Slow Living is the Greatest Act of Self-Love

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2022

Lately, I have been feeling more and more resistant to how the health and wellness space operates. Very cold, full of rules, judgement, negativity, bias. All just leading to feelings of hopelessness, frustration, negativity towards ourselves and our bodies and in extreme cases mental health concerns and eating disorders.

You might think I'm overthinking this but if I'm going to overthink anything I'd rather it be about people's health and happiness than anything else.

I have really been pushing against this narrative. I've been wanting to teach certain things but I don't want to be just another voice telling you what to do to obtain this ideal that doesn't exist.

I don't want to be just another person coming onto the scene to tell you "it's my way or the highway" instead of acknowledging that there is a lot of good research that says a bunch of different things (opposing things). For instance, one study says cardio is the way and the next says strength training is the way. One study says garlic is incredibly good for you the next says it's terrible for your gut.

All I want to do is show up with love.

I know, that probably sounds so lame but that's just how I feel.

I've felt that way for a long time. I've been so frustrated with all the judgement and negativity and have felt like falling to my knees and begging to know why we can't just love each other. 

Before you ask, yes, I'm a fairly dramatic thinker. I don't usually act on these things, I won't actually drop to my knees and beg, but I certainly think about it.

Honestly, I have had such an up and down time with my health and wellness journey. It wasn't always healthy and as I reach my 30th birthday I realize that I have wasted a lot of time feeling bad about and hating my body, focusing on losing weight to be disappointed when nothing changes, fretting over trying to meet the demands and standards of the health industry and doing it all right. My entire 20's seemed to be focused on this.

But I don't want this next decade of my life to be this way.

Last year I found slow living (if you read last weeks blog you'll know that) and it was the best thing I have ever discovered.

I didn't start my slow living journey because of all the facts, data, statistics and analysis surrounding it. Don't get me wrong, I think science is important and reviewing studies has always been really fascinating (I did that a lot getting my degree) but what I have found over the years is that science can literally prove anything... Including two opposite opinions and there are just somethings that can't be put into numbers (and shouldn't). Slow living is one of them.

I'm sure some day someone will try to do a study but for me I went with my gut and it felt like the single most loving decision I ever made for myself.

It's not always the easiest but slow living is an amazing act of self-love. Slow living is the basis of my wellness routine and I think wellness should be an act of self-love and not a requirement or a punishment. 

When you tackle wellness from a place of love it automatically turns into a life changing habit. When we engage in exercise, eating healthy, drinking water, meditating or any thing else from a place of love for ourself it is so much more powerful than doing it to "fix ourselves," to "lose weight," to "punish ourselves for a cheat day," or any number of negative reasons.

So, how does slow living factor in?

As you know, slow living is a lot more than just simply slowing things down (yes, that has to do with it but that's not exactly it). Slow living is about being intentional, being mindful and being present in the moments of our life.

For me, slow living has let me really focus in on what's important, conserve my energy to do my best work and most importantly reframe my whole health journey.

Three keys that I have learned about how slow living helps with self-love are:

1. It helps you connect more to your true self.

Being able to tune into the moments of life allow you to understand your thoughts and feelings on a deeper level and therefore your true self. Our true selves are always with us but we often push them down to live as society dictates we do.

When we tune into our true self we learn what our mind, body and soul really need. When we know that we can give them what they need. This is an extremely loving act. It is so nourishing and refreshing and peaceful.

2. It focuses on emotional, mental and spiritual practices instead of simply on the body.

While the physical body is extremely important to take care of it is not the only piece of the puzzle. Slow living practices focus on a more holistic approach and they nourish all the other pieces that are often forgotten or are considered lower priority.

When we put love into each of those areas our mindset on health and wellness changes. We might be surprised by how our priorities towards exercise change. We might start to strength train for the energy we get from it, from the feeling of strength and empowerment and how it helps our bodies stay healthy versus strength training to lose weight and have a more muscular body. Our strength training sessions might go from something we have to do to have our "goal body" since our current body isn't good enough to I choose to strength train because I feel good doing it, I enjoy doing and I love myself enough to take care of my physical body in a way that I see fit.

3. There is no set of rules to follow & the results aren't trackable/comparable. 

I mentioned this above a little bit but I find that unloving wellness practices focus on tracking, measuring and comparing to an ideal. Whether that's comparing to a chart (BMI), comparing to others (basing body goals on another person) or even comparing to ourselves (transformation Tuesday posts). Others may think differently but for me, this was a huge part of what led to my eating disorder.

When I instead slow down, tune into myself I go by feeling instead of a need to have the numbers get smaller every week. Slow living doesn't have rules, it doesn't have a comparison chart, there is no start or finish, there is no objective goal to reach, you just do it.

For me, and maybe you too, jumping into that felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders. I didn't need to measure up, I could just be. Loving myself did not need to be based on some impossible standard, I was just free to love myself and really get to know myself.


Slow living is the greatest act of self-love because it opens all the gates right into the depth of your soul and allows you to just be free.


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