Shannon Lagasse is a Self-Love and Emotional Eating Coach, helping women struggling with emotional eating and yo-yo dieting to ditch the diet, love their body, and lose the weight. While focused mainly on women, Shannon offers advice here that's useful for anyone struggling with health, fitness or relationship issues.
What do developing your ideal body and attracting a romantic relationship have in common?
Actually, kind of a lot.
When you’re looking to get into a new relationship, you craft a clear vision of what you want in your new partner. You look back on previous relationships to see what you want and what you don’t want, what worked and what didn’t work. It’s the same when you’re trying to lose weight and get in shape: you have to know what you want and figure out works to get you there.
If you’ve struggled with your weight and with having really fantastic relationships, check out these 3 tips for both attracting love and getting in your ideal shape:
Love yourself first
In our culture, it is common to seek a partner who will make us feel whole. We call this person our “other half,” and we believe that together we are a complete person. Without the other, we are incomplete. We are missing something.
If you are looking for someone to complete you, you are looking in the totally wrong place. You are complete as you are, and in order to have a healthy and happy relationship, you need to recognize that first. Give yourself the love you are seeking, and you will attract to you someone who will mirror that love back to you.
Losing weight also starts with loving yourself. You cannot hate yourself or beat yourself up to get the body you want. It doesn’t work that way. Because while we may be able to sustain this kind of torture for a time, eventually we realize that the quality of our lives is more important than the desire to be thin and we give up the diets and exercise regimes.
When you come from a place of loving yourself and your body, you work out and eat healthy foods because you want to, not because you have to. When you love something, you take care of it, much as you would with a nice car or your fine China.
When you love yourself and feel comfortable in your skin, that confidence will radiate out and be infectious to women. There is nothing sexier than a man who is completely at home in himself.
Take care of yourself and your needs
In relationships, we tend to put the needs and wants of the other person before our own. This is a great way to ruin a relationship and run yourself down real quick. You need to be the most important person in your life. Your partner comes second, because when you’re taking care of yourself, when you’re filling up your cup first, you are in a better place to be able to give freely to others as well. And when you consistently put your partner’s needs above your own, a feeling of resentment starts to build, and that does not make for a healthy relationship.
The same goes for getting the body you want. If you are constantly putting others first, you will find little time to do the things necessary to stay in shape. You need to make your health and fitness a priority. You also need to take time to take care of yourself. This is such a frequently missing component of most weight loss programs. When we are stressed out and overwhelmed, it is very difficult to lose weight. We are more likely to eat for emotional reasons, and physiologically our bodies will store fat due to increased levels of cortisol (a.k.a. "the stress hormone").
Avoid the pitfall of putting others first and start taking time for yourself. After all, if you’re taking care of you, who will?
Ask for what you want and allow yourself to receive it
Think back to your last relationship: Did you tell your partner what you wanted, or did you expect them to read your mind and give it to you? So often in relationships, we expect the other person to know everything we want: how we like our coffee, what to say to support us when we are having a bad day, whether we want to fuck or make love. But it’s not realistic to expect our partners to know what we want and when we want it. We have to be clear with our words and ask for it.
In addition, we must allow ourselves to receive what it is that we are asking for. Often we subconsciously block ourselves from receiving our desires by believing that we are not worthy or deserving of having them. So we might ask our partner to support us when we are stressed by listening to us vent about whatever the problem is, only to project the problem when it arises onto our partner because we are not used to someone being there, loving and supporting us through difficult times.
When we are losing weight and getting in shape, we have these same kinds of subconscious blocks, which often come up as self-sabotage in the form of skipping the gym, eating too much in one sitting, or indulging in something that is not healthy for us. In some way, we are using our weight to keep ourselves safe, protected, and filled.
In order to lose the weight, we have to look at these blocks and see where they come from. We do this by becoming aware of and examining our self-sabotaging behaviors, then tracing our actions back to how we were feeling and what we were thinking in that moment. We have to look at the deeper rooted issues around being “good enough,” realize that we are inherently good enough as we are, and allow ourselves to have the life, body, and relationships we want.
Where are you stuck in your love life and creating your ideal body?