Would you look at your best friend and tell her that she’s not good enough? Not pretty enough? Not thin enough? Would you tell your mom or sister or cousin that she’s terrible for veering off of her “diet” and that she should beat herself up over it and get lost in the guilt? No? Then why do you do it to yourself?
We tend to be harder on ourselves than other people. We give others compassion and understanding, but yet we berate ourselves and talk down to ourselves for every “mistake” that we make. This behavior is self-destructive in all aspects of your life – and weight loss is no different.
Self Love for Weight Loss
Beating yourself up after overeating not only derails your progress, it can be downright harmful to your self-esteem and self-worth. On the other hand, being kinder to yourself can actually lead to longer lasting habit changes for several reasons.
When you speak kindly to yourself, it helps create feelings of worthiness, which then translates to enthusiasm and motivation. Also, change tends to come more easily when you’re in a place of self-acceptance. You may not be exactly where you want to be weight-wise right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept yourself for where you are – and work to get to where you want to be.
Tips to Bolster Self Love
Self love and self-compassion is not something that happens overnight. Like any other habit, it gets time to get used to. You have to practice to solidify the habit and make it something that comes naturally. When you find that you’re starting to talk negatively to or about yourself, take a deep breath and remember these tips.
- Change negative to positive. If you eat a cookie or veer off your diet plan, don’t say things like “I cheated” or “I can’t believe I ate that”. Instead, replace that negativity with positive words that act as support and encouragement. You can say something like “I made a choice to eat that cookie, but that’s okay. It didn’t ruin my whole day and I’m going to get right back on track.”
- Focus on progress, not perfection. You’ve probably heard this one before, but do you do it? You’re not going to change your entire lifestyle overnight, but no one expects you to. Every little change is a step in the right direction. Eventually, these little changes add up and you find that you’ve changed your lifestyle in major ways. Celebrate every little victory. Did you skip dessert? Celebrate! Did you incorporate a workout in your day? Celebrate! Did you drink enough water? Celebrate! Every health choice you make deserves positive reinforcement.
- Recognize – and accept – your vulnerabilities. Everyone is vulnerable at some point. It doesn’t make you weak. In fact, recognizing, and accepting, your vulnerabilities makes you strong. Take note of when you’re more inclined to make unhealthy choices. Is it when you’re stressed out or feeling sad? Is it in social settings? Recognize these scenarios and tell yourself that it’s okay, but work to figure out what can prevent the self-sabotage. When you’re stressed, try calling a friend and talking for 10 to 20 minutes instead of reaching for that bag of chips. Or come see us! Our team is made up lots of wonderful people that are here to support you.