Thursday, June 10, 2010


For years, I have been receiving daily e-mail meditations from They are inspiring and grounding. Some days I delete them before reading, because I am just too busy. Of course, those are the days I should be reading them most. They are short, but in most cases, powerful. And they are free.

The following information comes from one of the site's weekly articles, much longer than the meditations, but equally informative. The topic is self-love, something I am beginning to realize just might be the key to dieting success. Because if you really think about weight, if you really, really loved yourself, wouldn't you want your body to function at it's optimal level, which means feeding it only nourishing foods? As a mother, I never gave my children everything they wanted because they would have grown up to be people I would never want to be around. They had limitations, but we made those limitations because we loved them dearly and only had their best interests at heart. I would never let my kids eat a package of Twizzlers in one sitting. Then why should I let myself?

As a child, I memorized that Christ wanted me to love others as I love myself. In reality, self-love was mixed with a heaping does of guilt, and the true way was to put the feelings of others before mine. For me, it became a recipe for self-loathing.

Enough about me: On to the practical advice from Jane Powell's Meditations for Women. And maybe, if I take this information to heart, I'll be able to let go of some of the baggage from my childhood! She claims the formula to achieve self love is a only three easy steps. I don't know about you, but I have learned easy steps don't always translate into an easy plan of action.

1. Let go of what others think of you. This is something that often grips at your heart. It is easier if you step back and get a really big view. How important is it really? Take a couple of deep breaths and ask yourself the magic question, "How much will this matter in a week, month, year or more?" Answer truthfully and you might decide that it was not as important as your first reaction indicated.

2. Acknowledge yourself for your gifts. You are the only 'YOU' there is. No one is exactly like you. Make a list of 10 things that are special about you. Now do this every day for a week. By week's end you will have 70 different things you appreciate about yourself. If you get stuck ask others for ideas. What do they see? What do they appreciate about you? If you have never asked this question of others get ready to be happily surprised.

3. Be Happy. Do, at least, one thing each day that makes you smile. Who do you prefer to be around? Someone who is grumpy or happy? Be the person you want to be around. It makes loving yourself much easier. Even really small mini changes here can bring huge results. Watch a funny program and laugh. Post smiling faces all over the house to remind you that when you smile stress is released. No one around to hug you? Give yourself a big bear hug and say "I love you."

Easy? Number two already has me stumped! But I've printed three copies of these steps. One is in my wallet, one for my computer at home, and the third for my computer at work.


  1. 70 things???? Really??? I'm having trouble with that. I think I could come up with maybe the first 10 I appreciate about me. That's a hard one!

  2. Oh my oh my. So much to contemplate here.

    Some quickie thoughts though. Yes, self-love means you wouldn't want your body to not look or feel good. But loving ourselves also can involve feeding ourselves with the things we love. There's a built-in paradox here. Which is more important -- the way we look or the way we nourish? This is hard Val, which is why the diet struggle is so hard. I want to look good and if I am good to myself I wouldn't let it get fat and flabby. On the other hand, I can't even think about not having popcorn at the movies or butter on my baked potato. And I like a bagel, or even half, at breakfast, once in a while. And a Chinese Cookie from the bakery across the street from my eye doctor (whom I see twice a year). This is endless. The answer is always -- eat everything in moderation. Unfortunately, if we are a few (or even more than a few) pounds overweight, we have to do more to get to the right weight so we can start our "eat in moderation mode." That's the hard part.

    As for the list of good qualities: it brings to mind an episode on the Honeymooners, where Ralph is writing such a list. The episode is hysterical partly because it is impossible to make the list for yourself. I suspect if you look at other people's lists of your good qualities it would be more interesting and telling to see what they have in common. I suspect you would appreciate that list.