Wrists in chains

Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

Sooo, i’ve just been listening to one of my faves, Brooke Castillo, and in today’s session she talks about something called ‘restriction love’. “Restriction love?! Now what might that be???”

Well it’s something that, for me, really triggered a lightbulb moment. When it comes to restricting ourselves of the things that we might want in our lives, whether it’s cutting down on food, spending less time on leisure, limiting the number of hours we work or whatever else it may be, how exactly are we doing this? There’s a good chance that, for most people, we’re not approaching it from a place of self-love, or at the very least, self-respect.

I’m personally not a strong advocate of the word ‘restricting’ – for one, it’s not conducive to this sense of being nice to yourself. And perhaps that’s why, up until now, I’ve seen the act of restricting in a very different light. At the end of the day, it can be a slippery slope if not applied in the right way. If you’re a perfectionist who wants to see everything done perfectly, then restricting yourself may well be one of your top-scoring past-times.

If you’re using this in a bid to ‘achieve, achieve, achieve’, and as a way of beating yourself with a stick it’s not going to get you anywhere. Every time you think about that piece of chocolate, the first thoughts your brain instantly jumps to – “I don’t deserve this,” or “I’m so weak willed,” or even “I can’t believe I’m trying to go down that path again”. Or perhaps it’s a case of limiting your social time so you can get on with work or studies… “it’s so unfair,” “I’m so hard done-by,” “I don’t have any fun.”

The age old question I come back to time and time again in in my coaching is, “Is this useful?” Are these thoughts helping you in any way? Generally speaking (well actually always), if they’re laced with guilt, blame and negativity the answer is going to be a solid no.

Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with making the decision to limit (or ‘restrict’ – if we HAVE to use that word), if you do it in the right way. If you do it from a place of self-love. The foundation of any goal should always come from a place of liking yourself and wanting the best for yourself. It’s not about proving yourself to the wider world, and it’s not about trying to turn yourself into someone you’re not.

Whether it’s eating, working, socialising, partying, drinking, leisure time – there’s nothing wrong with choosing to cut down as long as, when you do it, you see it as a really positive thing – something that makes you feel good about the fact that you are nourishing yourself and looking after yourself. And if you find yourself faced with temptation, rather than beating yourself up, remind yourself of why you’re doing this. Choose to acknowledge the fact that there is someone out there looking out for what’s best for you. And that someone is you.

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