“I’m DONE with abusing myself to progress”

I remember the moment I said this to myself.

I had done a great job of getting my body where I wanted it to be. That day it was lean, strong, fit, and my clothes were literally falling off of me. That part felt amazing.

It came after a down cycle that was caused by the transition off antidepressants. I had been on an antidepressant for around 15 years and I knew I wanted to try life without it.

Something inside of me knew I needed to take a break from the medication that was helping me push through life.

With the support of several professionals I took about a year to slowly wean myself off. And with each wean, new troubling symptoms emerged.

I had to navigate really low energy, dark moods, hunger, body aches, and some serious malaise. One way that I wanted to support myself through the process was to allow myself more indulgent foods. For me, the transition off meds was so painful that I really wanted to allow comfort foods.

Once the whole transition was done, I found myself out of shape, with an extra 10-15 pounds gained. And even though that was fine – I certainly didn’t love it.

So, I whipped myself into shape, wrangled my diet into submission, and tightened up the reigns until I was back to where I wanted my body to be.

It felt AMAZING to be back in shape, looking awesome, and wearing all of my smallest clothes. But….it came at a cost.

There was part of me that was unhappy. And for the first time, I realized that I had to take my mental health seriously.

No longer could I walk the thin line between true happiness, and the happiness that is conditional on a life circumstance.

If I was going to live life off antidepressants, I knew I needed to learn ways to truly support and love myself.

And it was in the minute that I realized how much I had been abusing myself into shape my entire life.

I realized that I no longer wanted to “whip” myself into shape or “wrangle” my diet.

It was time that learned to LOVE myself to better.

Now, a long stretch later, I am blown away by how my life as changed as a result of this new mental approach.

These days my mental chatter is so different! And, to no surprise, my outer world looks very different as well.

I haven’t experienced anxiety in 6 months. When I feel a twinge of dark mood approaching, I’m able to process myself and quickly chase away the blues.

I exercise because I want to love and support my body.

I eat so that I can be vibrant and free from symptoms of depression.

I choose every action, every feeling, every thought…every day.

All this time later, I know that I am on the precise of a new exciting journey and that my life is positioned for a massive upswing again.

It’s exciting.

So today I thought I’d share some tips on how you can learn to love yourself to better.

I will always support a journey of betterment. I believe that for us humans, life is about learning and growing. Becoming the best version of yourself in all ways.

I also believe that your physical body is a direct reflection of your internal experience. And that mind and body are in interplay.

I believe you can improve your internal life by improving your body.

I believe that biology trumps psychology.

Take action to improve your body and watch how your mental and emotional life change improve as well. It’s magic.

3 Steps for Loving Yourself to Better

Identify and choose thoughts that empower you to take action. If you aren’t taking the actions necessary to reach your goals, it’s often because of the thoughts and feelings behind the actions you are – or are not – taking. Start examining what thoughts are linked with your lack of actions.

Celebrate every teeny tiny win. This is hands down the fastest way to reach your goals. This is also a great way to enjoy the journey. Every day, celebrate yourself and your successes – even if they are small.

End guilt and sabotage by encouraging yourself. If you are truly tackling new concepts and behaviors, you’re bound to experience times when you criticize yourself and feel guilty. In my experience, guilt comes in to play when you know you should doing something – but didn’t. You know you should eat more vegetables. You know you should drink more water. You know you should limit alcohol.

Guilt comes in when you abandon your inner knowing, and choose actions that don’t serve you.

It is at this very moment that it’s critical to catch yourself amidst the self criticism and spend a few moments encouraging yourself. Reminding yourself that it’s ok to stumble. That next time you will choose better.

That you are worth achieving your goals.

I’m cheering for you. Please let me know in the comments below if you find this article helpful.

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