Is it possible to be deeply disappointed with someone but still love that person anyway?
Most people would say, "Absolutely!"
We see and feel this kind of love -- unconditional love -- all the time.
To offer just one example...
As a parent, you love your kids no matter what.
There may be times when they test your patience to the extreme.
There may be times when they frustrate you beyond all imagining.
But your love does not "stop" when your kids misbehave. Of course not.
Because you know that it's possible to be irritated AND loving, at the same time.
You know that it's possible to say, "This isn't OK. You can do better" and "I love you forever," all in the same breath.
Just like you can be disappointed with your kids and still love your kids anyway, you can be disappointed with your body and still love your body, anyway.
Disappointment does not have to "erase" your love.
It may take a moment to wrap your head and heart around this new concept.
Saying the words -- out loud -- can help it sink in.
"I'm disappointed with my current weight. I know I can do better. I love myself unconditionally, and because I care about myself so deeply, I'm going to make the changes I need to make to return to my ideal weight."
"I'm disappointed with how I look in a swimsuit. I know I can do better. I love myself unconditionally, and because I care about myself so deeply, I'm going to tone my beautiful muscles and make an effort to improve my health and physique."
"I'm disappointed with my eating habits. I know I can do better. I love myself unconditionally, and because I care about myself so deeply, I'm going to stock my fridge with fresh fruits, veggies and healthy snacks."
Your turn (fill in the blanks and say it out loud):
"I'm disappointed with ____________. I know I can do better. I love myself unconditionally, and because I care about myself so deeply, I'm going to ____________."
Be disappointed with yourself, if you have reason to be.
Disappointment can illuminate the places where it's possible to try harder, soar higher, do better. It's OK. It's not wrong.
Be sad. Be furious, if that's how you feel. Vent by thwacking a pillow, alone in your room, until you feel a sense of release. Or until you cry... good, clean tears. That's OK, too.
Be honest about whatever you're feeling. Positive, negative, or a muddle of everything. Yup. It's all OK.
But whatever you're feeling, remember:
Disappointment and deep love CAN coexist.
No matter what you've gained, lost or gained back... and whether you're delighted or despondent about your waistline or dress size, today...
You can love yourself anyway.
Disclaimer: If negative body-image and low self-esteem are interfering with your quality of life -- or if you feel out-of-control when it comes to food -- please seek support from a qualified health care professional. Your health and happiness... are worth it.
As a psychologist and life coach, Dr. Suzanne Gelb's insights have been featured on more than 200 radio shows, 100 TV interviews and too many articles to keep score.
Step into her virtual office and discover how to change your life by changing the way you handle your own emotions.
And while you're visiting, if you're trying to lose weight and feel like your emotions are working against you -- learn how to get your mind on your side, and reach your ideal weight through kindness, not craziness. It's all inside my new Life Guide. Click to learn more.
If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.