One of the big contradictions I see in our community is this. We are all about getting healthier so we can love ourselves. Yet…by most objective measures most of us…don’t. We don’t love ourselves. When I ask on here for folks to say something they like about themselves, many times folks feel compelled to throw in a negative with the positive as if they don’t deserve to just have a positive thing said about them.
When I ask you guys about your bodies, the real disdain tends to come out. You hate your skin. You hate your fat. You hate looking at yourself in the mirror. You aren’t pretty or fit or vibrant or glowing. Just for good measure I looked back at some of the posts I’ve done on the subject and the most common ways folks describe themselves is “lumpy,” “sagging,” “still have work to do,” “need plastics.” Etc., etc., etc.
Now don’t get me wrong. There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to get rid of the extra skin and there’s nothing wrong with having a particular body type that you aspire to.
But that’s not self-love.
Self-love is something that can ALWAYS exist. When you love yourself you are capable of loving yourself even if you aren’t “there” yet. When you love yourself, you appreciate what your imperfections mean. (That you have undergone tremendous changes and you just keep getting better!) When you love yourself you don’t say mean things to yourself. When you love yourself you affirm yourself, not tear yourself down.
I understand the struggle. My journey to self-love has been paved with a lot of internal drama. But these days I can honestly look at myself and see a beautiful woman. I can be confident in who I am (no I’ve not had plastics) and know that I have done a good job. I can think of myself using positive adjectives and I don’t talk down to myself. I deserve to be motivated, not deflated!
So all this is NOT to say “you should all be like me,” but to ask, for those of you who say you don’t love yourself…what the HELL are you waiting for? (Pardon my French) We don’t get that long on this earth and life is entirely too short to go around not loving yourself. I want you all to wake up every day knowing how awesome you are simply because you are IN this fight. And I want you to go to bed every night with something new you learned, excited to apply it in the future to your success. You’re not going to “win” all the time. You’re not always going to make the right decision. But that’s ok. After all, think of other people you love. Are they perfect? Do you still love them anyway?
Just think on that tonight, Foodies. I know I am not speaking about all of you. Some of you love yourselves just fine. But some of you need that message. It’s ok to love you. Right here, right now, even if you’re not to goal weight, even if you have excess skin, even if you went “off track,” even if you regained a little. You deserve to love you.
And contrary to popular opinion, in matters of self-love, my personal philosophy comes from my late mother who said, “Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it.” It’s not a revelation or an epiphany or a finish line that you cross into the land of self love. It’s more like a tip-toe. A nervous tip-toe. The tip-toe you might do if you were entering a landmine field. It’s scary but the only way to get to self-love is by taking that first tiny step and seeing that the world does not explode.
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