Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thinking Thin...Literally

I haven't been blogging about my health-quest much lately, and I figured out why. It's because I've been struggling. It's always hard to admit, but they always say - admitting it is the first step. I recently started reading  a book called The Only Diet There Is. I find it so fascinating that I borrowed it from my mom before she even had a chance to read it, and I am almost done reading it in just 3 days. This book is from the 80s, but it has some extremely interesting and valid points.

One of the main points is that it's almost impossible to reach and maintain your ideal weight when you don't love yourself. When you hate yourself and always have negative thoughts about yourself, how likely are you to take care of yourself and respect your body? After reading this book, I started thinking of my body like a vehicle - If you own a car that you absolutely hate and despise driving it everyday, how likely is it that you'll fill it with premium gas, get regular oil changes, take it to the repair shop, or even get a car wash now and then? And surely you won't care if you bang it up and fill the interior with garbage, because afterall, in your mind it already looks and runs crappy.

These are the same negative thoughts that we may have about our own bodies. Our bodies are literally our vehicles to get around in the world. Just like you drive your car to work everyday and rely on it to get you back home again, we rely on our bodies to keep us moving and productive. It's the same principle - learn to love and appreciate your vehicle, and you'll take better care of it and restore it to its natural beauty.

Maybe you've never dealt with this issue of self-hate, but I certainly have and know several people who spend their days with guilt, hate, and negative thoughts about themselves. As the book points out, your mind will create what you want it to - if you give it the opportunity. You may have heard of self-fulfilling prophecies, where your mind literally creates what it believes to be true. As much as this may sound a little wacko, I'm starting to see how true it really is. Your actions are a result of your thoughts. If you think you're not good enough and not worth self-love, then you won't treat your body with respect or keep it in good condition. Why would you? Would you spend time and effort taking care of a car or house or object that you don't like or even absolutely despise? Probably not.

So in the same way, our thoughts literally affect our actions and our health. I am starting to seriously work on turning my negative thoughts about myself to positive ones and realizing how important it is to love myself. Afterall, if I can't love myself, how can I expect anyone else to love me or for that matter, how can I love anyone else if I can't love my own self?

Another good point is that, if you truly learn to love yourself, you won't torture yourself with exercise you don't like or that you can't do, or deprive yourself of food. These are not self-loving acts and instead cause more anger and guilt when you don't live up to your own high standards. You will instead want to nurture yourself and will therefore eat healthier naturally and participate in activities you do enjoy without even thinking about it.

These are just a few things to think about and consider if you have been stuck in a rut or find that no diets seem to work or stick -- It could be that you need to get in your head and figure out your thoughts first, before you can act on them. In just a matter of days I feel better than ever - not because of the scale at all - but because I am finally learning to love myself and treat myself the way I deserve to be treated.