Self-Love for Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, and we could all benefit from loving ourselves a little more. For some, that might mean having a bubble bath, or booking yourself in for a massage or to get your nails done. Self-love comes in many forms, but the radical kind of self-love, goes deeper and involves challenging that inner self-critic, noting what you’re grateful for, and talking to yourself with kindness and care. It’s a tough world out there, and there are constant messages on social media, from peers and from magazines to try this diet, or that diet, or the ‘anti-diet’ which is probably still just a diet if we’re being honest, all in a quest to appear more beautiful, or more successful. 


Diets put a lot of internal pressure on ourselves to be better and do more and attain some level of perfection or achievement, or to grant us permission to let go of self-consciousness. It can become an endless cycle, sometimes, of disappointment, especially if you tend to be particularly hard on yourself. It’s important to regularly remind yourself that you do enough and you are enough, and that your weight does not define you. 

Following strict eating regimes or excluding specific food groups, can go against your body’s natural rhythms and intuition. So here is reminder of why we need all those food groups:

  • Fearing and avoiding carbs can mean you aren’t getting one of the main sources of energy and B vitamins and fibre. Those wholegrains can help keep you regular, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease and reduce the risk of some cancers. They also provide food for our gut bacteria.
  • Cutting out fat can make you feel bloated, lethargic and not satisfied by your meals. We need some fat to give food flavour, and to provide warmth and cushioning for your bones, plus to help transport the fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K).
  • Cutting out dairy removes a really rich source of calcium and iodine from your diet, and yoghurts contain beneficial bacteria for your gut health.  

Diets put a lot of internal pressure on ourselves to be better and do more and attain some level of perfection or achievement, or to grant us permission to let go of self-consciousness. It can become an endless cycle, sometimes, of disappointment, especially if you tend to be particularly hard on yourself. It’s important to regularly remind yourself that you do enough and you are enough, and that your weight does not define you

At the same time, it’s good to keep an awareness of why you may reach for higher energy snacks and treats like cakes, biscuits, chocolates, sweets and pastries that become more of a habit than a treat, or a bit of support on a bad day. Are there other ways of feeling better within yourself? Could you open up to a friend or take a walk or chill out with the latest season you’re in to on TV?   

To love yourself is to nourish yourself. Pandora Paloma says it so well in her book, Intuitive Living, ‘you can eat all the right foods, do the right exercise, and meditate for hours a day, but if your relationship with yourself isn’t based on kindness and compassion, you will never reach true health and you will never thrive in life’. It’s not just a case of doing the right things but listening and responding to your unique needs.

Maybe the best diet for yourself is to cut down on negative thinking, skip the critique of every lump and bump, and embrace yourself as you are. 

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