Today is Valentine’s Day, the day of love and affection. Yikes! Despite the mass commercialization that surrounds this “holiday,” it is nice to be reminded to reflect upon the loved ones in your life and your gratitude for them.

Truth be told the number one person on my list to remember to love is me. Although the holiday seems to target couples, the most important person to always remember to love is you! By the way, it’s also the secret to loving others.

I can confidently speak to this because my own experience of struggling with poor body image, compulsive eating and exercising, laxative and diuretic abuse, and weight management finally brought me to my knees where the only thing left to try was learning how to honestly love myself. So how did I do this?

Well, the Universe intervened and guided me to a group of people who identified with my unhealthy eating behaviors and feelings of self-hate and despair. All of them said that they too used to feel the same way, but now have lives full of abundance, laughter and love. They told me I needed to take some time out and focus on Mackenzie for a bit, and that they would love me until I learned to love myself. I decided to trust them and take their suggestions:

  • They gave me a food plan to follow. Despite all of my knowledge in nutrition, I decided to be a beginner again
  • I wrote a daily gratitude list
  • I called people everyday even when I didn’t feel like it
  • I shared open and honestly
  • I attended support meetings to remember that I was not alone
  • Nothing came before my recovery, which meant letting go of commitments. It’s okay to say no.

Talk about mind blowing! I basically had a new rulebook for living that gave me peace, confidence and a sense of self-love and gratitude that I had never felt before. Today I honor and celebrate life and myself by making my health, wellbeing and recovery the most important things in my life; and as a result, I am a better friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend and member of society. Everyone wins!

So whether you are single or in a relationship, remember that Valentine’s Day can be a healthy reminder that it’s time to make a date with you!

Hugs and Health,
Mackenzie Hawkins