One of the best pieces of advice (including fat loss advice) I’ve ever received was “treat yourself and love yourself like you would a child.”
At first it kind of confused me.
Did this mean I should eat lots of Gobstoppers and stay up late watching Spiderman re-runs?
No. Not in the slightest (Well, I do watch super-hero cartoons on Netflix with Liam, but I’ve swapped out gobstoppers for water, tea or a healthy snack 🙂 ).
Actually, there is another piece to this life lesson that is really important and that is this:
Parent and love yourself like you would your own 10-year old.
- Would you allow your 10-year old to go days and days without getting enough sleep?
- Would you berate them for wanting to take a nap?
- Would you allow them to stuff their face with Oreos 3 days per week after dinner?
- Would you encourage them to get away from mindless TV and go socialize with their friends?
- Would you encourage them to try new things – even if it meant they weren’t going to be the best at it right away?
- Would you want them to place their worth not on how “cool” they are, but instead in how kind they are?
- Would we encourage them to stay curious, ask questions and learn from their mistakes to grow?
The answers to these questions are pretty obvious. I know I certainly want Liam to take care of himself, be social, be happy, and fully embrace life.
The last one though – learning from mistakes – is a key one. Children want to know why, and they want to learn more. Always. Even when we can’t give them a good answer, they still want to know.
Not all adults have that, and without that sense of learning, it’s very, very hard to make the changes we know we need to make. This applies to life, but it’s also great fat loss advice and fitness advice, too.
A leader in the nutrition industry, John Berardi, who owns Precision Nutrition, said it best when I talked to John at a conference in Florida last year.
He told me the key for his constant improvement in family, health and business is whenever he is exposed to a new idea, he puts on his ‘white belt’ and asks simple questions with genuine curiosity.
“What DID I do well today?”
“What challenges did I have?”
“What did I learn from those challenges that I can use to my advantage tomorrow?”
He’s almost 50, has a family with 4 kids, owns a multi-million dollar business, and prioritizes his health. Fun fact, he is born and raised in Ontario, too!
Even chatting with him, I could see the genuine curiosity in his eyes when he asked me questions about my business.
His approach to learning is by treating himself like a child – When there are errors, he learns. Period.
His company teaches people to sleep, eat, move and live better, and that also requires the same kind of unconditional self-love we would give to our children.
Unlike our kids, we constantly rush through life, stay up late for months and months on end, eat when we’re not hungry (or skip meals altogether), we view resting or napping as being lazy, we put so much pressure on ourselves to look right, act right, and have it altogether that we forget to simply be who we are.
Part of being healthy is understanding what our body needs from moment to moment.
The truth is if we treated our children how we treat ourselves… well it would be sad, wouldn’t it?
Parenting ourselves – even as full-functioning adults – can be cathartic. It can be the push that so many of us need to be kinder to ourselves, to take care of ourselves, or to finally take a break so that we can catch our breathe.
There is so much to learn from children, but there is also so much to learn from parents and grandparents too.
I’d really like to meet up with you, listen to your journey, and share what I do here. If you want help, we might be able to help you or point you in the right directions. Click here to book a free phone call.
But it’s important to know you aren’t alone with your journey – You can meet some new people, find a plan that works for you, and start breathing again.