Giving up something that makes you feel good because you know it's not good for you is one of the hardest and most liberating things you can do! I've given up so many such things in the past couple of years, things that brought me comfort, happiness, excitement and all those other great feelings we are always chasing after. Well, giving them up wasn't easy, I will never make light of the struggles that have come with some of the sacrifices that I have made in the name of good health (physically AND mentally). However, not only have making these sacrifices made me feel more in control of my life but I find it becomes easier and easier to recognize those toxic things sooner and to eliminate them with less of a struggle.

I have been really meditating on this in the past couple of days because I had to give up one of the hardest things a person can give up....another person. It was hard, it is hard, but I am shocked by how easy a decision it was once I saw things for what they were. Where I once struggled with denying myself a second bowl of ice cream, there was suddenly no struggle with such a big decision. Once I truly knew that having that person in my life was no longer a healthy, constructive choice, it was the same as if the decision was made for me and I just had to suffer through the hurt. Are there times when I'm tempted to say "nevermind! just kidding! come back!" Sure! But at those moments a loving voice tells me gently that it's not conducive to the kind of life I want (and deserve) to live. The loving voice, of course, is my own.

It all boils down to loving yourself. People always say that and it's great advice but what the hell are you supposed to do if you can't stand the sight of yourself in the mirror? I remember asking a psychologist this once when she stated simply "You just have to love yourself." To which I replied, "If I hate myself, how can I just start loving myself?" She looked at me in silence and I could see she had never been challenged on this point before. Finally, she stopped searching the archives of her pre-programmed responses and said with a shrug, "I guess you just have to pretend."

So you don't love yourself enough to do what's right instead of what feels good in the moment?

Fake it til you make it baby!

Since you hate yourself anyway, don't be afraid of how stupid you will sound every morning when you wake up, look in the mirror and say "I love you very much and I am going to treat you with respect and dignity today."

Affirmations are not just for Oprah and self-help books anymore. Words are powerful! They truly are. Our brains are computers and are programmed by the thoughts we think, the words we say and everything we observe in the world around us. So protect your computer and don't allow a virus to infect it.  

Every time you hear that voice in the back of your head say, "I have no will power", you will instantly and deliberately restate "I have complete control over myself and my actions."

Stop focusing on everything you did wrong and focus on everything you did right. Every time you eat a healthy meal or even a piece of fruit after eating badly all day, say to yourself, "I am feeding you this way because I love you and you deserve it" or "I didn't eat that cake because I don't want to hurt you."

Suddenly, yet so gradually you might not even notice, you will wake up one morning to discover you don't loath the sight of yourself. And, as you go through the day, you might notice that you have a quiet, calm confidence that commands respect from others (because you respect yourself). You will wake up and find that you are in love with the best person in the world. Yourself.

Once this happens, it's all gravy from there. Where you once struggled sacrificing something bad for you that you just never thought you could live without, you will find that vice becoming a distant memory and wondering why it was ever so hard to give up.

I know all this from very personal experience. I have given up everything from greasy, happy foods to cigarettes to television to chemical filled energy drinks. I was once the reigning queen of instant gratification!

Because, here's the thing, once you finally love yourself, any love you thought you felt for any of those other things pales in comparison. Just as you would never knowingly hurt your child, your granny or your puppy dog, you would now never knowingly hurt yourself. You'll now be on the list of people you love....hopefully extremely close to the top. And, I'll add this, if you're not somewhere near the top of the "people I love" list of those whom you love, I would suggest you seriously evaluate having that person in your life because part of loving yourself is making sure that those people who you give your love and energy to are giving you the same in return, because you deserve no less.


  1. Beautiful article! Thanks for this...

    Best regards from Germany


  2. I think your story is just amazing! How long did it take you to lose the weight?

    1. Thank you H.C. It was a slow process, deliberately. I started back at the beginning of 2009 actively losing weight and probably reached my "goal" weight 6 months ago.