There is a common misconception that when you start to let go of diets to practice self-care and self-love, you will eat chocolate all day, take endless bubble baths, and binge on Netflix.
Quite the opposite!
When we think in this way, we see self-care as something to do occasionally, an indulgence. We may even feel it is a selfish act.
Picture expensive bubble baths, spa days, and luxury confectionery.
But the truth is, self-care is self-preservation and it requires discipline.
It requires tough-mindedness, a deep understanding of your priorities, and respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.
It doesn’t always feel fun and enjoyable, in fact, it can be kind of boring….
That is because it isn’t always about doing whatever your brain tells you to do in the moment.
It is about taking full responsibility of your well-being on a daily basis, making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice.
When you find this balance, you don’t need to ‘indulge’ to restore it.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they picture letting go of diets is that they will eat and eat whatever their primitive brain tells them. That they will not find the motivation to exercise.
But actually, our primitive brains prioritise comfort & self-protection.
This means the same mechanism’s drive:
overly restrictive food behaviors
undisciplined food choices.
Different people find comfort in both for different reasons. This is because we are each unique.
When we are respecting our body and mind, we don’t instantly act on our primal urge, we get curious.
We ask ourselves:
🤔 what will serve me best right now? Both emotionally and physically.
🤔 how will my future self feel?
Sometimes all we need is a Netflix binge and a family-sized chocolate bar.
Other times, we need more sleep, a regular eating pattern, some fresh air and lots of veg!
It may mean
- Sacrificing an episode of your favourite program because you need to be up early for the gym.
- Laying off alcohol for a bit.
- Saying “no” more often.
Ironically when you truly care for yourself, discipline is paramount and you become much stronger as a result.
You will be a better leader, a happier parent, a nicer person to be around.
You will have the energy, enthusiasm, and motivation to work with meaning and purpose.
You will make your mark in the world!
What does self-respect look like for you I wonder?