A note from Ashten:
Paige is, without a doubt, one of my favorite people in the world. You will never meet a more genuine, caring or encouraging person than Paige and she has the infectious spirit that draws you in and makes you just want to spend as much time with her as possible. I hope you enjoy her post today and are encouraged by her journey and her story!
Hey everyone! My name is Paige and I am the Health Coach behind Healthy Hits the Spot.
I coach girls on empowering themselves to truly love their body and break free from dieting. Today I am going to chat about the importance of self-love, and accepting yourself NOW, not when you have your ideal perfect body.
A huge factor in achieving self-love is thinking positively about yourself. Let me start by saying that my thoughts about myself are not 100% positive. We all have off days/moments/weeks, and this is totally okay! None of us actively TRY to think negatively, the thoughts just naturally appear. So don’t worry or let frustration take over when you notice your thoughts don’t turn from negative to positive overnight. Think of it this way: instead of trying to make the negative thoughts disappear, you just want to try to turn down the volume and watch them become less frequent. Overtime, as you practice self-love, you will be able to better recognize the negative thoughts that come up and will be able to handle them much better and quicker.
The way I explain self-love to my clients is to “befriend yourself”. Practice being your own best friend or biggest encourager. Say things to yourself that you would only say to your best friend, things that FEEL encouraging. I guarantee more positive thoughts will appear! Another way to keep those negative thoughts at bay is to check in with yourself daily. I often joke that you will be talking to yourself more than you ever have when you’re practicing self-love/self-compassion. Ask yourself things you would ask your daughter or niece: “What do you need? How are you feeling?” Then, once you have your answer, respond to those needs.
Another important aspect of self-love is accepting all your feelings, the hard feelings and the good feelings. Otherwise, you may use other means to numb or block those harder feelings, such as binge eating. Oftentimes, the anticipation of a bad feeling is actually way harder than simply feeling it through.
Remember, we can’t depend on other people to make us feel happy or loved. Other people’s love can’t be our reason for being happy; it is too much pressure on the other person, and none of us are always loving towards others 100% of the time. This is why it is so important to truly love and accept yourself now, and to be nice to yourself.
Since adopting a more self-loving mentality, I have used the same word to remind me to slow down and check in with myself. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll probably already know the word before I share it! My word is “calm”. In the past, I used to be really anxious around everything-food, passing a test, work schedules, exercise, etc. My thoughts would begin to race, and I would think the worst about any situation. Now, when I say to myself, “calm”, it gives me a chance to stop, slow down, and think. I then realize that whatever I do will be okay and every time it allows me to turn down that anxiety dial. I still use this word today, and it helps me every time. You can try this, too! Choose a single word that best reminds you to slow down, step back, and remind yourself that everything will be okay. You will then be able to make choices from a relaxed place (mindset) that will support you toward feeling better and empowered.
I hope this helps you begin to make that shift towards loving yourself. The transformation you experience from changing your thoughts will be life-changing. If you’d like more on encouragement and self-love, I recently posted a blog post here about my favorite resources that help me feel to feel like my best self. Hope these help you as well!