How an Internal Language of Love Can Shape Your Choices, Your Health, and Your Life
by Thais Harris, BCHN

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In thirteen years of helping people improve their health and life through diet and lifestyle as a board-certified holistic nutritionist, I have had the honor of getting a front seat at the theatre of my clients’ minds. Discussing goals, dreams, aspirations, and beliefs allows for more understanding of what drives our behavior.

Working with women aged 20 to 82 years old, I have found that 80% of them struggle with how they see themselves, how they feel in their bodies, and the belief that they are not good enough (or thin enough, or fun enough, or just enough, period).

The language we use can create self-loathing, and bring about self-sabotaging behaviors, or it can create love and foster unconditional support. The choice is ours to make, each and every day.

When we opt to engage with highly critical thoughts, we put on the cloak of defeat, and getting it off becomes harder with time, as our biology responds to this stress-causing belief. Stress changes our neurotransmitters, our circulation, our breathing patterns, our gut balance, our immune response, and even our gene expression, making this cloak of negativity heavier and harder to lift. This becomes an obstacle to healing.

When we decide to replace the story of not-enough, and practice opening up to the love that is always within us, we can experience the kind of lightness our souls yearn for.

A practice of cultivating self-love allows us to be kinder with – and more closely listen to – ourselves. This kindness and listening shape our choices, from the food we eat, to the types of movement and activities we do, and the relationships we engage with.

We begin to choose more supportive foods, those we feel best sustain our energy; we opt for movement that brings us joy rather than a sense of punishment, and don’t over-exert ourselves to the point of depletion; we pay attention to the need for rest, and respect our bodily needs; and we become more aware of our interactions with others and start engaging more often with those who lift our energy.

I experienced this firsthand when I had a cancerous mole in the middle of my face. Old negative thoughts would invade my head every time I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror, a window, or in a picture. It took diligent practice to replace those thoughts with love, acceptance, curiosity, and light – all of which helped me heal not only from the carcinoma on my face, but other skin cancers that followed.

One of my clients welcomed her harsh critic daily, constantly feeling inadequate because of her weight. After a couple months of working together, I noticed a light aura about her. She was seated as if her body could levitate. With a soft gaze in her eye and ease in her voice, she shared: “I only lost some of the weight I had hoped to lose by now, but in this process, I lost something much more meaningful: the self-loathing is gone!” And she sighed with her entire body.

This moment has been echoed in many other sessions with women of all ages, shapes and sizes. Working with models, actresses, attorneys, teachers, dentists, some of them moms or grandmas, I can say that the most impactful work in their health journey is increasing self-love.

Getting to feel the warm embrace of unconditional love changes everything. This love is the blanket that encompasses self-esteem, self-acceptance, confidence, and courage. It helps us avoid comparison and quiets the unkind inner critic. We find the space to be more who we are, and to make the choices that best serve our body, mind, and soul.

It takes commitment, just as any loving relationship does. Set an intention to fall in love with yourself, and follow these 3 shifts to lose the self-loathing:

  1. Notice how you talk to yourself: Awareness of unconscious repetitive negative chatter is the first step to changing it. Pay attention with compassion. When you want to go from point A to point B, you have to know where point A is. So get curious about your starting point.
  2. Change the narrative: When we talk down to ourselves, we imply we don’t deserve love, and our options feel limited, making us behave in a pattern that reaffirms our negative conviction. When you catch the negative talk happening, replace it with a kind sentiment. You can write down some of the criticisms you catch yourself repeating most often, and then write instead what you would tell a friend, or what you would most like to hear in those moments.
  3. Grow your capacity for self-love: Cultivating appreciation will eventually create a more automatic positive response. Every morning when you look at yourself in the mirror, say a loving statement. At first it might seem awkward, but over time it will fuel your love tank and create a new state of being that is more aligned with the happier, healthier version of yourself.

This is not about denial. Practicing this kind of loving gesture will not make us any less able to take care of our bodies. It will not make us lazy, or out of touch with reality. It will simply reduce the negative load that we tend to carry, making it easier to take care of ourselves. True wellbeing will be more effortless, and consistent.

I think of how light and radiant my client was when she let go of self-loathing.

I wish that for all of us.


Thais HarrisThais Harris, BCHN is a board-certified holistic nutritionist, best-selling author, and international speaker. She has successfully guided hundreds of people in their journey to optimal health, through her online group programs and individual & family wellness coaching at Nourish Together. You can reach her at and on social media: Instagram @nourish.together, Facebook: @nourishtogether



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