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What's the Best Way to Think of Ourselves When We Want to Initiate Change?

09/06/2013 11:41 am ET | Updated Nov 06, 2013

One morning while sucking down my coffee, I looked out of my kitchen window, down into the courtyard of the apartment building across the way. I noticed a man placing a box with a small plant into the sunlight. At first, I assumed that he was going to be doing some gardening. But then noticed he left the box there in the sunlight and had walked away. Then, upon further examination (aka "not minding my own business and staring out the window"), I saw that the small plant was actually a beautifully-maintained Bonsai Tree.

A few days later, I saw the same man once again placing the box with the Bonsai into the sunlight, then leaving it there for a couple hours. I now deducted that after allowing it to soak up some vitamin D, this man then takes his carefully-cared-for plant back into his home. (Who says I couldn't run a detective agency?)

Seeing this man take care of his Bonsai (which is clearly thriving) actually warms my heart -- and it's a sight I look forward to seeing when I'm lucky enough to notice this ritual in motion. Whether seeing the man place the tree into the sunlight -- or just seeing the tree already in place -- makes me very happy. And this process also reminds me of the level of care I need to make sure I'm giving to myself. And that's the same level of care you need to be giving to yourself, as well.

Think about it. When we care for something, it thrives. This can be seen in my neighbor's Bonsai Tree or even in the happiness level of my puppy, Latte. It's therefore important that we give the same kind of love and care to ourselves -- as well as our health-minded goals.

When people I know tell me they need to lose weight, I can often detect a degree of self-loathing in their tone. I can relate -- knowing how much I hated myself when I weighed over 450 pounds. This disdain for ourselves is an approach we've been taught is normal and will likely facilitate change. The thinking being, "You hate how you look, so do something about it." But after learning to love myself at any size (both before and after I took off 250 pounds of excess weight), I am motivated to pass along what I've learned. If we actually love and care for ourselves -- even as we are now in this very moment (no matter how many pounds overweight or no matter how far away from any kind of goal) -- we become more likely to encounter faster success.

Think about it... If you know a good friend or family member that's facing a challenge, you want to help them out. But if it's someone you have distaste for, you don't really care if they succeed in their quest or not. Well, time for you to think of yourself in a more affectionate way and afford yourself the very same degree of care that my neighbor gives his Bonsai or that I give my dog.

Do something kind for yourself today -- throughout the day and every day. And remind yourself why you're a supermodel (which, for the record, you are). Suddenly, if you're wanting to lose weight, you're doing it because you care, not because you're disgusted. That's going to make the journey a lot more pleasant and, I imagine, a lot more successful.

Just like my neighbor's Bonsai Tree, it's time for you to position yourself in the warm sunlight of tender loving care -- and thrive.

For more by Gregg McBride, click here.

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