Motivation Tip: Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

Motivation Tip 21 - Don't Be Hard On YourselfMotivation Tip 21 - Don't Be Hard On Yourself

Negative energy will bread self-doubt and negative thoughts. 

Motivation Tip 21 - Don't Be Hard On Yourself

Motivation Tip 21 – Don’t Be Hard On Yourself

Success is weight loss requires positive thought and optimism.  You will need to feel good about the path you have chosen and confident you will get there.  The problem is we often have little compassion for ourselves, and we are too hard on ourselves when we slip up and indulge in something we should avoid.  Behavioral health professionals refer to compassion for oneself as self-compassion, and it is essential for long-term weight loss.  

My goal as an individual is to lose weight and never to gain it back.  This goal is the same one I hope that all of my patients attain.  Our success is dependent on not only what we eat and how we exercise but also about how we feel about ourselves.  If you feel good about yourself, you will treat yourself better and will be more likely to eat and exercise properly to attain good health.  

If you lack compassion for yourself, you will be less forgiving of a mistake.  You will develop self-loathing and have less self-worth.  Success is not determined by the amount you weight or your clothing size, it is determined by how you value yourself.  For this reason, it is of vital importance that you develop a new way of looking at eating, exercising, and body weight.  

Rigidity is the enemy.  Years of research and I am sure both your and my failures have led me to understand why this is such a terrible thing.  Let me illustrate with my snack last night.  I had two servings of chocolate.  In the past, this might have expanded to 3-5 servings or even completely derailed my plans.  Now, I have the flexibility to survive a small indiscretion.  The bottom line is that rigidity breeds failure but making unrealistic expectation.  Instead of making a plan to have no added sugar, make a place to reduce your added sugar.  You will be not only happier but also more successful.  

Rigidity also leads to negativity when you violate your plans.  The negative or pleasant thoughts are from a loss of perceived control over your diet and life.  The results are feelings of failure that lead to a spiral out of control.  The more strict the diet, the more likely you are to violate it.  Look at a low or no carb diet for example.  It is so strict that it is nearly impossible to maintain for most that try them.  There is no doubt that you will end in failure if it leaves out the carbs that you crave as comfort foods.

Tips for success:

  1. Stop being your inner critic.  That inner voice that you hear which sounds like your grandmother, mother, or father needs to go.  Be constructive and positive.  Critics tend to have a lot of negative energy.  Negative energy leads to overeating.  
  2. Flexibility is the key.  You have decided to follow your diet 100% of the time with no exception and how you have a required work lunch for work.  You could just sit and not eat, or you could order a meal that is as healthy as you can eat.  Be flexible and just take 1/2 home in a doggy bag.  If you plan for it and accept it, you will be more accepting of the slip-up.  
  3. Know yourself.  If you truly know yourself, you will know your stress triggers for overeating and develop plans and mechanisms to avoid them.  Acknowledge your own feelings and be mindful of your weaknesses.  Accepting yourself as you are is one of the keys to success.  
  4. Accept that you will overeat.  Have compassion for yourself and understand that we are all imperfect.  If you acknowledge this fact, you will be less hard on yourself when you indulge.  
  5. Avoid negative thought and self-loathing.  You had a little slip-up.  You are only Human.  If you fall prey to anger and self-loathing behavior, you will be more likely to graze the snack bowls and snaking is the evil villain when it comes to weight loss.  
  6. Avoid mindless eating.  You need to be mindful of the situation.  The worst thing you can do is eat when stressed or eat while watching TV or movies.  I have always referred to eating chips or popcorn as strapping on the feed bag.  You need to very aware of how much you are eating.  

The Bottom Line:  Flexibility and Compassion are the keys to success.  Being negative and hard on yourself will lead to you being discouraged.  The endless cycle of despair and agony over your splurges will only lead to more eating.  Turn your negativity into determination and avoid self-loathing. 

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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