…while working to improve yourself. It is a very difficult balance of accepting who you are a the current moment, but also working to be a better version of you. I struggle with this myself a lot lately.
A few months ago I remember looking in the mirror. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be disgusted by what I saw in order to make some significant changes in my eating and workout habits. Or should I be loving and accepting of what my body is and what it can do – not what I want it to be?
I’ve struggled a lot over the last 18 months in several areas of my life in this way. How do we accept who we are and love ourselves in the present moment, but also have the desire and drive to work to improve ourselves?
Let’s first talk about self love and self acceptance. I think that a lot of people struggle with loving themselves, who they are, and what they look like. There’s a lot of research out there on anxiety, depression, and the role that social media plays in our lives. (Spoiler alert – social media isn’t super great for us!)
We tend to compare our worst with everyone else’s best. And that’s just not a true picture of it all!
Take some time for self reflection. Think about who you are in the moment. It’s cool that you were an elite athlete in high school or 50 pounds lighter before you had kids. But the reality is that you are who you are right now. Not who you were then and not who can or will be. (I think this is called mindfulness…)
You might have been those things once, but life is continually moving forward in time. Think about the spouse, the house, the pets, the kids, the jobs, and the friends since then. You’ve done a lot of things, priorities change. Our bodies are used to create other life. These things all take a toll on us – mentally and physically!
So, take some time to be mindful. You and your body are amazing. You have made it this far with what you have! Your mind and body have supported you so far, now make sure to take care of it all so it will be there for you in the future.
Practice self love and self care. Take some time for you. Do something that makes you happy. Enjoy some time with the people that support you and bring you joy. It’s OK to say no to people and obligations sometimes.
Be kind and gentle with yourself. You wouldn’t tolerate a friend saying negative things to you – so don’t let yourself say them to you either!
Now that we are comfortable with who we are right now. Let’s take a look at working on improving ourselves in whatever areas we feel the need to put some work into.
Whatever you are working on, take your time, be consistent, and enjoy the journey wherever it takes you.
For instance, if fat loss is your goal, start by making goals, developing a plan, and even take some before photos. The photos aren’t going to be pleasant, but it will be good to look at them as you progress so you can remember where you started and how far you have come. It can be difficult to see any difference day to day, but when we look back from a month ago , the changes become more apparent.
It’s a very difficult balance, but as you walk along your journey (whatever your path may be), you will have to remember to love who you are in the moment, as you make steps towards the new and improved version of yourself.
Constantly check in with yourself. Be sure to keep loving yourself as you work on improving. Even as you start to make progress, don’t let yourself become complacent! Once you start to see progress, keep working!
This is why you need goals. Use these as stepping stones and check in moments. Celebrate each step, but keep moving forward! Don’t settle – you are always worth it!