Can You Lose Weight by Speaking Kindly to Yourself?

By on March 12, 2016

If you have punished yourself or called yourself nasty names for enjoying foods on your no-can-eat list, changing your self-talk is the first step to healthier eating, weight loss, and more positive food experience.

Does this sound familiar?

Self-Talk: Wow, I have no will power, can’t believe I ate that. At the rate I am going I will never lose weight. 

Self-Talk: I feel so fat. Why did I eat that? I am so gross. Well since I am already gross there is no use in trying. Might as well order a pizza and call it a day. You will never lose weight. 

If you’re someone who has ever tried to lose weight and you love food, the statements above might have struck close to home. I have even experienced a similar soundtrack playing over and over in my head from eating something I later regretted. What made me feel worse than the actual experience of feeling too full were the negative words I was repeating over and over to myself. One thing I know for sure is that language this is more likely to do harm than good. A lot of the times the self-doubt and self-loathing that follows a meal misstep leads someone even further from healthy eating and self-acceptance. Tired of repeating the vicious pattern of negative self-talk and overeating? You’re not alone. This is a very common experience for a lot of women and men. 

Stop the Black and White Thinking

So how do you end the negative lyrics on repeat that you keep singing in your head? It starts by looking at the food fumble realistically. It’s incredibly common to catastrophize the problem and make it a lot bigger in your head than it actually is. When you blow your food bust out of proportion you’re setting yourself up for failure. Certainly, eating too much at dinner, especially if it is something delicious doesn’t make someone a failure any more than getting a C on a tests labels someone a bad student. To help put your moment of dietary “weakness”  into perspective, ask yourself if it will really matter in three months, three weeks or even three days? If you treat the slip like just a slip and continue on with healthful eating, it will make no difference after today. What trips up a lot of people is having an all or nothing mentality. There is always a new meal to try to use kinder words and bing kinder foods to the table. 

Now that you can see the problem for what it is, the next step is to try and speak kindly to yourself. Imagine that you’re speaking to your best buddy, you wouldn’t say harmful things to them. The way you speak to yourself is no different. Be your own best friend and start treating yourself like one. 

Follow these mental recipes for a new YOU!

A little self-love never hurt anyone. Even though you are in the process of improving your physical presence through weight loss and exercise, it’s VERY important to accept yourself as you are right now. One of the worst things people do is complain about their bodies, or put themselves down. Focus each and every day on being loving and completely accepting of yourself, your body, your mind, and your spirit. When feeling down try swapping out the negative thoughts to speaking kindly to yourself. Say things like this: ” I love and accept myself at this moment. I am doing my best and I am proud.” Or try this one, ” I am perfect right now in this body. I am trying to improve myself each and every day.”

Your body is your friend, not your enemy

Ever feel hostile and at war with your body? Do you feel like it’s your enemy? Turn that frown upside down by making a conscious choice to treat your body gently with the love and care it deserves. Try not to get angry at your extra weight, don’t say nasty things to yourself, and don’t expect yourself to be able to change everything with the snap of your fingers. This way of thinking isn’t realistic and will most likely lead in more nasty thoughts and more weight gain because you have set unrealistic high standards for yourself. If you stop treating yourself in a negative way, you’ll come to realize just how much better you feel with this one small change alone. Words are powerful, so use them wisely. 

Start moving even if you feel uncomfortable 

I know how you feel if this is resonating with you. I also know that if you feel down in the dumps about how you physically feel in your body you might not want to go exercise or even move for that matter because it’s physically uncomfortable to be in your body. This does more harm than good and continues to perpetuate the cycle of feeling down after going to town on your favorite foods. Start moving even if you don’t mentally or physically feel up to it. I started dancing in my room to my favorite songs on youtube. This was in the privacy of my own home so I felt comfortable dancing like no one was watching. Listening to my favorite songs and dancing wildly to them not only made my body feel alive again it also made me smile, laugh, and feel more motivated to be healthy. Moving and grooving is a quick way to jump-start the process of feeling good mentality and physically. Starting small like dancing to a few songs in your room is a great start and will eventually lead to walks outside, visits to the gym, and healthy weight loss. 

Imagine yourself as a gardener, your body a tiny seed that you’re tending. Handle this seed with love, care, and kindness. A flower doesn’t bloom overnight. If the gardener doesn’t tend properly to the seed by providing it water, nutrients, and protection, the seed won’t grow and bloom. You’re capable of blooming into a radiant flower. You have all the basic essentials all ready to help your flower bloom. Provide yourself light when your world feels dark. The kind words that you speak to yourself over time will help you continue to grow. Allow yourself this kindness and watch your world turn into a field of bright flowers.

By Collin McShirley



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Can You Lose Weight by Speaking Kindly to Yourself?