I have struggled with my weight and body image my entire life! I felt too fat to be loved, even by myself.
Even after losing over 70 lbs I still felt like the little fat girl and I struggled to find self-acceptance.
Since I was in my tweens I have tried and given up and tried and given up more times than I can count. It dawned on me after gaining back a few of the pounds I had lost, that my entire self-worth and identity was rolled up into what I looked like, and how I thought others perceived me.
You’re probably thinking duh of course; why’d it take you so long to see it? Because I was programmed by years of beliefs and societal constructs to think this was normal and so have you!
The truth is I’ve been aware of this simple principle since I started my foray into personal development over 20 years ago; but only intellectually. I read all the books about self love and listened to Dr. Phil; “you’re fat because you don’t love yourself” (in my best Dr. Phil accent). I did all the therapy and self-help I could but it only ever landed on conceptual level.
Understanding that self love is the answer conceptually is one thing but opening your heart to really receive it as truth, as THE thing that will change your life is another completely.
When I began to dig deeper I realized that at the core of all this work I had been doing there was not a sincere desire to learn to love myself. Strange right? My thinking was totally backwards. I thought if I can fix this then I can lose weight – can you see how ineffective this was? I was completely making self love a means to an end which was totally ass backwards!
An ulterior motive when it comes to deep inner work may get you started but it won’t get you the result you think you’re after, in fact in my experience all it did was prolong it. Pursuing self love as a means to get thin was the very definition of conditional love.
Don’t get me wrong it didn’t turn out bad at all. I grew by leaps and bounds in many areas, and I learned a lot, but the very thing I wanted kept eluding me. I was all in my head about it. Never once did I surrender and truly with all my heart desire self love. To me self love was a nice concept but with no more substance than some fluffy pink clouds.
Nothing changed until the day I made it my most sincerest and heart-felt request of myself to learn to deeply and fully love and accept myself. Not from some flaky new-agey concept but from a realization that the way out was through! My thinking about myself, my life and my body was the only symptom I needed to treat. Not because I wanted a result, but because I was done suffering the self hatred. I was exhausted with the battle, ready to surrender the fight. When I finally accepted that I was creating all the suffering in my life through my thinking I knew it was time. So I decided to ask for some help.
I can’t tell you how liberated I feel now.
When you’re sincerest desire is to change the source of your external suffering you can really begin to not only call on miracles, but create them. A Course in Miracles says that a miracle is a shift from fear to love, this miracle happens in your mind.
Everytime you have an unloving or judgemental thought you can call on Spirit and ask for a miracle to change your mind in that very instant.
Here is what I repeat, every time I have an anxious or unloving thought about myself:
God, I need a miracle here; a miracle in my mind. I want to think differently about myself and my body, and I can’t do this alone.
In the Course it says that Spirit responds to your slightest invitation.., so invite!
This became my self love first aid because I finally acknowledged that as Albert Einstein so famously said: You cannot solve a problem from the same level of thinking that created it.
When I look in the mirror and noticed some cellulite or ripples my mind wants to judge, I repeat this and peace returns. Then I get anxious about food later in the day, I repeat this, and peace returns. Before I know it I’m a peace more often, I eat better and feel naturally motivated to move my body… and guess what? I’m not stressing my weight as much.
These words have become my life preserver and I hope they become yours too.
In another beautiful stroke of serendipity, as I began this work I stumbled upon this beautiful video that also helped me reframe the way I was thinking about my body and my weight. It’s a beautiful piece of work by Byron Katie, the founder of The Work process. The Work it’s a powerful tool I use with clients (along with others) to reset the toxic thinking that is creating their world. Click here to watch.
Lots of love,