The Link Between Self-Esteem and Weight Loss

We all know someone like this (or perhaps you've even been this person): they're shedding the pounds, doing all the right things, their body is looking great. But in the back of everyone's mind who knows them is this: "they won't keep it off".

How is it that sometimes when you see someone losing weight you can just know they'll eventually gain it all back (and then some, in many cases)? The answer to the inability of some people to keep weight off might have little to do with their external world and more to do with the dialogue going on in their own mind.

Low self-esteem is often the root cause of one's inability to lose weight and keep it off for good. People with low self-esteem have an internal dialogue that tells them they're not good enough or are inadequate. This dialogue eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy which leads to unhealthy approaches to weight loss and oftentimes weight regain.

So if low self-esteem is a root cause of one's inability to follow through to their weight loss goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle that promotes weight loss retention, how can one increase their self-esteem?

Here are six thoughts and tips to help with low self-esteem issues in order to help achieve weight loss goals and keep the weight off once and for all:

1. Be nice to yourself. You are a person the same as anyone else on this earth. In your daily practice to be kind and considerate to others, extend the same courtesy to yourself. Don't say things to yourself that you would think better of saying to another person. Reinforce kind and positive things in your own mind by choosing to accept yourself for who you are rather than withhold self-love until you become the person you've convinced yourself you should be.

2. Create firm personal boundaries. Live in the universe of your own creation. Do you get caught up in trying to meet the unrealistic expectations of others? This impulse to please other people, while rooted in the best of intentions, often results in neglecting the person who matters most: you. Accept that it is not your role to please everyone. What begins to happen when you choose to respect yourself over trying to please everyone else is that everyone else begins to respect you too.

3. You're a child of the earth, feed yourself good food. You are a product of this earth same as any other mammal walking the planet. Nourish your body with the foods nature intended for us to eat. Potato chips are made in a factory using cheap ingredients. The sweet potato, however, when seasoned and baked with a drizzle of olive oil is delicious and healthy. Watch the documentary Food Inc if you need help with cultivating a disdain for processed foods and finding motivation to seek out whole foods that will have your body saying "thank you, thank you!"

Related: How drinking raw vegetable juice aids weight loss.

4. Appreciate the person in the mirror. You and the person in the mirror are in this together. It's a journey of one. You'll go through the rest of your life as that person. It seems wise to warm up to the idea of accepting the person in the mirror for who they are. Look in the mirror and give a smile of appreciation and acceptance to yourself. Practice growing comfortable saying the phrase, "I accept myself just as I am." When you can master self-acceptance, maintaining a healthy body weight becomes a breeze.

5. Exercise! There is no better way to show yourself how much you appreciate yourself than by exercising. Many people avoid exercise because they associate it as being no fun. Exercise, however, can be plenty fun. Even doing something as simple as walking at a brisk pace on a treadmill while watching your favorite TV show is incredible for your body. Don't stress over exercise. It's meant to be a positive thing for your body. Get outdoors and go for a walk or play some tennis with a friend.

6. Think positive. Thinking positive takes practice. It is work. You must choose in each instance to see the positive side of something over the negative. When you find yourself having negative thoughts, about yourself or anything, offset it by thinking or saying something positive about that thing. For example, if you're telling someone how much you dread going to your job, follow it up by saying how much you appreciate being employed since there are many people who want a job but don't have one. Simply by training yourself to think more positively, you can begin to take a "glass half full" approach to your own body image which produces beneficial results in weight loss efforts.

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