Sweet heart … which of these sound familiar?
“When I’ve lost 5 / 25 / 50 kgs, then I’ve love my body.”
“I’ll love myself when I’m sassier, slimmer and seeeeexier.”
If you found yourself nodding along with any of the above, permanent weight loss is not going to be easy for you.
When you tell yourself stories like “I’ll love my butt when it’s the perfect peach,” you’re giving yourself conditional love.
And no-one, your good-self-included, responds to conditional love. No-one.
If you’re giving yourself conditional love you will stymie all attempts to become your happy weight. Because love-with-conditions-attached uncovers the rebellious, self-sabotaging four-year old in us all.
You know the one. That vulnerable youngster who simply yearns to be loved for who she is, right now… not for her achievements….not for how she looks… and definitely, not for how much she weighs.
What is conditional love?
Conditional love is saying “I don’t love you. Well, not yet anyway. Sure if you make some changes, then I’ll consider loving you. But right now, you’re not good enough for my love.”
Imagine if a boy said those words to you. You’d walk away. You’d wouldn’t give him a second glance. .. well, you would, wouldn’t you?!
And yet we do it to ourselves. All. The. Time.
Conditional love is really about beating yourself up. It’s about judgement, shame, hate and force. And it does NOT lead to weight loss.
It’s an odd concept really….if I hate myself enough, I’d end up by loving myself^$#%*!!!
If you’re sitting there saying, “It’s not that I don’t like myself, I’m a ‘foodie’. That’s all. I overeat because I like the taste of food.”
Let me ask you this:
“What do you do when you love something?”
You pay attention to it.
You take time with it.
You want to be present for every second of the enjoyment.
So let me ask you another question….”How does overeating lead to enjoyment?”
Overeating leads to your tummy feeling distended and you feeling so sick you can’t think of anything except how full you are.
How’s that love? It’s more like self-abuse.
Eating is about enjoyment and nourishing your body and soul. Overeating is not.
So what is the answer then?
Change happens NOT by conditional-strings-attached “I’ll love you when you weigh less” love.
Change happens when you come from a position of acceptance, knowing that you already are perfect, whole and complete, right now. Change happens when you begin to REALLY inhibit your body with love and any option except taking care of it is unthinkable.
It is this 100% self-acceptance keeps the rebellious four-year-old happy and the self-sabotage away.
And this is where Kinnel’s delightful words resonate:
“Sometimes it is necessary to re-teach a thing its loveliness.”
Our broken-ness is learned, not innate. Children come into this world knowing they are already gorgeous and utterly deserving of love. We need to un-learn the illusion of our broken-ness.
Only kindness makes sense. Anything else is excruciating. We need to take care of our bodies with reverence instead of stuffing them.
Without cynicism, the hopelessness, the anger.
Two Wonderful ‘Getting Back To Love’ Recovery Questions
We all have days where we trip and fall despite our best intentions. Here are two fabulous recovery questions which you can ask yourself if you feel yourself slipping into the old pattern of beating yourself up.
– How would love respond?
– What’s the most loving thing I can do right now?
What Would You Do For Love?
Answer the following question with as many responses as you can which reflect how you’re going to celebrate honouring yourself. Poor yourself a glass of something yum, grab a pen and paper and celebrate you.
– I love myself enough to….
How To Practice Unconditional Love.
As you’ve learned today the most nourishing kind of love is unconditional. The great news is you can feel as much of it as you like by feeling it for someone else (cos let’s face it, sometimes it can feel a bit of a stretch to feel it for ourselves).
Try this now: think of someone (or something, yes it could be your dawg), you adore unconditionally. Focus your mind on that person (or woofer) and feel how much love you have for them. Let it build and build and build. Really feel it. Breathe it in and keep appreciating how wonderful they are. How good does that feel?
By giving unconditional love to someone else, you get to feel as much of it as you like. Because by GIVING you are always RECEIVING.
If you want to feel love, give love.
Only love will ignite your thinner sparkle. Get ready to fall truly, crazily, gorgeously and – with every fibre of your being – in love with yourself.
Unconditional love etc, Avril