Full text of nutritionist & fitness coach Jen Oliver’s talk: How to Love Yourself to the Core at TEDxWindsor conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: How to Love Yourself to the Core by Jen Oliver at TEDxWindsor
What inspires you? How inspired are you by the thoughts you think, the words you use, the feelings you feel, and the core values and beliefs that you live by?
It’s not so black and white, and there are many missing pieces of the puzzle. The more information we have on diet, exercise and weight loss, the higher the rates of body dissatisfaction and life dissatisfaction we have than ever before in history.
I’m going to leave you with two things by the end of this talk.
One, how greater self-love will inspire your life. And two, how to cultivate more of it.
One of the first and most basic fundamental needs that we have as humans is a connection through love, a bond.
I remember it, like it was yesterday, feeling so much love and adoration for my mom, who in my eyes she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
She was a mix between a super-model and Superwoman, and she could do no wrong. I used to love watching her get dressed, watching her get ready for going out, dressing in beautiful outfits.
And I would always compliment her: “Mom, that dress is so beautiful on you! Where are you going? Let’s take a picture. Oh, I love that. That looks so good!”
And in return, I would receive: “This? Oh God no. I look so fat today. No pictures. Oh God no.”
Like a slap in the face. I felt wrong. I was wrong while I was extending love that she couldn’t accept at that time because of a block of her own.
When will it be that we need to stop justifying, people pleasing, looking outside ourselves for validation about our worth that we know comes from within?
Maybe if we felt that true depth of worth and love for ourselves, we wouldn’t constantly be comparing to everyone else, looking at others and feeling that if they succeed, that means I must fail. If they’re good, I must be bad.
This natural scarcity and this feeling of competition with all those around us. When will it end?
I know it’s possible for us to look in the mirror and see true beauty, see love, with kindness, compassion, empathy, and true magnanimous love. Magnanimous is deeper than unconditional love. It goes to the depths that include compassion and kindness — true depth.
Diets don’t work. Love does.
Negative emotions cause nervous system chaos, while positive emotions bring the nervous system into alignment. We make better choices for our lives and for our health when we come from a positive emotional space. And we feel it right here.
Did you know we have on average 70,000 thoughts in a single day? And did you know that 98% of those thoughts are repeats from yesterday. And that about 80% of them are negative towards ourselves or somebody else.
How do you think all that negativity is making you feel?
It’s one of those first things we feel, but while we go through these experiences in life that shut us down a little, I want to get closer to you so I compliment you, I’m in awe of you. And yet little bit by little bit we get closed down, we get shut down.
I feel very fortunate to have had an experience like I did. Upon being born, I was removed from my parents shortly after, and they were told that I had a heart defect. I was not all-right, I had to be taken away to be put in the incubator, and true fear came over them, as it would any parent.
What I didn’t realize at the time and only now looking back at it was that all the attention — all the love, healing, the worry, the positive vibes that were sent to me growing up, in all my many visits to the hospital, checking up on me, making sure I was still okay — unbeknownst to me, this actually strengthened my heart.
Did you know positive emotions actually strengthen the integrity of our heart, our arteries?
We can literally harden our own arteries of our heart through negative emotion. It’s quite fascinating.
We’ve learned a little bit about this today, and we know it is that secret ingredient. I feel very grateful that my mortality was shown to me from a very young age.
You have a problem. Let’s make sure you are always okay. I wasn’t sure there was always going to be a next day. So I lived in gratitude. And I knew the feeling when my mom didn’t like my compliments or didn’t receive them, that I didn’t want to do that to others.
These were two really great lessons in my life.