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Love Yourself Back to Health

What does it mean to love yourself?
I know how to love everyone else. In fact, that has always come easy for me. The first person I remember loving was my mother. She is just way too easy to love. Then I pretty much tried loving everyone that crossed my path, whether they deserved it or not.
So what’s the deal with loving yourself? My journey back to health brought me to that question.
Whenever I would stand in the mirror, I sure didn’t show myself any love. It was a lot of negative self-talk.
“WOW, how did you let yourself get that big?” ” Oh my God, you look horrible.”
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
What was wrong with me is that I was mean as hell to myself. I wouldn’t talk to anyone else that way, not even an enemy. Okay, maybe there was a time in my life I would talk like that to an enemy.
But, that isn’t how we treat people. Why do we feel like it’s okay to do it to ourselves?
I have come to realize that the negative things I have said to myself all these years have helped keep me unhealthy. I talked myself right into it.
It was around 2006 I lost almost 70lbs. Everyone was blown away at how great I looked and how I had accomplished such a transformation. I went from 280lbs to 210lbs in less than a year.
When I looked in the mirror. I still saw myself overweight, not good enough, not perfect. “People still see me as fat.”
So, I gained it all back and more. Lost it again and gained it again and again.
2015 I am currently down on the scale. I have spent the last year and a half working on the self-love thing.
Here is the difference, when I look in the mirror I say “Holy crap! Look how small your face is!” ” look how small you are now, “You did it!”
I’m still over 200lbs, but I feel fantastic. I give that girl in the mirror credit. I tell her it’s okay you ate the candy bar. I eat healthy, and I exercise, and I do all that for me. I do it now because I am worth it.
I used to do this thing where I would call myself a fat girl, chubby, big girl in front of people. I labeled myself that way because I “knew” people were thinking it so it felt better to admit it.
So, if you say all these negative things about yourself what are the odds you are going to be able to make any real changes?
It doesn’t have to be just about weight.
Do you talk negatively to yourself? What do you say? How can you make a change?
First thing is, you must realize you are doing it. My self-abuse was totally out of control, and I didn’t even know it.
I started using my feelings as a compass. I wanted to feel good, so I started doing things that made me happy, taking a walk in nature, reading, photography, and meditation.
When you become more familiar with the feeling of joy and happiness it’s something you want more of. I started to notice that I was bringing that joy into my everyday activities. Work, home life, the gym. I became more aware of how grateful I felt to be alive and to be me. How truly blessed I am. I can be proud of all the little things that go well every day and forgive myself for the things that don’t.
Homework this week?
Make a list of the things you love about yourself.
Pay attention to those thoughts and how they make you feel. Try to replace negative self-talk with something kind. If you can’t think of anything, try gratitude for the breath that comes and goes. Sometimes taking things back to basics is the key.

Love and light to you all.

 

June 27, 2016 Jennifer Oulds