How do you show yourself love/kindness/compassion? That's the question I asking readers in our most recent giveaway. And the question I'm attempting to answer for myself here.
If I've discovered anything in my 50+ years, it's that as hard as we may try, we just can’t beat ourselves into transformation. It will NOT work.
Lasting meaningful change requires big doses of love, kindness and compassion.
If you struggle with food and your weight, you know all too well that the heart of the struggle isn’t with the food as much as it is with yourself.
Hating yourself won't make you slimmer. It's impossible to hate yourself slim.
Whopping doses of self-criticism will get you nowhere.
There's only one path to lasting slim, we must love ourselves there. There's no other way.
You've got to stop hating yourself for everything you aren't and start loving yourself for everything you are.
For most of my life I've been paralyzed by perfectionist thinking. I've worked hard to avoid being seen as anything less than "just right." Unfortunately attempting to appear perfect only serves to confine us and keep us from living happy healthy lives. Growth happens only when we're willing to risk making mistakes and exposing our vulnerabilities.
We've got to stop expecting ourselves to be perfect and learn to accept and enjoy ourselves in the midst of our mistakes.
So, I'm working on being kind to myself by letting myself try new things, experiment and mess-up, say the wrong thing, and look goofy. It's scary, but worth it.
I've also given up sneaking food. I give myself permission to eat what I want in plain sight. Who did I think I was hiding from anyway? When I want a spoonful or two of ice cream before bed, I shout out for everyone to hear, "I'm having a spoonful of ice cream. Does anyone else want one?" Sometimes my husband shows up to join me, sometimes not. Then I dip in, scoop it up and savor the cold, sweet creaminess without an ounce of remorse or guilt.
Two Techniques for Building Self Compassion
#1 Talk To Yourself Like a Friend
What would you say to a friend who is having a tough time or who has experienced a setback? How would you say it? Compare that to how you have been talking to yourself. Begin talking to yourself with the same consideration as you would show a friend or the way a friend would talk to you.
#2 Write a Note to Yourself
Find a quiet place where you can write uninterrupted for 10-15 minutes. Identify something you are struggling with. Imagine you are a close friend or family member who loves and accepts you just as you are. Write to yourself with the same understanding, compassion, and acceptance. Acknowledge that setbacks are a normal part of life. Think about constructive, supportive things you can do to feel happier and healthier.
Additional Resources for Building Self Compassion
- The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer
- Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy by Shauna Shapiro
- Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive by Kristin Neff
Need Help Clearing Away Old Thoughts & Habits & Being More Kind to Yourself?
You owe it to yourself to check out Carol Tuttle's 4 Week Weight Loss Cure! It's designed to help you release the emotional patterns and limiting beliefs that keep you from losing weight in a deeply compassionate way. I'm only 2 weeks in and have already felt huge shifts in the way I am relating to myself, my energy level, and my cravings!
Related Content for Weight Watchers:
- Motivational/Inspirational Quotes
- The Power of Positive Thinking
- To Lose Weight Stop Stressing About It
- 2 Tips on Letting Go of Perfectionism
- Learning to Like Yourself
- Why Humility and Kindness are Critical to Lasting Weight Loss Success
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
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I love this post! For long time I had been stuck in a couch potato phase that I could not shake off. Sure enough my pounds were adding up as my self-esteem was dropping. So I started practicing one of my young adulthood passions again: Muay Thai.
I know, it may be a little extreme for some, ok for many, and YES there were several times I felt I was going to pass out, omg, but I kept a it and now I love it again because it made me focus on what matters: yourself.
Too many people rely on products and quick-fixes that do little to no good in terms of achieving long-term weight loss benefits. Start loving yourself, and if martial arts aren't your cup of tea that's totally fine. There's many other methods that bring incredible lifestyle change from within, and that's the stuff that counts!
Have a great weekend everyone!
I give myself time each day to read for pleasure, no matter how busy I am.
I too started being a couch potato when my job was over . With no one left at home to take care of. I did nothing , however I decided to begin walking and rediscovered the library. I love to read and walking gives me energy.
I start each day pampering myself so I will be happier about me and every one else's day I no I can do all things thru Christ Jesus
I try hard to eliminate negative thought from my mind by praying.
Myrtice Ann Dyer
I guess that I had to nearly die to learn how to love myself. On July 2015 I had a near fatal PE. I had over a hundred blood clots in the 5 lobes of my lungs. My Dr. said I was lucky to be alive but next time I might not be so lucky. I knew I was overweight but when the Dr. said I was obese and large deposits of fat smothering my lungs and heart and if I didn't loose at least 40 lbs and get moving and keep moving I may not be around for much longer. That is when I contacted the local YMCA and ask if they had any discounts for disabled seniors and was given a scholarship. I found Aqua Zumba and Intensive Aqua Areobics. I do this 2 times a week I also walk daily. This is how I love and pamper myself. With exercise and a nutritionist I have lost 35 lbs.
I try to have a positive attitude every day. I remind myself how blessed I am. And I try to do something nice for myself.
I make time to do at least one thing in my sewing room each day. It may only be to cut fabric for a project at a later date or actually sewing for a few minutes but at least I am in that room doing something I really enjoy. I also pamper myself regularly with a manicure and pedicure - both are so uplifting!
I had learn to take care of myself first and to stop beating myself up over what I consider my "failures" Changing my thought patterns, eating healthy food and getting myself off of the couch and exercising everyday has made me a much happier person and I am able to give more of myself to others.
I allow time to be still and relax wether I get everything done or not. Relax with my dog and up of coffee.
I try every day to find one thing about myself that I like about myself and one thing I am grateful for, today I am focused not on the limitations of my body but rather my ability to take a walk. Today I have reminded myself that although I have health issues, thus the weight gain, I a still grateful that I can still celebrate small successes.
I like to sit down a some point during the day, preferably in the afternoon and read for awhile. I am a morning person so like to do my necessary work in the a.m. and relax more in the afternoon.
you know I am still learning how to and I am terrible at it which is why I would like to win this and talk myself into joining and committing to Weight Watchers
I try to exercise each day to give me more energy and it gives me something to look forward to. I especially like to take my grandsons for a walk! They are the light of my life!
Thank you for this post. I have been having a hard time making myself first. I loved reading what other ladies were doing and will work, one day at a time, toward making me important.
I love this topic! I too, experience perfectionist thinking. If I don't track every bite or meal, don't exercise every day, don't stay away from "bad" foods, then why bother at all? I have had a rough couple of months and even cancelled my WW's membership. At almost 61 and my umpteenth time with WW's, what I finally get is my biggest obstacle is what's between my ears. My thinking and how I treat myself directly influence what that scale does. Practicing the Golden Rule on myself takes concerted effort, but I am worth it. It all starts with me and loving myself. Doing this first, allows me to make better, healthier choices. I didn't quit WW's. I was reminded of something I found a year ago... "If I quit now, I'll soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."
Wow, Patricia, what great awareness! We can be our own worst enemy or best ally depending on what's going on between our ears!
Martha, I am trying to contact you because I won the Kindle, but have been unable to get through to you via prizes simply nourished living so will try this, hope it works. Judy
Hi Judy, Got it. I've forwarded your comment to Peter who will be in touch to make arrangements to ship
you your Kindle. Congrats!
I have thick hair! So a couple times a week I will go get it washed and blow dried! I takes me over a hour and a half to do it myself !
I make sure I walk with a friend a few times a week!
I walk with my dog, Marty everyday. I have lost 32 lbs. and exercise is a big factor. I knew I had lost weight by clothes and the scale but I couldn't tell by looking in the mirror. I had to have my drivers license renewed and I compared pictures. Boy could I see it then. I tried on my bathing suit and no I'm not where I want to be but it didn't look bad. I'm beginning to accept myself and be content.