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Beating Kevin

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Love YOURSELF as your neighbor

Love YOURSELF as your neighbor.

This is my new take on the Golden rule, "Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 18:19)." I think it needs some rewriting for those of us who are our own worst critic. When a friend in a meeting has a weight gain at the scale, our group gives encouragement to not get stuck on the gain, but to move forward. We proclaim that we all have weeks that don't reflect our hard work and that it will show up next week OR if they just had a tough week of eating we coach them to shake it off, learn what works and what doesn't and keep going. Now, try telling that to YOURSELF and your mind resists the kindness.

When I have set backs, it is so hard not to feel like a failure. Even little weight gains leave me feeling inept and suddenly I lose sight of all of my previous triumphs. Even if I try and boost myself up, something inside won't let me forgive myself. If I'm feeling particularly down on myself after a gain, my mind will sabotage me with little disparaging remarks and I'll begin to believe them:

"I think this might become a pattern."
"This is the beginning of gaining all the weight back."
"You were bad."

How many times have I heard others and myself say to the people weighing us in, "I was bad this week." WE WERE NOT BAD. We may have made choices that don't help with weight loss, but it says nothing about our character. Negative speak doesn't get us anywhere. In fact those thoughts can become self fulfilling prophecies if we don't practice being kinder to ourselves. That is why we must love ourselves as our neighbor. 

Here is how we can put it into practice: Imagine that whatever set back you had actually happened to your best friend (not in a sadistic way). What would you say to him or her? 

"We all have hard weeks."
"You'll come back strong next week."
"Every challenge helps us know ourselves better."

Try this one. It is my FAVORITE new saying about set backs: "one step forward and one step back isn't a disaster, it's a CHA-CHA!"

Now literally say that OUT LOUD to yourself. Close the door if you don't want people to start thinking you're hearing voices and talking to yourself. But say it out loud. We have to start being as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends. 

In order to fulfill the commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself," you must first know how to love yourself. It may take practice, but self love will keep us strong and focussed. And we're worth it.   

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