I had the realisation last week (during my final coaching call with my coach) that the foundation to health is self love. It's not a good diet, it's not an athlete's exercise regime, and it's not drinking 2L of filtered water everyday. These things of course and without a doubt make a huge difference in one's health but the real bricks and mortar I have come to see and feel is self love.
This is step one; the base, the beginnings, the solid structure beneath everything else built on top of it. So it goes without reason, that if this foundation is not laid, it's only a matter of time before bits and pieces start falling off, one by one, or worse still, crumbling all in one go.
I've been on a journey of learning to love myself for quite some time now and can happily say that I am so much further along this path than I ever have been, but can also say I'm not totally there just yet. Each and everyday is another opportunity to practice what I am learning through books, blogs, words, websites, magazines and moments.
But I wanted to talk more bout this 'foundation' analogy - do you agree with me on this one? I've found that without self love, the food we eat can be poor quality and nutrient empty, our physical activity can either be waaaay too much or non-existent, we drink too much, don't sleep enough, work longer hours for less pay... the list goes on.
When we have self love, or are at least on a path to cultivating it...
+ We rest when we are tired (instead of pushing through)
+ We enjoy chocolate with no guilt (coz we know guilt does more harm than any food)
+ We say no to dessert when we know we are full from dinner
+ We move our bodies daily; be it a 5 minute walk, an hours jog, a yoga class, a mid-study-dance-sesh in the lounge room, or even just a few stretches, we do what feels right for us each day
+ We make the time for the things we know we need instead of putting them last; like getting to bed early, journalling daily, waking early to find time to yourself before the day begins
+ We get out and enjoy nature
+ We eat the foods that our body loves, and not the stuff that wreaks havoc in our system from an emotional crisis
+ We cry when we need to instead of dealing with our emotions destructively
+ We "switch off" from technology, social media, emails and more every now and then, instead of being a slave to push notifications
+ We write, see and feel grateful for everything everyday
This list could go on and on, but you probably see the picture I'm painting here. When we begin to cultivate self love through eating well, resting, moving, thinking thoughts that are conducive to health, spending time with loved ones, and doing things that light us up... everything else falls into place. Stress levels become manageable and healthy instead of being un-manageable and totally exhausted. We smile more. We see the good in the world. And underneath it all, we are strengthening the foundation so we can lay new bricks on top knowing they will be there for life. From this strong foundation, good health is inevitable. It may take longer for some than others, but day by day, in cultivating self love we are also cultivating health.
Having seen it in others, and most definitely in myself, take it from me --
The best diet means sh*t if you don't love yourself.
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