Squat Party Misnomers and Loving Thyself

Wanna know how I’m feeling today?

Oof. That’s how.

Yesterday one of my work buddies (we’ll call her Kat, as that’s her name and she’s likely to make an appearance here from time to time) and I attended a “Squat Party” — or at least that’s what the Nike Training app calls the 30-minute workout that we attempted. Let me tell you something, Nike. If you’re going to call something a party, there had damn well better be cocktails and petit fours. Or at least PBR and little hot dogs on sticks. Calling what most people would refer to as Ass Intensity 101 a “party” is just foolish and misleading. And now we’re in a fight, Nike Training, so what do you have to say about that?

This is turning out to be a pretty horrible introduction into what I was hoping would be a rather inspiring post about health and body image in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so I’m just going to jump right on in.

We all deal with body image in our own way. I personally struggle considerably with looking in the mirror (clothed, let alone nyoode) and feeling ok with my appearance. There are plenty of “trouble spots” I’ve identified time and again that I judge extra harshly on a daily basis, yet I never spend the same amount of energy admiring the parts of my body that I adore. (Even as I write this, my Inner Critic is shouting, “that’s because there aren’t any!” but I know she’s wrong.)

I’m not a fitness buff by any means, so I won’t pretend that I’m chasing some thread of perfection with all my heart, but I challenge myself frequently enough to know what matters, and that is: I’m healthy. I’m healthy in the inside (as far as I know), and with the exception of OD’ing on Vitamin D from time to time, I’m relatively healthy on the outside, too. If that’s not enough to make me happy with my body and how its performing and appearing, I honestly don’t know what’ll do the trick.

Which makes me think: If that’s how my mind works, and I have a relatively normal relationship with food, I can easily understand how those battling eating disorders find themselves facing the challenges they do.

It should be the most natural thing in the world, loving yourself.
But it’s tough.

So in honor of those close to me who have struggled with an eating disorder — some outwardly, some very privately — and in honor of my own confidence, I’m borrowing a little ritual that Tiffany at Dancing Branflakes conducted earlier this week and proclaiming five things I honestly appreciate about my body.

I hope you’ll do the same in the comments below.

1) I love my eyes. They speak to my heritage and the glances they cast never betray my true emotion.

My smiling eyes!

Unmistakably my eyes. Smiling, more often than not, for which I’m endlessly grateful. Oh hey, look. Chris ain’t so shabby either.

2) I love my arms. They’re stronger than they look and have never failed me come tank top season.

Power Pose!

Power Posing with the Costa Rica posse. If this isn’t an “arms” pic, I don’t know what is.

3) I love my teeth. They’re strong, sharp and relatively straight. They’re big supporters of the food in my belly and the smile on my face.

Love these chompers.

Circa 2001. Strong chompers then, strong chompers now.

4) I love my fingernails. I didn’t use to have much of them, but as I’ve become more content in my day-to-day, I’ve managed the bad habit of biting. Nails on my fingers means happiness in my heart.

Fingernails! I have them!

Yeah, it’s a lot harder to find a fingernail pic than you’d think…

5) I love my butt. Yep, I’m saying it. My unfailing “party” date. We met in college and haven’t parted ways since. I hope we never do.

I love my butt!

A pic I wouldn’t normally draw attention to, but it’s butt all the way. (Lucky gal I am, Chris admires it, too.)

There is not enough time in the day to think anything but positive thoughts about ourselves and those around us. Odd coming from a self-proclaimed Judgy McJudgerson, I know, but I’m working on that. In the meantime, it’s really no sweat to muster the energy to compliment this bod of mine. It’s far more productive than generating useless drama with an inanimate mobile phone program, and nearly as entertaining.

And just in case you’re wondering: yeah, I’m looking at you, Nike. And we’re still not talking.

What do you love about yourself?

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