I work with women everyday and there’s one thing I’ve noticed in each of my clients: WE ARE HARD ON OURSELVES.
We would never tell our best friend that her stomach is nasty when it hangs over her shorts. We would never say to our daughters that the outfit she’s wearing makes her awful. We would never look at our mothers and roll our eyes, thinking she should just give up on her health goals.
So why do we do that to ourselves?
Why do we exclude ourselves from love, grace, and mercy we so freely extend to our loved ones and even strangers.
When we are so wrapped up in self-loathing, shame, and harsh judgments, we can’t focus on the life that was created for us. We can’t show up fully for those who love us most. Heck, we can’t even show up for ourselves. And that affects everyone.
How many of us have read the “mom wear the bathing suit” variation of a blog and agreed in the moment from the safety of our sweatpants, only to forgo the next swimming pool party all the same?
I want you to take a moment to ask yourself three questions. These questions will help you sift through your thoughts and through your actions. They will allow you to reflect back and look forward to see where you want to go and what’s actually holding you back.
- Do I constantly make excuses for my body and the way it looks or performs?
- Do I make jokes at my own expense about my body or myself?
- Does my confidence in myself and my abilities fluctuate with the number on the scale?
These questions remind me of how I struggled to love my body for over half my life. Even when I was in the best shape of my life five years ago, I did not unconditionally love my body. It was more of a conditional act of love – she was behaving, so I would love her.
All of that changed three years ago when I was pregnant for the third time. I realized at that moment that my body was doing this incredible thing – this fantastic miracle. Even though I was gaining more weight than I had hoped, I fell in love with my body. A body that knew, all on her own, exactly how to grow baby.
Because I decided to love myself as a whole – mind, body, and soul – things would never be the same. I’m not as shredded as I was back in 2015, but I am healthier. Because true health goes beyond what you see.
Self love is about taking that grace, mercy, and love that you so freely extend to others and extending it to yourself. Self love is realizing that most likely, you have a jaded past with your body; however, your future can be different. It’s taking that first small step bravely, not knowing how this new path will look, but being willing to give this love thing a chance.
Don’t you want to look at yourself in the mirror every single day and be so thankful for the reflection? The truth is the reflection doesn’t have to change for you to start seeing it differently. Read that again. That is powerful.
Self Love is about choosing to love yourself regardless of your feelings. It will require you to intentionally get out of your own way and act out love even when you don’t feel it. Remove negative emotions and step into the truth that your body is worth loving. Nothing you can do and nothing you can’t do can take away your greatest gift, your body.
Regardless of how in shape or out of shape you are. Regardless of what the scale says or what is on the tag of your clothes. Regardless of what someone else said or what you think. You are absolutely beautiful.
When we come from a place of love and work to weave healthy habits into our lives – things like eating healthier, moving more, and controlling our stress come naturally. It still takes work. Work rooted in love bears lasting fruits.
Maybe in the past, you tried diet after diet because you hated how your body looked or hated the way you felt in your body. And you never arrived at a place of love, even with the restricted eating or grueling workouts. Even if your body transformed, it was never enough – there was always something missing.
You can never hate yourself into loving yourself, ever. It doesn’t work. I’ve tried it for decades. Maybe you have too.
Love is the missing piece.
We are not beyond repair. We are loved and worthy. We have to find that grace that we extend so freely extend to others and give a little more to ourselves. We have to find the root of these feelings. We have to wake up our core values and decide if we’re really living up to our potential.
Self-Love isn’t about grudgingly accepting who we will never be, it’s gratitude for who we are right now, and that shift is profound. That shift in thinking will make sense. It will make permanent. It will make whole.
If you answered yes, a resounding yes, a tear-filled yes—to any of these questions, I can help.
Because I’ve been there. Because I feel called to. Because there is always enough love to go around—yourself and everyone else.
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