“My body would be OK if I lost 25 pounds”
“I won’t be happy until I can wear my old jeans”
“No one could love someone like me”
Do you ever have thoughts like these? I did for years, and at one point I thought I was a worthless human being because I couldn’t do one thing—control my weight. I didn’t lie, I didn’t cheat, I didn’t steal, but I still felt ashamed of who I was. And that belief that I needed to be different to be OK took a long time to shake—mostly because I wasn’t really aware of it.
But one day I realized that you can’t build something positive on a negative foundation. And I noticed that learning and changing didn’t really happen until I stopped resisting and started accepting who I was—only then did change take root. Acceptance allowed me to hear feedback instead of resisting it and enabled me to adjust my behavior and improve my results. That was true in many areas of my life, but especially my weight.
If we’re lost in self-criticism, we’ll find it hard to lose weight or maintain weight loss over time.
We are so brutally aware of our shortcomings that it’s hard to accept and believe that we are lovable just as we are. And the Catch 22 is that until we accept who we are, as we are, we’ll find it hard to grow into the more joyful, more contented person we could be.
So here’s a little exercise. Fill in the blanks with whatever comes to you:
“I’ll finally be able to love myself when I _______________.”
“I can’t love myself because ________________.”
“I can’t forgive myself for _______________.”
Now, picture someone you love.
Imagine them saying those things.
What would you say to them?
Would you reassure them that they were OK anyway? Loved anyway?
Can you respond to yourself with that same love and acceptance? Is it hard to do? Why do you think it’s so difficult? What would it mean to accept yourself? Roll that one around in your mind for awhile…
Self-Acceptance doesn’t mean you’re perfect.
Self-Acceptance doesn’t mean you’ll never change, grow or improve.
Self-Acceptance doesn’t mean you’ll never lose weight.
It just means you are who you are at this moment, wherever you are on your journey through life. Are you stronger and wiser than you began? Are you a survivor? Then you have something to celebrate and to build on. Look at how you got here and learn from it.
If what you’ve tried in the past didn’t work for you, then maybe try something new. From a place of Self-Acceptance, you can choose your next steps more powerfully.
If this still seems too hard, begin gently, with Self-Compassion: >>Read How HERE
Happy Valentine’s Day!
With love, Martha
“Contentment is the most essential thing. Searching for happiness is endless. There will always be some place or thing more sunnier, better, quieter. The search is never ending and there may rarely be enough time for all the search and finding. But one who is content is always happy. He never needs to search.” ~ Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche