This is a five part series. Please see the link at the bottom of the page to read other parts of this series.
In the previous article, Part 3 Be Kind To Yourself of this series, we discussed how each of us can be our own best friend. As we move forward, remember to continue thinking of yourself as your best friend. You may not be perfect, but you can still love yourself. You can be enough, right now and treat yourself with love. And you can love yourself enough to want to improve yourself and the things that will help you be your best self.
Sometimes my body image starts to slip if I feel I am not doing all I can to improve myself. I feel I should be losing weight, or eating more healthy, or exercising, or drinking more water, or sitting less, or eating less, and the list goes on. I get overwhelmed and start to beat myself up and forget all the positive things I myself I’ve done. So I feel guilty and eat more, then I feel worse, so I eat worse and I end up in a vicious cycle.
It Is Okay To Feel Negative Emotion
The first thing I try to remember is that feelings and emotions in and of themselves are not bad. I may feel guilt, shame, anger or humiliation. These are just emotions. There is nothing wrong with feeling negative emotions. It is what we do with these emotions. Do we wallow and dwell in the emotion? Or do we try to replace them with a more positive emotion? Do we ignore them? How do we deal with them? I will be the first one to say that if negative emotions are ruling your life, do not be afraid to seek professional help. Serious depression is not something you can cure on your own. Here, I am talking about the occasional blues, not clinical depression. If you find yourself occasionally encouraging negative emotions, a good way to replace them with positive feelings is to take positive action.
Look At Yourself Realistically
As your best friend, with love, look at your body realistically. What are somethings you can do to help yourself feel better in your own skin? This is not a fault finding mission or meant to make anyone feel guilty. Think of this exercise as an act of love. Think of it this way. If you wanted to go back to school to improve your mind and possibley get a better job, that would be a wonderful thing! This is the same thing.
Don’t focus on what you cannot change, such as your height, the shape of your eyes or nose. Focus on the things that will help you feel good. Maybe your hair has grown out a bit and could use a new style. Do you chew your nails and could use a manicure. Perhaps you feel sluggish and could bump up your activity a bit.
Make A Doable Plan
Choose a small thing. Nothing over the top. For example, do not decide to give up sugar all at once, or start a 30 day gym challenge if don’t go to the gym. Don’t decide to run everyday if you can’t even get out of the house on regular basis! Make one change that makes sense in your life style. For example work on drinking more water, or set up a plan to stop chewing your nails. Decide to go for a 15 minute walk once a week rather than everyday. Decide when, where, with whom and how you are going to do your one small thing. Then do it.
Celebrate each small victory. Each time you complete your goal for one day, reward yourself with your favorite song, a bubble bath, or whatever you love. As you make it a habit, then gradually add more small goals to your routine. When those negative emotions creep in, remember all the good things you are doing. It is a process. And you can do this!
Persistence Not Perfection Wins Every Time
If you fall behind, just start where you are and jump back in. If you planned on walking 15 minutes 3 times a week and made it out once, WAY TO GO! You walked for 15 minutes! Focus on what you are doing. Perfection can be your worst enemy at this stage. Continue to focus on the positive. What are you doing. Did you get in three glasses of water today? Go you! Let’s do four tomorrow! You will get to eight, but some is better than none. As you focus on what you ARE doing, you will feel empowered to do more.
Did you have a rough day? Kids sick or perhaps you’re tired? That is life, not your failure. You can restart tomorrow. Think of yourself as your own coach. Who are you motivated by? The coach who yells and screams when you drop the ball or don’t make the run? Or the one who points out what you did right and says good job?
This is a life time journey, it is your persistence that will pay off in the end,
This is Part 4 in a five part series. To continue reading go to Part 5 Pamper Yourself.