Learn To Love YOUR Body!

by Meg on March 6, 2014

As much as I hate to admit it, when I wake up in the mornings, before I even get out of bed, I roll over, grab my phone, open Instagram, and flip through my feed to scan all of the pictures I missed while I was sleeping.

I’ll see pictures of what my friend’s had for dinner the night before, which movie they watched before bed, snuggle time with their furry friends, their morning coffee, and morning abs. 

Pictures of “morning abs” flood my Instagram feed in the morning. If you’re not familiar with “morning abs”, read this definition on Urban Dictionary (no, I’m not lying… there is actually a definition!)

After seeing all of these images of morning abs, I usually get out of bed and go about my morning just as usual, but earlier this week after seeing an abundance of morning abs pictures, I thought I might as well check out my morning abs.

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To my surprise, there was none. I hadn’t done any “body checking” in such a long time. This was the first time in a long time I stood in front of the mirror to look at my stomach and I was shocked that the abs I once had were no longer there.

Initially I was embarrassed, ashamed, and confused all at the same time. I was so confused as to why all of my friends on Instagram woke up to morning abs, but I did not. It just didn’t make sense to me. I’m healthy, I train consistently, I’m happier with my life than ever before, yet I don’t have abs, which suddenly took some of that happiness away.

Clearly, I did not share this picture on Instagram or any other form of social media. This picture was nothing to brag about. Nothing to be proud about. There were no abs to show off. Who would ever want to see this!?

So, I kept it to myself until I came across Molly Galbraith’s 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge.

I’ve been following Molly’s blog for years and she’s always been a huge role model and inspiration to me, so when I saw her 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge I was immediately intrigued and knew I had to participate.

Just as myself, Molly’s passion is to help women look and feel their best while treating their bodies with compassion and care and her 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge lives up to that goal. It’s a brilliant idea and made me think “why didn’t I think of that!?” So, I decided to participate in whatever way I could to spread the word and help others learn to love their body.

The first thing I did was share my picture with Molly so she could add it to her Facebook album titled, “Love Your Body Challenge“.

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“My stomach is the part of my body that I am most uncomfortable with. I’ve always been incredible self conscious in a bikini and have always strived to have a noticeable 6 pack. A few years ago, I accomplished a level of leanness that allowed me to see me abs. They were so defined and I was proud, but I was not healthy. Today, I woke up to see my “morning abs” as so many people take pictures of theirs and share over social media, but I had nothing. And I was really trying to flex for the picture to make some appear, but nothing. Of course I was self conscious and wondered why others can have those infamous morning abs, but I can’t!? And then I reminded myself that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been now (without abs), so I’m trying to focus on that. I’m focusing on my health, strength, who I am as a person, and loving my body rather than focusing on having noticeable abs.” 

The main point is that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m also the strongest I’ve ever been. I’ve also never had such a healthy relationship with food as I do now. I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been.

I guess that goes to show you that having abs do not create happiness or symbolize optimal health.

So, it’s important to focus on all that we are now rather than focusing on what we want or what we don’t have.

When I see the picture of my stomach covered up with the fat health that I’ve gained over the past year I remind myself that it is in fact a sign of health.
It’s a sign that I’ve had a really awesome year.
It’s a sign that I can eat freely and without restriction.
It’s a sign that my body is healthy and functioning properly.
It’s a sign that I can have a family in the future.
It’s a sign that I’m strong.
It’s a sign that I can enjoy life and not obsess over food and exercise.
And when I dwell on all of those signs, not having noticeable abs really doesn’t matter to me at all.

Like I’ve said in the past, abs do not define who you are.

Whether it’s your lack of abs that bother you or another body part, I want you to focus on where you are now and learn to love your body. It’s your only body and we should all learn to love it just the way it is. So, join me on the 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge and let’s all improve our body image and love our bodies more than we ever have before!

{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 6, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Love this! Than you for being so open and honest Meg! Abs no where near define who we are and it is so important to realize that. I doubt I will ever have abs either and that is OK in my book!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Thanks for reading Sara :) you have a great outlook, too.

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Marieve March 6, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Well said!! Thank you!!!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Thank YOU

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Sarah March 6, 2014 at 7:33 AM

I love this! I’ve been on my own journey of loving and appropriately caring for my body. I gotta say, I’m easily influenced- especially when I’ve been sleep deprived for too many day. Those pictures really get me sometimes, too! Last week, I found myself eating foods that don’t really agree with my body just to reach a certain number of protein grams, and I KNOW it wasn’t good for my body, mind, or spirit. I’ve been on a much healthier track this week, and your post is such great encouragement to keep going.

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Sarah! I am so happy you’re having a better week! KEEP BEING YOU AND DOING WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOU ONLY! <3

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Cara's Healthy Cravings March 6, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Wise words Meg!
It is good to have goals, but I agree that it is important to focus on the “now” and be thankful for what we accomplish each day. This is the kind of message that I want all women, young and old, to hear (many times), as we often need this reminder.

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Thanks Cara :) I hope a lot of people read this post, too

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Linz @ Itz Linz March 6, 2014 at 7:44 AM

AMAZING! you are amazing! pictures, comparison, social media definitely does not define us! and like you said… you’re the healthiest and strongest and THAT is what’s beautiful!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Thank you so much Linz :)

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Lizzie March 6, 2014 at 7:52 AM

You are amazing. This is such a crazy thing people do on instagram and I struggle exactly how you described by not being able to see abs. Even when I was at a very low weight, I sti didn’t have defined abs. I am so glad you addressed this topic. Much love girl! <3 you workout and take care of your body in so many ways and when I think about that I realize how awesome and rewarding that is. Abs are neither here nor there when talking about health and happiness :) I hope I can become as confident and self nurturing as you :)

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 8:59 PM

You will Lizzie :D Just keep being true to yourself and doing what makes you happy and healthy <3

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Ashley March 6, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Pssshh who needs morning abs? I follow lots of fitness gurus on instagram so I see the ab photos all the time! Sometimes it does make me feel inadequate, but then I have to remind myself that these people dedicate most of their day to bodybuilding! I could be like that too if I wanted it that bad, but I don’t. I do my hour a day at the gym, I eat right, and I enjoy a piece of chocolate when I want! If that means I can’t have ripped abs, I’m okay with that. Great post!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Great COMMENT girl! I love your mindset <3 FABULOUS

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Melanie March 6, 2014 at 8:05 AM

thanks Meg. I really needed this post right now!
Amazing as always.

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM

WOW Thanks, girl :) I am always here for you xo

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Kim @ Redefining Kim March 6, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Meg, I LOVE this post. Thank you for showing us that we should love our bodies no matter what!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Thanks Kim :)

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Tara | Treble in the Kitchen March 6, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Such a great way to look at things, Meg :) Thanks for sharing…I needed that!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Always here for you girl :)

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Amie March 6, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Perfect post for me to read this morning, thank you! :)

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:01 PM

So happy to hear that :D <3

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Danielle March 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Meg, I can’t even begin to tell you just how proud I am of you! You are absolutely glowing and I am just thrilled by what a wonderful example of healthy you have become! To share your journey takes so much courage and strength and know that you are helping so many other women with your own transparency! Sending you so much love!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Thanks, Danielle. You’ve always been so good to me. Thank you <3

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Iman Driscoll March 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Sso proud of you Meg! A beautiful and fantastic way to live and look at things!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Thank you :)

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cait @pieceofcait March 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

love this, and thanks for being so real! I know exactly what you mean about your news feed and sometimes I question too, why don’t I have abs? I have been lifting a lot and less cardio, so where are they?! but, I am also feeling 100% stronger then ever and that’s what’s important!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:03 PM

strength is the main thing ;) it is such a better thing to focus on than appearance :D

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Maria March 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Thank you for doing this!! I needed to see something like this so badly! I have had a battle with food for so long and to have abs and be perfect! And the past 2 years I have been the happiest and healthiest I have ever been but yet no “abs” and lately seeing all these pictures I was getting discouraged so thank you for reminding me why I’m not trying so hard and it’s better to be happy and healthy!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:04 PM

Oh Maria, I am always here to help you out if you need me :) <3

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Taylor March 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Meg, I have been following your blog/Instagram for some time—mostly because of your positivity and your overall healthy attitude toward food/fitness. I struggle on a daily basis with this subject, as do so many women I know. We analyze our bodies and our food, lessening the latter in the hopes of shrinking the former. And I’m so, so tired of that attitude and that message. So I guess I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for posting this and for sending out a different kind of message, one that is refreshing—but most importantly, one that is HEALTHY. You are really & truly inspiring in the best kind of way, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this attitude spreads and expands and infects women everywhere. I’m rooting for you!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM

AHHHHHH Thank you so much Taylor! You’re so so sweet and I hope the message spreads too! I was hoping a lot of people would read this post <3

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Amy @ fitnessmeetsfrosting.com March 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Oh my goodness- LOVE this! You (both) are an inspiration! We all need to stop comparing ourselves to each other. We should be the best versions of ourselves!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM

So true :)

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Megan (The Lyons' Share) March 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

When I saw your post on Instagram this morning, it honestly set my day up to be more positive about everything. I love your outlook and the way you inspire others. I personally think you look amazing – keep it up!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Wow thanks girl friend <3 thank you so much

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Molly March 6, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Love this post! Proud of you! Acknowledging our insecurities and accepting and loving them anyway takes a lot of strength!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Thank you so much Molly :) <3

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april March 6, 2014 at 11:54 AM

this was such a great post, meg! you are so inspiring and beautiful (not just on the outside, but inside as well!).

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Thank you, April :) <3

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Amber Schumann March 6, 2014 at 12:05 PM

This was an inspiring read this morning. I needed it!

I am struggling with my postpartum body 20 months after having my daughter. I’m petite, and although I’ve never had visible abs, I had a waist/midsection to be proud of. Now here I am, training for a half marathon, eating CLEAN, and I’m the same weight I was in my second trimester (with a WIDER midsection that when I was 4 months postpartum…that’s right, I GAINED weight AND pant size as time went on). I’m EXTREMELY frustrated, and have to tell myself that this may be how my body changed as a mom–accept that I practice a healthy lifestyle, and have great energy to get through my very chaotic day of working full-time and coming home to a very active toddler.

It’s a really hard battle, and I’m always encouraged by your posts. So, thank you.

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:08 PM

I am so happy my posts encourage you, love. Something I want to tell you specifically is to remind yourself that you love your body because it is capable. It is capable of creating a beautiful baby, holding a beautiful baby, and giving birth to a beautiful baby. And now because of all of that you’re a wonderful mom and your baby will admire you so much more when you shine with confidence because of your capabilities <3

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 6, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I love you and I love that you shared this post! You’re so amazing and beautiful – on the inside AND out! I don’t have noticeable abs either – morning, noon or night, and while I’ve definitely had moments of feeling like I wasn’t good enough, fit enough or healthy enough because of it, I also know that I too AM at my healthiest I’ve ever been right now. I’m always striving to be my healthiest but who’s to say that requires having defined abs?

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:09 PM

IT DOES NOT!!!!!! Abs have nothing to do with health or happiness :D as we’ve both realized ;)

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Maria March 6, 2014 at 12:37 PM

You are SUCH an inspiration and role model for women and girls. Thanks for being so open and honest. Love your blog!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:09 PM

YAY thank you so much Maria <3

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Calista March 6, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Thank you so much for this post! I will catch myself thinking, “Once I get a flat tummy, then I’ll be happy with my body.” Uh, no. I have become aware that I need to love my body right where it is, non-flat tummy and all. I’ve never had a flat tummy in my life, but I am stronger now than I’ve ever been and I’m healthier now than I’ve ever been. To top it off, I am happier now than I’ve ever been and dang it, I love my body! Thank you so much for sharing – it’s inspiring to see others love themselves!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

LOVE YOUR ATTITUDE GIRL! Keep loving that beautiful bod of yours <3

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Meg @ The Compost Cook March 6, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Meg Doll, you are my favourite. Thank you for the virtual love, wisdom and CONFIDENCE to share! LOVE YOU!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

HAHAHAHA you always make me smile :) love being your fav ;) thanks girl xo

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Cadey March 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM

I read your blog everyday because I feel as though we’re the same person (no creepiness intended) but I swear I relate to everything you post. But I just had to comment on this one because practically every morning I’ve been struggling with this concept, thank you so much for bringing this up!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Hello twin ;) nice to meet ya ;) so happy you liked this post <3 if you ever need my support/want me to blog about something specific let me know :)

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Danielle March 6, 2014 at 5:35 PM

LOVE this. More people than we can imagine probably play this daily comparison game… We are so cruel to ourselves sometimes. Keep these posts coming Meg, you are awesome :)

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:11 PM

thanks so much :) <3

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Kammie @ Sensual Appeal March 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM

I love this post, very genuine. Honestly abs do NOT make the person. Not even close I’m glad you’re coming to realize this as well. Granted I’ve never actually had them but I have been in better shape than I am now and still I am happier now and healthier now because of how I view my relationship shop with food and myself. That’s what matters. Being happy. Love you!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:12 PM

YES! HAPPINESS AND HEALTH! <3 so proud of how far you’ve come, my friend. I love you too.

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Purelytwins March 6, 2014 at 7:38 PM

why we love you so much!! love this!
abs do not define a person! our abs are always changing one minute they are looking great and the next day looks like we have none. so we have come to realize that life is so much more than what the body looks like :)

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:12 PM

i love that! life is so much more than looks! i like to focus on CAPABILITIES :D that’s much better. abs or no abs you two can create some mind blowing recipes that no one else would ever create or think of so ALWAYS be proud of that

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Gemma @ Retired Cardio Queen March 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Thank you so much for this post. I am sometimes hard on myself and I need to learn to love ALL of my body! Ps. you look fantastic and I am so happy that you are so incredibly happy. That’s all that matters!

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Meg March 6, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Thank you so much Gemma :) you’re such a good friend. FOCUS ON THAT rather than appearance… even though you’re beautiful ;)

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Jody - Fit at 56 March 6, 2014 at 10:10 PM

First – you are not fat or covered with fat!! You are a strong & fit & healthy lady as you said in the post – I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:09 PM

so happy you loved it :) thanks friend <3

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Katrina Elle March 7, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Girls have SUCH a hard time growing up with body image issues! I never get away from it myself – kudos to you for sharing with everyone!

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:09 PM

thanks :)

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Steph March 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM

“When I see the picture of my stomach covered up with the fat health that I’ve gained over the past year I remind myself that it is in fact a sign of health.
It’s a sign that I’ve had a really awesome year.
It’s a sign that I can eat freely and without restriction.
It’s a sign that my body is healthy and functioning properly.
It’s a sign that I can have a family in the future.
It’s a sign that I’m strong.
It’s a sign that I can enjoy life and not obsess over food and exercise.
And when I dwell on all of those signs, not having noticeable abs really doesn’t matter to me at all.”

This is absolutely beautifully written, Meg! Big hugs!

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:09 PM

thanks steph :) that means so much to me xoxo thank you so much for reading

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables March 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM

you know how i feel about this… and you are beautiful sis!

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:09 PM

thanks so much sis – i hope to catch up with you soon

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MM @ Food For Thought March 7, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Such an important message to share Meg! I think everybody struggles with body image at some point in their life, and it infuriates me that society contributes to that struggle with this image of what we supposedly need to look like to be “healthy”. Health is about SO much more than physical appearance!! Learning to love ourselves for who we are is one of life’s greatest challenges. We need to stop hating ourselves for everything we’re not and start loving ourselves for everything we are. As the saying goes, “Just be yourself. Everyone else is taken!” :)

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:10 PM

it’s so true :D

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Emily March 8, 2014 at 12:27 AM

You already know how much I love this and how proud I am of you.
You’re beautiful, inside and out– never forget that!

xoxo

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:10 PM

i am so proud of you too babe xoxo

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Heather@TheSoulfulSpoon March 8, 2014 at 9:39 AM

I’m in love with this post! Thank you for sharing this! I struggled with this very issue for a long time. Your stomach looks identical to mine and my first thought was, her tummy is just like mine! It made me happy because I too, am happier than I’ve ever been, despite my current struggles in life, or with my body. I know recovery is a process, but my tummy is proof I’m getting there and you’re is too! Plus, you look great!:) You’re so fit!

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:11 PM

i am so proud of you girl xoxo

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Heather@TheSoulfulSpoon March 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Your’s* is too

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Kristen March 8, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Gorgeous girl, I LOVE this posts! Alright, let’s be real, I do love all of your posts! I love how open you are, and that you’re willing to show that you aren’t perfect – which isn’t easy. You know the only time I’ve had a 6 pack in my life is when I was super sick and about 30 lbs under weight? Crazy, huh? The 6 pack may be gone, but I too am healthy! I love that you shared this post with the world, I believe SO many women struggle with this because of what we see on magazine’s and social media. So proud of you!!

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:11 PM

you’re an amazing friend, kristen :) thanks for reading and all of your support. i am so proud of you too xoxo

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Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change March 9, 2014 at 9:21 PM

I’m in the same place as you, and I think it really & truly feels better where I am at than training myself to the ground and depriving myself as well. Right now, my healthy life is about fueling and performing well. You are such an amazing inspiration Meg, truly.

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Meg March 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM

thanks kelsey <3 that means a lot! i am happy to hear you’re finding your healthy, too :)

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