There is a lot about ourselves that we can change – our weight, body fat percentage and to some extent our shape. But there are some things we simply can’t change – no matter how much we try. I will never be taller and I’ll never have longer legs. I will always have a round Eastern European looking face. I will always have blue eyes and brown hair (ok, I could probably change those two with a good dye job and some fake contacts, but you get the idea…). And I can’t change my curvy shape, even at my leanest – I will have round hips. Regardless though of what we are aiming to transform and what we are stuck with, the first step in having the body we really, really want is acceptance. We need to accept the imperfections, the parts that are too big or too small, the things that are too round or too flat – all of it. The stuff we are working to make different and the stuff that barring plastic surgery, will stay the same. We need to accept the good stuff too – the little parts about us that we do love and that make us unique. Accepting ourselves – flaw and all – is freeing, and it’s honest. It doesn’t allow us to hide from anything and it doesn’t allow us to be scared of anything. It’s all jus there, waiting for you to love it. Yes, even the bad parts need love too. It’s the only way to make them our friend, our partner in transformation – rather than the enemy. If we come at our parts that need improvement having already accepted them, change is possible. If we don’t, we are constantly generating nasty, negative feelings which do not help us reach our goals. I’ve realized lately that the body parts I’m not satisfied with are the parts that I obsess about and at the same time ignore. If you’ve been following this blog you know the body part that bums me out is, well, my bum. It’s the thing that gives me the most angst when I have buy new jeans and it’s the body part I always feel like I need to work on. My bum, or more appropriately my gluts, are also the most ignored part of my musculature. Despite their size, they are weak. I compensate with my hamstrings, low back and hip flexors – letting my gluts totally off the hook. It’s almost like there’s no neurological energy left to fire the damn things cuz I’ve used it all up hating their shape. Perhaps it’s time to send them a little more love. Or at least stop the constant negative input. Booty, I love and accept you…just the way you are. I’m not going to stop working on them. I’m still eating for fat loss and doing my physical therapy, targeting my workouts for glut and quad strength, trying to walk with better form (even when just running around town) and of course, stretching my ridiculously tight hamstrings by doing yoga. But instead of looking in the mirror and feeling dread or reaching down and feeling the roundness of my hips, I’m gonna try sending my bum a better message. Perhaps now we can stop fighting and be on the same team. There’s inevitably stuff we want to change about ourselves and our body, but whether the first step in change is getting a really honest look at the stuff we aren’t happy with and accepting it, too big or not, flaws and all. Negativity doesn’t melt fat away, if anything it perpetuates the disappointment, upset and downright digust for those parts we just want to change. Booty, we’re in it together now…I promise to be nicer.