We can all be so caught up in our lives that we forget to cherish the moments and we forget to think about ourselves. We work, play, study, parent, fight and nurture and then we forget about ourselves because we are too busy or too tired, or even worse, we don’t’ think we deserve our own attention. The best way to love your body is to love yourself first. Here’s some steps to self-love, appreciated and gratitude.
Start a Journal
It can be difficult to write that first word and you wonder what to write. Here are some questions to help you along the way and to get started. If you ask yourself these questions at the beginning of each day, then you start to wire your brain about appreciation.
• What am I most happy about in my life now?
• What am I most excited about in my life now?
• What am I most proud about in my life now?
• What am I most appreciative about my body right now?
• What am I most grateful about in my life now?
• What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
• What am I committed to in my life right now?
Tip: Don’t wait until you have bought your journal (this is procrastinating), you can start this on a scrap of paper or serviette on a train. Collect them all then put them in your notebook when you have one.
Sometimes we scoff at those that take selfies because we think they are so vain, but maybe there’s something in that. Challenge yourself to take a selfie a day. Instead of picking it apart for all the things you don’t’ like about it; find 3 different things each day you like about it/yourself. By the way, you’re not allowed to pick any things you don’t’ like.
Tip: Remember that this is for your eyes only. If you’re having difficulties, set your camera to a timer rather than an actual selfie.
Treat yourself like you would a puppy
What? That’s weird, right? What happens to a puppy if you forget to give it water, exercise, food or cuddles? They are learning and new in the world and need some help along the way. If you wouldn’t treat your puppy that way, then don’t’ treat yourself that way.
- Eat foods that will nourish you and are right for you, but allow for the treats too.
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise or go for a walk, never sit down for too long at one time, get the body moving.
- Pat yourself (on the back). Give yourself credit and not punishments for the achievements along the way.
Change your inner dialogue
This is a hard one to catch because it requires you to be harsh on yourself. If you already have a low self-esteem, then you are already listening intently to your negative inner dialogue. Change the words you say to yourself.
|If you say:
I could never
I just cant
I wouldn’t ever
Everything is wrong
I might do it tomorrow
I’ll be happy when
Of course I could
Some things are right
I will do it today
I’m happy because
Tip: Don’t be so hard on yourself if you find yourself saying these things to yourself. Instead, repeat the ‘try saying’ words x 5 to make the shift in your mind clearer.
Do not compare yourself to others
Easier said than done when you cannot even buy toothpaste without seeing plastered advertisements everywhere. The world is full now of social media where some of the time, actually most of the time, the images are altered. It’s hard to even take a selfie without the anti-red eye / blemish reduction /baggy eye remover applied automatically through your phones settings. So, how do we know what is real and what is not?
Tip: Delete all accounts from your social media pages that make you question yourself, or make you feel bad about yourself. Replace these with pages that make you feel good about yourself and are uplifting.
Appreciate your mind and body for what it is capable of. Instead of wanting to change what your body looks like, think about what it is capable of doing right now.
Reward yourself now and not after you’ve lost that 5 pounds. Give yourself a boost and gratitude right now. Buy clothes that fit and flatter you as you are. Get that haircut or have that pamper today. Take that walk or time out for yourself. You deserve it.
Tip: Think of moments when you’ve been grateful for what your body can do, not what it looks like. Did you nearly miss that bus but were able to run to catch it? Did you help someone reach that top shelf at the supermarket? Are you able to walk?
Listen to your body
If you are hungry, then eat. Eat slowly and chew your food. If you have finished what you served for yourself, drink a glass or water, then wait for 20 minutes. If you are still hungry, eat again. Usually people eat if what they eat is delicious or if they are bored. If you are bored, then think of something else to do instead.
If you are full, then stop. You don’t need to empty your plate just because it is there, or just because you have paid for it. You have already paid for it whether you eat it or not.
Do I need to sleep or am I being lazy? Can I keep going or do I need to stop. Connect with your body and break from the psychological ways our emotions can dictate to us about eating.
Am I hungry or am I overeating: If you are binging, try to stop in the moment and re-connect with yourself. Question yourself why. Am I sad about something? Did something make me upset? Am I trying to get revenge on someone or a situation? Am I really hungry? If you can answer the questions truthfully to yourself and reconnect, then you can stop, and rethink your story.
Tip: If you do binge: Try to make your favourite foods available to you so you can have them occasionally in smaller amounts. Savour them in your mouth for as long as possible. If something is forbidden, it is more sought after and wanted and in larger quantities. And is usually not appreciated.
Stop, Think, Connect and Appreciate
Imagine if all our worrying about our bodies and what they have or haven’t done for us could be channelled into something more worthwhile. A cherished thought, a good nights sleep, connecting with others or feeling satisfied with yourself. If you stop, think, connect and appreciate then you will be well on your way to loving yourself and your body.