Ask Lauren: How to Love the Body You Have

Lauren Conrad's Advice on How to Love the Body You Have
Here on LaurenConrad.com we post a lot of blogs about slimming down, shaping up, and getting fit. I’ll be the first one to admit that I love to read diet and fitness tips because I think a healthy lifestyle is important. But behind all of this talk of toning up lies the heart of what it means to be healthy: Loving the skin you’re in and treating it right. One reader recently wrote a comment that really inspired me and sparked a conversation on the blog. She explained that “loving the body you have” is a great way to be confident, but that constantly working to improve our health is what’s really important. I was happy to see this interesting take on the whole idea of “slimming down” and “shaping up” because it showed me that our readers are quite intuitive about body image. In a nutshell, here’s what one reader, Halie, wrote:

[Being healthy] shouldn’t be about appearance, it should be about health. Love yourself so much that you want to be healthy. Once I let go of trying to be skinny or perfect and focused on the idea of loving my body so much that I gave it the very best treatment, I got healthier.

Another reader, Hannah, agreed and wrote back with this:

Although it’s great to “be happy with the body you have,” what is even better is trying to improve and become healthier and more fit. Almost everyone I know, while of course they are worthy of self-confidence, should spend more time working out, choosing healthier meals and snacks, and making lifestyle changes rather than sitting on the couch.

Now here’s what I think about loving your body. As women, we all have things that we can be self conscious of.  Whether it’s wishing our tummies were a little flatter or our arms were a little more toned (for me it’s the stubborn cellulite on my thighs), there are always those little things we wish we could change about our bodies. My approach to most things in life has always been to accept it or change it. Because of this, I have always used my flaws as motivation to work harder and stay in shape. But as I have grown, I have learned more to love my body for what it is. After all, it’s been good to me. It takes me on afternoon hikes and runs alongside my dogs in the sand. It built me the raised beds in my garden and feels strong when I workout at the gym. And, in exchange, I treat my body the best I can. I stay active and feed it healthy food. I let it rest at night and take vitamins to keep it strong. I love my body the way it is because I have treated it well and continued to exercise and feed it healthy food throughout the years. I am all for body confidence, but I am even more for living a healthy lifestyle.

This summer, remember that working toward that “bikini body” I often refer to does not mean working to fit into a certain mold. A bikini body is not a certain weight, size or shape. It simply means working hard to treat your body right, exercise, eat healthy, and then feeling confident in your bikini. That, ladies, is the best way to learn to love the skin you’re in.

What factors do you think are important when it comes to loving your body?

Get the discussion going in the comments below.

And thank you to my LaurenConrad.com readers for inspiring this post!

XO Lauren

 

Photos: Lauren Conrad Beauty
Categories: Ask Lauren, Contributors, Get Fit, Grow, Health, Lauren Conrad
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  • http://angmohchick.blogspot.com/ Ang Moh Chick

    This is a very important topic! Media creates an illusion and unnecessary negativity toward imperfections. We all grow old and have signs of lived life, why not be proud of what our body has seen and lived through :)

    http://angmohchick.blogspot.sg/

    X Ang Moh Chick

  • http://www.inallofhersplendor.com johnna

    After years of struggling with an eating disorder this is something I have really had to work on. I have realized that Confidence makes us beautiful – I even found guys don’t hate cellulite! Read more here http://www.inallofhersplendor.com/2014/06/26/guys-dont-hate-cellutlite/

  • http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/ Cristina Gomez

    The media is often the reason why we don’t love our bodies. They show us perfect and unatainable body types that we long for. It is really unfair because there is not only one type of beautiful. We need to fight that and be happy with what we have. I eat healthy and I’m trying to do more exercise and that makes me feel much better about myself.

    http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/

    • Essie H

      I totally agree and I think this website should portray as well women of different types of beauty for a change (and I mean healthy + different body types). Don’t get me wrong, I love Lauren and I deeply enjoy all her posts but there are also here these amazing skinny girls everywhere whose body type I just can’t be. I’m not fat, I’m in shape, but I’m short and have curves (definitely not model material) and I have the feeling that my body is hideous; the worse is that I get that feeling also by reading this, my favorite blog… this is so sad!

  • http://oursweetthingcalledlife.blogspot.com jessica church

    the world creates very unrealistic beauty expectations of women. I do not think we should be talking about slimming down or getting our bikini body, because regardless of what you intend when you bring up those topics they inspire unhealthy habits and thoughts.We need to get past fitting into a mold and working towards health. http://oursweetthingcalledlife.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-world-tells-us-we-are-not-enough.html#.U8PY0txOjlc

  • jill

    I agree totally Lauren. While loving and accepting your flaws is important, being healthy is even more so. Bikini or no bikini, you should be exercising and eating healthy whenever you can. Of course a treat once in a while is good, but we shouldn’t use the excuse of “loving yourself no matter what” to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s a struggle everyday to choose a banana over a doughnut, but when i reach a goal like adding an extra half mile to my run, I’m always glad I did!

  • http://www.katikonfidential.com Kati

    This is such a good topic. I think people often try to eat healthy and work out for the wrong reasons and that is why they struggle and often give up. It’s important to value yourself and work towards health instead of trying to fit some mold that you “think” you’re supposed to fit. I think it’s important to realize that no one is perfect and even the models in the magazines have flaws (which are often hidden by air brushing). If you truly love your body and treat it well, you may even grow to appreciate your flaws. http://katikonfidential.com

  • arielle q.

    so many women need this post! I am definitely guilty of letting “skinny” be my goal and totally putting “healthy” on the back burner and I was so wrong. depending on body type, that super skinny runway build can be next to impossible. for instance, I have a perma-pooch under my belly button that just doesn’t go away no matter how many miles I run. but if healthy and loving your body is the ultimate goal, that is a more realistic goal and so much more doable! thanks for sharing and sorry for the novel ;)

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

    • http://www.treatswithatwist.com/ Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

      I have that same perms pooch. Knowing it runs in my family and that it’s completely normal for some women has finally clicked in my brain. Working hard to be skinny never have me happiness and wrecked my health. I feel so much better working on health and kindness for my body.

  • Carlie

    With confidence comes power to achieve anything. Once we are comfortable and confident and accept who we are then it is easier to achieve goals to improve overall self worth :)

  • brownie

    Love this! Keep up the good work Lauren!

  • Bethany

    Well said! I love this post :)

  • Lacey

    Thank you, Lauren! What wonderful inspiration to begin the day.

  • caela

    I recently had this same revelation. I was feeling really sluggish, really tired all the time and would rather go hang out with friends than work out. I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t feeling proud. I really wanted to figure out what was wrong and why I wasn’t feeling myself. After a lot of documentaries and reading articles about food I realized I wasn’t treating my body like the temple that it is. Like Lauren said, our bodies do so much for us, they let us wake up everyday and breath fresh air and walk and talk. I have always been insecure and self conscience. But now that I am a 25 I really have wanted to break that and feel comfortable in my own skin. I started to eat really clean, no genetically modified food, and I am drinking plenty of water and adding lemons to anything I can because it is antibacterial and really great for our digestion. I realized that eating healthier meant living happier. When I stopped pressuring myself to be thin and started living a healthy well balanced life I felt rejuvenated and refreshed and more ME. I still have a ways to go but I know I am on the track. At the end of the day my smiles should be coming from the inside because that’s when they glow on the outside. Thanks for the article Lauren I feel that it is what every girl and woman needs to hear.

  • Emma

    Id love to see a post on which vitamins you take! There are soooo many options and I’d love to know if they work, and the best ones for certain areas (eg energy, immune system etc

    • Guest

      me too that would be great!

    • Kelsey

      agreed!

    • http://blogaboutdesign.com/ B.A.D l Blog About Design

      Great idea Emma! I want to know too :)

      Check out the B.A.D blog… http://blogaboutdesign.com

    • sarah. London

      There is a post with this.

  • Leanne

    Wonderful article! It’s so important to be with happy with what you’ve got.

    Love from South Africa

    http://arumlilea.blogspot.com

  • Julia

    How about exercises that makes you lean, not muscular?

  • http://www.morethanextraordinary.blogspot.com/ Shelby

    This is beautiful Lauren, I love how as a community here on LC we all can just support each other to be the best we can be!

    http://www.morethanextraordinary.blogspot.com

  • Alex

    I have always struggled with my weight and body image which really takes a toll on self confidence. While I may be doing very well in other parts of my life, my health and body image isn’t necessarily one of them. Part of the problem is I am a full-time student working two jobs and holding leadership positions in organizations on campus, so my time is limited. Another problem is I let that be an excuse to get healthy and treat my body they way I should. I am busy, extremely busy but am I really too busy to treat my body in a way that is healthy and should be treated? I don’t think so. This is may be a post about body image but to me it really resonated with me about being healthy and treating your body right.

    ~A

  • http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/ Grace

    Thanks so much for this post, Lauren! I love how you talked about this in relation to your bikini body plan. It’s important to realize that could mean a different thing for each person! :)

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

  • http://allthatglitters.co.nr/ Ashley Rizzardo

    For me, eating healthy is the biggest thing I am working out. I have been fairly active since childhood (played baseball and my mother always took me on walks which I still take nightly) and have added running a few nights into that. But eating has always been my challenge. Everything is so tempting and if I had to choose between oreos or a banana my hand would have 4 oreos in just seconds. Recently I have committed to eating healthier and buying meat and produce from local farms and stands which has made for some pretty yummy meals! I feel so much better and way more energetic when I am putting more of that into my body. I never say it I’m doing it to be skinny though…I do it to be healthy.

    Ashley
    All That Glitters

  • Pearl Northrup

    A positive body image is a major part of living a healthy lifestyle. There is no difference between the two concepts, they are extensions of the same general philosophy.

  • rachel

    I completely agree with what you said. I have been so focused on being “skinny” that I forgot to learn to love my body. It feels so great to work on being fit and healthy all around. I’m so glad you wrote this. Every girl and woman should believe it!

  • Mandy

    Thank you for this post! This needs to be all women’s definition of ‘bikini ready’. For years to me that meant being as slim as my friends. I’ve only come to the realization in the past couple weeks that as long as I feel good, that’s good enough!

  • http://melinasnotebook.for.me/ Melina

    I started working out (for real this time) about 6 months ago. My goal was to achieve the perfect beach body for the summer. However after a while I forgot about it, and by seeing the results on my body I realized I needed to do this for myself. There is not a major difference, I’m not toned or anything. But just by working out and eating a little more healthy I feel so much more comfortable with myself. I had no idea that workouts could improve your self confidence that much. I started working out because everyone else was doing it, but know I’m finally doing it for myself. And even if the changes on the outside aren’t that visible I believe the changes on the inside are.

  • http://www.laurelloves.com/ Laurel Loves

    Thanks for the confidence booster! Healthy is my goal and focusing on my body type rather than ideals of perfection – which would never be sustainable anyway!

    http://www.laurelloves.com

  • http://unitedstatesofchic.com/ UnitedStatesofChic

    Great post! I feel so motivated!

    http://unitedstatesofchic.com/

  • http://dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com/ Ashley of Dream.Live.Repeat.

    This is truly a great reminder! Thank you for this!
    It’s also great when we can come together as a community.
    dreamliveandrepeat.blogspot.com

  • Chlo♥

    I totally agree with this post. I’m always looking for ways to stay in shape and be healthy. We all have our flaws and imperfections we don’t like but at the end of the day we should be happy with ourselves x

    http://lipstickandsparkles.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Laura

    For years I have obsessed about my weight. I would get on the scales every morning and if I had added one pound I was miserable and self loathing. Recently my scales broke (from water damage not from being too heavy for them) and once I got over the initial panic of not knowing how many pounds I am every 12 hours, I made the conscious decision not to replace them. And I feel great. I wake up and I don’t hell at myself for being lazy and fat (because I don’t know if I’m heavier or not!) instead I dress for how I feel, and the scales are no longer controlling my mood. I’m actually exercising more and eating better- but still having chocolate too. And I am so convinced I’m not replacing those scales.

  • http://www.asequinloveaffair.com/ Shira

    I’m so glad that this article was written after seeing so many articles written about weight loss, getting thin, and a “bikini body.” Finally. I hope you continue spreading this message!

  • http://emiliashea.blogspot.com/ Emily Shea

    I never know what vitamins to take! That would be a super helpful post. For me, staying motivated is the hardest part. I work out until the problem areas become less of a problem, and then suddenly I lose interest until they pop up again. It drives me crazy!

  • Kennedy

    I have struggled with my body my whole life. But in a way that most girls rolled their eyes at me and would scoff when I would say I was uncomfortable with my body. I was born a slim string bean and have always stuggled to put on weight. I thought sitting around and doing nothing would help but my metabolism resisted. A month a go I started going to the gym everyday and doing yoga in the mornings because I ran out of options, but I gained 10 pounds in working out! That’s right! And I was estatic. Not sure if it’s the working out or what but I love how I’m looking at 125 and I plan to keep it that way!

  • Lexa Mendoza

    For me is eating healthy work on and good sleep and not matter what love you body and don’t care what people or family said

  • http://sincerelyyoursanna.blogspot.com/ Anna Lee

    I love this! I’ve never read an article about loving your body that i fully agreed with until this one. This is the perfect explanation!

    I try so hard to be self motivated/ have self control over myself when it comes to what I eat. I don’t know how to stay motivated. Does anyone have any advice?!

  • Tracy

    Great tips, health is so much more important than anything, including a skinny body!

    http://fashion-soup.com/

  • http://www.vestidododia.com.br Heloísa Paiva

    I started working out a few times in the past, every single one failed :P but then I learned about the ‘myth’ of 21 days: If you start something, and do it for 21 days in a row without skipping, then it becames an habbit. Worked for me!

    Helô, from Vestido do dia

  • http://morninglux.blogspot.com Samantha Kay

    Thank you for this Lauren! As much as I appreciate the fitness stuff even us fit girls struggle with body image. It’s nice to know it’s not all about the way you look, but how you feel.

    morninglux.blogspot.com

  • Kat

    Awesome post!! It’s very important to love your body because it empowers you! We are all beautiful. Don’t forget it. :-)

    http://swallowthetruth.com

  • http://www.thesinglediaries.com/ The Single Diaries

    I love this! It’s great to be reassured that the team behind LaurenConrad.com really does listen and hear us. I think a good edit to the famous quote is “Nothing tastes as good as HEALTHY feels.” But as I’ve learned from reading articles here and elsewhere, you don’t need to deprive yourself to get the body you want: portion control and moderation are key.

    I wholeheartedly agree that a bikini body is simply feeling confident in your own bikini. I know I had to work on that over the years, and it did come with making healthier food choices and becoming more fit. Living an active lifestyle (walking when you can, going on hikes, USING your muscles) is a huge step in loving your body and all that it does for you.

    Catherine
    TheSingleDiaries.com</a?

  • http://runnerintherealworld.blogspot.com/ Jordan

    I love this post about the anti-diet http://www.thelondoner.me/2012/01/anti-diet.html

  • Rizzo

    Hannah sounds very judgmental and mean. Some of us have health issues which prevent us from constantly working out. I eat healthy organic vegetarian food only but I cannot do any workouts but walking which I do every day if my chronic health conditions do not flare up. For millions is a health issue, not a lifestyle choice,

  • Katelyn Gott

    I was so pleasantly surprised to read this article today, it really hit home for me and inspired me. I agree that in today’s world loving your body is all the rage but like everything else in this world there is always room for improvement. The moment we get comfortable is the moment the progress begins to stop. So thinking more in terms of being healthy, than trying to be what the world thinks a woman should look like, is what I am going to focus on!

  • Danielle

    I’m disappointed in this article’s claim that this site does not encourage women to fit a certain mold. There are lots of healthy women who are not thin (as opposed to average) and the diet suggestions are frequently aimed at losing weight and being thinner. While I do enjoy being thinner, the assertion that this site only promotes diet changes for the sake of better health is obviously false.

  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html Jeffrey Dowling

    MY name is Angela Schneider am from California, i never believe that my ex boyfriend will ever make up with me again just because of the incident that happened on a day that suppose to be his engagement night he called me on phone asking me to came and meet him at royal palm bunch hotel,that same hour on my way going there i meant an old time friend called jack will son,he was my first love during our high school days he put some pressure on me that same night but i tried my possible best to explain every thing to him that i am with some one already but he refuse to understand me and still putting more pressure on me saying that i should hangout with him,we were together all through that night,and my boy friend waited for me all through that night.but i never known all in the name of old time sake i was dealing with the wrong person jack i known before later turn into something else after having sex with me,my boy friend was hot and was very agree with me because he was to propose to me that same night but i never known of that i apologize to him and told him a lie that my father was ill that i was the only one available to talk him to the hospital,he was convince but later few days to our wedding some body from no were came and testify against me that i have been cheating on my boy friend with an evidence of a photo of that same incident that happen between i and jack. my boyfriend was very agree with me and throne me out of his house saying is over between both of us,he discovered that his ex girlfriend who traveled to Canada to visit her uncle was back he later go back to her and i held he was planning to marry her,but due to what happened i still loves him very much and i Bella can not afford to loose him to another,i sick for help in difference places but there was no solution,last i meant my friend jenny we both attend this same high school together so i shale my problems with her and she introduce me a powerful DR called, Dr.great help me in getting my lover back immoderately without any delay my ex boyfriend later came back to me with much love and our wedding was planned and we finally got wedded and blessed with three lovely kids. I Bella will forever be thankful to Dr.great for helping me restore my marriage back he can also do the same for you email:[email protected] ,or kindly visit he website http://[email protected] .

  • rosie

    been loving these weigh loss tips and tricks. Here’s my weight loss journal so far!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX9DTNWfZrA

  • Essie H

    I hate myself so much I don’t have the strength to make the right choices… I would love to be happy with myself, to love myself but just can’t. Even though I realize there’s so much people out there whose life situations are really difficult and I myself am blessed in so many ways, just can’t be enough for my own expectations. I’ve struggled today pretty badly to not hurt myself and I guess I’m proud of myself for not doing anything I’d regret, but still it hurts so much…

    How can you love yourself? Where does the strength to make the right food and excercise choices come from?

  • Taylor Hastings

    It’s so encouraging when someone as beautiful as you shares their flaws. I always thought something was wrong with me becuase I’m 19 and have had cellulite for years! Thank you so much for this!

  • Marin

    I couldn’t agree more with this. Thanks Lauren!

  • FernandaR

    A used be in a diet mode all the time , then i got sick & because of that i had to take care of my body. So, i started taking vitamins, slepping well, eating well, and i do yoga and stay active, and thats it! Im thin and when i started taking care of my body i got basically skiny, i learned that if i take care of my body it will do what i need it to do & in exchange i love my body and i treat it with love.
    Being sick made me realize that if was going to be taking pills doing exercise everything that i had to do, i also had to take care of me :)

  • Nicole

    This really inspired me to love my body the way it is and still get where I want to be.

  • Rania

    Glad to see you write this as opposed to all the articles out there putting pressure on girls to fit into a teeny tiny bikini. We should remind ourselves on a daily basis that we’re beautiful, and that our health is above all else! ❤️

    http://www.theblushdiaries.com

  • Crystal

    Yes!! a post on vitamins and maybe even protein powders for shakes would be awesome! I never know what to choose or whose options are the best.

  • Tami

    Stop being frustrated about the parts you don’t like about your body and be grateful for the parts you love! Don’t forget that nobody has the perfect body, I’m happy to look different from everyone else in just the way I am.

  • Oksana

    Thank you for such an inspiring post Lauren! It reminded me again and helped to put in the perspective the whole idea of why I do what I do when I exercise, choose to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and do other things that are good for my body. Being fit is great, but being healthy AND then fit and all other things is what’s ultimately important. :)

  • Marijan Dukic

    Your the workout for me you little twat@/&$#:;,(*

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