5 Self-Love Questions
The best tip or trick to great health is a prescription of self-love.
You need to love yourself to change your relationship with food. Learn how to love yourself by changing your internal thoughts and self-talk.
Photo by ATC Comm Photo
Is self-love reflected in your food choices?
While watching an episode of Ellen the other day, I sat completely amazed as Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres pressed out twenty-five push-ups on stage in a push-up contest. For me, the amazing part was not just that they could do that many push-ups, but the level of self-love each of these women embodies to maintain the self-discipline to keep their bodies in such an overwhelming state of health and fitness. As two of the busiest women in America, their health is a testament to their self-love. In all of the madness of their lives, they make time for themselves, including time to devote to their health, their nutrition, and exercise.
Self-love is key to changing the dynamic of your relationship with food and your nutrition. Your body is the house that you will live in for your entire life. Your plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems, and both your exterior and interior need to be continuously maintained so that your body will be prepared for maximum longevity.
Your body is the temple in which you worship yourself and embody the love that you have for yourself. The next time you look in the mirror, tell yourself out loud that you love you, and list all of the parts and features that you admire most about yourself. Create a morning mantra that you tell yourself: “I love you, self. I love the brown of my eyes as they observe life. I love my smile as it warms the world. I love my scars as they speak to the perseverance of my soul. I love you, self.” You need to love yourself in the same ways as you would care for a newborn baby. I feed and care for myself in the same way that I fed, nurtured, and cared for my children. Love yourself as you would any small creature in this world.
Most people do not love themselves in a manner that shows they care for themselves like no other. Most people are in a place of either self-sacrifice or self-destruction. The self-sacrificing take care of themselves last. I can remember many lunches with my children when they ate the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I ate the crust of bread when they were finished. Why is that? We make excuses for why everyone else is more important than we are: “I have to care for him/her.” “My son/daughter needs my time.” “Work needs my time.” “My partner needs my time.” The bottom line is that if you don’t preserve your own health, you cannot help the world around you, you cannot provide for anyone else, you cannot work. You cannot.
The self-destructive consume unhealthy food of little to no nutritious value or drink excessively to drown their poor relationship with themselves. Afterall, alcohol is a poison. The self-destructive make unhealthy choices at each meal that push them closer to obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. You must love yourself in such a way that you want to do right by yourself. You must want to rise up to your best self and provide yourself with the healthiest path to evolve into your best possible self, which includes putting nutrition first and foremost. You must want to give yourself the gift of the most energy, the clearest thoughts, and the healthiest body.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself:
Do you continuously give to others without bestowing the gift of love upon yourself?
Do you listen to the positive or negative voice inside your head?
Do you drown your self-loathing in alcohol?
Do you pollute your body with unhealthy food that contributes to disease?
Do you make instant gratification choices that compromise your long-term health?
Stop, NOW! Find love in your heart for yourself. Start telling yourself how important you are and how much you love yourself. Tell yourself that you will do the best for yourself, starting today. Each day, evolve your self-love and let it manifest in your nutritional evolution.
Deprivation, Cravings, and Self-Love
Whenever I share how I eat with someone, the number one response is, “I could never give up________ (fill in the blank with ice cream, steak, potato chips, milk, etc.).” We look at life through an instant gratification lens that does not allow us to see the big picture of how we are really treating ourselves. In the small, desperate need to eat a certain food, we exchange our overall long-term health for the immediate feeling of fulfilling that craving for a doughnut, chips, bacon, or candy. Instead of choosing to treat our bodies with the utmost respect and self-love, we choose to destroy our health for the immediate gratification or pacification of the craving.
In loving ourselves, we make the optimal choices for our health, and we want to feed our bodies the best possible foods for the highest levels of energy and nutrition. We must evolve our thinking about how we make choices regarding our daily intake of food. Instead of telling ourselves a continuous litany of denial with words like “I can’t have that doughnut,” we need to affirm to ourselves, “I want to eat something healthy and nutritious so my body will feel great.” This is an evolution.
At the beginning of making nutritional changes, you will feel cravings and you will feel deprivation. If you are eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), your body is literally strung out on sugar, white flour, meat, salt, and processed foods. The closest thing in your cupboard to a fruit and a vegetable might be a fruit roll-up and a bag of potato chips. Self-talk is key to how long it will take you to make changes in your nutrition. If you are continually telling yourself that you are deprived and want ice cream, cake, and cookies, your mind will continue to pass this along to your body.
We each have two voices in our head. The one voice sings songs of cravings and dreams of sugar plums, and the other voice tells us to be healthy. Your mind is a muscle, and with practice you will be able to tune these voices. If you practice telling yourself that you want carrots, an apple, and some dates, your body will start to crave healthy choices. For me, the hardest part in evolving my nutrition is controlling my response to my cravings. Food evolution is mindful eating.