Let’s use Lent as a way to spend 40 days giving up self-hate and replacing it with self-love in our 40 Day Self-Care challenge… for everyone.
We often use Lent and other times in the calendar to restrict or beat ourselves up more for doing something… but let’s look at the power of loving ourselves that bit more…
And as someone who has been in recovery from an Eating Disorder for many years, I find these particular times of years really triggering.
We have Christmas which is all focused on indulgence and a plethora of opportunities to eat as a group with family, colleagues, neighbours, friends and so on. Then we have January which is full on diet season so we have gone from over indulgence to restriction. Then we find the diet talk quietens a little (phew, I can breateh again)… until imdulgent pancakes are here with Shrove Tuesday aka ‘Pancake Day’ before Lent where it is all about ‘giving up’ so people use this as an excuse to get their “diet on track.” And then it’s Easter where it is back to pure indulgence, social gatherings and devouring chocolate.
Then before we know it we are getting (as per the billboards stating, NOT ME) “get beach body ready” for the Summer. And so on… As someone who has suffered from Anorexia and Bulimia in the past… this annual diet cycle isn’t too different from the behaviours of someone with an eating disorder.
Restrict… Binge… Purge… Restrict… and so on.
And I am writing this not as someone who is ‘cured’ from an eating disorder nor someone who is anti-diet culture… this is someone who has once again found themselves lost in the diet culture and feeling a big hypocrite. I still easily get swayed by fad diets and I regularly add to my list of “no” foods thanks to all the mixed messages I hear.
I try my hardest to be comfortable in my own skin, and more often than not these days I am, but when someone criticises my figure be it “too skinny” or “too muscly” or “too curvy”… any criticism of my figure sends messages to my fragile mind that I am “not good enough.” And believe you me, as someone who Bellydances professionally, posts online about health and fitness and has lost and gained weight over the years… the messages I receive are so confusing!
But I cannot control what people think of me or what others do, all I can try and do is try and make a positive influence, and I would love for you to join me!
So this Lent, regardless of your faith/background etc, I am setting us all a challenge of 40 days of self-care! I was inspired by 40 Acts which I am also doing again this year which is 40 days of generosity (giving rather than giving up). And I feel called to start my own challenge for others in need of some self love.
We’re told to love our neighbour as we love ourselves… but what if we don’t love ourselves?! I really believe we need to love ourselves first but that’s not easy! So hopefully by practicing self-care for 40 days, we can start to treat ourselves (as we would probably/hopefully treat a loved one!).
40 Days of self-care this Lent
So rather than depriving ourselves of things we enjoy this season, how about we treat ourselves to long-lasting self love? I know that the more I am happy in my own skin by doing things that are genuinely good for me… everything else starts falling into place.
It also means I then have the resources to help more people….
So who’s with me?
Sign up to the 40 day self-care challenge (full blog on what it will entail coming soon!)
So if you want to join the 40 day self-care challenge, you can follow my blog site, Mama Mei facebook page, or if you’re a woman join the free facebook group Women’s Health Club. And / or sign up to my mailing list below:
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