Valentine’s Day is all about saying “I love you” in all sorts of ways. I love that!
But you know what? I think most of forget that we need to love ourselves, too, and show love to ourselves in all sorts of ways. No, that’s not selfish. It’s essential!
Okay . . . so that probably sounds right, even if hard to do sometimes.
How about this: Eating healthfully is an act of self-love!
I think most of us think we’re loving ourselves when we buy our favorite unhealthy treats!
So I’d like to look at it from a different perspective, and see if it changes anything.
If we look at the bigger picture, is it really loving to give someone you love something that will ultimately harm them?
If you have a small child who really, really wants to play with scissors, is it loving to let her do that? No matter how much we know she would delight in the immediate joy of being handed the scissors, our greater wisdom and foresight, partnered with our love for her, would stop us from giving her the scissors. We know it wouldn’t be loving to put her at risk of harm.
Most of us don’t think much about the effects of the food we eat, and what we give others to eat. We think mostly about the taste. But the truth is, a huge amount of harm results from eating the Standard American Diet.
So let’s go back to loving ourselves. Eating foods that will help us feel good, enjoy great health, and have lots of energy IS an act of love!
Eating foods that will make us fat, sick, and miserable is NOT an act of love.
I think the biggest barrier to our making loving decisions for ourselves regarding food — and other lifestyle choices — is the lag time between consuming the food and experiencing the results. If we felt horribly sick within minutes of eating unhealthy food, we’d almost certainly note the correlation and have NO DESIRE to eat that food again.
But the heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and even obesity don’t happen instantly. We generally get to wait years before we experience these results, so we either don’t see the correlation — or it seems unimportant to us because we don’t have to “pay” right away.
Seeing healthy eating as a true act of loving yourself takes away all the feelings of deprivation you might feel if you’re just trying to force yourself to eat better. But because of old habitual ways of thinking, as well as acting, it will help to remind yourself every time you eat that you are choosing to eat healthfully as an act of love.
Happy Valentines Day!
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Delisa is a plant-based nutrition and cooking instructor in Alaska. She believes that we are designed to be slim and healthy.