Mama to 3 girls, Wife to an amazing Hubby, and creator of Body Image Builder. I help Moms learn to love who they are mind, body and soul using my background in Personal Training, Nutrition Coaching and Yoga. More free tips on health and happiness at JennieCarlson.com

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How do I Love me? Let me Count the Ways!

Hello Beautiful You!

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said to yourself how much you love yourself?  If you’re like most women your answer was probably a scoff slash chuckle then silently wondered ‘do people really do that’?  Yes people really do that and No they’re not being egotistical or full of themselves.

Self-Love is a foreign concept these days and this makes me sad.  Self-Love is not about being self-centered or cocky it’s about recognizing how important you are at your core.  This core may be called, heart, soul, spirit, light, source energy, whatever feels right and true for you.

When you live through this core you take care of yourself with loving-kindness, grace, forgiveness, patience, and joy. When you truly love who you are you will take care of yourself with good foods, movement, positive healthy habits, inspirational relationships, and all around positive environments.  You’ll no longer abuse yourself with harmful addictions, toxic relationships, and negative thoughts.

Here is a list of ways that Self-Love can be used for your good (with the right intention behind them).

  1. “Early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  Benjamin Franklin knew the importance of self-love through taking care of our physical bodies.  When you burn the candle at both ends you’re body is exhausted and your mind will be fuzzy.  Do yourself a favor and get some rest.
  2. Self-Love Shower.  As you do another act of self-care by washing your physical body of dirt and grim, visualize the water also washing away the negativity you have of your body.  For example while washing your arms instead of noticing how jiggly they are thank them for reaching out to help and hug people and how beautiful they are when they hold others up.
  3. Smile!  There are studies done on how smiling (whether it’s authentic or fake) can enhance your mood.  Look at yourself in the mirror and instead of frowning at the muffin top coming out of your jeans, look in your eyes and Smile!
  4. Move your body!  Do what feels good and authentic to you.  Maybe it’s walking, skiing, swimming, dancing, yoga, kickboxing, whatever makes you feel more alive do more of it!  This is the only body you get in this lifetime so you might as well take care of it.
  5. Infuse your food with joy and gratitude.  Ok this may be a little more hokey than the Self-Love Shower but trust me on this one.  When was the last time you ate and actually paid attention to it?  We live in a world where multi-tasking should be considered and Olympic Event…especially as Moms.  Choose a meal where there aren’t too many distractions and look at it, smell it, savor the bite, chew it fully, and swallow it with joy and gratitude for the energy that it will give your body to heal and move.
  6. Journaling is something that you hear a lot of people saying you should do because ‘it’s good for you.’  I’m one of those people and here’s why…it helps you get out of your head.  We’re in our head so much that a lot of the things that go on in there seem real.  All those ‘what-if’ scenarios can really bog us down.  Solution?  Write them down, get them out of your head and onto paper.  From there you can look over them and see if they have any validity.  If not…rip it up, burn it, throw it away. Writing can help clear your mind so start a journal!
  7. Service.  Ok, I know I’m talking about Self-Love here so how does helping someone else serve me?  Buddha says, “If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”  Basically I’m telling you to serve others to in turn serve yourself.  That’s not selfish if you go about it with the right intention.
  8. Drink more water!  This also means drink less Diet Coke (or whatever your poison is)!  We’re lucky to live in a world where there is fresh, clean water at the turn of a lever or push of a button yet the majority of us are chronically dehydrated.  You are over half water so as a rule of thumb you need to be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily.  If you’re 150lbs you need to drink 75 ounces of water. 150/2= 75.  That 64 oz Diet Coke you pounded at lunchtime to wake you up is only making your more dehydrated and tired and it’s only 10 oz away from the amount of water you need to drink daily.  You can do it!
  9. Accept Compliments!  For some reason we feel we need to be ‘humble’ so we can’t accept compliments without a back story or explanation.  You know how it goes…someone says, “I love your hair!” and you answer, “Oh you’re nice, I didn’t have time to shower today so I just threw it up into this sock bun thingy, it’s actually really gross.”  Instead of saying, “Thank you!”  and accepting it as it is.  Denying a compliment is like throwing dirt in the pie the neighbor made you and telling them your not good enough to deserve pie.  Bull-Honkey!  How did you feel the last time you complimented someone and they ‘humbly’ turned it down.  Sucks doesn’t it?  Complimenting someone could fall under the ‘Service’ category but if someone won’t allow you to serve them it’s kind of a fail.  So…do yourself and the other person a favor and just accept the compliment.  “Heck yes my hair looks great today, thanks!” and Smile 🙂
  10. Forgive yourself for not being perfect!  Just because you CAN do anything doesn’t mean you HAVE to do everything!  You’re only human!  Give yourself a break and let yourself know it’s ‘OK’ to mess up, it’s ‘OK’ to fall behind, it’s ‘OK’ to not get it all right.  We are our own worst critics and I give you permission to fire that mean inner critic.  You can choose the voices you hear in your head so why not hire one who’s going to help you get back up after you fall and tell you, “it’s ok, you did your best, lets keep going from here.”  You would NEVER hang out with someone who talked to you the way you do, so STOP!  Take it easy on yourself!  You deserve it just because you keep trying over and over and over again.  It doesn’t matter if you get it right or wrong or only half way done…you did it.  That counts for a lot!

You are an amazing, beautiful, talented, funny, generous, loving, kind woman!  Take some of that greatness and give back to yourself! Like the image below, take time for what you need.

12-25-2012 024  Kristin Dudish Image

Love,

Jennie Carlson

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