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I am a hopeless romantic. I love soppy films. I cry at weddings….and I still believe (despite having a string of not so perfect partners in the past) that eventually I will find a decent man to share the rest of my life with.

But what I have realised in the last few years of being single is there is only really one great love in ones life, and it’s not likely to come from someone of the opposite sex.

Instead it is the love that you have for yourself.

It’s one you have 100% control over, it doesn’t involve anyone else and their whims, and the sooner you find it within yourself the happier you will be.

People often sniff at the concept of self love, and think its a bit self obsessive or hippyish, but its not just to do with how you think about yourself, “Oh I’m soooo great” or ignoring your obvious flaws, although this is important to, I think it’s more about how you treat yourself and not just on special occasions.

Because let’s remember Love is primarily a verb…a doing word (remember that from school?) so it’s less about feeling and more about taking action.

Being kind to yourself, putting yourself first, knowing what you need and making sure you get it, being honest with yourself and others, allowing yourself to shine, making choices based on your own desires.

And no this is not selfish.

Often in relationships people do things for people they love even when they don’t feel like doing it, even when the other person is annoying them, or doesn’t deserve the love.

Its what unconditional love is all about and we all deserve it.

When I think about how I have treated my body in the past, it hasn’t always been from a position of love….and as Louise Hay says…

You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.

I exercised to punish myself for being fat, to try and be a different size, a different person. I dieted and restricted food to do the same, but then I would binge eat because I felt crap about myself and thought “whats the point anyway?”

None of that was ever helpful.

Now I always advocate for doing exercise for the many positive things it gives to you aside from weight loss. The endorphins, the experiences, the benefits to your mental and physical health…and not simply just to look good.

Imagine if we were in relationships where we only did nice things so that we looked good? Or were only nice when other people were watching? Thats not true love is it really?

Tomorrow is of course Valentines Day, a day where we are pressured into sharing our romantic love and those of us not in relationships, often feel like “losers” like we can’t take part.

Of course we can.

Oscar Wilde said,

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance

I am in a long term relationship with myself. So tomorrow I will be taking some time out to be particularly nice to myself. I might buy myself some flowers (I do this occassionally anyway) and I will make a point of reminding myself that I am loved and that I am enough.

I will also go for a short run…because its something I love.

But also because tomorrow we kick off our “For the Love of Running” programme, a FREE 14 day running challenge where the emphasis is not distance or speed, or how good you are as a runner, its about participation, involvement and having fun with the sport, and finding the confidence to priorities it more in your life.

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We have 825 ladies signed up at the moment…and I hope to have 1000 onboard by the time it goes live first thing tomorrow morning. Do you fancy getting involved?

Here is the link (please show some love and share this with women you know who might enjoy it)

In a world that seems so devoid of love at the moment we can often feel powerless to change anything, yet we have so much power that we never use. We can be kind to ourselves, kind to each other, we could smile more, take action, offer help and support to others that need it.

Love can change the world…it really can…if only we would let it

Running has absolutely helped me learn to love myself as I am, it’s helped me to understand myself better, and inspired me to be a better person more generally.

I love running and running loves me back…it’s how we roll.

Sending all my love

xxxx

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