When you’re not happy with your body, there’s a chance you’re not happy with yourself.
Here’s how I lost sight of why I loved myself, and a couple of ways I found to completely change my approach to health and fitness by restoring that love.
So, first, thank you for watching [or reading :-)].
I really, really appreciate that.
I appreciate you taking the time to let me share with you my experiences and try to help out a little bit.
If you haven’t been watching my videos, it might be worth it to go and check last week’s.
We discussed how you will never “fix” a body that you hate, and concluded with the thought that body image, especially negative body image, is often rooted – and I mean, probably, I mean, I’m not an expert, but I’d say nearly always rooted – in poor self image.
That is, if you are approaching your health and fitness efforts from a place of hating your body, there’s a strong possibility that that dislike for your body is rooted in not being happy with yourself.
And then at the end of last week’s video, I made the tall order promise that, in this video, I’d address how to restore self love as a means of being able to approach your health and fitness goals from a place of self-respect and self love and self compassion, and that that would be the only way that you would be happy with your results.
Because ultimately, as discussed last week, if you don’t love your body, if you’re not happy with yourself how you are, it doesn’t matter how jacked or ripped or defined or strong or fast or small or big you get, it doesn’t matter.
You’ll never start loving yourself or loving your body by getting fitter or leaner or stronger or more muscular.
That doesn’t happen.
Anyway, so, cultivating self love – restoring self love, I should say…
I use the word “restoring” because it’s my opinion, it’s my understanding that self love is something that is innate.
It’s something that we’re born with.
And then somewhere along the way something happens, or our circumstances change, or something breaks within us.
Something happens that that disconnects us from our ability to love ourselves.
And the number of things that can cause that are just as varied as the number of individuals there are on earth, you know.
Who can even, who can number the different ways that we can become broken as human beings, you know?
There are just so many things.
But, what I can tell you is that, at least for me, with my experiences, and often what I’ve seen with others, is that the sense of self worth and the sense of self love often is very closely related to our relationships with other people.
Whether that’s our family or our friends or our community.
Very often, when we have issues where we don’t love ourselves, it’s because there’s a problem in some way, shape, or form, with relationships outside of ourselves, our relationships with people outside of ourselves.
Maybe, maybe somebody hurt you or, you know, somebody said something to you that kinda jacked things up in your head or…
You know, I know that in my case, what happened was I actually had kind of closed my–
Well, I wouldn’t say closed myself off.
I would say I, my, I was, hmm…
I shouldn’t say I closed myself off to other people because I wouldn’t necessarily say that I did it deliberately or knowingly.
But I was in a situation where, you know, in high school and college, I spent so much time with other people and I spent so much time focusing on things outside of myself.
And then when I graduated, I spent a few years – or I spent a couple years, at least – in very small towns and I really struggled to create a community.
I really struggled to find a group of people to interact with and to contribute to.
And so that – in retrospect – that is when my body image issues started.
That’s when I started to really struggle with obsessive exercising and really really just obsessing over food, and never being happy with my body.
That really all happened when I lost my community, when I lost a sense of belonging, a sense of contribution.
And I didn’t start to recover from that until probably around 2014 or 2015, when I finally started to reintegrate myself with friends and I started to contribute to things outside of myself.
You know, I joined a small gym and started meeting people there, I started my blog, you know, I just started–
Those are just examples, but I just started contributing and I started reconnecting with the people and the things that mattered to me.
And it wasn’t until I started to contribute and focus on something outside of myself and focus on other people – it wasn’t until I started doing that – until I started looking outwards – that I started to restore my love for myself and my respect for myself.
And then, it wasn’t until I started to restore my respect for myself and my love for myself that I started to restore my love and respect for my body.
And I found that in the years since starting those efforts to reconnect with other people and start contributing again, in those years since, the more that I focus on those things, the more that I integrate myself with other people, the more that I focus on connecting and maintaining and building relationships, the happier I am with myself.
The more I love myself.
The more I love my body.
The more I’m happy with my body because I see it as myself.
It’s no longer just some burden that I have to maintain.
It’s my vehicle for interacting with the world.
I mean, it’s awesome.
Like, I love that and I want to be…
I want to treat it as well as I can.
Like, I want to be healthy and strong and be able to move.
Not because I wanna look, you know, ripped or jacked or whatever.
It’s just because, like, that’s healthy.
And the more that I focus on treating my body as well as I can and getting as healthy as possible, the better I look and the better I feel.
It’s just, it’s awesome!
So, yeah, so I kinda went all over the place there, but I’d like to summarize with:
You won’t fix a body that you hate.
And hating your body, there’s a strong possibility that it’s rooted in a lack of self love or self respect.
And that one of the most effective tools that I have found at least for restoring self love and self-respect, is to focus on contributing to other people and to focusing, and to focus on contributing to something outside of yourself.
That’s what I got for you.
Chew on that for a hot minute.
Go forth, kick ass, make it an awesome day.