Self love-is an overused word and can be triggering. I know for me it used to trigger me when someone would say “just love yourself unconditionally”. Like it’s that easy all of the time!! To love oneself unconditionally means to not put any limits on the way you love yourself. And this can be hard to do 24/7! For me self love is a learning process and a daily commitment. I also know as someone who struggled with disordered eating and body dysmorphia for 3 decades, learning to stop putting conditions of the way I love myself took a lot of work and willingness.
Do I have days where I do not love myself unconditionally? YES of course I do! I am human! I have days where I judge myself with my food choices or how much i ate or I have judgement around some body part. These are putting conditions on the way we love ourselves.
I am the queen of preaching about fueling and nourishing our bodies with the right foods, how important it is to have a healthy relationship with food and how important it is to love and accept our beautiful bodies now. All of these are actions of self love.
And do I fall off the wagon with these things? Yes of course I do, but I now have the tools, faith and inner confidence to lean into these moments and emotions when they arise.
Self love for me happened after I surrendered to having to control everything about my body and food. I did this through meditation, developing a strong spiritual practice and choosing faith over fear. Trusting the Universe/God/The Divine was my answer. I knew once I trusted and turned it over, I didn’t have to do this journey alone.
Then I started to make small steps in loving myself. I started creating boundaries, saying no, letting go of toxic relationships, having honest conversations, being true to myself, learning to have a healthy relationship with food and taking small steps in loving and accepting my body. Which was a lot lol and not easy! Like I said, it is a daily learning process.
And because all of my shit is wrapped around my dynamic emotional relationship with food, I knew I had to learn to love myself first and then I could begin to heal my relationship with food. It was impossible for me to have a healthy relationship with food and my body when I had no idea what the concept of self love meant.
I always push myself outside of my comfort zone to grow and expand…never being complacent. Loving myself all along the way through the ups and the downs. It’s a daily journey. And I try my best to respect my body daily by making the best decision with food, exercise and positive self talk. It is not always perfect and that is part of this journey-continuing to love ourselves with all of the mistakes and messiness.
How do I get back to loving myself and body when I am in a low and out of alignment with my inner self: through prayer and meditation first. Then using some of my self care tools like dance, naked mirror practice, calling a friend and talking it through, taking some quiet time to journal and reflect, get outside and rest. And remembering that I AM perfect as I am now. Most days I can now quickly stop that inner critic and turn it around without wanting to numb with food or hide. But some days are harder than others. I know I need to take a quiet day and sit in my feelings and look at what is trying to be revealed.
The biggest thing I have learned that has helped me really get back to loving myself is to let go of the judgements while I am in that low. Not attaching to it but observing it. And honoring what I am feeling in that moment. Like I said, I usually do not need to be numb with food anymore, but when I do, I do it with love and acceptance instead of judging, criticizing and shaming myself along the way. Because sometimes all I want and need at that moment is some coconut ice cream! And that’s ok! The worst thing for me to do is to judge myself for wanting that treat which in the past would lead to a huge binge. Now I allow myself to eat that thing with love. This has been a huge part of learning to love the way I feed myself and heal my unhealthy relationship with food.
I can’t wait to share my book HUNGRY Why I F*cking Eat with you! I dive deeper into this subject and give tons of tips and tools on how I started to create a healthy relationship with my body and food. If you relate to this post and are feeling some emotions, there is hope and it is possible to learn to love and accept yourself and have a healthy relationship with food.
I see you, I feel you and I am here for you.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. Much love xoxox