Self-love and weight loss go hand-in-hand, or thigh-to-thigh, if you will.

I know how it feels not to like myself and to lead a life of compromise. It\’s a big, fat drag. And now I know how it feels to like – even love myself. I promise you, it\’s a whole lot better and there\’s no pastry, chocolate bar, or basket of bread that\’s worth it putting self-love on the back-burner.

Love is an art that requires conviction, faith and daily practice.

Self-love is within you, always available – ready to comfort and embrace.

Fully accept yourself this St. Valentine\’s Day. You deserve to love yourself, no matter your size, hairstyle (I had the ultimate bad cut a few weeks ago and struggled with self-love.), or I.Q. (my brother was the smart one!).

Five Fabulous Tips on How to Exercise Your Self-Love Muscle

1. Write out a list of all the things you like about yourself. If you are short on ideas, ask a couple of good and kind friends. (Caution: steer clear of critical relatives.)

2. To get your day headed in the right direction, start the morning with a few self-loving affirmations. Write them first and then say them aloud. “My loving energy flows through me and out into the universe, connecting with all the Gods and Goddesses of love.” (Okay, a little over the top. I like a touch of drama.)

3. Every night jot down three things that you are grateful for. “I am grateful that I love myself.”

4. Praise and compliment yourself as often as possible. Criticism is soul crushing. Praise builds. “Wow, that chocolate smoothie I just whipped up was awesome. I am great.” (see Chocolate Smoothie recipe below) “And woo hoo! Girlfriend, look at yourself in those tight-ass jeans.”

5. Look adoringly at yourself in the mirror. Accept yourself just the way you are. No kidding, you are really fabulous. No need to wait. Love yourself NOW.

How do you love thee? Write me!

Janice Taylor Weight Loss Coach

Janice Taylor, is a Weight Loss Coach and Certified Hypnotist. She is the author of Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal and creator of the popular e-newsletter Kick in the Tush Club.