It is spring and often this feels like a great time to start fresh. Start over and begin again.
And whilst that’s totally true, I’d like to share with you what changed my life dramatically: the realization that we have the freedom to start fresh at any moment.
Be kind to yourself
If there is one message that I truly want to get out there, it is to be kind to yourself. Always. I know from my own experience that when I stopped putting myself down constantly, it had a significant impact on my overall health and wellbeing. My Capsule Kitchen is about food of course, so I’ll stick with that example, but what I’m about to tell you works for anything that may cause you feelings of guilt and shame.
In my 20’s I had my fair share of insecurities, a lot of them to do with food and my body shape. I always loved food and the significance of and memories connected to it. But like so many other girls, of course I also wanted to be slim and beautiful and liked. It was the time of eating low fat, trying not to gain weight and comparing myself to often unattainable ideals. What I remember vividly is feeling guilty when I did (or ate) something that wasn’t part of that ideal.
In my 30’s I started my ‘healthy food’ journey. I learned about (and did) detoxes, cleanses, colonics, I took a class in raw foods, started to drink green smoothies, practised bikram yoga and generally embraced all that came with a ‘wellness’ label.
Whilst that was a good start, I still felt far from perfect and often guilty whenever I ‘stuffed up’.
How you see yourself is so strong and powerful.
No matter what other people tell you, what truly matters is what you tell yourself.
Eventually I realised that it was this feeling of guilt and shame that was holding me back. Nothing wears you down more than the feeling that you are not good enough. And how will you ever feel like you are good enough if you tell yourself otherwise every day.
The power of forgiveness
And then one day, I learned the power of forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for anything. For anything that was holding me back. For past mistakes, for not being perfect, for that extra piece of cake or glass of wine that I didn’t need but had anyway.
Waking up in the morning, not with a feeling of guilt, but with a feeling of kindness and forgiveness towards myself is life changing. Truly.
Because it empowers you to embrace the future with a sense of renewal. In every moment. Yesterday is gone and that’s ok. You may have succumbed to the lure of fast food, or chocolate, or a lazy afternoon on the couch instead of the gym, but that is totally ok. Because it doesn’t define you.
The danger of unhealthy habits can often lie in the fact that you might think ‘well, it’s too late now anyway’. I’ve stuffed up yesterday so I might as well stuff up today too. I’ll start again on Monday. Or the first of the month. Or the first of the year.
But the truth is, you can start fresh at any moment.
The words that make the magic happen
The moment that changed everything for me was when I came across these words:
I forgive myself and I accept myself.
I release who I used to be.
I am new.
This is so beautiful and tell myself those words every time I feel I haven’t done as good as I expected myself to. Over and over if I need to, I find it calming and reassuring. It’s not from me, I’ve heard it somewhere but I can’t remember where. Quite possibly from Gabby Bernstein.
It absolutely stuck with me and has been a key element for me to let go of yesterday and show up today as if it was that Monday, first of the month, first day of the year. Every day. You don’t have to feel guilty about what was yesterday, you have the power to choose today and start fresh. You can choose every hour to start over. Every minute.
Whenever you feel you stuffed up, right in that moment you have the power to forgive yourself and start fresh.
And because you forgive yourself, it also means you allow yourself to be imperfect. Not just food related, but with anything! That is where happiness really lies. Not in how much we are liked by others or what we achieve, but how much we care for ourselves. And the simple step of making peace with yourself – by forgiving yourself every time you think you’ve stuffed up – will change the way you treat (and feed) your body.
You are beautiful.
You are worthy.
You are enough.
If this article resonated with you, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know how you feel today.