I get to write articles regularly on various weight loss surgery and healthy lifestyle related topics. I am so honored to be able to write in OH Magazine, Member Newsletter and the Leader Program. One of the benefits in writing so many articles is that I have to do my research. While researching and writing a recent article on Accepting and Loving Yourself, it reminded me how lost I was for so many years and how far I’ve come.
We hear all the time about loving yourself. It sounds great. “Yeah, sign me up for that as I want to love myself” sounds great but HOW do I do that? For a long time, I really looked for ways to do that. Become a wife, a mom, a best friend, a good friend, an outstanding employee, the most experienced and highly educationally trained coach were some of the places I looked for that self-love. Problem is that those are external sources. Important – yes, but didn’t really do it for me. I was happy and fulfilled in those roles but self-love….hmmm, not really.
The feeling and experience of self-love eluded me. I thought I had it but realized I really didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t accept myself. You must accept first. How do I accept myself when there are so many areas for improvement?? I wish my hair were thicker, I could use some plastics for excess skin, I wish I were better in geography, I wish I had longer eye lashes, I wish I hadn’t taken that Tootsie Roll out of my brother’s trick-or-treat bag when I was 7, I wish….I wish…..you get the idea.
All of us have an “I wish” list about ourselves. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to improve and grow within ourselves. I am a firm believer in doing everything I can in my own personal development to be the best person I can be. Some things are worth working on and others just aren’t. Earlier in my life, I expected perfection of myself. Perfection in how I looked, how I acted, how I thought – everything! Talk about unrealistic expectations! None of us are and when I expected that of myself I was always going to fall short. When I always fell short, my self-esteem, self-worth, and acceptance of myself were non-existent.
Just as there are things that I wish were different, there are things that I accept, appreciate and love about myself. In fact, some things that I perceived as faults and characteristics not to value, I now love about myself. As just a few: I am very self-reflective, I value above all else integrity and honesty in myself and others close in my life, I am a very feeling/emotion oriented person. Being a feeling/emotion oriented person, for years, I was told that was a negative thing and to change that part of me. I tried and tried. I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole situation. I believe that is one of the reasons I’ve struggled with food issues and became morbidly obese is because I was trying to squelch part of who I truly am. Now I celebrate my square peg-ness! It makes me care deeply, committed and passionate about things and people in my life. And, what do you know……when I’ve accepted and embraced those parts of me, I love myself and I get to feel joy about those parts of me.
The point here is to accept yourself. Whatever – good, bad or ugly because what you may perceive as bad or ugly in all probability are the things that make you precious and who you are. Celebrate precious YOU!
Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, ACC-ICF, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator