Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional.
What is so hard about this story is that it is not an anomaly. This is what I hear from my clients Every. Single. Day.
But I want to use this as an example because it was profound, clear, and instant in our initial consult.
I was on a video client chat with someone I hadn’t spoken to in a couple of years. She said she needed a personal training session to get to the bottom of her abdominal injury and issues with weight management. No problem.
“Well,” she began, “I have gained ten pounds and I have this belly problem that I have never really addressed and I look in the mirror and I hate myself.”
She kept going.
“Wait Wait Wait…” I stopped her. “Go back. We have been talking for 2 minutes and I already heard ‘I hate myself.'”
I gave her about 30 seconds of my thoughts on “I hate myself,” and she was in tears.
There is a lot to this session and our discovery during this time together, but I need us to stay here for today and isolate this statement :
“I hate myself.”
What happens on the inside of you when you hate yourself? What happens to how your mind and body behave when you say to your miraculous, incredible self “I Hate You?”
I will tell you that it’s not health and healing.
In the women and men I serve, when I find this message… usually it’s more underlying and I have to slowly uncover their self loathing messages… true progress in the mission at hand, which in many cases is core stability recovery and weight loss, can’t happen. At least not long term.
I’ve seen some significant improvements in the body…. short term. I have seen people beat themselves into submission and force a quick weight loss, hating themselves and the process, all the way through it. But it’s never been sustainable.
Not until the reason behind the body connection comes from a place of Love.
Which is hard, right?
It’s hard because you are angry. Angry with yourself for not having gotten farther by now. Angry with your situation because it feels impossible. Angry with your body because it just won’t do what you’re trying to force it to do.
Think about this plan when you’re trying to help someone else… maybe your child.
Have you ever tried to force an outcome for a child? Have you ever pushed a child to make them do something… but the energy from the place is not one of Love?
Maybe you haven’t done that… but you can imagine. Imagine your child or yourself at a young, tender age, and imagine you pushing that child into submission.
What is the outcome?
Not a long term change, right? Most likely, the outcome is long term trauma!
Shifting to an energy of Love
OK, Carrie, so I hate myself and you’re telling me I need to come at this from a place of Love. Hoooooowwww?
For many people in my generation (Xers), this is extremely difficult, because a lot of the adult role models we had growing up were forcers. Corporal punishers. Angry yellers. And the result was trauma, but it was a result that we emulate because that’s what we know.
We have instilled that adult model that we knew into our own thinking because we thought it was the way to get it done.
But in your real heart and mind, especially now that you have had other life experiences, you know that is simply not the Truth.
So let’s start there. Let’s start with the Truth.
What is the Truth?
You might start sabotaging yourself again. Your ego might pipe up with “I’m lazy,” “I’m no good at athletic stuff,” or “I can’t control myself.” That’s simply not true.
So, ask again. What is the Truth?
Start peeling it back. Start finding what is really True for you. Are you sensitive? Kind? hard working? Loving? Generous? OK. That’s more like it.
Now, stay in THAT place of being. That place where your True Self can show up. Now. What can we do next that is the next best step to taking care of ourselves?
Is it to eat something nourishing? Take a walk in nature? Get some rest?
Those are all good answers! Go there!
This is going to take practice and more than this one little article. This is going to take minute by minute catching yourself with a hateful thought and finding the next best thought and the next best action to get you to the next best place.
This is how you can actively begin to Love yourself.
I have found, in my experience, that THEN you can start to heal, to be on track to a healthy weight for yourself, to feel good, and to be in tune with your mind, body, and spirit.
Let’s start there.
I also recommend listening to and reading the work of Gabby Bernstein for more help along this vein.