Here is a litmus test for you: When you look in the mirror, hear yourself speak, watch yourself in a video, see a picture of yourself or a reflection in a mirror or store window as you go by, or view your image in a zoom call, how do you feel about it? Does what you see reflect the person you think you are, and are you cool with it? Asked another way, Does your image make you happy, sad, neutral, embarrassed or other? For me, raised as I was, and a result of all manner of feedback over a lifetime, seeing myself simply expanded an already quite robust level of self hate. I realized one day that if I did not make a change that I was going to look back over my life and with my dying breath realize I had never, ever learned to love myself. In some areas I certainly had a bit of pride, academics for instance, and professional pursuits, and I rationalized my existence as an agent of charitable efforts. Certainly, I am fully aware that I have taken care of countless others, and as predicted by my merciless, malicious mother from my earliest days, would never feel compelled to ask or expect anything in return (not because I was selfless but rather because I was simply undeserving of appreciation). That is an old story and luckily now a vestige of the past, no longer steering my course. I hope as you read this you simply cannot relate - because living a life with no sense of self appreciation, with minimal self care, and even less self prioritization, is brutal and sad. Worse, it is a terrible example for others who might actually think you know what you are doing. However, in my journeys these days in the corporate world and as a certified health coach, I realize that my fun-house mirror self perception is not unique, sadly, but quite pervasive and common, I notice especially in the case of women.
Thus, my need to communicate the reality which is that the difference between that life and a vital, energized, happy, fulfilling and delightful life is literally one decision away - maybe two. If you are still reading, this resonates with you and I will explain the correction to make in your path right now. Truly, if you take nothing else away from this article, please hear this question: IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
People's spirits and souls are housed in physical bodies, and no you cannot separate the two, so realize that how you feel about you, the whole package, body and soul matters. For me, my putrid self image was greatly fueled by a habit of saying yes to everything for everybody other than myself. My most misguided part of life was regarding my fitness and body image, built on magazine photos of models, criticism from "loved ones' ' and significant others, and an insanely dependent relationship with my bathroom scale (which I somehow thought measured my self worth!). I spent nearly the whole of my life, 6 decades at least deeply entrenched in yoyo dieting.
Starting at age 8 - not kidding - I decided that at least part of my worthlessness came from my too big body and relentless appetite (what 8 yr old thinks this unless conditioned by others?) and so a life of dieting, losing weight and gaining it back began. Fast forward through 2 marriages, motherhood, widowhood, three academic degrees, and countless professional moves, and businesses and the mindset of that self hating child remained. AND then I was introduced to the KETO LIFESTYLE by a friend of similar emotions and life experience. It's odd, but true to say that one choice can change a lifetime of self abuse and neglect, but ladies and gentlemen, I am here to say it REALLY is that simple (notice I said simple and not easy).
The KETO LIFESTYLE requires one to focus on doing what one's body (and mind) really needs and a commitment to 15 minutes a day minimum to one's self care. Sounds so small, but it is powerful and life changing. A focus on very low carbs, moderate protein, and more clean fat in one's diet, helps one's body to cast off inflammation and encourages the type of muscle development we need and desire. The holistic approach to "clean" keto, the most balanced version, requires consciousness of one's need for daily, but very moderate physical activity, enough clean fresh hydration, and the importance of stress recognition and management. In short, a KETO LIFESTYLE makes you take care of yourself, like an adult, and the results are nothing less than miraculous. The result of my decision to no longer be self abusive and neglectful has given me a life of happiness, strength, confidence, energy and health. My blood chemistry including cholesterol and blood pressure are perfect (and that is a quote from my doctor), and my body has actually never looked this good even to me. Having gone from a size 28 to a size 10, and enjoying a loss of 120 lbs., I am suddenly feeling really good about a woman (me) who takes control of what makes her feel bad, and changes it once and for all. Most importantly perhaps, my world of saying No to myself. Stopping the self dialogue of no time to take a walk, no don't eat anything that tastes good/it's too fattening, no you will never shop anywhere except plus size stores, no you will never look good in a dress, no forget swimming/that requires a bathing suit heaven forbid was a first step. Replacing that self speech with YES eat things that are decadent and delicious while you lose weight, yes you deserve time to be active, yes you are worth 15 minutes a day to care for yourself, yes you can change your habits and your life for the better, and yes, yes, yes, you should be proud of yourself, actually happened.
Whether this is our only life as we know it, or there are after lives and next lives ahead, why not make this one a life wherein your joy is apparent and you exist as your best version of yourself? I now spend a good portion of my days as Sherpa for others on this amazing self actualization journey and my joy spreads and blossoms like fields of miraculous wildflowers. #healthylifestyle #holisticketo #keto #ketolifestyle #ketosuperheroes #ketoweightloss #selflove