I’m not going to tell you that nobody can love you until you learn to love yourself.
That’s like me saying: “If you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT YOU MASSIVE FAILURE!” And that’s just not right.
Loving yourself is worth it for it's own benefits. Do you enjoy spending this lifetime that you have, with you? Do you help and encourage yourself to succeed? Or do you lie to yourself and cheat on yourself and wonder why you’re not happy?
From a young age, we are told that people who love themselves are narcissistic and downright awful people. For one girl to accuse another of loving herself is possibly worse in the scale of school-girl put-downs than being called 'fat' or a 'slut'.
Do I love myself? Yes, I do (cringe). If I don’t love myself, then what do I feel about me? I’m okay, I suppose? I can’t really stand myself, but I’m all I’ve got so I’ll have to put up with me?
Kamal Ravikant says, in his book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, that you must tell yourself you love yourself all the time. Every day. Make a date for yourself and tell yourself you love yourself. It’s certainly worth a try. What’s to lose?
Personally, I found that taking myself to the gym and learning the art and discipline of lifting is what triggered it all off for me. I’m going to tell you how I think it all happened.
Lifting, gives a person a certain swagger, vitality and ability to look you right in the eyeball that, in my opinion, no other training form does.
Feeling strong, feeling fit and feeling good about yourself engenders confidence.
You’ll see it at the gym, in every client testimonial video we film and if you’ve met our trainers, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Not everyone will like you better this way. Focus on the ones who do; they’re the ones who will encourage you to blossom and fly.
There are no half reps in lifting. You either complete the rep, or you don’t. We’ve all said, “That was really eight-and-a-half,” and sort of meant it, but deep down, if you’re training right, you know it was eight reps. You also know whether eight was a good result for you or not that day. This internal, frank dialogue will develop within you and enable you to be honest with yourself with increasing comfort and levity.
3. You won’t be afraid to fail
When you train for progress, you seek your limits and push them. You fail frequently in a controlled manner, in order to see your abilities increase. This isn’t failure from a lack of effort or aptitude or from carelessness. It’s how we explore our potential and learn. Upped the weight too soon? Got a bit ahead of yourself? No problem. Drop it down, check your form and keep training. You’ll soon move forwards.
4. You’ll feel epic
Your whole body will function better if you exercise and eat well. You already know that. Weight training, in particular, is known to develop strong bones and joints as well as strong muscles. You’ll relish your food and sleep well. Bad days, weeks or even years will be less overwhelming because you will have the confidence, accountability and resilience to knuckle down and find your way through.
5. You’ll look fabulous
That higher muscle mass and lower fat mass from lifting weights will show. Lifting is great for your posture and this, in turn, helps you to think clearly and feel good.
Other people will also treat you with greater respect if you literally keep your chin up and this will, in turn, boost your confidence. This isn’t about turning back the clock and being someone you aren’t. I certainly don’t want to be 20 again and I’m not alone in that point of view (no offence, 20-year-olds).
What’s not to love?
What’s certain to me is that lifting has made a large contribution to my developing outlook, the decisions I’ve made and where I am right now. It’s made me see myself and the world around me in a particular way and made me care about myself enough to say and do things that I don’t think I would have done if I hadn’t learned what it takes to lift. It’s more than just picking stuff up and putting it down again.
I’m fairly sure that learning to lift will make you fall in love with yourself more every day.
What’s not to love about that?