A few weeks ago, we started talking about the 7 Fundamental Habits:
- Physical Health
- Connecting With Others
- Connecting With Yourself
This week, let’s talk more about the Physical Health habit. You are the foundation from which you give, and that foundation needs to be solid or giving in the other circles will be exhausting and unfulfilling. When you have good physical health you have more mental, emotional, and physical capacity to be generous with others.
Even if that wasn’t true, physical health is still fundamental, because it is an act of generosity to yourself. When you love yourself, you take care of your physical health.
Good physical health is: Being physically active every single day, eating foods that are good for you, sleeping well, and drinking enough water.
Good physical health is NOT: Being skinny. You are not your weight. How much you weigh measures one thing: the amount of gravity exerted on your body. That’s it. It doesn’t tell you if you’re healthy. It doesn’t tell if you are a good person or a bad person. It doesn’t tell you how much willpower you have.
It’s time to develop a positive body image that lets you accept where you’re at physically and the improvements you need to make while at the same time enjoying your body just as it is! You can have good self-esteem regardless of your physical body.
Let’s face it, if negative thoughts about our bodies actually caused us to lose weight, we’d all be skinny! A Glamour survey of more than 300 women of all sizes found that women have, on average, 13 negative body thoughts a day with 97 percent having at least one “I hate my body” thought each day.
Remarkably, it’s easier to lose weight when you have good self-esteem and acceptance of your body, because you are more likely to take actions that are good for your physical health.
But if you don’t lose weight, you don’t. There are worse things than being fat— like being mean, petty, or spiteful. Besides, your weight is not just affected by food and exercise but also genetic, biological, and digestive behaviors you have little to no control over. You focus on what you can control: being physically active, choosing appropriate amounts of good food, drinking plenty of water, and getting good night’s sleep.
For the next week, practice for two minutes each day this self-acceptance exercise designed by Nathaniel Branden in The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. Stand in front of a full-length mirror, looking at yourself, all the parts you like and don’t like, and say, “Whatever my defects and imperfections, I accept myself unreservedly and completely. Right now, that’s me. I don’t deny the fact. I accept it.” If you experience severe resistance to accepting yourself, start with “I refuse to accept my body and I refuse to accept my refusal.”
P.S. Leave a comment about how you feel about your body and check out this super fun and catchy body love anthem.