Self-love can help you develop the courage and compassion necessary for psycho-spiritual wellness.
The big problem is that self-love can feel inaccessible for those in the grips of binge eating, body dysmorphia, self-loathing, and self-sabotage.
So today I want to talk about how self-love can help you achieve your natural weight. I’ll explain how it works, then provide practices for you to begin rebuilding your self-love.
Self-Love and Weight Loss? Really?
“Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness” ― Galway Kinnell
Did you know that you don’t have to love your body in order to love your self?
This makes sense, right? After all, the body neutrality movement started because of how freaking hard it is to love your body in an image-obsessed culture.
But I’m not talking about body-love. I’m talking about self-love. And here’s how it has a domino effect on your weight loss goals:
How Self-Love Can Pave the Way for Weight Loss
When you learn how to love yourself (tips on that soon!), you self-compassion grows, which is key.
As self-compassion grows, you’re less likely to berate yourself when you make a (very human) mistake and eat past fullness.
And as you stop berating yourself around food, your thoughts and behavior slowly start to normalize.
In that space, maybe – just maybe – the weight just comes off.
So, now that you can see how self-love can help with weight loss, how do you learn to love yourself to begin with?!
How to Love Yourself
A while ago I attempted to write a guide on how to love yourself. Here’s the super-short summary:
To find self-love, simply make space for yourself.
Ok… but make space how?
Well, from my experience, the best way to make space for self-love is to make space to feel.
That’s a very important concept, so allow me to repeat:
You can learn to love yourself by making space to feel your feelings.
Now, does that sound more accessible than self-love? I hope so. Because I know how difficult it can be to love yourself when you hate the way your body looks.
And I’m a huge fan of the idea that we can inch closer to self-love through our relationship with our feelings!
For those familiar with psycho-spiritual wellness, you already know my favorite tool to stop binge eating: the Stop, Drop, and Feel.
This practice helps end binge eating by making space for the emotions that trigger overeating. Since it emphasizes making space, it also helps with self-love!
By making space to feel your feelings, you can ease the desire to overeat and slowly build your self-love. Not all at once, but slowly.
This is actually how my weight loss journey began: by trying to open myself up to self-love.
Self-Love Inspired Me to Quit Dieting
Before I took the plunge into giving up dieting (to feel normal around food and, yes, lose weight), I got into the work of Louise Hay.
Louise Hay is a spiritual thought leader who suggests that a lack of self-love is the root of every single problem we have.
I agree with her radical idea.
So I started mirror affirmations to boost my self-love. Every morning, I would look myself in the eye and say, “I love myself. I approve of myself. I am complete.”
That practice absolutely changed me. It changed the way I thought about myself and, eventually, my body.
After these affirmations set the stage, I had the courage to experiment with giving up dieting for weight loss, which has been one of the best decisions of my life.
Developing self-love was key to my success.
Practices for Developing Self-Love
To help you build your self-love, I have two suggested practices: the Stop, Drop, and Feel and mirror affirmations.
The Stop, Drop, and Feel:
When you have a moment to yourself, just lie back on your bed and be with yourself. Sit back and ask, “What am I feeling right now?” And see what comes up.
Personally, I like to do it right after I get home from work when I’m the most disconnected from my emotions. You can do it whenever you please.
Then, add some mirror affirmations to your daily habits and try repeating these every day:
- I love myself
- I approve of myself
- I am perfect, whole, and complete
Do these practices with enough repetition so that it changes your thoughts and behavior.
And maybe, after 30 or so days or practice, you find just a little more self-love.
In that space, your self-compassion grows, and self-sabotage occurs less frequently.
And as you normalize around food, maybe – just maybe – the weight slowly comes off.