The ABC's of lovin' your bod--and yourself

OK, babes, it’s time to reboot our body image. We’re tired of the trash talk and all the focus on flaws instead of fabulous features. Girls are gorgeous! So our Q: Where’s the love? Answer: right here, baby! Read on for our ABC guide to loving your body and loving yourself. And don’t forget to tell us why YOU love your bod and yourself in the comments, girlies.
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    Accept yourself. If everyone popped out of the same “perfect” mold, how boring would society be?


    Be confident. We’re gonna let you in on a little secret: The more you rock your bod, just the way it is, the more other people are gonna think you look amazing—and trust us, you do!


    Can the complaints. When you feel that familiar whine erupting from your lips, shove it back down. New rule: No more voicing what you don’t love about you.


    >> Dare to bare. No, we’re not saying you should go streaking. But do be willing to flaunt your features instead of covering them up or disguising them.


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    Embrace your shape. Sure, it could change, but why waste time looking forward to a what-if when you can live it up in the skin you’re in?


    Flaws? What flaws? You might hate your muscular thighs, but ya couldn’t master that back handspring without ‘em.


    Get active. The more you put your body to the test, the more you’ll be able to appreciate what it is capable of.


    >> High five! Give yourself major kudos for the features you L-O-V-E, like your totally toned upper arms.


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    In with the new. Sick and tired of the way you look? A quick change, like a hair cut or a bright coral lip could give ya something fresh to smile about when ya glance in the mirror.


    Jump right in. Feeling like you don’t fit in with a new group? Get busy and you’ll stop worrying about how there all blondes and you’re a brunette, or how they’re doing sprints in short shorts while you’re wishing you’d pulled on running tights.


    Kick up your karma. Compliments make everyone feel better, so make it your mission to offer up one genuine compliment every single day. People will pay ‘em back in spades—makin’ you feel doubly awesome.


    >> Love those around you. You know the little voice in your head that provides running commentary on the gals walking by? This one’s totally broken out today, that one’s hair looks like a rat’s nest. Boot the judgmental Jiminy Cricket outta your head and focus on applauding your fellow girl for how fab she looks (and acts).


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    >> Make merry. Even on your most down-in-the-dumps day, there is something for you to be cheerful about, whether it’s the great grade you got on a geography test or an afternoon loaded with sunshine after weeks of rain. Look for the silver lining, and you’ll find it.


    Nix the negative. It’s easy to think you’ll never achieve your wildest dreams, but if you keep telling yourself you won’t, trust us, you’ll never get there. Borrow some positive energy from the Little Engine That Could, why don’t ya?


    On the other hand… So you don’t have a six pack. So what? You do have killer shoulders thanks to swim practice. Switch up your sour thoughts and you’ll be feelin’ proud of yourself again in seconds.

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    Put on a happy face. Smiling is infectious, so pretty soon the babes you’re beaming at will smile right back. Cheers!


    Quit the shtick. You know that scene in Mean Girls where the Plastics hold a group gab fest about what they hate most about themselves in front of a mirror? Yeah, don’t do that. Ever. If your buds strike up the negative body talk, change the subject, stat.


    >> Rock out. Turn on some inspirational tunes you can let loose to. Our pick? “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera. Word!


    Snack smart. The mere thought of a handful of M&Ms gets ya salivating, but if you know you’re gonna beat yourself up about a li’l indulgence later, head  yourself off at the pass with a healthy snack, like apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

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    >> Tell the world. Don’t be shy to open up about what you love about yourself. You’re encouraging, affirming words will help others learn to love themselves more, too. Try starting a Tumblr devoted to gorgeous gals who don’t fit conventional ideas of beauty, or focus on songs, gifs and other things that express what you’re feeling as you try to conquer your own self doubt.


    Up, up and away! Don’t let yourself get dragged down by other girls’ trash talk. Some chickies never think anything negative about themselves until they hear other hunnies doing it. So set a good example for the youngin’s—and your peers—by zipping your lips and ignoring the body bashing.


    Vroom vroom! Crank up the adrenaline coursing through your system by taking a little risk—flying down a hill on your rollerblades, kicking it up a gear in spin class, leaping on the newest roller coaster. Adding a dose of excitement will make you thrilled to be livin’ the high life.

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    Workout remix. You’ve been doing pilates videos religiously four days a week, but still aren’t seeing results. Instead of getting disheartened, change up your workout sched to add in new moves that’ll work your muscles in different way. Cardio kick-boxing? Ballet? You bet!


    X off some major to-dos, like participating in a breast cancer walk, carving a super-complicated pumpkin or making a three-course dinner for your family.


    Yes you can! Repeat after us, you can conquer the world. Break your goals into baby steps and leap each hurdle at ya come to it. Wanna do 10 pull-ups this year in P.E.? Start by mastering push-ups and the plank, then trying some dips on the pull-up bar.


    >> Zest for life. Couch potato-ing your way through middle school will make you feel lazy, and that’s no good for healthy self-esteem. Make a promise to yourself to do one thing each day that you feel good about, whether it’s a quick 15-minute workout or trying a new hairstyle or starting a new book or going ice skating with your buds. Live it up, lady!

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by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016