Losing weight was not the hardest thing I’ve had to work on, you would think it was but it wasn’t. What was hard for me was to look in the mirror and love myself no matter what I weighed. I couldn’t wrap myself around the thought of loving myself for better or for worse.
When I first changed the way I ate to whole foods within the first month I dropped some weight. I felt lighter and thinner and I loved that my pants felt looser. What I hadn’t changed though was my mindset, sure it was great that I physically felt better but then I’d look in the mirror and start to cringe, I would concentrate on what I saw as flaws and proceed to tell myself a whole lot of BS about my looks and how I was still fat. I’d say “sure you lost 20 pounds but you still have 135 pounds to go” then I’d continue with a whole lot of negative self-talk and I would deflate any good feelings I had.
This was a regular recurrence for me, I simply could not appreciate who I saw when looking in the mirror. All I saw were my shortcomings, the so-called truths that surely everyone could see but were too kind to tell me.
“for once, you believed in yourself. you believed you were beautiful and so did the rest of the world.”
― Sarah Dessen, Keeping the Moon
I am a forgiving person by nature, I’m not one to hold grudges, I love to love and I can be very zen like in my beliefs. So one day it occurred to me that maybe this is something I can try on myself. You know being loving and forgiving… I started to think about the power of thought and words and wondered what if I could reverse the damage I had done to my self-esteem by doing the opposite, by talking kindly and lovingly to myself.
I started small, very small, I was afraid if I got too loving I would run. I would declare the next hour one of no negative self-talk, an hour would turn to two hours, then half a day, to a full day. I figured if I would just cut the negative talk out that alone would stop feeding my ego which simply did not want me to feel joy.
After a little while of nixing the negative self-talk I tried looking in the mirror with a new pair of glasses. Let’s see, I have pretty eyes and I have nice hair. I would stop, almost afraid of going too far with the encouragement. Then I played a game with myself, every day I had to find a new thing to love about myself.
Self love does not have to start with outside issues. I started to think about my great sense of humor, I love a good joke, witticism and laughter. Now there’s something to hang onto! I’m also a quick study, that’s a good thing right and as time went on, I would find more and more things to like and love about myself.
This is a process, one you need to be consistent with, one you need to work on every day until it becomes a habit.
- Baby steps
- No trash talking to yourself
- One quality a day
To help myself along the way I bought some colorful post-it notes and wrote down the quality of the day on one and would put it in my purse. Whenever I would open up my purse I’d see this bright orange/yellow/pink post it and even without reading it I knew there was something positive inside which would remind me of my commitment to self-love.
You won’t be perfect at it, but if you commit yourself to love, self-love that is, more good things will fall into place but before any of that happens you need to start with yourself. Now go write down one of your best qualities right now.