“You must learn to love yourself first”
“You’re perfect just the way you are”
“Practice self love”
Sound familiar? Chances are you have heard these phrases bandied around every fitness and health blog and brand under the sun. Yet, sometimes it strikes me as at odds with what our industry is really selling; change.
The concept of self-love has been on the rise for a few years now and it is the perfect antidote to our compare and despair society, brilliant! With spring upon us, I know I’m not the only one keen to get warm for my own form, seductively slather on my favourite coconut scented moisturiser and feel the love on the beach – all solo of course!
But, what if you really are unhappy with your health right now? What if you’ve let exercise sneak down the list of priorities and an ample supply of wholefoods is now tucked further away than those wedge sneakers you never wore?
What if you don’t love how you look and feel today at all, in fact, you wouldn’t chuck it a like on instagram and wish you could unfriend it like that guy you dated last year?
In my experience, balancing these seemingly conflicting goals can be so difficult because our focus is all wrong.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
It is possible to love yourself whilst undergoing change because the truth is, we’re always changing. Our body is designed to constantly implement subtle changes to run more effectively. Once we know we can’t avoid changing and we are never anything but a creature of adaptation, the task is instantly easier.
RE-ADJUST THE WAY YOU MEASURE ‘CHANGE’
The key to getting self-love and change to co-exist like peanut butter and dark chocolate is re-framing our goals. Think about what it is you’re focusing on, is it to look sleek on the beach this summer, have the energy to make it through your work day or be able to complete a marathon? Chances are it is not actually these tangible goals you’re seeking but the feelings attached to them. If it’s been a while since you really nourished and moved, you’re not going to look like that girl in the Lorna Jane campaign or have amazing race time straight away, but what about being able to do 9 push ups instead of 8? Or when your skin’s got an extra glow since switching sugar granola for superfood smoothies? Practice celebrating these little changes like they’re the real deal and you’ll be feeling loved up in no time.
Self love is pretty self-explanatory and an obvious must for anyone wanting to be a boss at life for the long haul. It really is that, simple. Only you can really know when you should be going to bootcamp or resting, waking up at five or sleeping in. Do what feels good and strikes a balance between self-indulgence and productivity. You’ll always thank yourself for it.
Guest post by FITC guest trainer Scarlett Hurst