I don't care if you're skinny, fit, wide, small, big boned, fat, lanky (whatever you'd like to call yourself), because as long as you're healthy & HAPPY that's what matters. We were all given our own unique homes that we call our bodies and each one was built differently. So just because someone is skinnier than you or more muscular or has a little extra junk in their trunk doesn't mean they are any less, or more, healthy than you are. What you see on the outside doesn't always reflect what's on the inside.  It's time for you to learn your body, become best friends, and know WHAT it needs WHEN it needs it. Today's blog post is about my top ways to practice body image positivity and methods to be so in tune with your body that even if you let out one extra little burp or find a pimple on your nose one morning you know exactly WHY it happened and exactly HOW to fix it or at the least deal with it mentally. LET'S GET INTO IT!  I've gone through so many body changes in my life. I started out as a bit of a chunky monkey when I was growing up, and then transformed into this praying mantis shaped body 😂🤦🏽‍♀️ with chicken legs, no torso, big butt and huge feet. Then, because of soccer and the training (and eating) we did on the team, I got back to a little bit more of a sturdy/stocky version of myself. Fast forward to the end of high school when I took on track and field, and suddenly my strong thicker muscles that were "perfect" suddenly became "too big." "Time to lean out and thin out" were my instructions. So I did what I was told and then 2 years later started running proffesioanlly and guess what?! That conversation came up AGAIN but on a higher level 🤦🏽‍♀️. Let me just tell you people, it wasn't as easy as it sounded or looked when I saw all these other skinny ripped b*tches sprinting past me! NOW, why am I telling you my life story you may ask? Well, I didn't realize what an effect all of these changes had on me mentally until about 2 years ago, and I'm even still struggling with it from time to time. People think that athletes don't have body image issues because we are so fit. WRONG! I think we are just as self conscious, if not even more judgmental than other people growing up. We are comparing ourselves everyday to the fittest people in the world.... that's a lot to try and live up to. I actively started working on how to love myself more than I did before. I started to catch myself when I would obsess over how many calories I ate or how many times I did my ab routine compared to how much food I had consumed that day. I switched my mentality from obsessive to focused. I stopped counting my calories and started focusing on what I needed to put into my body to run faster, and I started doing random sets of abs every time I thought about it so that I could be stronger, not to punish myself. Suddenly this became fun and fulfilling! It's hard in the world we live in today not to be aware of how we look and care about our body. That's all fine, but I believe that at the end of the day, it's good for us because it promotes healthy living. We just need to make sure it's done the right way! I'm giving my advice from an athletic standpoint, but I think it applies to everyone. If you find yourself obsessing over how you look and are constantly comparing yourself to others then STOP ✋ AND CHANGE YOUR BRAINWASHED NOGGIN! Don't obsess over how you look, focus on how you FEEL and listen to your body! What does it need? Are you hungry or just not hydrated enough? Are you bloated because of the food you ate or because you're getting your period? All of these things that you will start to figure out about yourself will help you make decisions everyday to better yourself inside AND out. Ok now that we got that over with, let's talk FOOD! I'm a believer in listening to your body and fueling it with what it needs. I've tried EVERY DIET there is out there (literally I've tried it all). Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, pescatarian, eateverythingandnotgiveafuck-arian... even the unhealthy 'lose weight' diets during my "hate myself cuz I was seeing ripped skinny bitches sprint past me everyday" stage of my life. Lolz. What I learned from all of this nonsense is that not one diet is right for me. It's a combination of a lot of them put together that I change throughout the years and even on a monthly bases, based on how much I'm training, when I get my period, if I'm traveling, or sick. The key rule is NOTHING STAYS THE SAME! In fact, if you eat the same thing over and over again everyday your body actually creates an intolerance to it. It's always good to switch it up as long as it stays in the "good for your bod" category.  Here is a list of my favorite books that helped me learn what diet routine is best for me!  - The china study - THRIVE -Eat right for your type -The plant paradox -The whole 30 Now, here's an example of my "rule book" for how I eat day to day: 1. Every morning and night, I keep a 2 liter water bottle next to my bed so that I drink around a liter of water before bed and a liter when I wake up first thing in the morning. I add lemon to my water in the AM as well.  2. I try to eat strictly organic, nothing refined and nothing processed. 3. Intermittent fasting is what I do. No don't worry, I'm not starving myself to death. All this means is that unless I have a special occasion or my friends want to go out for a late dinner, I try and finish eating my dinner by around 6pm in LA and around 9pm when I'm in Israel (because my practices run later) and in the morning just drink lots of water, macro greens, lemon juice etc until I REALLY feel hungry, which is usually a couple hours after waking up. 4. I eat mostly salads, green smoothies, oats, and hard boiled eggs or an omelette (the heaviest thing) during my day because I train for the majority of the day and don't really fill up on anything crazy until I'm done with all my exercise for good. My dinner usually includes lots of cooked veggies and some quinoa. I stay away from fruits and raw veggies during dinner.  5. My supplements change everyday based off on how I feel but the 3 things that I will take NO MATTER WHAT are my macro greens, calm powder& tumeric pills 6. Last and most important rule is: WATER! I must must must drink a gallon a day. My body doesn't function properly without it. ​THAT'S IT! Hopefully this helps you get on the right track and learn to create a beautiful relationship with your body. Dont forget: do not pay too much attention to how you look on the outside but focus on how you feel on the inside, and only then will you see long lasting results with your body and health as a whole. Love,  Maika