Working as a health coach and personal trainer, I quite often hear my clients say, “I just want to be there already!” They have specific body parts that they want to, shrink, tone, or make bigger. And I get it, that’s why I’m employed to help you achieve those goals. I too have felt embarrassed, uncomfortable or ashamed about certain parts of my body. Without question, there is a societal pressure to look a certain way and they can often get the best of us.

However, when it comes to our body changing goals and desires, what if we came from a place of gratitude for our amazing body rather than a place of disgust or embarrassment?

We can’t be complaining about something and coming from a place of gratitude at the same time. From my previous blog, we know how much coming from gratitude can really change our perspective on life. Plus, true gratitude is being grateful for your situation when it’s the most challenging to be grateful for it – get it?

So, how might one shift from coming from a place of complaining to a place of gratitude while working to change their body?

Let’s first start with the word change. What if we use the word improve instead? Our body is an amazing gift. Many people wake up every morning without certain limbs or with unhealthy hearts, or sickness in their body. If we are lucky enough to wake up every morning with a healthy heart, clean blood, well-functioning organs, and all our limbs, we are pretty damn lucky no matter what size we are. So, stand in front of that mirror and be grateful for every inch of your body even though you want to make some improvements. The goal is not to be supermodel skinny. The goal is to be strong and healthy. That will look different for everyone.

Next, be conscious. For every push-up you do, be grateful for your arms and shoulders, and if you’re doing push-ups on your knees, be grateful for those knees. For every squat that you push through, be grateful for your strong legs, your knees, and that beautiful booty that you squeeze at the top. For every suicide, you run, be grateful for your healthy heart that is beating hard to keep blood and oxygen moving through your body. These movements may be painful at first, but everyone must start somewhere. Coming from a place of gratitude for the opportunity to make improvements on our health, rather than denial, embarrassment, shame, etc., will make for a better experience.

Practice making these mind shift’s daily. Every time your mind wanders to that critical place of jiggly, “lunch lady arms” catch yourself and be grateful for the fact that you’ve got arms along with the opportunity to make those arms strong. Every time you start counting the little pockets of cellulite hanging around those adorable cheeks connected to your legs, stop and ask yourself “what is one thing I love about my body?” Choose to focus on that.

Don’t be mad at your body. Be grateful. Then choose to act to make healthy improvements.

Choose muscle over madness.

Choose strong over skinny.

Choose gratitude over complaining.

Focus on progress not perfection