Learning to Love Today’s You

Lately, I’ve been making an effort to be more healthy. I used to pride myself on eating well and spending a few hours a week at the gym, but when I bought my house, began taking care of my parents, started a new relationship, etc. etc. etc., I found that the first thing I let go of was taking care of my own health.

I started by resolving to eat better: More lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Less fluffy stuff that doesn’t keep you full.

Then, I went back to the gym: More vigorous movement, things that make your heart pump and remind you of how vibrant and alive you are.

These practices made me realize something else, though: I have forgotten how to be kind to my body. I have forgotten how to love the place I inhabit, even as I try to make it healthier. This is evidenced by the thoughts I had, the last time I didn’t feel so good. Here’s an example:

Thoughts that come to my brain when something hurts:

1. You’re probably imagining it.
2. You’re not imagining it but it’s almost nothing.
3. You’re such a baby compared to everyone else in the world.
4. This happens to everyone but they deal with it better than you.
5. It’s because you weigh too much.
6. It’s because you did something stupid.

So, in addition to my nutrition and my physical health, I’m starting a project of caring for my personal, or maybe emotional, health. When that voice in my head says those things, I’m learning how to reframe them from a place of understanding and kindness. Here’s an example:

Things that I’m learning to say in response:

1. You’re not imagining anything. Even if you were, that would be your brain trying to tell you something. You should listen to it!
2. If your body wants you to know something, then you should know it. If your brain wants to occupy itself with this problem, then it’s not nothing.
3. a. probably not true b. who cares?
4. We all have our own pains. You don’t begrudge anyone else theirs, so why would you begrudge yourself your own?
5. No.
6. You don’t control the universe. Fortunately, this means that things are allowed to happen without them being some moral failing on your part.

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