Now, you might be thinking, hmm, I’ve never heard of this new trendsetting diet before, what’s it all about?! And I would reply, well that’s because I made it up – but I’d be more than happy to tell you why.
There’s no need for me to dive in and explain all of the toxic, messed up concepts, ideas and “standards” we have when it comes to our bodies and food – we’re all well aware, and deeply familiar with that shit.
But there’s another thing that we do that’s not only sideways but actually completely backwards, and it has to do with when, and why, we congratulate or applaud one another.
There’s a perpetual system that we seem to adhere to, where we recognize and give praise to those who make drastic changes or follow some sort of extreme lifestyle choice; keto diet, no sugar, CrossFit 7 days a week, no gluten in the mornings, no eating past 4pm – and we say, “good for you!”
It’s almost as if our intentions have to be strong enough, or our routines need to be consistent enough, or our determination needs to be pronounced enough, in order for it to hold value – and frankly, that’s just complete bullshit.
Loving yourself is not like baking cookies. It’s not a straightforward recipe that requires a little of this, a lot of that, and exactly 18 mins in the cooker. It’s a very flexible yet delicate system, with ever changing needs, that vary on a daily basis, sometimes requiring more of this and less of that.
Side note: I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there’s actually a momentum growing lately and the flavour appears to be something to the effect of death to the eye rolling-ly irritating diet culture – which is exciting as heck because it’s about freaking time!
Since forever, we’ve been told that in order to love ourselves we need to eat certain things, exercise a certain amount, and look a certain way. We’ve been told to feel guilty when we “indulge in” chocolate or ice cream, and to feel bad about ourselves when we put on our favourite pair of pants only to find out they’re a bit more snug.
We’ve been told that it’s something we need to fix or control, something we need to restrict or exert more willpower over, and something that ultimately is, and always will be, outside of ourselves.
But, we all know what kind of negative and oppositional mentalities and behaviours sprout and grow from these sorts of thoughts – so why buy in?
If instead, our goal could be to truly love ourselves and to simply learn how to listen more closely to our bodies, I think we could all be naturally healthier and happier as a result.
I for one can tell when I’m eating to fill a void, I can tell when I’m exercising as a form of punishment, and I can tell when my whole day and attitude is a direct result of how tight my fucking pants are.
So, the first step, change. the. pants. …!
Next step, instead of working against your body and against your urges, work with them.
Eat the donut when you really want it. Don’t give it a second thought. Don’t assume your “day is ruined” or you have done something “bad”. This only reinforces the oppositional and/or negative mentalities, which then throws you even more off balance and directly into the wildly depressing yo-yo type behaviours.
Eat the salad because you’re craving some veggies and a lighter meal. Don’t tell yourself you’re doing something “healthy” or something “good”. Again, labelling and categorizing your choices throughout the day, only encourages consequential actions or feelings to attach to them – making it about the external rather than the internal.
Exercise when your body itches for it or when your brain whispers for it – don’t wait for things to get louder with an outright ache or scream. Exercise for the endorphins and the way that they make you feel, not for the calories burned, or the length of the time, or simply because you committed to three times a week.
Rest or nap when you need to. Listen to your body, and when it’s tired, take a break!
I know we’ve all heard it before, this is not anything new, but moderation and balance are the magical keys to it all.
So get rid of the engrained “good/bad”, “on track/off track”, “today is ruined/I’ll start tomorrow”, “punishment/reward” mentalities because they are good for nothing, and they only add more fuel to the ever growing fire that is complete and utter confusion.
Life is too short for this shit. And to be constantly bombarded by these thoughts and emotions day in and day out, just isn’t worth it.
Let’s use our energy for something different; something good, something better, heck, maybe even something helpful! Let’s focus on uncovering the truth, the truth that has been buried for far too long, the truth that desperately needs time to breathe, the truth that is: loving yourself, is and always will be, something inside of yourself.
And when given the right care and attention, and when acknowledged and listened to in the right way – which includes a deep respect for the physical as well as the mental – it will become something more powerful than you could have ever even imagined.
So next time, when we ask each other how we’re doing, and we reply, “loving ourselves” we will simultaneously, in unison, echo the glorious words, “good for you!” Because knowing how to love yourself, knowing how to find that delicate balance, and how to really listen and be intuitive with your own wants and needs, is way more boss and applaudable then any of that other shit.