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10 Naked World Class Athletes Dish On Body Image & Feeling Awesome In Your Own Skin [PHOTOS]

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One size doesn’t fit all.

Want a little explosive inspiration to light up your week? Look no further than the lineup of world class athletes gracing the pages-completely au naturel-of the 2015 ESPN Body Issue.

From bonafide, mainstream superstars like Odell Beckham Jr. and Bryce Harper to Olympic champions like Natalie Coughlin and Aly Raisman, it’s amazing to see athletes of all shapes, sizes, and body types DOMINATE their respective sports; and get an all-access glimpse at the physiques and mindsets that drive their success.

It’s pure, unadulterated inspiration. And it might just help you learn to LOVE your body for all of its peculiarities and feel a little bit more comfortable in your own skin. The issue covers hard-hitting topics like eating disorders so if you’re affected by the stories, be sure to reach out for help. You don’t have to face your disorder alone and there are places like the Addcounsel private rehab that can help you. Eating disorders and mental health are important topics to address which makes this issue even more important.

It’s also important that readers remember that these people are top sportspeople. This means that they need these bodies in order to be successful in their sport. Most people don’t have bodies that look like these, so don’t be self-conscious when looking at these photos. However, we know that a lot of people will be self-conscious when looking at these athletic physiques, it’s almost impossible to not compare yourself to them. If you are feeling extremely self-conscious and insecure about your body, it might be worth looking into some of the plastic surgery options that could give you a body that you’re proud of. There are so many different surgeries available, so most insecurities can be addressed. Perhaps it might be worth contacting Dr. Swail, or another surgeon similar, to ensure your body is exactly how you want it. That should increase your confidence, making you feel much more beautiful in your body. Hopefully, more people will feel confident soon. We can only dream of having the confidence and bodies of these athletes.

We’ve pulled out and featured 10 of our favorite snippets from the edition. Interested in the entire thing? Check out ESPN’s Body Issue page, or pick up the full edition at any newsstand.

1. Natalie Coughlin, 32, USA Swimming

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Image: ESPN

Measureables: 5’8″, 141 LBs

I was turning 30 and married going into the 2012 Olympics, so everyone assumed I would retire, have babies and disappear. There are teammates on the male side that don’t get those questions. I just find it interesting that people so openly are like, “Yeah, this is obviously what you’re going to do, right?” Maybe eventually, in my own time. But I’ve taken really good care of my body to allow me to still compete at a very high level. And I really love competing; I love being an athlete. I’m just enjoying the ride.

Swimming is one of the sports where a lot of people suffer from body image issues. There were a lot of girls around me growing up that suffered full-blown eating disorders, or just the body dysmorphia that every girl feels — especially every girl in a swimsuit. There were times when I wasn’t happy with my body, but I always knew that I was really fit and that it was what allowed me to be successful in the pool.

I’m self-conscious about my arms. It’s really hard to find a dress that’s a size 10 in the lats but a size 4 in the waist. But I want to be as successful as I can; if that means having big arms, I’ll take big arms.

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

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