Changing Your Outside won't Fix Your Inside


I was talking with a lovely young woman the other day who'd recently lost 50 pounds. Bravo, I thought. Then she said, "I thought that would help me love myself, but it didn't."

Of course it didn't. 

Too often we women make the mistake of thinking that "if only," or "when" I (lose, get find, do) blah, blah, whatever you can fill in the blank with, then I will feel better about myself, have more confidence, or love myself. Unfortunately, the truth is that if you don't already have love inside you, changing your external appearance isn't going to help.

Besides, we don't really live in a world that wants you to love yourself wholeheartedly. If you love yourself, you won't be a consumer. Everyday you are bombarded by hundreds of advertising messages—most overt, many covert—that want you to feel bad about yourself so you buy a product to "fix" yourself. But you're not broken! There is nothing wrong with you that learning how to love yourself today won't fix. And the secret is that once you love yourself more, if you want to change something, the change requires less energy and is long lasting. Anything done with positivity and love sticks. Trying to make changes because of self-loathing or dissatisfaction exhausts you and keeps you focussed on negativity. Negativity breeds more of the same.

Today, vow to stop fixing yourself and start loving yourself. Listen to your thoughts and the words you speak aloud. Every time you hear or say aloud a negative message about yourself or someone else (what we say about others is really how we feel about ourselves) notice it. Just be aware. The first step to learning to love yourself is being aware of how you're speaking both internally and externally. 

When you’re ready to take the next steps of changing your thought patterns for greater self-love, find someone to guide you on that journey. Someone who role models self-acceptance and body comfort. It’s been a long journey for me, one that I’m sure will never end as I travel the world in this aging body, however, I’ve learned a lot and will happily help you, if you desire. 

Whatever you do, remember to be gentle to your human body. It’s the only one you’ll ever have.