"If I love myself as I am now, then I'll never lose weight."
Does that thought sound familiar?
When you hear that common refrain, "You really just need to love yourself exactly as you are NOW!" do you think, "UM. NO THANK YOU. Because how I am now is gross and I need to MOTIVATE myself to lose weight and if I'm all lovey-dovey with myself then I won't be motivated and I'll never lose the weight."
Yeah. Me too. Some version of that anyway. I used to really really struggle with the idea of loving myself as I am now because I didn't like my body the way it was and honestly, it felt really TERRIFYING to love my body--just scary. Because if I loved my body, it seemed like things would become chaos. To me, judging my body and being critical of myself, meant keeping control--of my food and my exercise--and I believed that if I loved myself just as I am then the lid would blow off of that control and things would become chaos. Specifically I believed I'd GAIN weight and become a total mess. Hating my body equalled the hope that I would beat it into submission someday.
I know a lot of my clients (okay--all of them) have felt that way, too.
HERE'S THE THING:
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
It's really counterintuitive, isn't it? It just somehow seems "right" that in order to create change we need to be hard on ourselves. But it is MESSED UP and NOT TRUE.
In fact, when we are hard on ourselves (i.e., when we hate on our bodies) we immediately create a bunch of super negative things that actually keep us from having the body we desire. KEEP US FROM IT.
Let me ask you this: has hating your body worked so far? Has it made you happy? Has it put you into a graceful flow of your life where you resonate joy and confidence? Has hating on yourself created freedom around what you eat and how you exercise? NO. IT HAS NOT.
I know it hasn't because I'VE BEEN THERE. Hating on yourself does a bunch of super negative things. Let's look at some of them:
- Has you feeling crazy self-conscious and makes you hide out when you could be STEPPING UP
- Creates obsession around food and has you creating "good" and "bad" categories of food in extreme ways--and then severely punishing yourself when you eat a "bad" food (punishment comes in many forms but the worse form is takes is SHAME)
- Every time you hate on yourself you release a cocktail of stress hormones that actually have you HOLDING ONTO WEIGHT! So that's fun!
- Constantly judging and criticizing your body lowers your energy and affects how you show up at work, in your relationships and at play. Basically, you're vibrating on "Total Bummer" and people pick up on that.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the consequences of HATING ON YOUR BODY.
Remember when you were a kid and you didn't think about your body or food at all?!
Yeah--those were good times! We were ENGAGED in life! We ran! We played! We sat down and wolfed down a PB&J and then we ran out to play some more!
That's because we didn't yet know that we "weren't good enough". We hadn't been bombarded with all the messaging from advertising that is designed to have us think and feel that we are "not enough". It's powerful stuff and we've all bought in, hook, line and sinker.
But guess what?! LOVING OURSELVES AS WE ARE is the fist step to having the body AND LIFE that we desire! #truthbomb!
When we love ourselves--like TRULY LOVE OURSELVES--we:
- Stop obsessing every day and every moment about how we are not good enough. That may sound miraculous, but it is true. And WOW that frees up a TON of energy that can be put to far better use!
- Stop inundating our bodies with that awful toxic cocktail of stress hormones that chip away at our health and keep weight on our bodies
- We see food differently! Wow! We are allowed to enjoy food but because we actually LOVE ourselves, all sorts of things start to click into place and it because effortless to actually feed ourselves HEALTHY and NOURISHING food!
And that's just a few of the benefits :)
BUT HOW THE HECK DO I LOVE MYSELF?!!
Yes, that's the crux of it, isn't it? It took me a long long time to figure this out. But I have. And my mission in life is to shortcut for you the years it took me to get here.
And one of the most crucial steps in the process is LETTING GO OF THE FEAR that bad things will happen if you allow yourself COMPASSION and LOVE.
So your homework is to start noticing the fear you have around loving yourself. REALLY NOTICE. Dig deep and see where it is hiding. Bring it out into the light--give it a hug and let it know that there's a better way! Bless and release that fear because truly, THINGS GET BETTER when you LOVE YOURSELF.
As always, I love to know what you are thinking and feeling so hit reply and let me know!
P.S. If you are excited to go deep around this, I'll be in NYC on June 27th! I'd love it if you joined me!