How many times have you heard someone say that you need to love yourself before being able to lose weight?
I used to hate when people would say this – mostly because I had no idea what they were talking about.
But after lots of trial and error and dealing with a really loud and insensitive, inner-critic, I think I’m really beginning to understand why love truly is the only path to sustainable weight loss.
I’m going to try to demonstrate this in the simplest, most straightforward way I know how, so that hopefully, you can skip the 20+ years it took me to figure this out for myself.
I will give you two identical scenarios of someone trying to lose weight. One will meet themselves with self-hate the other self-love.
Here’s the scenario:
A 35year old woman wants to lose weight and has created a diet and fitness plan to help reach her goals. As she approaches week two, things are going exactly according to plan. She misses a workout, eats a piece of cake, feels tired, and seems to want more carbs than she’s ‘suppose’ to have.
Here’s how this scenario plays out when approached with self-HATE.
“There is seriously something wrong with me.”
“Why did I eat that cake? I have no willpower.”
“I’m never going to figure this out.”
“I shouldn’t be tired. I’m so lazy.”
“I’m going to workout twice tomorrow to make up for the one I missed today.”
“I have issues.”
“I should know better.”
Inadequate. Shame. Defeated. Hopeless. Embarrassed. Angry.
Give up. Stop trying to reach health goals. Overindulge. Eat too many sweets. Binge. Etc.
Does not lose weight. Does not reach goals. Probably even gains a little more weight.
This is an extremely STRESSFUL scenario and will not result in weight loss or goals reached (trust me – I’ve tried it 1,000 times!).
Now let’s play out the same scenario but this time approached with self-LOVE.
“I wonder why I wanted that cake today?”
“Maybe my body needs more carbs than what the plan says.”
“How can I get a little extra rest tonight?”
“What would feel best for me right now?”
“It’s all O.K. – I’m going figure this out for myself.”
“I’ve got this. I can do this.”
Curious. Understanding. Compassionate. Nurtured. Relieved. Relaxed.
Continue to move forward. Tweaks diet and fitness plan open to finding what’s best for self. Eats food that feels good for self. Moves body in a way that feels good. Etc.
Creates a deeper more intimate relationship with self and body. Feels lighter. Feels healthier. Is happier. Oftentimes loses weight and reaches health goals.
Can you see how beating yourself up and trying to hate yourself thin can never work in finding long-term, sustainable weight loss?
The only path is the path of self-LOVE.
So give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. And give yourself a little love. After all, you deserve it – (and it’s your only real chance at getting thin;)).