So Valentines Day has been and gone for another year; the foil wrapped chocolate hearts have left the building and the crème eggs are filling up the shelves as we speak!

 

I have to say, I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentines day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, but I don’t like being told when to be romantic, and I hate the idea that romance has only one day designated to it annually! However, one thing that I did love about V-day this year, was the widespread encouragement to pay more attention to self love in the midst of all of the teddy bears and over priced flowers.

 

Now, for many of us, self love is an alien concept which is tricky, if not downright impossible to grasp. Loving ourselves is something we just do not do! From the shaky days of adolescence when our bodies morph into something which feels uncomfortable and unrecognisable, we often continue to foster a difficult relationship with our bodies as we grow and mature. We’re forever being told how important it is to make our bodies look the same way they used to when we were young, carefree, (child-free?!) twenty-somethings. We’re encouraged to chase an ideal which for most of us, just isn’t attainable. Because guess what, our bodies are constantly changing. Its what they do!!! Time of the month? Pregnancy? Post pregnancy? Winter? Summer? Menopause? An ever changing reflection is an inevitable part of life and yet we’re all fixated on looking like a younger/slimmer/more toned version of ourselves. And worse, we’re told that’s absolutely how we should look……. and if we don’t? Then we’re just not good enough!

 

We’re encouraged to fixate on the us of yesterday rather than being happy and content with the us of today.

 

It’s safe to say that we have all been brain washed. The media is constantly telling us that in order to be accepted by wider society, we must all look a particular way, and that if we don’t, then we damn well need to be doing something about it – sharpish! Hence forests worth of magazine pages, filled to the brim with the latest quick fix diet fad promising to make us all look like Jennifer Anniston.

 

But then they take it even further, because the next thing we’re led to believe is that if we attempt the latest diet (the one that promises a “bikini body”) but we don’t achieve it in the same way that Jennifer Anniston has, then it is definitely, undoubtedly, 100% OUR FAULT.

 

So now look at you….. not only do you not have a bikini body, (and are therefore, by default, a hideous mess)  but you’re also a failure because everyone else manages to stick to this diet and achieve wonderful results – if you don’t believe us, just look at the before and after pics………..

 

Bloody hell, it’s no wonder we’re all struggling in the self love department. I’m surprised we manage to get out of bed in the mornings! The truth of the matter is that, of all of the people who lose weight on a diet, 95% will go on to regain the lost llbs , and then some….. 95%!!!!!

 

When you look at numbers like that, I think it’s pretty obvious that the problem is with the diets, rather than the dieters. But here’s the the big secret; diets are designed to fail! They are intended to be a short term fix, because guess what, keeping you coming back for more, time and time again is how they make their money.

 

So I say, its time we stick two fingers up at the diet industry and make a change ourselves. Let’s sack off the diets and stop trying to turn back time (damn you Cher!) and instead, put in the effort that it takes to start loving our bodies as they are today.

 

Given time and encouragement, we can all find something we like about ourselves, but for some of us, the battle has run so deep, for so long that it can feel like an insurmountable task. So in a bid to get the ball rolling, I’ll go first……..

 

Ok, I may not look like a supermodel (who does?!), but I’ve got two strong legs that allow me to walk my children to and from school every day; oh and those two children….? I grew them in my belly (how amazing is that?!!) So I guess I’ll excuse it for being soft and wobbly!!! I’ve got two brilliant ears that let me listen to the latest Elbow album REALLY LOUD and a cracking voice that lets me belt out the amazing choruses……see, absolutely no room for false modesty round here!

 

Now it’s your turn. It may be your gorgeously thick hair, your dimples when you smile or your perfect sense of direction! Whatever it is, notice it, appreciate it and be grateful for it!

Once you start making your list of positives, try reminding yourself of them regularly and then adding to them each time a new aspect of your fabulous self becomes apparent! Once you start making small mind-set shifts like this, you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make to your general sense of wellbeing. 

 

Replacing the negative self talk with some positivity is a big, bold step towards a brighter future and if you’re looking for more help and support, why not sign up to receive my FREE 7 Happilicious Days challenge where you’ll find more small ideas which can lead to big change!

 

I’d love to hear about the positive shifts you make in your life, so please drop me an email or pop over to the facebook group to spread the positivity!