Last week, I shared how the stress we feel about ourselves and our bodies can be detrimental to creating the change we want to see. Let’s look next at how loving ourselves can benefit us on our journey to healthful living and to a better relationship with our bodies.
I know it can sound cliché to “love yourself”. I know it can sound ridiculous and maybe even impossible to think about specifically loving your body. What does this even mean?
When I talk about loving your body, I’m not talking about vanity. I’m talking about having a deep gratitude for all that your body does for you. It’s working for you every minute of every day, no matter what you put into it or what you say to it.It’s doing the best it can for you at every moment. Can you begin to appreciate that?
When I talk about loving yourself, I’m not talking about arrogance. I’m talking about changing the critical voice that lives in your head into a loving, kind and compassionate voice. How good would it feel to simply speak to yourself with kindness? Can you even imagine?
Maybe you've believed that you need to feel BAD about your body so you'll be motivated to eat better and exercise. What I'm suggesting is that you're more likely to treat yourself better if you LOVE yourself exactly as you are now. How could this be true?
Loving yourself can help you choose good food.
If you really appreciate your body and all the work it is doing for you, you will WANT to feed it the best food possible.
Instead of looking at eating healthy food as a punishment, you see it as a way to support your body. Choosing healthful foods will become less of a struggle.
One simple change you can make is this: Instead of thinking about all the foods you need to restrict from your diet, consciously think about foods you’d like to add to your diet. Make a list of all the fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods you ENJOY eating, and work to get them IN your diet.
When you love yourself and your body, you can even allow yourself to ENJOY eating. Instead of being focused on restriction, you can focus on savoring what you eat and feeling grateful for the food and the ability to eat.
Additionally, being present and enjoying your food is likely to help you with portion control too. When you focus on the act of eating, you’re more aware of when your body becomes full.
This week, I invite you to experiment with being kind and gentle to yourself and your body. Can you speak to yourself with a loving voice for a whole week? Give it a try and see how it affects you.
Love and light,