How many times per day do you look in the mirror, and criticize part of your body? How often do you read something on social media and feel ashamed of your own habits? When you flip through a magazine, do you find yourself making unfavorable comparisons between your body, and those of airbrushed, digitally-altered celebrities?
Negative self-talk is one of the contributors to weight gain, and it’s also one of the reasons so many people struggling with weight loss. It’s hard to commit to yourself, when you’re constantly thinking mean things about your own body!
Negative self-talk is a habit that often develops over years, and it would be impossible to undo all of the damage with a single blog article. If you’re struggling hard with this problem, seeing a professional therapist might be the best idea for you. But if you’re like a lot of people, and you’re just developing negative thoughts about yourself, or they only surface sporadically, take these steps to start fighting against that bad habit.
Start to notice. Much of our negative self-talk is unconscious, but after reading this blog you might become more aware of it. The first step to overcoming this problem is to recognize when you’re doing it.
Counter bad habits with good ones. If following a certain celebrity on Twitter consistently makes you feel bad about yourself, unfollow them! Replace her with someone more positive and motivational. If magazines spark negative thoughts, stop buying them, or switch to publications that focus on healthier messages.
Stop criticizing yourself in the mirror. When you look in the mirror, make a face that makes you laugh. Focus on something you like, such as your new haircut or the muscle tone you’ve recently gained in your arms. Or, just stop looking in the mirror so much! Many of us check out our reflection far more often than necessary.
Replace negative words with positive ones. Instead of criticizing your exercise progress or your dietary choices, remind yourself how much you’ve accomplished made or the healthy choices you’ve made.
Focus on what your body can do, not what it looks like. Maybe you aren’t a swimsuit model, or your breasts aren’t as firm as you wish they were. But exercise feels good, you’re capable of performing well at your job, you competed in that charity walk last month, or you were able to breastfeed a baby… Remind yourself of the things you can do.
Don’t compete. When a Facebook friend posts her workout, resist the urge to say to yourself, “Ugh, I’m so lazy. She spends double the time in the gym”. Instead, say, “I’ve increased my workout time by 20 minutes since I started” or “I’ve been adding half a mile to my walk each week”. Focus on how much you’ve accomplished, rather than worrying about how you stack up against everyone else. Health is about being your personal best, not about beating others.
As always, give us a call if you need advice on medical weight loss. We can help you put together a nutritional plan to meet your goals, or recommend more personalized help when needed.