Like every relationship, self love does change & alter, dare I say it … wane. Other things take precedence; careers, partners, children, parents, home & homemaking, our health, others health & our place in society. Often self love changes to self soothing with food; sugar, salt, carbohydrates &/or alcohol. This can be because of exhaustion, boredom, lack of external love & appreciation, loneliness, overwhelm or habits that have snuck up on us. When we make a decision to love ourselves, to nourish ourselves & to feed ourselves beautifully, we make time to reconnect, dare I say it, to fall in love (with ourselves) all over again.

But how do we create our own love story? Through honesty & allowing ourselves time.

1. Your List
Do you have a list of priorities? Take a moment & visualise this list. What & who are on your list? And the most important question; where are you on that list? For some of us, we do not feature in the top five. For others, we are not even in the top ten.

Reflect on this & mentally place yourself in the top five of your list. This is fluid & mailable, depending on the needs of the day. But as a duty of care to yourself, regularly check in with yourself & place yourself in the right place. What do you do for your closest people that you can do for yourself? Give them your time, your energy, your nourish them, you love them. Now, do the same for you.

2. Understand your needs
Food & self soothing or self rewarding can often / always go hand in hand. Does this sound familiar? Honesty is the only way forward.
Know & tell yourself out loud if you need to, food is not a cuddle or a hug. Boredom is not solved by a packet of biscuits. A reward doesn’t have to be a bottle of wine. Nourish your body with food. Nourish emotional needs with a hug, a telephone call, a dance in your lounge or a bunch of flowers. Emotional eating & food can be untangled when you recognise it for what it is.

3. Navigating self-sabotage
Check in on your inner dialogue, particularly around food.
Why? Because we are often our own worst enemy. That internal chatter; “why did you do that?” “Why did you eat that?” “You know you shouldn’t & you did it anyway!” For some of us, the conversations we have with ourselves can be horrible & play beautifully into the self sabotage-guilt-shame-food & repeat; a paradigm that can be cyclical.

Talk to yourself like you’d speak to your best friend. Kindly, with concern & genuine joy. Acknowledge that parts of you are disappointed with your choices, but they don’t need to beat you up about it. Parts of you can encourage & cheer you on.

Or wait for it, what about sabotage from others! Do you recognise these situations;
Affection – “I’ve bought you chocolate, I know how much you love this chocolate.”
Overfeeding – “Just finish this last spoon of apple crumble or I’ll have to throw it out.”
Reward – “You’ve done so well, lets grab a ‘meal deal'”

Have the same conversations with the people around you that you’re now having with parts of yourself.

Affection – “Instead of chocolate, lets go for a walk & a chat” or “hold hands & watch a great program”
Overfeeding – “I’m ok. That last spoon can go in the fridge for your lunch tomorrow.”
Reward – “I don’t want fast food as my treat, lets grab sushi or healthy Turkish food?”

There is no breakup in a relationship with yourself. There’s no divorce or parting of the ways. There can be (self) neglect, (self) abuse & negative (internal) words. This self harm is silently eroding some of us. Given you’re in this relationship for life, you can choose to ‘fall in love with yourself’; that fizzy feeling of spending time, communicating & sharing dreams & ideas, eating with pleasure, laughing, giving a token of your love … all to yourself.

Fall in love, you’ll love it.