Don't forget to fall in love with yourself first.Love is not a feeling it’s an action. And while learning to love others is an important human experience, so, too, is learning to embrace self-love and learning to put it in action.

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mark 12:31)

I was speaking to a friend recently and doing some health coaching and I asked her about her workouts. There was a pause, and I could almost hear the self-loathing in her sigh and the feeling of somehow being “less than” because she wasn’t working out as much as she’d like to or “should” be according to her own or someone else’s standard.

To me, my question – and the answer – was just DATA. Data that I required to coach and advise her on nutrition.

To her, there was an EMOTION tied to it.

Health, wellness, diet, nutrition, fitness, exercise, and resolutions are all buzz words this time of year. What I have found is that words like diet and resolutions leave us feeling “less than.” Like we haven’t reached success yet. That we are somehow not enough.

What if we were to take the emotion out of it. What if we were to look at things like scale weight, body measurements and before photos simply as data? As information we track.

So often when Jim and I coach people toward a healthier lifestyle, we encounter resistance over this tracking process. To us, it’s data. Data we use to adjust and tweak to get you your best results.

We don’t look at you with judgement. We look at you as human beings on a path, a journey – just like we are – toward being your healthiest, best self. You are worthy. You deserve to LOOK and FEEL your best. You.Are.Good.Enough! But don’t take my word for it. Take YOUR word for it.

Allow yourself more love. More grace. More forgiveness. More self-love.

Regardless of the size, shape or condition of your body, it IS a temple. Stop beating it up. Stop beating yourself up.

When we love ourself and our body, we will no longer talk about going on a diet. We’ll talk about living a healthy lifestyle.

When we love ourself and our body, we’ll look at the scale weight as data. Data that will tell us if we are on the right path, or if we require an adjustment. It is a number that reflects information from the prior day (or days) stimulus.

When we love ourself and our body, we’ll look at food as fuel. We’ll eat foods with optimum nutrients that will help live life to the fullest.

Confront your own self-sabotage.If, however, we beat ourselves up and don’t show ourself this self-love, then we’ll experience guilt, shame and ultimately we’ll find it easier to abuse and self sabotage ourself, our body, and our health and wellness goals.

Think for a minute. When you’re beating yourself up or feeling sorry for yourself, it is easier to grab a box of cookies, bag of potato ships, bottle of wine and put on our pjs and curl up in front of the tv.

When we love ourselves, we give ourselves the nutrients and exercise our bodies requires as fuel, to energize us through life as athletes, wives, husbands, moms, dads, partners, caretakers, employees, bosses, leaders, and contributors. When we love ourselves, we put that self-love in action toward a healthy lifestyle.

Eating well can be the biggest act of kindness you can show yourself. And while self-sabotage may feel good in the moment, self -love lasts longer.