On this journey to care for and honour my body, there are moments that I consider adding exercise and improvement in diet to my routine. However, if I begin to plan healthy meals or look up gym membership prices I feel incredibly guilty. It’s as though I’m betraying my goals for self love and I couldn’t possibly be happy with myself if I want to exercise or eat better. By taking those steps - or just thinking about them - all my talk of self love is a lie and I’m faking it. When I see those words written right here on my screen it’s obvious that this isn’t true. But sometimes logic doesn’t connect and the lies I tell myself overwhelm me. Those thoughts are, what I’ve decided to call, the self love paradox.
On the surface, the desire to unconditionally love ourselves can seem to mean nothing is ever wrong with our lives because ultimately, we feel good about ourselves. This unrealistic expectation that we or others can project onto us is unfair to our mental and emotional well being! As humans, we have bad days. Days of self doubt and discomfort with who we are. These moments are not unavoidable but through our pursuit of genuine self love, we can take steps to face those days head on.
While I was outlining this post I was bombarded with friends of mine asking if I’ve ever experienced this. With every text we were validating each other’s feelings and affirming one another to push through. None of us were bamboozling ourselves or other women by speaking out about self love but also wanting to change a part of our routine or having a bout of doubt.
In order to battle these thoughts and because I’m a visual learner that is obsessed with Canva, I’ve come up with a diagram that is useful to me and I’d love to share it with you: