This article is transcribed from The Fitness Simplified Podcast. prefer to listen? Click HERE.
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag, thrilled to be here with you today on a solo episode. I'm talking about self-love. Have you heard the advice, “you should just love yourself?” It's important to love yourself. If you hear that and you kind of get that catch in your chest like, ah, yeah, but I don't really, and now I just feel bad, what do I do?
[00:00:26] That's what I'm talking about today. Can you learn to love yourself? Does loving yourself have to be a feeling? Let's go.
[00:00:41] So tomorrow in the States, it's Valentine's day. And so, if you're here, you're likely thinking about your loved ones and what you're going to do for them. I have some plans for my family, some little presents for my kids. We do a yearly scavenger hunt for Valentine's day; I've picked out a good present for my husband this year.
[00:01:00] It's hard to buy for him. I don't know if you have the same problem with your husband, but I struggled to buy things for my husband. I think it's easier for him to buy from me. I just always want a lot of stuff. He rarely wants stuff, so Valentine's day, I'm always like, "should I get him something, should I not get him something?" So, I bought him something this year and I think he's gonna really like it, but you'll probably think it's an-- it's an odd present. I bought him, I bought him pants. I bought him these special stretchy pants. So, they're not like women's leggings.
[00:01:28] So there's this company, he's really psyched about these pants. They're really kind of like hipstery looking pants. They're called, I'm going to get it wrong, I want to say Park and Recs, but that's, that's the TV show, right? Parks and Recreation? Um, Public Rec, I think that's the name of the company. And they make these pants and they look like really nice casual business pants. Really nice-looking ones. But they're stretchy, so they have the secret. You can't tell, but he could like do the splits in them. Well, if he could actually do the splits, he could wear these pants and do the splits in them. So, he bought himself two pairs of these pants and he won't stop talking about the pants.
[00:02:04] So I went back on to the website and I bought him another pair in a different color of the stretchy pants. Nothing says, I love you like a pair of stretchy pants. So that, those are my Valentine's plans. I hope you have good Valentine's plans.
[00:02:18] Today and on our Valentine's day, I want to talk to you about your most important relationship, and that is the one you have with yourself.
[00:02:29] So a lot of people throw around the phrase, "you need to love yourself." "You should just love yourself." "It's all about loving yourself." Do you ever read that and think, "okay, yeah, got it. That's great and all, but, but I don't, what if I don't? I don't love myself. So now I'm failing at that too?" Here's the missing piece that I want to talk about today.
[00:02:55] Instead of thinking of love as a feeling and one that maybe you don't have a whole lot of for yourself right now, what if you thought about love in the verb sense, as an action? "I love myself." What have you started taking baby steps to act loving towards yourself? Do you see the difference there? It's hard to control your feelings, but your actions, that's all you.
[00:03:23] You have 100% control of your actions. And the interesting thing is that the feeling will follow the action. When you act loving towards yourself over and over, the feeling will follow and that's powerful stuff.
[00:03:42] So I want to tell you about the story of me becoming a mom. I was 30 when I had my first child, and of course I had in my mind exactly what this experience was going to be like, and it was nothing like what I thought it was going to be like.
[00:03:55] My first son, his name is Carsten, was incredibly colicky. If you've had a colicky baby or been around somebody who's had a colicky baby, you understand what an experience that is. It's not a pleasant experience. He was so needy. He just was loud and angry and crying all the time. We actually took him to the emergency room after some time of this because the doctor kept telling us nothing was wrong.
[00:04:20] We were like, "there's gotta be something wrong with this kid tonight," and they were really nice. They were like, "it's fine, there's nothing wrong. He'll be okay." And it was like two and a half months later. Like he'll be, by the time he's four months, he'll be fine. It was not-- there was not a lot of comfort in the moment.
[00:04:35] But the more I served Carsten-- because look, I had to help this kid. He was my baby and whether he was screaming for the 10th hour in a row or not, I just served him and served him and served him. And the love I had for him grew and grew and grew. Even though he was being insanely difficult and annoying, right? When you serve someone, you develop love for that person.
[00:05:00] It's a really interesting principle. I don't know if you can think of other times in your life when you've seen that in action, it works the same way with yourself. Serve yourself, act with loving kindness towards yourself over and over and that feeling of love will follow.
[00:05:18] Now you might think I'm going to head down the self-care route here, like massages and face masks and manicures and I love all of that stuff. You see me on my stories and doing all of the fun self-care things and we can talk about those things another time. It's not where I want to go today. I want to talk about two small, but ultimately huge ways to love yourself, as in the verb. Love yourself.
[00:05:45] Number one: talk kindly to yourself. This is a recurring topic with a lot of my one-on-one online coaching clients. Wow they can rake themselves over the coals. I think we're all really pretty good at that, and I bet you can relate to that if you're listening to this podcast. So, my clients and I, we video text -- I'll send them a video, they'll send me videos back. And so sometimes after they send me a video listing all the terrible things they did, right? In their mind. I'm air quoting that. They'd have just ripped themselves a new one for whatever shortcomings and failures they saw in themselves. And so, I'll send them a video text back and I'll say, "hi, my friend. Do me a favor. That last video you sent me, I want you to come back on here, and I want you to pretend that I was the one who did whatever the thing was."
[00:06:38] So let's just pretend that they had gone on and on about how, how they overeat on the weekend. I'll say, "hey, do me a favor. Come back on here. Pretend that I just told you that I did all the things you did, that I worried on the weekend. And then I want you to use the exact language you just used about yourself to me. I want you to respond to me using those same words."
[00:06:59] And they'll come back on and they're always smiling and laughing, they're like, "oh my gosh, Kim. I'm not saying that to you." I'm like, "no, you tell me. Tell me what did I do," and yet they're like, "right, okay. I get it," right? Before I even explain to them the point, they get the point because they would never speak to me that way.
[00:07:17] So if-- do you do this? You do this right? You wouldn't speak to anyone the way that you speak to yourself. So, if you wouldn't speak to your friend that way, and you wouldn't speak to your kid that way, you probably wouldn't speak to a stranger that way, or maybe even somebody who was bugging you -- you wouldn't speak to that way.
[00:07:35] Why do you allow yourself to speak to yourself that way? And it flows so easily, right? This is an ingrained habit and you won't change that just because you're having a lightbulb moment listening to me now. It's important. The awareness is the first step. Becoming aware of how you speak to yourself and about yourself is important.
[00:07:56] I want you to pay attention to how you speak to yourself, both out loud and in your head. If it's in-your-head talk, speak it out loud as soon as it is reasonably possible so that you can hear it. Now, if you're at the grocery store, like wandering around and being like, if I was there and be like, "Kim, why does everything take you so long? Why are you so slow? Could you be any more distracted?" Like, these are the things that go on in my head sometimes. Okay, I'm probably-- I probably won't start saying that out loud to myself in the store, but I could go out to the car and say those things so that I could hear them. So, do that to yourself.
[00:08:31] When you notice in-your-head talk that's very not kind to yourself, say it out loud or write it out so that you can really hear it. And then when you do, I want you to question it. Seriously talk back to those words. Is it even true? Maybe it is. Maybe you did overeat last weekend. Okay, so maybe it's true, or maybe you're blowing it way out of proportion. Maybe you're expecting perfection. So maybe the things you're saying aren't even accurate. So, that's step one.
[00:08:59] And then whether it's true or not, give it the best friend test. Would you speak to your best friend about this situation the way that you're speaking to yourself about that situation? What would you say?
[00:09:16] Would you tell her she should just give up because she never gets anything right? Would you do that? Would you look for something in the story that she told you that like, "hey, but you know, you totally overate Saturday. I gotcha, and you even started overeating Sunday, but part way through Sunday, remember when you told me that you, like, you just sat the donut down and you're like, 'whoa, I'm not going to keep going that?' Hey, do more of that. Like, next weekend try and do that sooner. That was great."
[00:09:42] Would you look for things that you could encourage her about? You would, right? Do that for yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend. Give it the best friend test.
[00:09:54] Okay, let's move on from, um, from that piece. Let's talk about a second way to love yourself in the verb sense: and that is acknowledging and celebrating your wins.
[00:10:06] We see so clearly our shortcomings. I bet if I asked you right now-- literally I want you to do this. I bet if I asked you, you could roll off your tongue at least five things you could give yourself a big, like, "duh, face-plant. I can't believe I did that in the past 24 hours."
[00:10:22] I can. I can. Last night I struggled to set my new alarm clock. I bought an alarm clock it took me forever to figure it out. This morning, I didn't know that my 16-year-old son had school today. I didn't know he had school. He goes to a local high school half the day and a tech school, the other half of the day. Well, this is his first year doing that, he's 16, but you know, it is February. He's been in school some time and just because the local school has off doesn't mean tech school has off and we've been through this before. The high school has off today and yeah, he was in bed. I didn't know my kid was supposed to be at school.
[00:11:01] I still have a sink full of dishes. It's like two o'clock in the afternoon, sink full of dishes. I haven't finished organizing my closet that I was supposed to have finished last weekend. I was going to get it done before my husband came home from his second business trip. He's coming home tonight in eight hours, about eight hours, there are laundry baskets full of various items getting ready-- they're all nice and sorted. It's not happening. It's not happening. There you go, five things that I had just today, I was like, "whoa."
[00:11:29] Okay. Did you do it? Write down for yourself-- five things that you're like, "whoa, can't believe I did that today."
[00:11:37] Okay, now what about this question? What if I asked you to tell me five wins from the past 24 hours, past day? What have you done well?
[00:11:48] That's harder, right? It's harder. I can do it right now, but I knew I was going to ask myself this, so I had a little bit of a heads up, but it can be harder. So, I've stuck with my 30-day mobility challenge nine out of nine days. Nine out of nine days I did that. I didn't yell at my son for not knowing he had school. I wanted to, but we just laughed.
[00:12:10] I cleaned off my desk. My desktop is nice and clean. I helped clients that I adore through some big stuff in the past 24 hours. Very skillfully, I might add. I'm fricking good at what I do. I coached them up hard. And I figured that ridiculous clock out. I did. It took me a while, but I figured it out. Is it weird to hear someone praising themselves like that?
[00:12:34] We need more of that. You need more of that about you from you. When this episode is over, I want you to write down five wins you've had in the past 24 hours. Five. Big, small, medium, doesn't matter. Acknowledge them. Make this a habit. Look for and either out-loud speak or in writing put them down. Deal?
[00:13:06] Look, this self-love shizz ain't easy. It's work just like any other relationship, but you deserve it. You do. You deserve it. Next time you read some motivational posts about how you should love yourself and you start getting that little feeling of like, "ugh, but I don't really love myself." I want you to remember that you're working on that.
[00:13:30] Love isn't just a feeling. You are practicing acting loving towards yourself. That feeling will follow. It might take time, but you will feel it growing.
[00:13:42] You got this, my friend. Love you.
[00:13:49] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:14:00] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.