Why do we define our self-worth, self-love by a number? I used to be obsessed by the number on the scale, I used to be obsessed with counting calories, but why? Why do we obsess over these numbers instead of how we feel? Why do we define who we are and our self-love by this number?
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For a little over 6 years, I had focused on one number, 145, what is 145? That was what I weighed before I got pregnant with my third child. I struggled after having my third child to get back down to that number. After I had my third child I hovered around 150-160. For my small 5’2″ frame that is still a bit of weight for me, all I wanted was to weigh what I had weighed before I had my third son Bruce, 145. I was obsessed with this number, I weighed myself naked every single morning, right after I went to the restroom – sorry TMI? Sometimes I would even weigh myself again at the end of the day or after a workout to see how much progress I had made. Instead of focusing on how I felt, I focused on a number. After I had my 4th child Daxton, I weighed the most I have ever weighed in my entire life, this made me feel so depressed. I was completely uncomfortable in my own skin. I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror. Who was this 206-pound person staring back at me and how in the world did I get here? It took me 8 months to snap out of my depression and finally do something about the way that I was feeling. Basically, I was OVER myself and ready to learn how to love myself. But first I stopped and asked myself if I have ever loved myself? Do I even know how to love myself? The answer to both of those questions was a big fat NOPE, I have always been so hard on myself, so critical, so judgmental, so harsh in-fact that I would judge others harshly as well because I didn’t self-love and I didn’t know how. I did seek out a life coach of my own and that is where my self-love journey began.
First I had to stop and realize the importance of being selfish, yep you read that correctly, I said you need to be SELFISH. No matter who it inconveniences you need to make sure you are taking time out for your self, this is very important. You need to stay connected to you and what made you, you before you became a wife, a mother, a girlfriend, a boss lady. Yes, all those things are a part of you and who you are today but those are pieces of you, that you put before yourself every single day, so why not take some time to do something for YOU? Here is a list of a few other things I like to do to connect to myself:
- Meditate – Through meditation, I was able to really connect with myself, dig deep and overcome some of my depression and self-hate. Meditation isn’t easy at first and it can bring up some deep seeded issues so you will need to be prepared mentally. I suggest starting with a guided meditation app and start by simply doing 5-10 minutes a day and building up from there. I personally like to use Headspace for guided meditation.
- Spa – Go get a massage, a facial, whatever beauty treatment that you like to do. Or give yourself a spa day at home. I like to run a bubble bath, put in a deep conditioning hair mask, a charcoal face mask, turn on my diffuser and some meditation/spa music and just soak. I let my family know that they are not allowed to bug me for at least an hour. The meditation/spa music also helps to drown out any noise. Also since I know how to meditate I have gained the gift of tuning the noise out. One of the many benefits of meditation.
- Vacation – Whether you go on a mini vacation on your own or with friends, vacations are an amazing way to reconnect with yourself and escape the norm of everyday life.
- Get Out – I love getting outside and reconnecting to myself, there is just something about being out in nature that really helps me reset. Go on a hike, a walk, a run, a picnic, fish, boat, swim, sit outside in silence. Whatever outdoor activity you love that helps you feel connected to yourself.
- Read – Read at least one self-development book a month. I like to listen to my books through Audible. I listen to a book while taking a walk, sitting outside, cooking dinner, cleaning my house. With Audible I am always able to get a few books in a month.
To learn how to self-love I read a lot of different books and I would like to recommend the ones that helped me the most below.
- May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness
- The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith
- Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
These are all things that have helped me learn to love myself and to help me make sure I am connecting to me on a regular basis.
Now all of the above things were great for my mind so what about my body? Well, I taught myself about nutrition and that is a thing I am consistently working on daily. In 6 months I lost 61lbs but it took a lot of hard work and dedication. The main thing was to teach myself that, that number “145” was not important, what was important is what I was doing for my body and how those things that I was doing made me feel. When I started focusing more on me and became more selfish I was able to learn so much about myself and I saw what I am capable of when I put my mind to it and stick to these things. When I taught myself about nutrition I freed myself from having to count calories, from having to watch that number on that scale. For the most part, I really try to eat clean but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy some KFC or Tacobell or a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup once in a while. Now that I have taught myself, self-love and I taught myself how to care and develop myself and connect to myself on a regular basis. I no longer beat myself up, I no longer self-judge when I have these types of foods or when I am feeling more bloated than normal.
By the way, I did finally reach my goal and hit “145” but that wasn’t what made me happy, I had so many non-scale victories during my health and fitness, self-discovering, self-love journey, that number didn’t matter. When I was 145 before I had Bruce I was not healthy, I drank alcohol on a regular basis I ate like shit. This time around, I was strong, I was lean, I felt amazing, I had more energy than I ever had. My body still has some weight to lose, and it has stretch marks, and extra skin and is far from what some may call perfect but all that matters at the end of the day is that I LOVE MYSELF. I love my stretch marks and I love my extra skin. I embrace those marks. Those marks show that my body was capable of carrying and birthing 4 beautiful healthy children. I stare at myself in the mirror and I tell myself that I love myself, I love all those beautiful marks on my body. Look at all the things my body and mind are capable of! Standing in front of a mirror staring at myself and telling myself that I love myself was a little awkward at first and it took some getting used to but after about a week it wasn’t so awkward and I actually look forward to that part of my day.
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