No matter what you think about Valentine’s day, it’s upon us once again….

So I have decided to write about love, and more specifically, why we struggle so much to genuinely love ourselves.

What on earth has this got to do with quitting dieting? I hear you ask!

Well – a lot, really.

Diet culture sets us up to be at war with ourselves. Everyday we’re inundated with impossible beauty ideals, pummelled with fat fear and thin worship, and made to feel like we’re not ‘enough’ unless we buy their products. These dangerous messages sink into our brains until they actually become our thoughts. And these thoughts are anything but loving and kind! Many of us have a nasty ‘inner judge’, a little voice which criticises, puts us down, and totally believes that we’re not-as-good-as everyone else.

It’s this horrible little voice of judgement – our inner heckler – which makes us so susceptible to the weight loss industry. Diet culture and the weight loss wolves LOVE that we hate ourselves, because then we are incredibly profitable consumers.

The heckler makes it impossible for you to see the truth: that you are, and ALWAYS HAVE BEEN, enough.

You are enough.

Just as you are. Even if you’re really big. Even if you’re struggling to look at yourself in the mirror. Even if you’re the heaviest you’ve ever been. No matter what your body looks like, no matter what you are going through, you are enough.

I know that for many, the inner heckler is objecting mightily to the above statement. It doesn’t want you to see it. But it is true. You are enough.

It’s a bit of a process to shift from being ruled by your inner heckler to truly believing that you are just fine the way you are. I am a huge fan of teaching self-compassion skills, which essentially means learning to become your own best friend rather than continuing to be ruled by your inner worst enemy. I love self-compassion so much that I wrote a book about it, and it’s a foundational skill which we talk a lot about in UNTRAPPED.

An easy place to start with all of this is to ask yourself, what would I say to someone I dearly loved, if they were going through this? And if the answer is very different to what your inner judge is saying, notice that difference…and start listening to the kinder voice.

We can’t hate ourselves into good self care. We look after the things we value. We nurture what we treasure. So starting today, on Valentine’s day, be a little kinder to yourself, and see what comes from that!