And don’t you forget it.
Taking care of yourself is the best way you can love yourself. And more than that taking care of yourself is also a good way to show love. Whether you are a mother, a father, a daughter, a son or a best friend, someone out there is invested in your being healthy. You owe it to yourself and the people you love to be at your best.
When I see someone whose behaviors are detrimental to her health, I see someone who doesn’t love herself and certainly can’t love others.
Perhaps I am guilty of oversimplifying the psychology behind why we do the things we do. We all have varying motivations and we all have bad habits. We all do something that isn’t in our best interest. I have bad habits as well. The least of which is watching Ghost Whisperer religiously (Yes, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s show – you can stop laughing now). But I also have good habits. Habits that help lower my cholesterol. Habits that make sure I get plenty of rest. Habits that prevent me from spending more than I make.
Some would argue that eating and drinking anything and everything is a way of showing love. But is it really? The occasional indulgence? Maybe. But caving in day in and day out to whatever you want is not love. It’s a short-sighted panacea meant to temporarily fix a deeper problem or need. Sure, you could do it every day till you died which would be soon… if you’re lucky. At worst, it’ll catch up with you and lead to a prolonged, painful illness. Who can afford that? No one.
I’m going to boldly put it out there that my good habits outweigh my bad ones. I do all these good things because I want to be healthy and independent for as long as I can. I want to age gracefully. I want to make sure that my husband and my family don’t have to worry about me. I want to dance at my niece’s wedding. I want to drive through the country in an Airstream RV when I retire.
You can’t fully love others if you don’t love yourself and if you truly loved yourself you would do as much as you could to be healthy, happy and whole. It sounds so simple but I know it’s not easy. But remember that sometimes the whole is made up of small, good decisions made everyday with a goal in mind.
But you have to start somewhere and you have to start now. There is no more time to waste. Whether the new year has inspired you or you’ve simply made the decision to start, I am here. To help. To love. And to support.
If you have any tips to help someone get on their way or if you have a story to share, I would love to hear it here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends! May 2012 be your best year yet!
Image via Flickr (creative commons) by TonyHall.