The Self Love Project

Introduction

Who The Self Love Project was created for:

Right off the hop, I want to make sure you know that I didn’t create this for every woman in this community. This is actually the first piece of content that was created for a very specific group of you. The ones who can’t shake the self hate. The ones who feel it haunt them and follow them everywhere they go, and in everything they do. This one’s for you.

With that being said, there is valuable content in here for everyone! We can all benefit from implementing these practices into our lives, especially when we’ve gone through a particularly challenging period of time. If you are at a place of contentment and ease mentally, you should be so damn proud. Maybe you’ve always been someone who has lived in a good headspace in regards to who you are and what your body looks like, or maybe you’ve had to work for a long-ass time to get to the positive and accepting place that you are right now. Either way, please do whatever you can to remember that you deserve to maintain that sense of love and respect for yourself. If taking on this project is something you need right now, go for it! If you’re all good, that’s amazing and this will be here for you if/when you ever need it.

I want to create a list of the common descriptors of what it feels like to be in “Battle Mode”. From here on out, Battle Mode is what we will refer to being in the following state of mind:

  1. Feeling as though you will only be able to love yourself (and will only deserve to love yourself) once you look a certain* way or weigh a very specific number on the scale.

    This very specific image of yourself that you aspire toward and exists in your mind is usually based off of 2 major things: 

    • “My ideal body” aka a version of yourself that existed in the past and was when you were your thinnest. 

    • “The ideal body” aka images of women you have seen on Instagram, saved to your photos, and aspire to transform into.

  2. Obsessing over your body to the point that it takes over other completely unrelated tasks. You have a hard time studying for exams or taking on work projects without obsessing over how you need to fix or transform your body in some way.

  3. You constantly find yourself comparing yourself to other women. You stare at their bodies in an unhealthy way, either wanting to look like them, or unfairly and often cruelly judging them.

  4. You will cancel plans because you don’t want to be seen by people, and constantly fear being judged while at the gym, the store, or really anywhere you go in public.

  5. You frequently bring up how much you hate your body or “how disgusting you feel” in conversations with the people you love. This typically applies to extroverts in Battle Mode, but can sometimes be be a habit of introverts too.

  6. You stare into the mirror with disgust. Whether you are fully clothed or fully naked, you’re picking yourself apart completely.

  7. You feel like changing your body is the solution to all of your problems. If you had a better body you would be happier, wealthier, funnier, and people would like you so much more.

  8. You fantasize about waking up in your “dream body” one day, and you swear you would never take it for granted if it happened.


How The Self Love Project Works:

Bottom line: It works however you need it to. This isn’t something with a deadline, or even a time line. This was developed to help you learn to love yourself and accept yourself, and there is no “right amount of time” it’s going to take to do that.

There are 7 major parts to this Project, and you’ll receive 2 of them along with your training Blocks every 2 weeks. Now this isn’t to say that you need to do an entire part each week, it might take you three weeks for each part and that is completely and totally okay! The point of this Project is to make a structural shift in your thoughts, habits, and behaviours, and only you are going to know when you are ready to continue on your journey to the next step.



Disclaimer:

I am not a therapist, a psychologist, or a magician. I cannot promise that this Project will cure you forever from your inner demons. What I am is a girl who has battled these demons herself - for longer than I would like to admit. I am also someone who has had the incredible fortune of sitting down and gaining insight into the minds and internal battles of hundreds of women. I have seen the pain and the struggle that so many of you have faced time and time again. Somehow these struggles are so painfully unique, but eerily similar at the exact same time.

I have decided to use what I have to give you a pathway that will hopefully lead you out of the darkness that you are so used to being consumed by. The hard truth is, that unless you decide that your own mental health and happiness is worth fighting for, nothing I or anyone else creates is going to matter. This is all about knowing the life you are worthy of living, and making it yours.



Part 1: Acknowledgement and Awareness

Like I discuss in the video, we can’t make positive or permanent change until we choose to become fully aware of our own habits, triggers, and cycles. The mean girl in your head who tears you down 24/7 might just seem like white noise at this point because you’re so used to hearing her! We need to stop shoving down the negativity and continuously avoiding the way that we feel. Stuffing out the noise and refusing to confront what you are dealing with is only going to compound the problem and allow you to fall deeper into your negative patterns.

The following actionables might be challenging, but they are the key to coming face to face with your own demons. 


Actionables

The following points need to be written down in your journal or computer on the first day that you decide to begin Part 1. You don’t need to journal every day in this Project, but you do need to have this stuff in writing to refer back to.

  1. Where am I at right now? How have I been feeling overall in my life? Yes, this can be generic, but it’s important to identify the areas that you have been feeling good about and the areas you’ve been struggling with. Try to cover all areas including body image, fitness, nutritional habits, relationships, career, and anything else that matters to you. 

I want you to give yourself an overall score out of 10 when it comes to how you feel about each category you write down. Here is the hard part: YOU CANNOT USE THE NUMBER 7. Research has shown that as humans we rate something as 7/10 (or 70%) when we feel it isn’t good or bad. Any categories that fall into 6/10 or lower need to be your primary focus throughout this project. Anything that you write down as 8/10 or higher are areas where you are killing it, and don’t need to be a major priority to improve on right now!


2. What does my self-talk sound like? What are the kinds of things I say to myself? Make sure to write each of your major lines/sayings/comments to yourself out as accurately as possible and be honest with yourself.

3. What are my triggers? Yes, I realize that trigger might be the most overused word lately, but it does have important meaning. What are the things that happen or the things people say, that cause you to fall into a negative downward spiral? This can be a spiral of negative self-talk, binge-eating, restricting, drinking, or any other patterns you fall in to.

4. What does my cycle look like? As I spoke about in the video, we each have our own unique “Darkness Cycle”. This is a pattern of events, thoughts, and actions, that is repeated over and over. In order to break the cycle, we need to acknowledge what it is from beginning to end.

Example: The following is a very personal example of what my cycle used to be when I was at the lowest place in my life. It is difficult to share, but I want to give you a real-life idea of what this often looks like.

Monday morning:

Wake up bloated, so puffy I couldn’t get my pants on, sad, and dreading the week ahead.

Monday afternoon:

Create a new “plan” that I would for sure follow “for good”. This plan always involved under eating, hyper-training (excessive cardio was 95% of my training at the time), and TONS of social media scrolling to help myself stay “on it” and “motivated”…. This literally just mean’t staring at other women’s bodies to shame me into continuing what I was doing.

Tuesday - Thursday morning:

Continue what I did on Monday

Thursday Evening:

I should give context that during the 6-month period of time (approximately) that this went on for, I didn’t ever work or have class during the day Friday. I’m not sure why, but Thursday was always my “fun night of drinking”. This mean’t drinking too much, binge eating, making extremely poor choices with an ex, and waking up feeling AWFUL.

Friday - Sunday:

Binge, binge, binge, and speak horribly to myself.

Monday morning:

…you get the idea here.

Daily Practice

Each day during Part 1 (however long that may be) your only job is awareness & acknowledgement. NOTICE when you begin to shit talk yourself. NOTICE when you feel triggered. NOTICE when you fall into a Darkness Cycle and what the affect that pattern has on your life is. If you feel something that makes you sad or uncomfortable, immediately pause and try to recognize why you feel that way or what led you to say something cruel to yourself. This might sound so simple, but before we make any changes what so ever it is ESSENTIAL to be as conscious as possible of our own mindsets.

You can go back and add to your previously journaled comments as often as you like. All that I ask is that you don’t back down and try to stuff out the pain you are feeling. If you feel something, recognize it, and if you notice a new pattern, make sure to write it down! You’ve got this babe.


Move on to Part 2 when:

Move on to the next part once this becomes a routine for you. Once you are habitually catching yourself in your negative thoughts and actions, and you feel like you’re able to properly asses your own behaviour, you’re ready. This might take a week or it might take longer, and any amount of time is okay.


Johanna Seier