1. To be accepting of what you see in the mirror today, even if you want to change it for the better. It is important to accept where you are right now.
2. To respect your body in all the ways you can. And to reflect often on what you need that to mean to you.
3. To learn to be okay with, and to work to eventually embrace, the parts of your body you love the least. Because these parts are still a part of you, and they probably need the most affection.
4. To refrain from abusing your body as much as you can – whether it’s in what you consume, how you talk about it, what you do with it, and what you don’t do with it.
5. To forgive yourself and your body for the times you do not treat it well. And to remember that you are human, and it will always be an on-going struggle to treat your body the way it deserves to be treated.
6. To refuse to compare what you look like, and what your body can do, with someone else’s. Realize that your only goal when it comes to your body, is to do your best
7. To ensure that you’re fueling and feeding your body with the right nutrients as much as possible. And yes, this may be a sacrifice of time, money, and education. But it is worth it.
8. To give your body rest, and to make it a habit to give it rest. And not just when you are completely exhausted or sick. Rest is not laziness, rest is necessary. Rest keeps you going.
9. To move with your body whether that means running, swimming, walking, biking, dancing, lifting, yoga, and stretching. If it is able, let your body move.
10. To refrain from judging your body by the unrealistic standards society, and the people around you, have set. Recognize that these judgments are mostly arbitrary, and don’t have your best interests at heart.
11. To enjoy your body and what your body can do. And to get accustomed to thinking of your body in a positive light rather than beating it down with only negative thoughts and words.
12. To never become obsessed with the physical appearance of your body. And to remember that there is more to the body than the social constructions we inflict on the physical.
13. To challenge your body. Whether that means cleaning it out from time to time with a short fast or doing a different exercise from the one you’re used to. Your body, like your mind, gets used to habits. And once in a while, it needs a shocking, good change.
14. But also to accept that your body, like any body, has limitations. Don’t let these limitations discourage you, let them be what they are – limitations that show you that you’ve come to your best.
15. To never let the body that you have, and the perfections and imperfections that go with it, define who you are.
16. In the words of a sign I recently came across, to ultimately always, “treat your body like it belongs to somebody you love.” (Because it does belong to somebody you should love.)
17. And above all, in any and all moments, to honor these words, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul; you have a body.”