Trying to be healthy is shit – why not try this instead?

How many times in your life have you started a new diet or exercise regimen, only to dismally fail a week later? How many times have you slumped into an even more unhealthy state after one of these attempts?

I have many times in my life (the purchasing of an ab-roller from Danoz Direct springs to mind). But not so much these days.

I’ve given up on trying to be healthy. No, I haven’t resigned myself to a lifetime of sitting on the couch, watching re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond and eating McDonalds. I have a new deal, and it shits all over any 12 week challenge or diet shake.

I have decided to love myself.


Why self love works

In doing so, I naturally want was is best for me and my body. I want to eat healthy food, get enough rest and exercise. I also want to have fun and enjoy my life.  I listen to what my body, mind and spirit needs and I give it that. Sometimes I just need to do a stretching session. Sometimes it’s going for a run. Sometimes it’s going to a party, getting drunk and belting out Bon Jovi ballads.

When you love yourself, you don’t have to force anything. You do what you already feel like doing anyway. There’s no guilt when you don’t go out and exercise, or you decide to have a glass of wine. If you do – or don’t – do something, it’s because you know part of you didn’t feel like it and you were just honouring that.

The difference is, you probably won’t go out on a bender because you ‘broke the rules’ of your health plan. (You might still go on benders every now and again but it will more likely be because you feel like you need to let loose for a bit.) When you love yourself, you don’t fall off the bandwagon. What you have is a sustainable, healthy way of living.

Self love can be challenging

I know it can be really hard to love yourself sometimes. In my late teens and early twenties, I didn’t have enough confidence to understand why anyone would love me, let alone myself. It is doable though, and the first step is to set the intention of loving yourself. Keep affirming to yourself that you do in fact love you, even if you don’t yet believe it in the first instance.

The second step is to completely accept everything about You. Have a great appreciation of chocolate? That’s okay. Fart voraciously? That’s fine too. You are a beautiful specimen of a human being. Everyone is. Once you get to the point of completely accepting yourself, you can start to think about what it is that you need to be healthy.

Take it slow

It doesn’t have to be everything all at once either. Just by starting to do some good things for yourself, you put yourself on the path to complete wellness. Anyway, by trying to make all the changes all at once, it would be like you are on one of the very health plans I’ve been dissing in this article.

Start by doing the things that are good for you that you actually feel like doing. Eventually, you will feel like doing all the things that are good for you.

So, first we do the love, then we do the things…..  Simple!

Oh, and don’t be surprised if you still get sucked into buying health gimmicks on the shopping channel. Just last week I found myself contemplating buying one of those vibrating plates that you stand on to get toned. Those ads are so crap, and everyone knows it, but they still suck people in! It’s like sorcery!

What good things have you done for yourself lately that you actually felt like doing?

Written By

Mahdi is an advocate for nature, animals and people. She has poor fashion sense but a good sense of humour. She hopes that one day there will be ample female toilets in all venues. She is the author of ‘The Power of You: How to Positively Influence People, Places and the World’ and founder of Mahdi Earth and The Earth Healers’ Hub.


  • Beautiful words Mahdi. I’ve just booked myself into a three day retreat in July. So looking forward to the break and some intensive self-loving time to learn about managing stress better. xx

  • I love this approach! I think this kind of fits where I’ve been at in the past year. I love that when I do exercise or eat something healthy, I am doing it because I want to. Sometimes I force myself to get moving but I realise that now the motivation isn’t fear of gaining weight or because I care what other people think. Now it’s more because I know I’ll feel better for it.

    • Good to hear it’s working for you too. Life is so much easier and more enjoyable when we don’t have to force things, don’t you think?

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