’t worry – she probably doesn’t look like that either! She’s not smiling because her toned thighs don’t jiggle and her tummy is flat. She’s smiling because there’s a camera in front of her, and that’s what she’s paid to do.

Take it from us. Love is the most powerful form of motivation. Take a moment each day to think about all of the amazing things your body is doing in that very moment; perhaps you’re feeling joy, anger, or pain. Maybe you’re digesting lunch – or even eating it. You have the ability to taste! You breathe and blink. You can think, and feel awe and reverence.

All of that is so much more important than being thin.

Thanks, from Team Feel Fresh Nutrition xx