Stopping the Hate Talk: 5 Ways to a Better You

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

“I hate my hair, my arms, my legs”  “I look so fat in these pants.” “Why can’t I look like that other girl? She always looks so perfect; she makes me sick.” “If I had all the money in the world and could afford a personal trainer, I could look like that too.”

How many times do we say these things to ourselves or about others? Why are we so degrading to ourselves and other women? It doesn’t matter your age: young girl, teenager, young adult, older adult, pre- baby body, post- baby body. When does it stop? When do you decide that you are enough and that God made you the way you are. As a teenager, I thought myself pretty; I thought myself confident. It wasn’t until middle adulthood that I started to doubt myself. There have been plenty of times that I have looked in the mirror and thought that I did not like the way I looked. Part of my problem is that I have not been treating my body right and I have had two babies and it really does change your body!  What do you hate about yourself? What do you love about yourself?  Which one do you think about the most?

Self-Worth is defined as the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self respect.  Do you place value in yourself? Do you have respect for yourself?  Do you think of yourself as worthy and beautiful?

All this self degrading hate talk stops here.  IT STOPS HERE! I challenge you here-forth that when you look in the mirror you find one thing you like about yourself, just one. Daily. Yes, DAILY!

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8: 31-39) , but He still wants us to take care of ourselves and our bodies. The following things help me to take care of myself and help me feel good about my own self esteem.

  1. Get up and Move!  Whether it is taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood, an aerobics video in the comfort of your home, or training for a race, get up and move.  Start TODAY! Even ten minutes a day can make a difference. Make it work. Maybe that means climbing stairs during a short break at work or parking in the furthest parking lot. Sometimes, for me, that means having a dance party with my 3 year old. Or I have an aerobic app on my phone that lets me choose 5 to 10 minute increments. Sometimes my 3 year old and 5 month old join in the fun. One thing I’m going to try in the next few weeks is running before my husband leaves for work!

2. Eat healthy! Of course there are lots of arguments about what is the best diet or supplement out there.Think before you eat! Is this particular food going to make me feel good or energized? I’m not saying to never have that piece of chocolate, i’m just suggesting you think twice about it. This is definitely one of my biggest challenges. I have a huge sweet tooth!  It’s about lifestyle change. While I don’t follow it strictly and I am not an expert, my personal belief is that a plant based diet is best for health and energy. Commit to make a change. Just eating more veggies and fruit can make a difference! Progress, not perfection!

3. Challenge your mind! Take time to learn. Read, whether an actual book, a website,e-books,newspaper, or a magazine. The world is full of great minds. You are one of them!

4. Feed your soul!  This is the most important point. Make time to pray or read your Bible and talk to God. I try to get up before my children in order for this to happen. Now lately, that has not gone like I planned. I have an almost 6 month old who wakes up in the middle of the night, and well, I am grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep. On those days, I try to read while I’m nursing him. Many times I’m praying in my car on the way to work. Those two things, especially the prayer, make a huge difference in how the rest of my day goes, and how I feel about my self as a person. I am a much better mom, wife, and friend when I make time to pray and read God’s word. End of story.

5. Take time for yourself! I don’t care what that looks like or how much time you say you don’t have. For me it looks like time to write, or time for a hike, a walk around the neighborhood, sipping on a hot cup of tea or coffee on my back deck. Coffee or lunch or breakfast with a friend, even if it has to be over the phone. Perhaps you can get up 10 minutes before the rest of your house,just to sip and drink your coffee.  Maybe once a month, you can find a babysitter or your significant other can watch the children, and you can go get coffee, by yourself or with a close friend. Find a walking partner. Train for a race with your co-workers. Sometimes, I take an extra long shower because that may be the only time I have had to myself that day. I breathe in the steam and take pleasure in the solitude and not having to explain what I’m doing. Everybody leaves you alone when you are in the shower (most of the time).

Challenge yourself to love more. We don’t need all the hate talk. Life is hard enough without being so mean to ourselves.

What are some tips you have on increasing self-worth?

Thanks for Reading! Please share with those extraordinary women you think need a reminder of how awesome they are!

Let Us Not Forget Our Value

Photo credit: blog.deutschinc.com

Recently, you may have heard about the tragic shootings in my hometown of Chattanooga, TN, where we lost some brave men.(http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/jul/22/fighting-our-fighters-erlanger-traumteam-call/315834/) It has shook the whole city. I work at the hospital that these victims were taken. I was not directly involved with any of the victims, but very well could have been with just a little change in timing. I do know the nurses and doctors and surgical techs who were involved. They are friends, mentors, teachers, and team members. I want you to know I am proud of my team members. They deserve to be recognized. We are at a level one trauma center, so I believe every day they deserved to be thanked. Not to downplay the merit deserved in handling of recent events, but we do see our share of “traumas”.  We see a great deal of shootings and stabbings, often gang related. We see head injuries, motor vehicle crashes and a fair amount of work related or alcohol related issues. My hospital  works just as hard for these cases. I am thankful to be a part of a community that takes value in all their patients’ lives, even the ones who do not always deserve it.  That being said, who are we to judge whether someone deserves to live or not? Our job is to save lives, not question the merits deserved.

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. ” Matthew 7: 1-5

However unjust it may seem at times, every person has value in God’s eyes. Even the drunkards, murderers, even those who seem to be our enemy. We live in a fallen world with fallen people all around us, including ourselves.  So much so, that even when good people get the merit they deserve, there are still those in the background muttering complaints and gripes.  “I work hard every day; I deserve to be recognized too”   Why aren’t we recognized like this for every “traumatic” case?  Those are some of the complaints I have heard.  Mostly things said have been good, but statements like that make me sad. Why can’t we just be happy for those who deserve recognition, for any reason? Their complaints are correct, they should be recognized and thanked, but let us not allow bitterness to hinder us when our own team members and friends are recognized.  Be happy for those in the moment and pray that we never have that kind of need to be recognized again. I don’t want to be recognized, for that only means that more grief and tragedy has come our way.  So as you are praying for our city and country, do remember to thank those who had to immediately respond to the events, for it took a whole community, not just the people you see on the media. It took a whole community, from the highest in command to the lowest paying assistants. Remember that God values every life. I know He is grieving with us, for He is a just and merciful God.  My heart breaks for the families of those fallen heroes, and it breaks for the people who worked tirelessly around the clock to save lives to no avail in this circumstance.  But although the loss of lives is a failure, it is not the ultimate failure.  God does bring good to all situations.  In our situation, it has brought a community together, if for but a brief few weeks. We can’t always see the end, but there is One who can. And he has given us grace and value by breathing life into us.

“If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have opportunity, we should do good to everyone-especially to those in the family of faith.”  Galatians 6:3-5; 9-10

Thank you for reading, and thank you for praying! Please share if you feel led to do so!