The month of love is highly recognized as the month of February. This is that time of year everything “love” is officially placed upon us—from sections of red heart balloons to the lovely vendors selling bears with hearts on the streets. This is the time we hope to receive those special delivery roses to our jobs, that box of chocolate to our homes, and yes even the hopes we have in reserving a date-night seat at that trendy restaurant. Oh yes, the month of love. So what happens after the euphoria of roses, chocolates, and dinner wears off? Well, the only thing left to face is the level of love one has for self. The month of love is not a bad thing so long as our hopes aren’t stemmed in receiving validations from others without first validating our own self worth. You may be asking yourself why a Fitness Nutrition Specialist is speaking on the topic of self-love and emotions, and I’m here to tell you it’s because food has everything to do with it! Food is a socially accepted drug where many of us find ourselves using it to fill an emotional void.

So let’s start by having a real conversation. We are constantly bombarded by the marketing gurus from major food corporations making us feel deprived if we don’t over indulge in our desires for instant gratification. In many instances our deeper needs in life are not being satisfied or we’ve just never had the opportunity to experience a healthy food relationship, both resulting in not knowing how to nourish ourselves appropriately. Healing our relationship with food is often dependent upon our ability to handle the various stresses and challenges that come with life and more times than not the answer becomes to choose foods that don’t allow us to feel the void we’re currently feeling.

For instance, we like coffee because it perks us up, we like comfort food because it comforts us in hectic times, we like to snack because it’s easily accessible and gives us something to do rather than focus on the situation at hand. Our food choices reflect a strong commitment to our current emotions, but overtime our body will stop reacting and will start accepting—soon after, the body will start demanding. It’s a vicious cycle we allow ourselves to be a part of but this time around, I challenge you to love yourself by freeing yourself. Free yourself of all things that do you more harm than good – from artificial foods to artificial relationships, start by loving yourself first.

Realize that loving yourself first does not make you selfish it makes you selfless because the love that pours out of a person who has first learned to love himself or herself is holistic, complete, balanced and effective. The love of oneself creates a domino effect into the works of everything else one does. This time around take a step back and ask yourself those hard questions such as why we allow the things that we allow into our space, including the foods into our bodies. Do our thoughts build us up or break us down? As we engage in this one-on-one conversation, keep these pointers at the forefront of your thoughts; these are things to remember while loving ourselves healthy:

  1. Foods are merely a source of energy the body needs to operate, causing the body to either work with you or against you. Foods will not fill that void nor will they solve that problem.
  2. Recognize that you are worth making healthy decisions in your life. The things you allow into your body and into your space should be things that build you up, not break you down.
  3. Treat yourself to a moment of greatness. When life gets as busy and complicated as it can get, you have to take control of your hours and make that time for balance. For all of my busy mothers, I’m right there with you — we cannot do it alone. Connect and surround yourself with those who are willing to aid you in this transition.
  4. When our minds are disconnected from our bodies our overall being falls off of its axis. Renew your mind and your body will follow.

Loving ourselves healthy starts today. Let us enter each day, each moment, each second with the reminder that we were created in the image of God. Let us remind ourselves that our bodies are our temples and that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Overcoming emotional eating is never a simple task, but it’s a possible and most rewarding one because we deserve greatness in our space and in our bodies.

You aren’t being selfish when you prioritize your health. What can you do this week to choose yourself over the many pulls and tugs of the world?

Mireya Fouche

Mireya Fouche is a Latina woman on a mission with a passion for humanity and empowering women. For over a decade Mireya has been building platforms for underserved youth and young adults nationally who have encountered homelessness. As founder of One Heart One Soul and mother to her Haitian-Mexican toddler she incorporates all things art and wellness into her days. She believes time is precious; moments in life shouldn't be missed due to fear of experiencing it alone.

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