This week Marsha began her guest contributing at We Are The Real Deal by writing a post asking the question “If I Don’t Like Me, Can I Take Care Of Me?” In her post Marsha asked readers to imagine that after successfully adopting a healthy lifestyle, they found their weight remained the same. How would they feel? Would they be okay with that, or would they be shattered?
The responses, as always, are across the board.
Many women feel their body size is directly related to their happiness. The smaller they are the happier they can be. They feel that once they can change their bodies into something better then they will feel confidence.
After losing a good amount of weight, keeping it off, then regaining much of it within a year’s time, I’ve realized that body size has only as much to do with my happiness as I let it. When Marsha asked me that same questions weeks ago, my answer was, “I’d be okay with that.” And I would. I’ve learned that as long as my body is active and I am able to do the things I want to do then I am happy and my weight doesn’t matter. I no longer think being a certain weight, or being above a certain imaginary weight maximum is reason enough for me to dislike myself.
Marsha asked another question in her post, one that Mimi Francis, our behavioral health therapist at Green Mountain, often asks,
“How well has not liking yourself worked so far?”
For most of us – not well. When I was in the stage where I hated my body and disliked myself because of my body, nothing good was happening to me. I was caught in an endless cycle of abusing food because I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t think I deserved anything better. And it wasn’t until I finally decided that I was worth it, that I mattered, that I decided to change my life through healthy eating and exercise.
Positive change is much more likely to come from a place of self-love than from self-hatred. It did in my case and many others. Often the first step in creating a healthy lifestyle is discovering that you are worth it. Learning the simple fact that you are worth it is important because people will put in the work to take care of themselves when they feel they are worthy of it.
“We nurture and care for the things we love and feel connected to. We neglect and destroy the things we do not.” –Unknown
In her guest post at A Weight Lifted, Karen made some great points about this subject:
- You can’t hate yourself to health
- You can’t hate yourself AND lose weight permanently
- When you are full of self-loathing, your don’t treat yourself very well
- You must start from a place of self-love and self-acceptance
The first step usually is the one people think is last. You learn to love yourself and accept your body first, and the healthy lifestyle management part falls into place. When you start from a place of self-love it is easier because you realize you deserve it. Our bodies might not be perfect in the stage they are at right now, I know mine still isn’t, but that doesn’t mean we can’t accept and love them now. We have to be able to like ourselves enough now to realize we deserve the good things that a healthy lifestyle provides.