One of the best pieces of advice (including fat loss advice) I’ve ever received was “treat 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… sometimes).
Actually, there is another piece to this life lesson that is really important and that is this: Manage and love yourself like you would on 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 be active outside 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 on 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.
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.
A leader in the nutrition industry, John Berardi, who owns Precision Nutrition, said it best when I talked to him at a conference in Florida last year.
He told me the key to 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 LSFW.
His approach to learning is by treating himself like a child – When there are errors, he learns.
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), and 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?
Managing 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 breath.
Instead of beating ourselves up about not doing something, we’d be patient.
Instead of being afraid of starting, we’d be curious to learn how to do it.
Instead of TV and one of our many different sized screens, we’d be outside for hours on end every day.
It brings us back to the quote from George Bernard Shaw
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
Next time there’s a “oh shit I can’t do this” voice in your head, or you feel like you’re second guessing yourself, remember to put on your white belt and get curious.
And if you need a hand Click here to book a free call.