“Get up you lazy bitch and go for a run. Remember you’re still on a diet today.”
I found these unloving words during a recent spring clean. They were on a note I’d penned to my 14-year-old self.
Instantly, tears stung my eyes as I time-travelled back to a place where I hated my body.
It was just one of the many body-hating notes I’d woken up to, morning after morning, year after year.
Like many women, I believed, “If I hate myself enough, I’ll be motivated to lose weight, and then I’ll like myself more.”
It seemed logical at the time.
Many of the women I work with fall into a similar trap, “When these lumps and bumps have gone, then I’ll take care of my body.”
But … the exact opposite occurs.
You see, when we say “I’ll moisturise my thighs when they’re slimmer,” we’re giving ourselves conditional love.
And no-one is motivated by conditional love.
Because, conditional love unleashes the rebellious, self-sabotaging three-year-old in us all.
We all know that one, right?!
That vulnerable, inner child who yearns to be loved for who she is, right now…
Not for her dress size.
Not for how she looks.
Definitely, not for how much she weighs.
Conditional love is heart-breaking.
And it’s the opposite of motivational.
Imagine a friend saying:
“I don’t love you…. well, not yet …sure, if you make some changes, then I’ll consider loving you…. but right now, you’re not good enough for my love.”
You’d unfriend them immediately, wouldn’t you?
But we speak to ourselves like that…. day after day, year after year.
Conditional love is beating yourself up. It’s judgement, shame, and fear.
It’s a heart-breaking concept: “If I hate myself enough, I’ll end up by loving myself!!!”
The antidote: how to love yourself slim
Start noticing how unkind you are to yourself. Sometimes we don’t even realise how nasty we are. Do you ever tell yourself you’re not good enough, slim enough, pretty enough, smart enough?
Being your happy shape and size occurs from a place of acceptance, compassion, kindness. It happens when you treat your body with love, when you nourish your body.
From this loving space, the rebellious inner child is placated, and self-sabotage ends.
So start treating your one-and-only body with reverence, instead of stuffing her beyond full. Start moisturising your body after every shower, instead of delaying until she’s a specific size. Start saying something kind about your body every day, not waiting when she’s a specific weight.
You can do it.
If right now you’re in the “icky” hateful space that I was in at the time of penning that note – trust me – with curiosity and patience, and with small loving changes, you can feel radically different about your beautiful body tomorrow.
Unconditional love etc, Avril
PS: If you need help moving into a more loving space around your body, maybe it’s time to drop me a line.