Learning to Love Who We Are

In deciding to write a blog one of the things I hoped to share was some tools and some encouragement for others to get to their healthiest.  I thought perhaps a perspective from someone who has struggled like I have for so many years might be helpful.  So among the things I wish to share is some insight that I had not that long ago.  I came to realize that there were many subtle ways that I had been telling myself I was not worthy.  Not worthy of what you ask?  Well at times not worthy of love, not worthy of happiness, and generally I had pretty low self regard.  Unlike some of my peers I didn’t show this by living a life filled with drugs or alcohol and partying.  I did it by eating poorly, not exercising, and denying myself things that would help me to be healthier and happier; I did it through total apathy.  I abused my body by not caring for it and not thinking about how I need it for the future.  I was wearing my body down in my 30’s! (I have knee problems now because of this.)

The thing I noticed is that I am not the only one that does this, I have seen it in my friends, and others around me.  My epiphany happened one day while I was at the store looking at a bag of almonds.  I actually argued with myself (internally thank you) about the cost of them and whether I could afford it or not.  I went in there to look at them thinking that I knew they were a good healthy snack for me and would help me with my desire to eat healthier.  How ridiculous is that?  After that internal conversation (I bought the almonds) I started contemplating what message I was giving myself in that moment.  I realized that this was a symptom of how I treated myself.  I had at that point managed to lose 100lbs and was still wearing clothes that were at least 2 sizes too big.  I was so untrusting, so reluctant to embrace how things were that I didn’t want to “invest” in a new wardrobe out of fear that it wasn’t going to stick.  I was actually telling myself not to invest in me.

A sign I saw one day in Santa Barbara
Since that moment I still find myself struggling at times with this type of thinking, but it is getting easier to recognize it and I am quicker to remind myself that I deserve simple things like clothes that fit, nice running shoes, good healthy food, and many other things that embrace a healthy lifestyle.  In fact after I started writing this a few days ago I even realized I had the bookmark to my page way down on my list.  I promptly moved it to the head of my list, where it belongs.  So here is my question to you.  Do you love yourself or do you also send subtle messages to yourself that you aren’t worthy?  Could it be that part of the fear of failure that keeps us from even trying is rooted in not loving ourselves?  Something you should consider if you are continuously hitting barriers to your goals.
One way to start is to take a look at how you talk to yourself through your inner voice.  For instance when you make a mistake do you put yourself down and think about how “stupid” it or you were?  If so start practicing saying something more like “Okay that was a mistake, but I will do better next time”, something you can believe.  In fact if you recall Stuart Smalley, he wasn’t really that far off as funny as it was.  A daily affirmation can go a long way in changing that inner voice.  So remember, you are good enough, smart enough, and dog-gone it people like you.

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