When it comes to weight loss, weight management or any journey of self exploration, the first step we need to take is to look within ourselves. You see, every path that we choose to take comes from our perception of ourselves & the world.
Today I want to look at self worth, talk about what it is and how it relates to the journey you are undertaking at the moment.
What is self worth?
Self worth is defined as as 'the sense of one's own value or worth as a person' so plainly put, it's about how you view yourself as a person on the inside and out (not about the actions that you take).
Today's society tends to play us off against each other - we are competitive, strive to be no 1 in our competing fields & have immense pressure put on us to be the bigger & better person in everything that we do. Being average just isn't good enough anymore. As a result, we are comparing ourselves to others and see only what we want to based on our own perceptions. We are always fighting a losing battle as i hate to say it but there will always be someone more attractive, someone slimmer or fitter, someone more successful than ourselves.
Our own self worth can put limits on us. If you feel that you aren't worthy of weight loss then you won't lose weight it's as simple and as plain as that BUT there are ways in which you can start to look at your own self worth & slowly but surely build it.
Building self worth..
We all have an inner voice. You may or may not have noticed it. Usually it's that voice that criticises or berates you. We call it the inner critic. Your inner critic is what sabotages you, it's what undermines you and your sense of self worth and leads to self destructive behaviours which in turn leads into a viscous cycle of self loathing and self sabotage.
You are probably now wanting to know where this inner critic comes from aren't you? Well.... this inner critic usually is formed out of experiences and messages that we received during our childhood. Those times you saw or heard something negative about yourself or those times your parents openly criticised themselves or each other, you as a child would have taken those messages and twisted them internally to make them relevant about you and who you are as a person.
Someone tells you as a child that you are ugly?
You could grow up obsessing over your looks, even form body dis-morphia and obsessions over what you believe to be 'pretty' and even if an adult comes along and tells you that you ARE pretty, you won't truly believe them due to these beliefs already formed and how they are affecting your own self worth.
Someone tells you that you are a greedy pig?
You could grow up thinking that belief is true. It can become 'who you are', your go-to - well i'm a greedy pig i may as well not even bother trying to lose weight because i'm a pig. Almost like the label you end up wearing in life.
This is what your inner critic is all about - your own self destructive viewpoint.
Challenging that inner critic is the first and VERY IMPORTANT step to helping you build your own self worth. Once you start to challenge your inner critic, you can start to see yourself for who you truly are instead of who you believe you are based on a negative viewpoint.
Step 1. Notice & acknowledge your inner critic - now you know about this inner critic we ALL have, you'll be more aware of it. Next time you notice it raising it's destructive doubts about yourself, stop and acknowledge what it's saying.
Step 2. Is this true? Remember the inner critic is your negativity you have formed about yourself. It will not deliver positivity so stop and challenge it. Question if what it's telling you is true? So if my inner critic sais 'you always fail at weight loss, what's the point in trying? just give up!' then stop and challenge it. Is it true what you are saying? Do you always fail? Should you just give up?
I always say to my slimmers - you do have the belief that you CAN and WILL lose weight or you would just give up completely and not try to even look for other ways of losing weight or work on yourself
Step 3. Be kind to yourself. We are way too hard on ourselves nowadays. With all these pressures we face to be the loving parent, a perfect spouse, a great role model, a model worker, we don't stop and take time to notice our greatness for all it truly is! Next time that inner critic comes across with the negatives, replace it with a positive. So your inner critic tells you that you are a 'fat, ugly cow'? challenge it, then replace it with a positive affirmation such as I'm a strong and beautiful woman!
(side note that fat, ugly cow is not directed at anyone - that was what my own inner critic used to say to me)
Ally is a qualified weight management counsellor & founder of slimsights
Ally helps slimmers lose weight by changing the way they view themselves and their eating.
Alleyne is a qualified weight management counsellor, author and columnist.
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