I love quotes. It’s amazing how a string of words can have a significant impact on how we feel about ourselves and how we view and live our lives.

Quotes have a way of lifting us up and changing the tone of our day. They have a way of helping us put things into perspective. Of empowering us, and of enlightening us.

Recently I had the opportunity to check out Julie Parker’s new e-book (she generously sent me a free copy), which is filled with her original inspirational quotes and stunning illustrations by artist Emma Kate Codrington.

Julie is a counselor, life coach and body image advocate extraordinaire. I’ve been a huge fan of her blog and work for a while now!

She strikes me as a very positive, sweet and compassionate person. Her e-book reads the same way. Julie’s quotes touch on everything from body image and beauty to self-love and authenticity.

They’re absolutely thoughtful and inspiring. (Below are two samples from the book.) It’s a beautiful e-book that doesn’t just brighten your day but makes you reconsider how you’ve been treating yourself and how you want to live your life.

I’m thrilled to present a Q&A with Julie, where she talks more about her e-book, favorite body image tips and what inspires her.

And…Julie is giving away a copy to one lucky reader! In the comments, just tell us what’s one quote you live by or what inspires you! I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday. (I’ll use random.org to generate the winner.)

Q: What inspired you to write “Be Yourself Be Beautiful”?

A: I have always wanted to write a series of ebooks that were very personal and meant to be for the personal benefit of a reader’s self esteem and confidence.

I thought a collection of inspiring quotes may be a great place to start and so ‘Be Yourself Be Beautiful’ came to be.  The quotes are all written by me and illustrated and designed by artist Emma Kate Codrington.

Q: What message would you like readers to take away from your e-book?

A: I really hope that every person who reads ‘Be Yourself Be Beautiful’ knows with every part of themselves that they are worthy of love and happiness.  So often we pay a great deal of attention to loving others and helping and guiding them, but we forget ourselves.

I am a firm believer that every person is lovable, beautiful and worthy in their own right, and this ebook is a reminder of that and hopefully a catalyst and inspiration for someone to treat themselves with love and self respect daily.

Q: What’s one of your favorite tips for improving body image?

A: There are so many!  I think my favorite two (at the moment anyway) are to never compare yourself to anyone and to love yourself as you are right now.

Comparing ourselves to others is so futile and as an individual we are incomparable and entirely unique.  So many people forget how rare and amazing they are and I think by remembering that we can go a long way to feeling good about ourselves.

The other tip is to never put off loving yourself and your body until tomorrow, or when you are a certain weight or size or ‘look,’ what you can love today.  Making changes in our life if we choose and want to should only ever come from a position of self love and respect.  Nearly all diets start with someone saying or thinking “I hate myself.  I have to change.”  That change is then doomed to failure because it’s not sustainable.  Only change that comes from self love is truly lasting.

Q: What’s one quote that you live by?

A: Treat yourself like you would your best and most cherished friend.  To me it is incredibly powerful and a constant reminder that I should always treat myself with the loving kindness and respect I show others.  If only everyone treated themselves as well as they often treated others — what a different world we would live in!

Q: What inspires you?

A: I have always been inspired by people who overcome challenges, tragedies, illnesses and the like.  Stories of human spirit and triumph have always inspired me and made me believe anything in life is possible.

Thanks so much, Julie!

Again, Julie is giving away one copy of her beautiful e-book. Just tell us: What’s one quote you live by or what inspires you?

P.S. I just learned that Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl (if you remember I wrote about the book here) will be on the Today Show this Monday, May 30th at 8:09 a.m. to talk about her book. She will be donating 50% of all royalties from book sales that week to Girls on the Run, a fantastic non-profit, whose mission is to encourage preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. If you’re planning on buying the book, consider getting it next week to support Girls on the Run. (You can buy it here.) Thanks!