Do unto others as you would have done to you. Well known hyperbole/mantra/saying. But what about the opposite. What about treating yourself the way you treat others? <<Note: this contains content that could be triggering to those with a history of disordered eating>>
Often we try to lose weight by restricting our calories or types of foods (ie. non-fat craze of the 80s/90s) and by attempting to do a ton more cardio. We think mean thoughts about ourselves when we look in the mirror or even just look down at our bodies. We might even yell at ourselves internally for getting to "this point." There's an almost instantaneous reaction for many people, when we judge ourselves, that we promise to "do better" the next day or week. We promise ourselves that we'll eat less, we'll exercise more.
When our friend gains weight, do you judge her? (If so, maybe this post isn't for you!) Do you tell her she needs to be ashamed of herself, and that she better clean up her act, or you'll really be disgusted? No. (And again, if you do, I don't want to be your friend #sorrynotsorry)
Beating ourselves up for the weight or body shape we have, leads to deprivation and punishment. And 99% of the time, it does not lead to long-term weight loss and a happy life.
Where is the compassion for ourselves? Where is the kindness? The understanding?
That old way of treating yourself hasn't worked in the past and isn't working now. So what if you try treating yourself with kindness and love and compassion the way you do for your boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, BFF, sister?
The way you give them space to grow. You understand that they'll keep changing and moving ahead in their journey, and you love and accept them for where they are right now. You don't stop having fun with them. You don't deny them popcorn when they come over for movie night. You don't like them any less because of what their scale says. You're encouraging regardless, because that number does not equal their worth in your life.
What happens if you do the same for yourself? If you let go of the self-hatred that you think is driving your motivation. And instead, attempt to love and accept yourself as is, the way you are, this second. If you start treating yourself like a BFF.
I certainly don't have it mastered. It's a work in progress. But it is SO nice when I let go of the punishment mentality, and focus, instead on what makes me feel great.
I've been helping my clients work on this too, and I'm thrilled for them. They're realizing that the shame they feel around food and themselves isn't fun or serving them anymore. They're learning how to have a joyful life that doesn't include counting calories and restrictions. (If you want to do the same, email me, let's chat.)