• Katie Lips

The Transformational Magic of Self-Love

Discovering self-love whilst losing weight

Image: Getty Images

A few years ago I discovered self-love and lost over 85 pounds. I’m sharing my story with you in the hope that it can inspire you to practice self-love and make the changes in your life that you desire. With self-love, anything is possible - it really is!

Over the course of the last few years, I discovered something very simple, but so profound that it helped me to lose over 85 pounds and totally change my life, relationships, and how I feel about myself. Instead of waking up every day with a nagging sense of regret; instead of endlessly thinking “I should”, “I could”, and “If only I would”, I wake up excited to be me. Last year I decided to quit my job, write a book and tell the world all about it. And it's not even a big deal, except of course, that it is. It’s so simple; so simple I am astounded so few of us know about it. That simple thing I learned that helped me make many transformations in my life and render me unrecognisable to anyone who hasn’t seen me in a while, was self-love.

Yes, I lost over 85 pounds with self-love. Through my books, coaching and my newsletter, I help people learn how to lose weight and make other changes they desire through this radical approach.

Often self-love is mentioned hand in hand with body positivity, and fat acceptance. The idea is that whatever your shape and size you should love yourself. Well, I agree with the idea that everyone should love themselves, but I disagree that we should accept the hand we're dealt or the hand we've dealt ourselves and just be okay with how we are today. What about improving your lot in life? What about living the life you want to live? I write extensively about self-love; what it is, how to do it, and the benefits it can bring. My most important lesson is that self-love has four pillars: self-acceptance, self-appreciation, self-nurture (aka self-care) and self-transformation. I believe you need all four. If you truly love yourself, you’re prepared to do whatever it takes, anything and everything to get the things you want from life, to live the life you desire.

That’s why I help people to lose weight. Millions of us are overweight or obese and millions of us are unhappy about it. Acceptance is all very well, but if you know you can make a change but aren’t, deep feelings of regret are likely to develop. I harnessed self-love: I learned to love my whole self at my heaviest weight, and at rock bottom so that I could end the regret, lose the weight and live with a sense of achievement, possibility and endless opportunity.

My story is not so different from the story of many millions of people who slowly and begrudgingly put on weight and are ever so miserable about it. In my twenties and thirties, even though I had a supportive partner and a successful career, I had fallen out of love with myself. Even though I had tried diets in various forms (Keto, Atkins, WW, starvation), I continued to make unhealthy choices and was piling on weight. At 38 I reached almost 240 pounds, could no longer buy clothes in regular stores and knew enough was enough. I felt horrendous and not only because of my size or how unhealthy and pathetic I felt, but because of what had led me to become that size. I had put on weight because I was suffering from a clear lack of self-respect, I wasn’t able to do the things I’d need to make me happy and I was exhibiting unhealthy behaviours; binging on food, alcohol, and more food. What led me to treat myself so badly was a lack of self-love.

I thought long and hard about what was going on with my life. The love I felt for others was a driving force that enabled me to do all sorts of things for them. I was showing up every day and giving my all for other people, but giving nothing much to myself. So I started practising self-love to fix my mindset. I didn't really know what I was doing as there was no real self-love instruction manual, but within a short space of time, I was able to make positive choices. Whereas diets I’d tried before had been deeply awful and utterly depressing, this time I fully enjoyed doing what it took to lose weight. Sure, I moved my body, sure I ate healthy food consciously, and I didn't drink much alcohol. While losing weight clearly came from a calorie deficit (no amount of self-love can shift the pounds if you eat more food than you need), my newfound sense of self-love meant that I no longer wanted to overeat. In just over a year I lost over 85 pounds (6 stones) as a result of my newfound self-love. Weird as it may sound if you can only imagine hunger-inducing restrictive diets, I enjoyed it. It was as if I was nurturing my body and caring for myself with everything I ate. It felt amazing.

What started as an experiment, snowballed into a fascination with self-love. My self-love study and practice enabled me to build my self-acceptance, self-appreciation, self-nurture and self-transformation. I want to end the misconception that self-love comes as a result of weight loss, or ‘improving’ or changing how you look. Skinny does not beget self-love, or shouldn't at least. Self-love came first, the weight loss came second. And I now help people to love themselves first, then they’re able to make whatever changes they want to make in their lives. Self-love helped me to appreciate my body more, and instead of giving up on my weight loss goals and just accepting I was fat forever, it helped me achieve them, and wake up every morning happy to be in the body I’m in.

I wrote my book "Love Yourself & Lose Weight: The Success Story of Self-Love" to share this magical secret with anyone struggling to lose weight with conventional diets and weight loss methods - methods that fail so many people. In my mind it is easy: if you truly love yourself, you're able to give yourself the life you desire.

You can find out more about me and my journey here.


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