Love yourself to develop healthy eating habits
For most people, loving yourself is the most important thing we learn over our lifetimes. It is not taught in schools, colleges, or even families. It is something you learn with time, maybe sometime in your 30s, 40s, or 50s even.
We read about these words of wisdom on social media that say if you don’t love yourself truly, nobody will. We like these posts and go on with our lives unchanged. Guilty as charged.
Now you might wonder why is it important to talk about Loving Yourself on a weight loss website?
It’s important, I think because once you begin to love yourself truly, everything really starts to fall in place, the way we truly want it. We start treating our body with respect, which it much deserves and which we rarely give it, and it is not just our food choices that are indicative of that. We take our bodies for granted all our lives, yet expect it to function at its maximum potential so we can fulfill our dreams and ambitions. We almost start hating it when it does not do what we want it to do or look a certain way. Why?
Why do we expect so much from our body while we hardly feel obligated to even like it the way it is, forget loving it for all it does for us?
The answer probably lies in the way we have been conditioned to think. Whatever we do in our lives, the goal is to be happy, right? Happiness in society is hugely a derivative of our success at careers, bank accounts, looks, and relationships. In other words, happiness is a variable hugely dependent on external factors. As our external situations change our levels of happiness wax and wane accordingly.
We have never really been taught to find happiness and peace within.
We cruise through life largely relying on external standards of happiness and wondering if we measure up accordingly. Sometimes we are happy with where we are and sometimes not. And the most common way we seem to express happiness is by indulging in the food of choice.
Food makes us happy, ALWAYS.
The reason I am pointing this out is that whatever it is that makes us happy – be it career, money, stability, relationships, we all need a stable base to build upon to ultimately reach our goal. And the only thing that will carry you to your goal successfully is a sound mind in a healthy body. And therefore, LOVE YOURSELF 😊 Eat that food of choice, but be mindful about it. Know when to stop!
Sounds like a lot of common sense, doesn’t it? But look around you, do you see it being used? We load up our plates at all you can eat buffets, even if we have to loosen our belt a bit! We somehow make space for dessert after indulging in lavish spreads including appetizers, main course, a few drinks, and then we say to ourselves- life is short, eat that dessert!
Overindulging food has consequences.
We subject our bodies to gustatory overload and then we feel let down when we are tired, bloated, and down on energy the next day. We start pinching the fat around our midsections and look at ourselves dejectedly in the mirror. We don’t like the way our body looks, and this is all because of what WE did to our body and not vice versa.
Dieting seems like the solution, but here’s where it goes wrong.
Once we get to the point where we don’t like how our body looks, we decide to wisen up and go on a “diet” for the next few weeks. Well, that is until another holiday, another birthday party, or another celebration comes along, and BAM! We decided to indulge and the cycle repeats itself.
The funny thing here is, many of us know that we do this, admit to it and still keep doing it. And as we start aging, we start blaming the elusive “metabolism “and/or “hormones” for the way we look. And all this because we are looking for happiness in food.
As an obesity physician for the past 13 years, I have seen this scenario repeat itself umpteen times. We depend on food so much to make us happy, kill our boredom, pick us up, relieve us of menstrual mood swings, and whatever other thing that is bothering us.
How does loving yourself help stop the depressing dieting cycling?
It is quite simple. If we genuinely love ourselves, we will better understand that whatever we are celebrating or whatever is bothering us is transient and fleeting. These highs and lows will come and go but the only thing that is going to stay with us for the duration of our lives is our body and the way it makes us feel.
Once we understand this clearly in our head, we will enjoy that party/weekend gathering/ birthday for all the moments of togetherness and the memories it creates with the loved ones and not just for the drinks and food at that party! No doubt food is an important part of any celebration and rightly so, but once we know how to love ourselves, we will know how much to consume and where to stop so that we do not have that dejected feeling when we look at ourselves in the mirror the next day.