Inevitably, as Valentine’s Day creeps closer, I start to think about people I love and cherish. I’m fortunate to have quite a few of those individuals in my life, and on February 14th I plan to make sure they all know how deeply I care for them. And while it’s so important to love those around us, I think it’s time we start showing our bodies a little bit more love, too.

Body-image and weight isn’t something I’ve talked much about on Espresso and Cream, since I’m not an expert on either accounts, but it’s something I hope to talk more about in the future. Like many people, I struggled for years to make peace with my body, food and how I see myself in the mirror. Throughout college (and on my weaker days in the present) I played the comparison game with the women around me: she had skinnier thighs, prettier hair, better arms, you name it. And you know what? None of it made me any happier, thinner or prettier. Instead of building up those around me, I was quietly tearing them, and myself, down.

This isn’t to say forget about healthy living and self-improvement and be happy with your unhealthy self. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, because self-improvement starts with loving the body, mind and heart you’ve been given. (excuse me if I sound like a self-help book) A little over a year ago, I saw things I wanted to improve about myself, like my eating habits, exercise routine and the way I treated myself. And while I may not be completely there yet, I’m a whole lot closer than I was 12 months ago.

So no matter where you are at emotionally, take a little extra time this week to be good to your body. Maybe that’s as simple as thinking kind thoughts about yourself when you look in the mirror, or perhaps it means making a commitment to eating more veggies or making your trips to the gym a priority. Big or small, every step is worth taking. And if you’re looking to be extra good to yourself, this smoothie is an excellent and pain-free way to do so.

Tell me: What do YOU love about yourself? Come on, don’t be modest. I really want to know!

Berry-Love Smoothies
Ingredients
*1/2 cup mixed berry juice (I have been using Naked Juice Blue Machine thanks to Joey)
*1/4 cup water
*3/4 cup frozen raspberries
*1/4 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
*1 tsp. Stevia or other natural no-calorie sweetener

Instructions
*Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

Happy blending!

Madison

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  • http://keepitsweet.wordpress.com Lauren at KeepItSweet

    Loving your posts recently:-) Such a good reminder on how to treat yourself! Have a great day.

  • http://savoryflavors.blogspot.com Michelle

    Great post! I totally agree with you as in the past year, I have also started eating and exercising more appropriately. What I love about me right now, is the forgiveness that I can finally give myself when I miss a day of working out or eat 1 extra cookie, because I know the next day, I'll be back to my active, natural foods eating life! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07223840964487999435 Cara

    I totally understand you with the whole comparison game. We all do it, and it's so destructive. I love that you are promoting the idea of living healthy and loving the way we are each individually made! It makes such a difference in our attitudes and overall perspective on life when we stop wishing how we want to be and celebrate who we are.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00035668176161769026 Laura

    Love the honesty in this post. Thanks for being brave enough to share what we're all thinking about!

  • http://www.bringinthepink.com Amber

    I love this post, Madison! Great stuff! You are such an encouragement. And I also love your new header!

  • http://www.savingdessert.com Tricia @ Saving room for dessert

    I don't always love a lot of things about myself because I too suffer from those negative thoughts from time to time. I will give you one thing I DO like about myself and that is if I say I'm going to do something, I do it. If you ask me to take care of something, I take care of it. I guess I'm very dependable and because I am, people (family) often depend on me. I also love the new look. Very pretty.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16608772176428272352 Bowl of Fruit

    Great post – especially before the weekend where I'm about to make a 7 course meal for a Valentines Day party. ;)

    PS. That smoothie looks delicious – and it also reminds me of Bridget's birthday soup from Bridget Jones' diary. :D

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11863427572750525283 Natalie

    love your header, btw! it's new, right?

    great post, great smoothies. i think this is such a common issue that needs to be addressed in an appropriate way. you did so wonderfully!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05563654533324413257 Megan

    You're completely right. I've always wanted to take initiative with my body and motivate myself to lose weight and get healthier. Unfortunately it never worked in the long term because my goals were always short term – look good in a dress or swimsuit, impress boys, etc. Definitely true that you need to have a healthy image of yourself before you respect your body enough to *really* take care of it. Now I'm going to the gym about 3-5 times a week (HUGE improvement for me) and eating more fruits & veggies – I'm so proud of myself! It really does make you feel great.

  • http://happyhealthysweet.blogspot.com Amanda

    I love my self control. I am blessed with the ability to choose my foods wisely and educate others on the topic of “you are what you eat.” This isn't to say I don't indulge in sweets, because I do, but I love how I feel after eating a great nutrition filled meal. I really enjoyed this post mainly because it's a reminder to love yourself and to treat your body right; you only get one!