Valentine’s Day is coming… Some say it’s a stupid holiday created by the devious floral, candy, jewelry and greeting card industries. Maybe they do take advantage, but I say if there is a day that has to do with ♥love♥ and chocolate, I can’t help but be all for it.
Reviewing my posts from previous years, it’s obvious my focus was on the chocolate. (Ok, except for some odd reason last year it was on cauliflower 🙂 ) Check them out below if you’re interested:
This year I want to share my thoughts on ♥LOVE♥ and how it relates to our eating habits. Self-love, to be more precise. Instead of working only on changing your outside, you need to also tend to what is going on inside. The attitude you decide to take towards yourself will hugely impact your eating behavior, which in turn, will have a direct effect on your weight and health.
When we love who we are, we tend to do positive things for ourselves. When we don’t feel so great inside, we have a tougher time taking the actions we know will nurture and support our health.
Love yourself ====> choose foods that love you back.
You would be shocked by some of the things I hear from people who want to lose weight but can’t seem to make it happen. Or maybe not; perhaps you can relate. I’ve seen tears and words come out expressing intense self-disgust and self-hatred– all because they see themselves as overweight and they aren’t looking at their positive aspects. There is a recording going on inside their brain that is on a constant replay of negative messages…. and this has a powerful effect on behavior.
If you’re stuck with this recording yourself, listen up:
Has it occurred to you that you don’t have to believe what you’ve been saying to yourself? Start questioning your thoughts if they aren’t loving, hopeful and good. Begin playing around with encouraging messages to yourself to replace any destructive thoughts. Reprogram your beliefs to change your behavior. Catch yourself criticizing your body and immediately say something nice. Really. I know it sounds kind of goofy, but just do it and see what you notice. It could be life changing.
When you don’t love yourself and don’t believe in yourself, it’s going to be a lot harder to eat well. Why would you bother to take good care of someone you think of as a useless, fat loser? Often, this self-talk has been going on for so long and is so automatic that you may not even realize you are doing it. Start paying attention to your thoughts. If you have been talking to yourself this way for years and are not able to lose weight or eat the way you want to eat….could your lack of self-love be why?
I have noticed an interesting commonality in the people who do succeed in achieving behavior change: They are patient, kind, gentle and loving with themselves. They are able to connect with who they are and eat in accordance with that person that they want to be. They trust themselves, value themselves and make time to do things that nourish their souls (this is not selfish; it is crucial!). This attitude and practice of self-care leads to a new perspective on food and eating habits.
Practicing self-love doesn’t mean eating only kale salad with wild salmon and alfalfa sprouts. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat something with low nutritive value. Know that you can still choose to eat things like that fancy cashew-espresso brittle your friend brought you or your mom’s homemade pizza if those things make you happy. The difference being who you are as an eater… don’t stuff food down in a frenzy because you think you don’t deserve to enjoy it and then feel guilty and hate yourself after. Loving yourself allows you to give yourself permission to savor all food in a mindful way. Loving yourself helps you strive for that balance of wholesome, nutritious foods in your day that your body needs to feel it’s best. You’re better equipped to make healthy eating choices when you remember that you’re on a journey and you accept and love who you are at this moment in time.
If you want to be healthy or fit– start thinking of yourself as a healthy or fit person. You have to first identify with the type of eater you truly want to be. You will find your behavior follows naturally. Think loving, accepting thoughts in place of beating yourself down. When you see your reflection in the mirror, smile and say something wonderful to yourself instead of automatically zoning in on what you may not like. Think of what you would say to a child or your best friend if they were feeling bad about themselves and say this to yourself.
If you’ve been struggling with unwanted eating behaviors and feeling stuck unable to make changes, be careful how you’ve been talking to yourself (because you are listening!) Look inside to make changes rather than outside. What goes on internally will show through. Practice loving yourself NOW. ♥