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Today is Day 13 of my 31 Days of Self-Love posts to celebrate Self-Love Month with suggestions for jump-starting your own self-love and joining The Self-Love Movement™.

I weigh a bit less now than I have in over 20 years. Yet I can’t get into pants I wore with ease 10 years ago. It’s very frustrating. Getting up in my years has made my weight redistribute according to doctors. I haven’t figure out where it came from but my tummy expanded, even as I lost weight. Needless to say, I don’t like that this happened. But, since it’s part of growing older and I love me, I’ve embraced my tummy with love.

My tummy has served me well over the years! It protected my daughter when I was pregnant and expanded to make room for her to grow. It protects many of my important organs.

Yet there are so many negative terms for a tummy that isn’t flat, like having a spare tire or a muffin top. And many people beat themselves up for not having perfectly flat abs. When I got down to my lowest weight I did too. After all, I used to have a flat tummy and now I weigh less and have all this excess stuff that I must camouflage if it pops up over the rim of my pants and does look like a spare tire through my shirt.

Then I stopped myself and accepted that it’s just part of the natural process of life. Instead, I focus on being grateful for being healthy and keeping my body I good shape, despite my excess in the middle. Female hormones keep the tummy soft. The tummy is your core. And surprisingly, despite how it looks mine is very healthy—and fit! I have strong muscles from all the weight training I do. My personal trainer and I joke that if I could get rid of my outer flab the definition I have on my abs would show.

So I continue working out and trying to eat healthy to make that happen. When you strengthen your core, you increase your ability to have good balance and draw strength from it for other activities. When I life weights, my tummy muscles help me. So I love my tummy now, despite its flab! And I’m slowly making progress on decreasing it with healthy eating and exercise.

So—love your tummy! It serves you well, plus it’s part of YOU. Don’t beat up on yourself for having some extra stuff in your middle. Accept that it’s part of you if you want strong self-love. Embrace all that is you and work on making yourself s healthy as possible. That’s self-loving!

Join The Self-Love Movement™! Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Commitment“I commit to do my best to do something loving for myself, however big or small, for the next 31 days .” and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at Read my 2013 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE. Join the Self-Love Movement™! on Facebook.

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