I posted a quote in the facebook group last week that seemed to resonate with many. It’s a great quote by Food Matters which said:
The 6 best doctors are: Sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise, diet.
As I was about to post it, I realized that there was something really important missing!
LOVE, love for yourself primarily and love for others…I made sure I added it to my post!
Why? Well, if you are lacking in love for your body and your health of course it’s going to negatively impact those aspects of your life!
So I want to discuss this a little more and talk about why self-love is not only all-important but how it is inextricably linked to our health and well-being. Then I’ll share a really powerful tool that can help you start turning your health and wellness around right now.
Firstly, I want to point out that unconditional self-love is not easy, it’s is a lifetime’s work-in-progress for most people – shedding layers of the ego that come from false fear-based perceptions. These fears may have been applied in early childhood by our caregivers, or negative people we came into contact with or oftentimes it comes from societal conditioning.
If you resonate with anything I mention below, don’t feel bad about it, chances are we all resonate on some level, myself included!
First lesson: Self-love is self-compassion and acceptance for where you’re at now, and in seeing the possibilities!
So what does it look like when a lack of self-love sabotages our health, fitness and wellness?
These are things I’ve witnessed with my clients, heard from family and friends and even found myself doing at times:
- Overly restricting your food intake.
- Over-exercise and putting yourself through punishing fitness regimes.
- Exercising when you feel ill/low/exhausted – not listening to your body.
- Over-eating and binge eating.
- Ruminating over what you’ve eaten with negative self-talk.
- Doing a type of exercise that you don’t enjoy for the sake of looking good, burning calories, loosing weight etc.
- Eating foods you don’t enjoy for the sake of looking good, losing weight, or some other health benefit.
- Berating yourself if you treat yourself food-wise or miss a work-out session.
- Constant calorie/ fat-content counting.
- Knowingly eating unhealthy foods most of the time.
- No exercise at all even though you know it would be good for you and you’re capable.
- Picking yourself apart when you look at yourself in the mirror.
- Speaking badly about your body/weight – putting yourself down.
- Letting others put you down, even if in jest.
- Skipping meals to lose weight.
- Eating only fast, ready-made, convenience foods.
- Seeing food as means of fuel – not stopping to savor and enjoy your meals.
- Avoiding or being in denial about your body and your health.
- Wearing big baggy, dark clothes to hide yourself.
- Not taking pride in your appearance.
- Scrutinizing your appearance to the nth degree.
- Comparing yourself to others.
- Being late or disorganized so that it affects your healthy eating or work out plans.
- Staying up too late so that you’re always tired – leading to sugar/ stimulant cravings and feeling too tired to exercise.
- Not making your health a priority.
- Thinking it’s too late to get fit, healthy, well or that it won’t work for you.
- Not being happy with your health but resigning yourself to thinking that’s your lot.
I could elaborate on this list, but these are the most common issues I see.
Regardless of the way they manifest, they are all a result of lack of self love at a fundamental level. Showing up as punishment, restriction, force, disassociation, shame, withdrawal, avoidance, laziness, attack, low-self esteem or negative self talk.
However, these are also VERY common issues, otherwise most people would have their health in check right?!
The first step to moving forward and cultivating self-love is awareness. Identify where exactly you are limiting or sabotaging your health and then you can put some specific tools in place to help you move beyond your blocks when they come up.
Write down any of the points above that apply to you and any others you can think of.
Next it’s about believing you can achieve your goals but you need to get clear on what they are…
One of the most powerful tools I use with my clients is thinking about your ‘WHY?’
Why do you want to get fit, healthier and create a greater level of overall wellness…?
There are so many potential reasons – but what are yours? Write them down now…
Here are some common ‘whys’ I hear all the time – and boy are they important!
- To feel good in my body
- To move with ease/without pain
- To enjoy my body
- To heal my body
- To be able to keep up with my children or grandchildren
- To enjoy wearing nice clothes
- To achieve something for me – reach my fitness goals
- To be able to join a sports or active team/group
- For longevity
- To enjoy life more
- To feel stronger, more capable
- To feel at peace with food
- To feel at peace with my body
- To enjoy food properly
- To feel confident
- To look forward to Summer holidays and the beach
- To stop worrying about food, diets, my weight
- To feel more confident about my body in bed
Now ask yourself – What will your life look like in two years from now if you start taking action to become healthier and fitter now?
Visualize and write down what you can see…How will you feel, what will you look like, what will you be doing in your life that is different from now, what will you be wearing, what will you be eating, where will you go on holiday… how will your life improve?
Now think about what your life will look like in two years time if things stay the same as they are now and you DON’T take any action…?
If that last question brought you back down to reality with a bump…I want you to know that YOU ARE entirely capable of the good health, wellness and life that you just visualised for yourself and your body!
It’s very possible, and you are certainly not the exception!
Your body is ALWAYS trying to bring you back in to balance and maintain optimum health. It’s on YOUR SIDE…You just need to learn how to work WITH it, not against it.
The hard truth is that 99% of the time it’s our lack of self-love, negative beliefs and bad lifestyle habits that create ill-health!
If you struggle with your health, fitness or general level of wellness I really encourage you to use the tool I’ve shared with you today – on finding your ‘why’ and visualizing what’s possible for you.
If you feel moved to do so, please share your whys in the comment section below because putting it out there, saying it out loud, sharing it with others makes it all the more powerful and moves you closer to making it happen!
As always, you can also email me with any questions or thoughts you might have.
I look forward to reading your whys!