Today is day 15 of my streak! (Previous streaks; 290 days, 13 days, and 53 days.)
In my previous blog, "One Year Later", I wrote about the changes that have occurred in my life since I started streaking last year...how I am happier, healthier and fitter. There have been a few comments on that blog that have really made me sad, though.
For example, one person said "I hope I can feel better about myself by next March." Another comment was "Losing weight leads to happiness."
Those comments made my heart hurt a little. They imply that you can't love yourself or be happy unless you lose weight first!
The truth is, you need to love yourself FIRST, before you can have any true and lasting weight loss success. Thats really the secret, because if you can't love yourself right now, you will never really love yourself, not even when you reach your goal.
I'm someone who has always suffered from low self esteem. I never loved myself. As a child, I was always compared to my sister, who was called "the pretty one." In school, I was made fun of and called names including "Pixie Big Nose".
My first husband often told me that he was too good looking to be seen in public with me. He had special names that he called me. His favorites were "Dog" and "Lardo."
So of course I always felt that I was ugly and unlovable. No one else loved me, so why should I love myself? Even after I met my current husband, my self esteem was still very low. And it wasn't always tied to my weight. As a child, teen and young adult, I was very thin. The weight didn't start to come on until I hit my late 20's. But of course, after the weight came on, my self esteem became even lower. I would go on diets and lose weight, but I was still the same unhappy person. So of course the weight would always come back on.
I'd often heard that you have to love yourself first in order to lose weight successfully. I just sort of brushed that off as a bunch of hooey. What did self love have to do with weight loss?
But last March, things changed. I was at my highest weight ever, and I knew I had to do something about it. I literally couldn't go on living that way, because my obesity was slowly killing me.
Up until then, I'd tried so many different ways of losing weight...some healthy, some not healthy. Some of them worked, and some of them didn't, but none of them ever lead to any lasting success, because even after the weight loss, I was still the same unhappy person who had no self esteem.
So why not try to love myself? Why not "build a bridge and get over it?" Why not let the past go, and start treating myself with love and respect?
When I started my first streak last March, I decided to make it about something other than just weight loss. I decided to make it about loving myself enough to make each day as healthy as I possibly could.
It wasn't easy. I didn't just wake up on March 1st with a good sense of self esteem. But I knew I could just "fake it until I make it." So every day, I would wake up and write down one good thing about myself in my personal journal. And then I would tell myself that I deserved to live a healthy, fit life. Day by day, my self esteem started to increase. When I would finish a difficult workout, I would reward myself with a mental pat on the back. And everytime I would be tempted to skip a workout, I would say "I will love myself enough to take care of my body by working out today." If I was tempted to eat something unhealthy, I would say "I love myself too much to put junk food in my body."
To be honest, it felt a little strange at first! But as time went by, I started to realize that I wasn't just saying the words. I was feeling them! I really was learning to love myself!
I've lost 71 lbs since last March, but I don't love myself because I've lost weight. I love myself because I am me, and this is the only life on earth that I'm going to get. I don't want to waste another minute of my life on self hatred. I don't want to wait until I reach my goal weight to start being happy. I choose to be happy now. I choose to love myself now. Losing weight didn't lead to happiness. Choosing happiness is what lead to weight loss.
I still have more weight to lose, but I'm not waiting until then to feel good about myself. I hope you won't wait, either. Love yourself, and then show the love by taking care of your health. You really are worth it!
"I am a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the numbers as an indication of how much my body weighs and not as an indication of my worth."
~From Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
(shared by Sparkfriend Lemon2012)