Feeling a bit bent out of shape about your body? Hey girl, you鈥檙e not alone. Whether you鈥檙e suffering from PMS bloat, have felt too busy to exercise thanks to a crazy work schedule, or are having trouble sticking with healthy eating habits, many of us resort to self-shaming when we don鈥檛 like what we see. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can bring you down in a big way, causing you to drift further away from your wellness routine. Emily Jackson 鈥 marathon runner, mom of four, and the blogger behind The Ivory Lane (and who recently launched a #GRLPWR Running Guide) 鈥 believes that fitness can be a foundation for girls and women to stay encouraged, inspired, and motivated. Jackson recently chatted with us about how to nip insecurities in the bud by turning to a mindset of body appreciation. Ready to rock your own world? Read on for her top tips.

1. Focus on progress you鈥檝e already made. Whether you鈥檙e working to drop weight in an effort to be healthier or are hoping to increase your strength in fitness classes, Jackson says reminding yourself how far you鈥檝e come is the name of the game. 鈥淚f you aren鈥檛 constantly pushing your mind in small, positive ways, it will crumble on the days that get overwhelmingly stressful,鈥 she explains. 鈥淭he best way to stay mentally strong is to focus on your successes and not where you鈥檙e falling short.鈥 Jackson reminds us that tearing yourself down can result in low energy 鈥 the supply you need to achieve your goals! Recognizing your progress will serve as motivation and help you appreciate your body鈥檚 amazing capabilities.

2. Learn to love what you see. 鈥淵our eyes are a powerful tool; be grateful for them and use them to view yourself and others in a positive way,鈥 Jackson suggests. 鈥淲e all have something beautiful to offer, so don鈥檛 be afraid to shift your focus or take a step back to gain a new perspective on your life or on others.鈥 Having a down day about the skin you鈥檙e in? Challenge yourself to choose just one thing you love 鈥 be it your strong shoulders, long limbs, comfy curves, thick hair, or clear skin. We bet you鈥檒l wind up noticing a few awesome attributes.

3. Cut out sources of negativity. Your insecurities might come from things people have said about the way you look or what you can do, or even popular opinions you鈥檝e seen in the media and internalized. It can be easy for even the most confident woman to get caught up in airbrushed photos and bold headlines. To appreciate yourself, learn how to tune negativity out. 鈥淭here will always be people who like you and others who don鈥檛,鈥 Jackson affirms. 鈥淐hoose to use your ears to hear and listen to the good while blocking out the bad.鈥 Bye, haters.

4. Put positive words into practice. While practicing kindness might seem like a stretch when it comes to finding a newfound appreciation for your body, Jackson says that learning how to treat yourself like you treat others can be a game changer. 鈥淪peak up and use your words to help motivate and inspire. Express your feelings with others; words can inspire and words can destroy, so choose yours well.鈥 Put this into practice by talking about your physical insecurities with trusted friends or a coach, then celebrate your healthy accomplishments by talking about the recent race you ran, PR you set, or healthy meal you learned to cook. Repeat daily affirmations to yourself, and believe in the power of your positive words.

5. Cherish your capabilities. You might feel caught up with what your body looks like or what it struggles with, but a simple mental switch can help you realize what it can do. Not sure where to begin? 鈥淎llow yourself to be open to all that life has for you: new opportunities, new friends, new places,鈥 Jackson offers. Appreciate that you鈥檙e able to soak it all in, and start there. Next, work to flip an 鈥淚 have to鈥 into 鈥淚鈥檓 able to.鈥 Dreading the weekend hike you promised you鈥檇 take with your S.O.? Be grateful you can do it. Not feeling motivated for your Bikram yoga class tonight? Cherish your capability to get there and make it through. So empowering!

6. Follow your heart. 鈥淭he cost of not following your heart is spending the rest of your life wishing you had,鈥 Jackson wisely reminds. 鈥淪o for both the short and long term, make healthy plans and take time for yourself to prioritize them.鈥 Hold on to your plans and stick with your goals to follow your heart 鈥 and your healthy, strong body 鈥 where it takes you.

What鈥檚 your favorite thing about your body? Share some self-love with us on Twitter @BritandCo!