Does this sound familiar? That dress you bought last summer is too tight! You get on the scale and learn you’ve gained ten pounds over the winter. Ten on top of the 30 you already wanted to lose. You’re totally disgusted with yourself. You call yourself awful names: Fat Pig! Beached Whale! You decide you’re going to try the latest diet that you read about. Okay, so you can only consume brown rice, quinoa, miso, vegetables and kombucha, but you can suck it up for a few months until you lose the weight.
You start out with a ton of resolve, and do great, sticking with it for an entire week and losing two pounds. Then you get really stressed out because your boss just dumped yet another new project on your desk, and BINGO! On your way home from work, you buy yourself a bag of your favorite potato chips and eat the whole thing on the drive home. Now you’ve really blown it, so you might as well just give up. Again. You think, “I’ll never be thin!”
We’ve all been there. Fired up with lots of motivation for a new diet. None of the others have worked, meaning you’ve never reached your goal, then gained the weight you lost back plus a few more pounds. But this time it would be different. For maybe a few days or weeks.
What is wrong with this picture?
Your thinking. Your motivation. It is based on negativity and force. Negative motivation always fades, just like all the other times you’ve tried to lose weight. It’s like a song on repeat playing over and over and over again.
How do you change this?
First, motivation from self-loathing never lasts for long. Force inspires resistance, not cooperation. You want to change so you can feel better about yourself, but being disgusted and angry with yourself feels awful. So you eat to soothe all those bad emotions. Wait. Isn’t soothing yourself with food one of the main reasons you’re overweight anyway?
What if you tried loving yourself? What if you decided to lose weight because you deserve to take better care of yourself? Your body has been a workhorse. Doesn’t it deserve to be treated better? What if you wanted to lose weight to be healthier and have more energy? How about loving yourself enough to take the time to prepare healthy meals and eat them slowly, savoring each delicious bite full? How about exercising your body so you aren’t stiff and creaky? Why not lose weight because your joints will be so much happier and not wear out as fast?
There are so many great reasons for treating yourself and your body with kindness, and absolutely none for being abusive to yourself, either physically or emotionally. Although many people believe that if they were kind to themselves, they wouldn’t be motivated to change, the opposite is actually true. You cannot hate yourself thin. You can’t beat the crap out of yourself and figure out why you are overeating. You have to be kind. You have to be motivated out of love and care for yourself. That doesn’t mean letting yourself off the hook. It just means you are motivating yourself based upon positive changes. Because you’re worth it.
Make taking care of yourself your top priority. After all, if you aren’t healthy, you can’t enjoy all the other things life has to offer. Forget about all of those attempts to lose weight based on self-disgust. They were doomed from the start because you were trying to lose weight for the wrong reasons.
This time, make your effort one of positive change for you because you deserve it. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and get right back on track, like the toddler who falls down when learning to walk. You wouldn’t be abusive to that toddler for falling, would you? Just keep taking positive action until you reach your goal.
You can love food, lose weight and keep it off. I’d love to show you how. To schedule a free, no sales pitch mini-coaching session, click here.