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Love Yourself First

Written by Mandie Caraway

Published on Feb 14th, 2017

Watching our Real Women Real Results contestants has been a life changing opportunity. We have brought together 3 groups of ladies from 3 different regions and are challenging them to change their lives by using I-REMOVE, work with a nutritionist/life coach and work out with a personal trainer. Initially, I thought it would be all about weight loss and seeing these ladies overcome their obstacles with their weight. I never realized they would not only change their lifestyles and eating habits, but that they would teach and show me what I had been missing for a very long time.

In August, we began our first contest in Salt Lake City, UT. These ladies took full advantage of the contest by sharing the entire experience on social media and in their private support group. It was in the support group I first heard the term “self-care” and saw they were being challenged to participate weekly. Self-care is basically the act of doing something for yourself. It can be as big as going on a shopping spree or as small as closing your bedroom door for 2 minutes to take a breather.

I smiled at the thought of this when it was first mentioned. The ladies updated each other on their self-care acts, cheering each other on along the way while being inspired to do some of the same actions themselves. This became a routine. Every week, self-care was a topic of focus, with some women making it a daily habit! By following their posts, I saw they became happier in their actions and lives. This is when I had an “A-ha moment”. I didn’t remember the last time I did something for myself—something that would show me that I was worth living for.

A couple months ago, I decided I needed to make the change and see if it could actually work! Day 1. I took 10 minutes to read a chapter in a book I hadn’t been able to pick up in weeks. Day 2: I called a friend and talked for a minute while I made dinner. Day 3- I FORGOT! This routine would come and go, until one of the ladies called me up and said she wanted an accountability partner.

For our accountability, we text each other a photo to make sure we get that self-care in there. It is not every day there is a text, but there are plenty of days that we spur the other to do something! I find if I don’t hear from her or do something for myself to send her a photo, I miss the act and the interaction. This has become something I love doing because I know it’s helping me feel better, but it also reminds her to do something for herself and vice versa.

I have found that in doing this one little thing for myself, I’m a better mom, wife and person. I don’t feel guilty for needing to take a few minutes for “Me Time” every day. Even if Me Time is as small as getting myself a cup of tea or taking a 20-minute nap, I know allowing the time to “love myself first” helps me to love others around me more. So, for Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to get a partner and do something for yourself each day. Go get a smoothie, take a walk around the block (without the kids) or even draw yourself a relaxing bubble bath! It’s time to love yourself!