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The Self Love Lie

Self Love Sunday. I’m such a big fan of nurturing our minds, bodies and spirits so we can truly live and give our all in this crazy life we’ve found ourselves in. And it sure as shit shouldn’t just be once a week we fill our cup.

As a mum, a journalist, and free spirited adult still behaving like I’m in my early 20’s a bit too often, I’m all for enjoying the good things in life. I can’t imagine being deprived of chocolate. Or mum’s golden syrup dumplings. Overindulging at Christmas. A relaxing glass of red after a long day. Or way too many tequilas with the girls.

But this whole self love thing is starting to worry me. I'm starting to think it's been taken over by the plus size industry, and to an extent its customers who are so happy to finally have their say and place in society where they feel safe and loved. And so they should feel safe and loved, absolutely.

But in Australia almost two thirds of the population aged 18 & over are considered overweight or obese, and a quarter of children aged 2-11. That’s a bit of a worry. What is this movement teaching our kids about body love, when obesity is known to contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease? Not to mention having a big impact on overall quality of life.

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about diagnosed health conditions that impact someone’s ability to lose weight, I have a few friends in this category and they look after themselves incredibly well. They have to.

I am talking about those who eat crap week after week, joke about their weight and skinny girls, can’t be stuffed exercising, and are happy to label themselves as big boned, genetically large, or just proudly fat. And just as happy to label those who actually care about their health as “punishing” or “starving” themselves just to try and look like Victoria’s Secret models. And yes some girls do that too, but that’s not body love either, it’s simply the other extreme of body abuse.

I’m certainly no fitness model, calorie counting gym junkie. And I definitely don’t believe body love is about being a size 6 with 2% body fat. Unless that’s what makes YOU happy, in an empowered, love your life kind of way,

For me, it’s about nourishing my body with some regular exercise and absorbable nutrients it can use to do its thing properly while I go about enjoying life. Time with family and friends, a good book, a long walk, watching the sunrise, a kiss, kickboxing, snuggling with my kids, getting the f@#k away from them for 10 mins, my fave tunes full blast, a road trip, writing, chocolate and a good ol’ cry. Yoga, crystal clear rivers, red wine, experiencing new destinations, the smell of gum trees, late nights, learning something new and pushing through my own limitations. For you it could look completely different

Everything aside, a healthy, strong body and mind should be the very basics of self-love. Feeling energised. Laughing more than crying. Being kind more than bitchy. Feeling good about ourselves, knowing that despite stuffing up occasionally we do the best we can on the day. It’s learning to accept our imperfections, but always striving to grow. It's about balance, tipped in favour of giving our bodies and mind what they need to thrive.

We should be empowering our kids to take control of their mental and physical health, not give them excuses to treat themselves like crap and hide the resulting problems behind “love your body no matter what size it is but keep treating it like crap” revolution.

Yes love your body no matter what. But you have a choice how you treat the one vehicle we’ve been given to walk this earth in. Be kind to it. Have some balance. And love the shit out of yourself.

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