Let’s talk about what self-love really is. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines self-love as proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness or well-being. I define self-love as accepting yourself for what and who you are, but also trying to always be the best version of yourself. But what is the “best version” of yourself. That’s where things get tricky.
I have faced the fact that I will never smaller than a size 12, but am my happiest at a 14/16. That’s not because I couldn’t if I tried hard enough. It’s because trying hard enough would literally destroy me. It would reap havoc on my personality. I become an awfully sour person when I push too hard, whether it’s dieting, exercising, illness, or any other “gateway destroyer”. But that doesn’t mean my body, my being, doesn’t deserve to live it’s best life.
So, as in all things I try to do in life, I strike a balance. Due to some underlying health issues (more on that another day), I know that there are things that do me more harm than good, and vice versa. Processed sugar? had to scale that back to a minimum. I can, will, and do indulge in a little bit of ice cream, a piece of candy, or a slice of pie on occasion. But if I overdo it, my body pays the price. Same with dairy. So self-love to me is doing what I can to feel my best. Eating so clean my skin might turn green doesn’t make me feel my best. BALANCE. I eat cleaner than I used to…for MY BODY.
Cutting things out, dieting, and exercise have never helped me lose any significant weight, no matter what I’ve tried or how long I tried it. I am just a bigger girl. Always have been, always will be. But I can love my body enough to be a healthy bigger girl. So I walk, and I cut the things out of my diet that make me feel sluggish and groggy. That’s my self-love.
I implore you, do NOT destroy yourself with fad diets, life draining amounts of exercise, or simply not appreciating yourself. Do what you can within reason to feel your best. If you are super into CrossFit, good on you! If you love hiking, way to go! If feeling your best is getting into the kitchen and cooking up something scrumptious, go do it! If you are at a point in your life where resting and tuning everything out makes you feel the best, INDULGE.
There is no one size fits all; not in clothing, and not in life. Self-love is finding YOUR peace, finding what makes YOU feel best, makes you happy. Don’t think that someone else’s self-love is yours. It could be your self-destruction. I know, I’ve been there. Please, find your balance. Trying to be something you’re not will always end negatively. It may not be today, or tomorrow, nor this year, but it will end badly if you’re not being true to yourself.
Self-love should NEVER be self-destruction. They are in fact opposites. Believe in loving yourself, not changing yourself.