• Let’s talk about love here. Name one to three things you love about yourself. What makes you special? Come on. Brag on yourself. It’s okay!

    From Linda Hopkins
    April 2, 2012

  • Linda,
    Excellent post! It was just what I needed to hear today. I love your suggestion that our uniqueness is also a call to be the best version of ourself we can be.

    From Lisette Volz
    April 2, 2012

Coaching Corner: To Lighten Up, Show Some Love

As a coach, I frequently hear people put themselves down, beat themselves up, lament what they are lacking, and virtually wallow in a quagmire of self-hatred and hopelessness. If you are having trouble acknowledging your own specialness—your value, your contribution, your reason for being—it’s no wonder you are struggling to lose weight and get healthy.

You see, to “lighten up” requires working from the inside out. It means mustering up some compassion for ourselves, forgiving ourselves for past transgressions and perceived shortcomings, finding our place and purpose in the world and letting go of old beliefs, habits and attitudes that stop us from being all that we can be. At the root of it all is self-love, and it starts with knowing your value.

I was struck by this when I lost my mother in 1987, ten years later when my grandmother joined her in heaven, again when my husband took his last breath in 2001 and recently when one of my beloved cats traveled over the “Rainbow Bridge.” When a person (or pet) leaves this world, there will never be another “them.” This realization bowls me over the same way as the vastness of the universe. I can’t just go out and get another mother or grandmother. I can remarry, but a new husband doesn’t take the place of the one who is gone; I can buy or adopt another cat, but it will have its own personality and place in my heart… Thankfully, the heart is expandable and there’s more love to go around. But it bears noting that each precious life is, in a word, irreplaceable.

So what does this tell me about me? It tells me that I am a unique creation—a distinctive combination of genetic material, yes, but also a product of my experiences along with my thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, interests, talents and flaws. There is no other person in the world just like me and there never will be. That’s a pretty powerful thought and one that leads me to feel a certain degree of responsibility. If there’s only one me, then I can’t afford to be anything less than the best version of me.

What about you? You are a one-of-a-kind creation. Like fingerprints, snowflakes and diamonds, you are different by design—exceptional, rare, a universal treasure. When you show up as less than your best, you are depriving the world and all who love you of your special gifts. So are you ready to lighten up?

Weight loss doesn’t start with counting calories or buying a gym membership. It starts with counting your blessings and buying into your worth. Loving yourself is the key. Don’t wait. Make a sign today that says, “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” Post it in a place where you will see it every day. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat the words until they become your truth. When you love yourself honestly, wholeheartedly and unconditionally, taking care of your body is a given, and the number on the scale will take care of itself.

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