*This was originally posted on 12/6/17--re-posting now to add it to my current domain*
I've spent the majority of this year trying to focus on bringing more self love into my life, along with trying to encourage others to love themselves more, too.
It is a HARD thing to do, especially if you've spent a good part of your life telling yourself negative things--which, sadly, our society seems to perpetuate with so many avenues to make people feel bad about themselves.
But let me tell you that SELF LOVE IS SO IMPORTANT!!!!!
Yes, it's hard. But let's talk about WHY it's so important to love yourself first.
First of all, change--ANY kind of change--is hard. If you're trying to "change" something about yourself (i.e. losing weight), make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. You CANNOT make healthy, lasting changes in your life if you aren't happy with yourself first.
And maybe you don't LOVE yourself right now, but you at least have to be happy with yourself, your goals, your flaws--YES, your flaws--and your determination.
Is this hard? Heck YEAH it's hard!!!
But, here's an example of why it's important to be making these changes because you LOVE your body, rather than because you HATE it:
Example #1: "I'm so upset that I weigh XXX lbs. That is so fat. I need to detox and lose 5 pounds by Friday because I'll just feel better and be happier with that weight. Doesn't matter that I'm going to starve myself and kill myself on the treadmill....I need to look good to show off to others!"
Example #2: "I weigh XXX lbs., and that stinks because I used to weigh a little less than that. But I know I overdid it last weekend so I'm just going to choose healthier options for meals this week & hit the gym an extra day because I love my body & want to continue to feel good about myself!"
I know that probably doesn't explain everything to what I'm trying to say, but do you see the difference in the thought process? Example #1 focuses on the negative, the bad stuff, the NUMBER ON THE SCALE, the outward reward so that others will look at you and comment about how "good" you look. Example #2 focuses on the positive, the good stuff, the way YOU feel, the HEALTHY things about getting fit, and not being obsessed with the number on the scale.
If you focus on the positive, eventually you will believe the positive.
Starting out your fitness journey for the "wrong" reasons, like being unhappy with your body, is not uncommon, and I don't think it's all completely bad if it gets you motivated to start loving yourself. What IS bad is if you continue to believe those bad, negative thoughts about yourself as your journey progresses--especially if your progress seems to be taking longer than others. Focusing on the negative reasons for why you started can become toxic & addicting in a bad way, so it's better for your own health to try focusing on the positive things in life!
**SIDENOTE: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!!! NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM THAT!!!**
Now, if I'm being 100% honest....I will say that I did NOT always workout for the "right" reasons in the past. I got too focused on the scale and what that number meant to me because I thought it was something to be proud of. Over the years, the further into my fitness journey I get, the further away from the scale I get as well. Yes, I still have one and I still weigh myself from time to time. I also wouldn't mind weighing a bit less than what I currently do....but that is not my sole daily focus!!!! I focus on toning up, on feeling stronger every day, on running faster and further distances, on feeling GOOD when I put on my clothes every day. I focus on loving my LIFE because of how my fitness journey has made me feel, NOT the number on a scale!
YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!!!!!
And I wish more people truly believed that. Because there is no "ideal" body image that you should be striving for. Everyone is different and beautiful in their own way, and whatever image you have in your head for YOU should be exactly that: JUST. FOR. YOU! No one else.
Focusing on the positive, believing you are strong and capable, ignoring the number on the scale....THIS IS WHAT SELF LOVE IS ALL ABOUT!!!!!
Please, do something today that will push your self doubt away and force the self love in! :)