Love the One You’re With

Loving ourselves includes moving our bodies. It also means moving in ways that each of us is physically able to at the current moment.

In other words, we can’t all do the same types of exercise…nor should we try. What works and is fun for one person may be a chore, painful or even harmful to another. And what we are capable of doing right now is going to be very different from what we are capable of in a month or 6 months.

It is crucial that we move, but that we be loving about it. Start where you are able to and do that and know that what you are doing is enough for now. It reminds me of the song, “Love the One You’re With”…because you have to love the body you have this minute…which is different from your ideal body.

As your health improves you will be able to move more or add different types of exercise to your routine.

When I first started on what turned out to be this successful weight loss journey I was in such pain I couldn’t do much exercise at all. I got a DVD by Dr. John Gray on “Bounce and Shake” (there is a link in the resources section of this site.) The DVD contained several 15 minute routines that are pretty gentle on the body…but even that was too much for me in the beginning. Most of the time in those early days I literally was laying on the bed moving my arms and legs because it hurt my back too much to go for walks. Some days I was able to sit on the couch and follow along. Then I began to be able to do parts of it standing up. Ultimately I was able to do the entire routine standing and I was able add walking to my routine…including walking some pretty rugged trails at a pace that sometimes even surprises me!

Often we don’t move our bodies because of the negative messages that we have in our heads. We don’t want to be seen, we feel unattractive and don’t want to impose ourselves on others. Sometimes this is all in our head and other times it is reinforced by what others say or do. I remember going for walks when I was morbidly obese and having high school boys heckle me from their car. Not exactly encouraging me to keep at it!

When we experience these moments, whether the message is coming from another living human being or the voice in the back of our own head, we deserve to assess the message and determine if it is (1) valid, (2) helpful, (3) loving. And whether or not the message is loving, trumps the other two!

In other words, it may be valid (true) that we are overweight. But is it said in a loving way or a way that falls short of love? If the message is truly coming from LOVE then it will help us to be motivated to move forward…to take action…to be loving to ourselves. Just because something has some validity to it, does not mean that it is either helpful or loving. Do not let the “TRUTH” keep you stuck where you are.

The “truth” is how we defend the messages we give ourselves about our bodies…that we have cellulite, that we don’t fit the clothes in our closet, that we are bigger than we were last year, that our thighs are bigger than our waist should be.

While these messages may be true, they pave the way for other messages that certainly are not, messages like, I am bigger than a house, I am the biggest/fattest/ugliest person on the planet, No one could possibly love someone as fat as me…

None of these messages of course are literally true, nor are the helpful, and they are certainly not loving. These are the messages that have struck out…but that as unreasonable, hurtful and down right DISHONEST these messages are, they are the ones that are often the hardest for us to get rid of.

For this month, take a look at what messages you are giving yourself about your body. Write them down. Look at them and really assess them for TRUTH, HELPFULNESS, and LOVE. If they fail to live up to any one of those 3 criteria (in other words, unless they live up to ALL 3) then write down a positive statement that counters it and repeat THAT statement at least 3 times each and every time you hear the negative message come up.

This is a way to help retrain your mind…and your body…to accept the truth—that you DESERVE to have a healthy body. Repeat these positive statements like mantras with every step you take, as you take deep breaths to increase the oxygen flow in your body.

Here are some examples that may work for you…use them, modify them, or create your own:

  • I am improving my health each and every day.
  • Every step I take brings me closer to the healthy, energetic body that I deserve.
  • I move my body on a daily basis.
  • I grow stronger every day.
  • My body has protected me from so much in my life…now it is my turn to protect my body by taking care of it.
  • The fat around my body helped protect me in the past, and I have other tools now…I no longer need this fat and I thank it and release it.
  • I prove to myself that I am healthier, stronger, more capable every day.
  • I am open to being healthy.
  • I welcome strength to come to my body.
  • I have the energy and strength I need to achieve my goals.
  • Today I can take at least one more step than I did yesterday, and each step I take brings me closer to my goal of a healthy body.
  • I can achieve health one step at a time.

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