By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Although we take pride in embracing our body just the way it is, like anyone, we're prone to self-conscious moments.
From asymmetrical breasts to flabby upper arms, here's a look at the four body parts that make us look twice in the mirror...and how we're working to love them.
Related: Look divine from behind with just a few simple moves
1. Boobs: According to this MSNBC story, 90 percent of women have some degree of asymmetrical breasts. "It's very common. One side of our body is always a little different from the other," Tony Youn, a plastic surgeon in Troy, Mich. told MSNBC. "There are some women that have a minor asymmetry -- to the point where they don't even notice it -- and others who are one, two or three cup sizes different from one side to the other."
Learn to love them: Whether your "girls" are lopsided, small (that's us!), ginormous, etc. know this: Studies show men prefer au natural boobies to the augmented variety. The flaws you see are likely invisible to him. And, there are ways to play up what your mama gave you without going under the knife. Check out these tips for cuter cleavage, no surgery required. Our fave: When doing upper back exercises, such as rows, try to squeeze an imaginary pencil between your shoulder blades, and hold while saying in your head: We must, we must, we must increase our bust... then slowly release.
2. Thighs: Dimples, cellulite, ripples, jiggle -- if there's an imperfection, we're going to spot it. Just sitting in the driver's seat of the car while wearing shorts warrants an inspection of our upper gams.
Bonus: Beat the heat with one of these no-cook meals tonight
Learn to love them: For us, even a single workout -- one that makes us mad sore -- instantly makes us feel less self-conscious about our stems. In fact, post-workout, they feel downright sexy and toned. The SELF love-your-thighs equation = a killer leg workout + self-tanner + a fresh shave + hot heels. Works every time. Try it before your next date night!
3. Tummy: Back in high school, we had abs (or at least that's how we remember it!). But between college and cocktail hours and long days sitting in cubicles, the toned middle has morphed into a muffin-top. Even though our hubby swears our belly is adorable, we can't quite embrace it. We want to feel toned and strong!
Learn to love it: According to SELF's team of flat-ab experts including Fitness Director Meaghan Murphy, there are super simple changes you can make that will help tighten and tone your midsection. 1) Opt for food rich in monounsaturated fats -- including olive oil, nuts, and avocado (Hello, guac) -- which can help prevent the build-up of belly fat. 2) De-stress: The hormones you release when you're stressed out have been shown to lead to excess belly fat. 3) Stand tall on the treadmill or elliptical and you'll automatically sneak in an ab workout. 4) Have a drink a day -- women who have one drink or less have smaller bellies than teetotalers and occasional drinkers who have two or more alcoholic beverages in a sitting.
Bonus: See how you can dine like a star
4. Upper Arms: We live in tank tops and covet cute summer dresses (spaghetti strap, sleeveless, halter, etc.), so it's hard not to notice when our upper arms are a bit, umm, flappy and wing-ish. Especially when our First Lady sports super impressive guns!
Learn to love them: One key move to add to your upper body workout: Dips, according to SELF trainer and contributor Jillian Michaels (she recommended this move to our Editor in Chief!). If you haven't quite mastered this move (we know, it's a hard one!), try assisted dips on a machine at the gym. After a few weeks, you'll be ready to do them unassisted, Michelle Obama-style.
What body part makes you self-conscious, and what do you do to boost your confidence?
More from SELF:
- Try these superfoods for flat abs!
Check out SELF's stop cellulite workout
- SELF's annual healthy food awards showcases 66 fast fix foods you'll love to eat!
- Find the best swimsuit for your body type now!
Photo Credit: WWD