For most of my life I thought that loving myself was a bad thing. At school there was always bullying around girls for being in love with themselves.
Phrases like “oh you think you’re so good, you love yourself!” or “wow look at her she loves herself so much she is so stuck up!” are phrases that stand out in my mind…. I have to say I loved the boots I was wearing!! It was always on casual clothes day that I was bullied, and it was because I wore cowgirl boots with a skirt or over my jeans… It was my thing, I was very boho and did not wear the brand name stuff.
Looking at it now I was just part of the free world and loved being me. But this message about loving myself too much lead me to be very hard on myself and always criticize myself to the point that I was never happy with what I looked like…. I spent my teen years wishing I looked like someone else.
So how did I get past this way of thinking and learn to love myself?
#1 Start to love yourself!
I had to go within, I had to start being kind to myself and tell myself new messages. I started looking in the mirror and saying nice things to myself especially “I Love You”.
I started buying and wearing the clothes I like and started being grateful for my life. I set small goals for myself to achieve, like getting more sleep, exercising, nourishing myself well. Stopping myself from focusing on the negative things and always look for the positive things. Learning to put the outside messages from others in one hand and throw them away at the end of the day.
#2 Get focused on you!
As a mum I found it hard to focus on myself because my responsibility is to my children, I always thought that came first. But one of the biggest lessons I learned was if I was pouring from and empty cup I was no good to my family.
So, I started to focus on me, doing things for myself first.
I went back to studying things that I was interested in, I made time to get my hair done, I would sit down for 30 mins each day and read a book or just rest. I started doing personal development by attending seminars and workshops.
I made myself important, I told myself it is ok to make time to do nothing. It’s ok ladies we should do this….
#3 Avoid fear and Panic
I had spent so many years living in fear… Fear of not being liked for what I wore, what I spoke about, what I believed in and what I looked like.
I would panic when I was going out because I never thought I looked good, I would panic that I might say something that someone else did not agree with. I would panic that people could see all my fears and I always felt vulnerable.
It was such a stressful process for me!
I had to change my thought pattern around this and so I started to find things to look forward to. I told myself that it was ok to be me, it’s ok to have my own thoughts and opinions. I learnt about deep breathing and how that could calm a panic attack. I changed my feeling of fear for excitement to become a better person, to keep growing and evolving.
When I felt fear creeping in I would ask myself ‘What is exciting about this’ and I would focus on that to get past the fear.
#4 Be kind, Show Love and Gratitude!
From being bullied as a child I became a cold person who walked around thinking I was better than others. I had formed this tough exterior to protect myself and that was to hide my fear and pain. By doing this I was unkind to others, not something I’m proud of.
While this was hard at first, I made an effort to be kind to others.
I started to smile at strangers, I would say hello when I was out walking, I would offer help when I felt people needed it. Instead of arguing back with someone over something I would try to see it from their point of view or I would walk away. I started being grateful for my life and for my family.
I made the choice to get up early every day, go for a walk get fresh air and be grateful for all the beautiful things around me. The biggest thing I did was say I love you more to the people in my life. I think that most of the time we assume that our loved ones know we love them so we do not say it enough. I made a conscious effort to tell my important people that I love them, that they are special to me and that I was always there for them.
#5 Nourish To Support Health Through Food!
Food is medicine and I never understood this until my youngest son struggled with health issues for the first 3 years of his life.
To me eating was just something we had to do daily, I had never considered that the quality of the food impacted our mental health and our over all health. Once I started to connect the dots for my son’s poor health issues I made simple changes to our diet and lifestyle that changed my whole life.
I no longer struggled with fatigue, my hormones started to balance out, I felt good about myself and I really started to love the person I saw in the mirror. My life became amazing and since then I have never looked back!
I eat well every day, I ensure my boys eat well and that they know the benefits of eating nutrient dense foods. I share my love of fresh foods and green smoothies with students in the classroom teaching them the messages that food has in our bodies. I shop at the farmers market to support farmers and eat local produce and I’m always learning about the connection food has in our bodies.
These changes had the biggest impact on my children’s health and as their Mum I know I’m now setting the right example for them.
For me my life is still a crazy mess at times!
I can be easily pulled into the negative messages from the outside world. But I have now got great strong techniques and disciplines that I can pull myself back.
I love my life, I have an amazing family, my two beautiful boys keep me young and always looking for the fun in life and my amazing husband keeps me grounded when I go a little off track with my thoughts and focus. All of us together work as a team to build a strong fit healthy family full of laughter fun and adventure.
Be sure to love yourself continue to learn about who you are and what your passion in life is. Be authentic and adventurous and always nourish yourself with nutrient dense foods, quality drinking water, healing herbs and spices with a little bit of raw chocolate for fun.
You are worth it everyday.
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GLOW HEALTH & LIFESTYLE
Bree is a Certified Integrative Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach, with over 8 years experience educating on gut health, lifestyle changes, family health and personal development. She is the founder of Glow Health & Lifestyle where Bree supports Women & Families with sustainable Gut Healing & Lifestyle Choices for overall wellness.
Her interest in health started when her youngest son was experiencing health issues. She turned to the Live Clean Lifestyle and has never looked back!
As a mum, Bree believes we need to set a good example for our children so that they can live happy, healthy lives which is “their birthright and our responsibility.” As a woman Bree believes we need to love ourselves more, and we need to empower ourselves and each other through positive health daily habits.
Bree’s mission is to help improve children’s health by teaching them to love fresh foods through understanding the messages food has in the body, and to improve women’s health by teaching them to invest in themselves through selflove and healthy lifestyle habits.