Self-Love and body positivity is a topic that is commonly misunderstood.
Many people assume that those promoting these things are saying, love your body no matter the size and shape and continue the lifestyle and eating habits that got you there regardless of any pushing health issues. This is not what we are saying at all.
I always like to explain self and body love with this analogy. Imagine you had a puppy dog. And you HATED the puppy. How well are you likely to take care of that puppy dog? Not very well, I’d imagine. You’d probably ignore it, feed it poor quality food, never take it for walks, or show it any love. Now imagine how well you would take care of that puppy if you loved it!? Walks galore, the best dog food money can buy, you’d shower it will love, affection and attention.
It works the same way with your body. If you hate it, you certainly won’t respect it, which means you’re likely to treat it very poorly. You’ll motivate with hate and negative self-talk and use quick fixes, fad diets, restriction and punishing exercise, only to fall back on strategies like binge or emotional eating, excess alcohol or drugs and erratic or irrational emotions when these plans ultimately fail or you don’t met the expectations you set out for yourself. And so the vicious cycle continues.
Hate myself--> punish myself --> crack --> punish myself again.
I’m going to be bold and say that most people struggling with obesity, unless they have a medical condition are at that point, not because they simply love to eat food. They are not the over indulging, will power weaklings that society has painted them to be. For the majority, food has been a safety blanket and a strategy that has helped them through some kind of trauma or hurt in their lives. These people need love and acceptance. They get enough judgment and punishment from their inner dialogue each day.
Now imagine the success and progress that can come from, truly and wholly accepting and loving yourself? You would limit the amount of negative self-talk that kept them in that vicious cycle to begin with! They would seek to heal past hurt that has been holding them back. They would begin to care for, respect and want to nurture and nourish their bodies rather than punish them. They could let go of using food as a strategy for receiving love, pleasure, comfort etc. And they would choose to look after their health and bodies in a responsible and patient way that improved their health rather than chasing that quick fix.
This self-love strategy is for everyone! The body builder that can never get big enough, the chronic fad dieter that moves from one restricted crazy diet to the next, the mum that is still punishing herself for not having a hot mum bod and the bloke that sinks 6 beers after work to de-stress.
Love yourself first and then watch how your mindset and behaviour changes. Self-Love = Results!