On Sunday, March 8th, we celebrated International Women’s Day. Whenever I think of Women’s Day, I think of Maya Angelou and her poem “Phenomenal Woman.” The first time I heard it, I was brought to tears. It speaks of the power and possibility of women.
In my work, I encounter many women who hate themselves and/or their bodies. Their motive to lose weight is usually because they don’t feel acceptable and they’re hoping losing weight will shore up a sense of inadequacy or poor self-esteem. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that self-hatred won’t give them the weight loss results they’re looking for.
As a woman, it deeply saddens me to see other women colluding in their own oppression as they waste their precious life energy loathing their bodies and often their very being.
Ladies, don’t you realize this is what a male dominated system wants of you?
As long as you’re busy hating yourself, the system can prey upon you, take your money, your life energy, keep you down, and steal your very soul. For as long as you hate yourself, you cannot achieve your true potential in life. As a woman, you have been given the special gift of bearing life and bringing love to the world. Love is the one and only true power of transformation. You can’t be a vessel of love if you’re busy hating the vessel you’re carrying it in.
Think of all the time and energy you have put into losing weight and/or beating yourself up about it or your body. Now think how different your life would look if you took that same energy and channeled it towards developing your gifts, career, relationships, and talents. Your world would look quite a bit different wouldn’t it?
This may be a radical idea to some of you but losing weight as an act of self-love and acceptance is the only way to achieve phenomenal and lasting weight loss results. Why? Because your motivation is learning how to love and care for yourself. Self-love is a verb and to love yourself means to pay attention to and care for yourself.
You have to love yourself enough to think you’re worthy of that and to make yourself enough of a priority to put that into practice. This means you’ve got to stop feeding yourself scraps and stand up and say, “I matter. I’m worthy of my own care, attention, and respect. I’m not going to settle for less any longer!”
Women who manage to lose weight through extreme self-denial and self-loathing never keep it off for long because their minds and bodies are a battleground – and unfortunately the so called “enemy” (their body and appetite) usually wins.
Be a radical. Practice self-love in a system that wants you to hate yourself. You have nothing to lose but your fat and self-loathing.
You possess the divine power to transform the world.
It all starts with you.
Be who you are.
Love who you are.
Right now where you are.
You are PHENOMENAL.
We often get so caught up in what’s wrong about ourselves, our bodies, and our lives, that we don’t take stock in the fact that we are unique individuals, worthy of our own respect and care. Here are some questions that will help you take an inventory that you can use to acknowledge the good in you. Refer to it often to remind yourself of your phenomenal awesomeness when you feel down, discouraged, or are being hard on yourself.
- What personal qualities are you proud of?
- What are your unique gifts and talents?
- What’s important to you as an individual?
- What are some qualities or talents that others notice or love about you?
- If food and weight weren’t an issue, what might you be spending your life energy on?
You are not your body. Your body is the divine vehicle your spirit uses to experience life here on Earth.
Take loving care of your vehicle and it will lovingly serve you.