Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Self-Love: Improving My Thoughts

Due to the state of Illinois not being able to agree on a budget, I have found myself with a lot of extra time on my hands this summer.  Since I do not have a day job until mid-August, I have decided this is the perfect time to focus on improving my "self-love".  Throughout the month of July, I hope to share some thoughts on this topic.
Overall, self-love is an area of my life that I happen to be pretty good at.  I know that I need time each day to quiet my mind and with age, I have been lucky to figure out what that means for me.  Sometimes my heart feels drawn to these things when I neglect them, which is a good thing for me. Each day I try to quiet my mind by walking with my border collie Izzy, connecting via text with my one of my sisters sharing positives from the previous day, sneaking in a bath between day and evening classes while catching up on a favorite Hulu or Netflix show, sitting down and just talking with my husband or kids, and not filling up my daily schedule.  These are things I've made a habit of doing, things that are easy for me to do to show self-love.

There are of course other ways to show self-love. The food I buy and eat plus the cosmetics, shampoos, and lotions that I use tell my body that it deserves the very safest, cleanest products within my budget. There are some things though this month that I want to work on.  I've been cleaning up my diet and working out pretty regularly for the last five weeks or so and I want to continue doing that. I know my body is going through a big transition right now as it prepares for menopause, and I need to do my part to make sure it receives plenty of nutrients, rest, and movement. With extra time, this is quickly becoming a habit because I can plan ahead and make sure food is always ready for me and exercise is a part of my day.

The biggest hurdle I need to work on to promote self love is my thoughts.  Due to various reasons, I have gained a lot of weight and don't feel comfortable in my own body.  I don't like feeling this way and want to change it rather than settle on it. I don't have a set weight that I need to lose, I just want to feel strong and comfortable.  One thing that often gets in the way is the thoughts I tell myself such as, "You look fat." or "Nothing looks good on you anymore."  Just when I feel my stomach is a little flatter, I put on my clothes and feel disappointment and tell myself that I must have eaten too much or not moved enough.  I don't like feeding my brain these thoughts. I want to tell my body that it worked hard that day, it ate well, it loved others to its fullest because deep down I know that is the truth.  I want my body to know it is doing well. I want to show every part of my body that it is loved.  So, here I go.  I'm ready to turn my negatives into affirming statements. "I am helping my body to reach its ideal weight."