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What We Love About Our Bodies

FITNESS celebrates real women -- active, confident, of all body shapes and sizes. Read their stories, get inspired, and discover the joys of being uniquely you.

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Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Margarita Huelgas
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Karen Pearson
Prev 19 of 19 Next
Prev 1 of 19 Next

"I love my post-baby body"

"I never felt self-conscious about my body when I was pregnant, and I've retained that sense of awe. I've lost all but three pounds of the baby weight; things aren't quite like they were, but that's okay, because look at what I have."
-- Kristin Dale, 38, schoolteacher, with Julia, 18 months

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"I love my cleavage"

"I'm never going to be skinny or have an athletic build, but I've done well with what I have. I don't need a push-up bra to get cleavage. It's truly a blessing to live in a healthy body."
-- Maiysha Simpson, 30, plus-size model

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Prev 3 of 19 Next

"I love my shoulders and collarbone"

"There are the obviously sexy parts of your body, and then there's the subtle curve of your collarbone. It affects your overall posture and how you hold your head. Strong shoulders convey that you're outgoing and bold."
-- Margarita Huelgas, 25, assistant scientist

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"I love my biceps"

"I wear whatever I want and never worry about my arms looking flabby. And I think men like women with tone and muscle. I'm not afraid to have a powerful upper body."
-- Christine Tignini (left), 25, contract analyst

"I love my abs"
"The best part of having ripped abs is that I feel more confident."
-- Valeria Tignini (right), 27, actor

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"I love what my body can do"

"I was born with a congenital defect and became a poster child for the March of Dimes. I appeared happy, but inside I felt vulnerable and afraid. Eventually, I met women with disabilities who had children, careers, and families. Now I love my body for both its limits and abilities."
-- Emily Rapp, 32, author of Poster Child: A Memoir (Bloomsbury)

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"I love my height"

"When I'm in a crowd, I can see over people's heads. And I love the view from up here."
-- Jennifer Bush, 41, magazine editor

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Prev 7 of 19 Next

"I love my flexibility"

"As a kid, I loved the feeling of climbing trees and lifting my body up to a branch. And I still do. Sometimes my son will say, 'Mom, I didn't know you could do that!' I'm glad he won't have a narrow vision of what a woman can do."
-- Linette Lalita Dunbar, 41, yoga instructor and mother

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"I love how my body is aging"

"I now have a pooch and my bottom has all but disappeared, but I still have my long legs and broad shoulders. I can do yoga and reach my fitness goals -- that's a great feeling."
-- Mary Calderhead, 68, knit-hat designer

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Prev 9 of 19 Next

"I love my smile"

"Smiling makes a big difference in my mood. If I ever feel blue, I laugh myself out of it."
-- Anthea Gray, 23, real estate agent

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Prev 10 of 19 Next

"I love my sexy shape"

"Growing up Maori-Polynesian, I learned to love my curves. And I wish more women loved theirs. When we're happy, we exude beauty."
-- Sarah Smith, 33, consular officer for the New Zealand consulate general

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Prev 11 of 19 Next

"I love my arms"

"They show I'm strong and nurturing and allow me to give the best hugs to my students."
-- Jules Morrison, 36, elementary school teacher and breast cancer survivor

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"I love my legs"

"More than how I look, I value how I feel. Long legs help me stand tall, and I try to share that positive attitude with the cheerleading team I coach. If you feel good, you look good."
-- Lisa Medeiros, 27, dental hygienist

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"I love my strong back"

"Some guys think having a sculpted back means you have a strong personality, and it has made me stronger. People do take me more seriously because of it."
-- Tamara Jackowski, 33, elementary school teacher

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Prev 14 of 19 Next

"I love my curves"

"Superslim women used to make me feel horrible. Now I don't want to look like everyone else. If I lived during the Renaissance, I'd be a goddess."
-- Natalie Gialluca, 24, magazine art assistant

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Prev 15 of 19 Next

"I love my strength"

"I can do more push-ups than my husband -- he's jealous! It just feels great to be fit and able to care for my family."
-- Lisa LaPolice, 41, co-owner of an executive search firm and mother

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Prev 16 of 19 Next

"I love my legs and butt"

"Years ago I felt self-conscious that I was bigger than other girls. Then I realized I could excel in sports. I was third in the state for shot put, ran track, and was the captain of the dance squad. My friends call me Superwoman because I have so much energy."
-- Kelly Branton, 32, restaurant owner

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"I love my hourglass body"

"I used to wear baggy clothes, then I went to Rome to study. Now I wear hip-hugging jeans, because I have hips to hug."
-- Sharon Mori, 24, law student

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"I love my calves"

"When I was young, boys would say they were big, but now my calves are springboards -- they keep my whole body energized."
-- Birgit Chasin, 46, flight attendant and mother

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2007.

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