3 Ways Serial Dieting Devastates Self-Esteem

3 Ways Serial Dieting Devastates Self-Esteem

3 Ways Serial Dieting Devastates Self-Esteem

 

 

Imagine this:

 

You hate your body. You hate that you are fat.

You look in the mirror and wish that you looked like the women in the magazines.

You wish you looked like Jo at work.

You wonder what people must think of you?

You decide (yet again) that you are going to lose weight.

You buy in lots of fruit and vegetables and crispbreads…..oh and a cauliflower to make some rice (??!!?)

You have a light breakfast, and a light lunch.

You still feel slightly hungry.

You feel virtuous.

You’ve been so ‘good’!

 

 

At 4 o’clock you are even hungrier and eat an apple……and a couple of cookies.

Now you feel awful.

Why did you eat the cookies?

You wish you had more willpower.

You hate that you just can’t seem to do this weight loss thing anymore.

You wonder what’s the matter with you?

How come she gets to eat cookies and still be slim?

How comes it’s you that’s lumbered with the fat body?

 

You hate your stupid body. You hate yourself.

You’ve ruined it all again.

You wonder why this happens every time.

What’s the point in even trying?

You’re such a failure.

You can’t get anything right.

You’re fat and ugly and a waste of space!

(Or words to that effect)

 

 

Maybe you don’t need to imagine?

Maybe you’ve lived this many times yourself? 

And maybe as a result of being a serial dieter, you have even  lower self-esteem than you might otherwise have had?   

Here are 3 reasons why this is the case for the majority:

 

 

1. As a serial dieter you have chosen to buy into the idea that your body is not good enough as it is. This makes you feel bad. It make you feel like there is something wrong with you.

It’s hardly surprising that so many of us feel this way given the disproportionate amount of visual images and messages out there, promoting the super slim ideal.  We have been conditioned to believe that super slim is the normal way for a body to be.

But is it?

In the UK, more than 50% of women are a size 16 plus.  So in reality, if you are a size 16 or above, you are in the majority.  Surely that means you are the norm?

(Please note: there is an alternative way to think about your body.  You could choose to think that your body is a good body and that it does it’s best for you. You could decide to accept it as it is and treat it well in lots of ways.  Just saying…..)

 

 

2.Being a serial dieter means that you are spending a lot of time thinking about your body (and your whole self) in a negative way.

Obviously not conducive to high self-esteem.

This can also lead to social anxiety; worrying about whether you’ll be the fattest person in the room. Worrying about what people will think.

Will they think you are greedy or lazy or stupid?  And maybe the bigger problem is that your own internal voice is telling you similar.

 

 We have to remember that the stuff we are telling ourselves, is simply not true.

 

We are definitely NOT stupid (My proof? 4 out of 5 of the Chasers in the UK general knowledge quiz show are in larger bodies. And they are super brainy!).

Most fat people I know are no ‘greedier’ than slim people- in fact if anything they have spent more of their lives restricting the amount of food they eat. This implies ‘not greedy’ in my book.

Studies show a link between dieting and binge eating disorder; it seems that it’s the act of dieting itself, which warps our relationship with food.

Anyway, I hope I’m beginning to convince you to be less negative about yourself? It’s not your fault.

 

 

3.There is no surer way to feel a failure than to repeatedly try to lose weight and repeatedly fail!  And there’s no surer way of lowering self-esteem, than feeling a failure!

And here’s the thing: the HUGE majority of people who do try to lose weight……fail!

Not because they are failures, but because the concept of dieting fails them.

Now I could go on to quote the statistics (95% of those who lose weight put it back on again within 5 years if not sooner), but do I really need to?

Look around you…..how many people do you know that have lost weight in the past, only to regain what they have lost?  It’s not that they haven’t tried, is it?  So listen folks- it’s NORMAL to regain the weight.  You are in the majority. You are NOT a failure.  Full stop. Period.

 

In conclusion – as far as self-esteem goes, being a serial dieter gives you yet another stick with which to beat yourself.
Maybe now would be a good time to  put the stick down?

 

 

Boost your self esteem and change your life for the better

I am running a 3 week online programme called Self-Esteem for Serial Dieters
It starts on June 24th 2018 and will be jam packed with ideas, techniques and support.
If you are ready to believe that you are more than good enough just as you are, then this programme is a no-brainer.
Click >>HERE<< for more info or to sign up.
(Offer-only £47 for the first 12 to sign up)

 

 

 

 

4 Reasons Serial Dieters are the WORST at Self-Care!

4 Reasons Serial Dieters are the WORST at Self-Care!

 

 

I have been a serial dieter for 40 years, and I didn’t even know self-care was an option until I hit my 50s.

 

It sounds ridiculous I know, because nowadays everyone’s talking about it.

In fact ‘self-care’ gets so much coverage, I’m terrified that people (especially the women I work with who are serial dieters too), will become desensitised to the phrase and overlook how important it really is.

 

And that MUST NOT happen!

 

The mere fact of being a woman, raises the likelihood of us putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own.  But for those of us who have spent years invested in trying to shrink our bodies by restricting our food intake (AKA dieting), the chances of us prioritising our self-care needs are slim!  (Did you see what I did there?  Pun intended!)

 

There are  many reasons why it’s important to look after ourselves (nurturance I call it- you can find out why when you sign up for my FREE short online course>> Self-Nurturance for Serial Dieters, more details at the end of this blog).

 

We’ve all heard how useless it is to try and pour from an empty cup (or is it jug?), how we’ll perform better if we take care of ourselves, how it’s good for our health, how the people we care about will be happier for it, etc.

Life is also pretty damned short, so why shouldn’t we take the best possible care of ourselves and have as nice a life as possible?  For us, not just for ‘them’!   We are as deserving as everyone else – that’s the bottom line.

 

And yet we have spent years refusing to prioritise ourselves  Here are some ideas as to why.

 

 

4 reasons why serial dieters struggle more than most with self-care:

 

1. When someone mentions self-care, serial dieters automatically think they mean ‘eat healthy and exercise more’

We may occasionally come up with the idea of a nice, bubbly bath, or a new hairdo.  But beyond that, our ideas are limited. We have spent so many years desiring weight loss and thinking about how to lose weight, that our ‘go-to’ in terms of self-care often leans towards personal grooming and outward appearance. (And believe me, there is SO much more to it than that!)

 

2.Serial dieters postpone living life fully until they reach their ideal weight.

It’s a trap that so many of us fall into.  We think ‘I’ll book that holiday when I’ve lost all the weight’, ‘I’ll change jobs when I feel more confident (about my body)’, or ‘I’ll treat myself to some new clothes when I’m slim’.  In the same way we postpone our self-nurturance; we’re basically waiting for the day when we are slim enough to justify ‘rewarding’ ourselves with some proper self-care..

 

3. Serial dieters have a low sense of self-worth

Sadly the majority us often just don’t feel up to scratch. It’s difficult to feel good about yourself if you believe that your body isn’t good enough at the size it is.

It’s even harder to feel worthy when you have made multiple dieting ‘fresh starts’ which each time end in failure. (This is social proof to me that dieting does not work in the long term).  And then to be reminded of your ‘failure’ everytime you look at a magazine or on your social media feed- there are SO many images of super slim women everywhere, and SO much weight loss talk!

It’s hard to be motivated to take care of yourself, when your self-esteem has been eroded in this way.

 

4 Serial Dieters don’t believe they have time for self-nurturance

Well when your head is full of disatisfaction with your body, and is busy seeking out THE diet that will finally lead you to your goal weight

……when you are focused on calculating points, calories, nutrients at every eating opportunity, not to mention reading all the articles about which are NOW the right foods to eat, which is NOW the best way to exercise etc.

……when you are also extremely busy trying to be a really lovely human being, and pleasing others as much as possible (because you think you have to work harder at getting people to like you because you’re fat!), it’s going to be tough to believe that you have time to take care of yourself in a more holistic way.  Who’s got time for that, right?

 

But you know what?  A holistic approach to your self-care is going to bring you so much more peace and contentment than remaining stuck on the hamster wheel of yo-yo dieting ever will.  And it will bring you health benefits too.

 

If you’re a serial dieter who’d like to take your self-nurturance up several levels, then claim your spot on my FREE online mini course.  It starts on Monday 4th June 2018, lasts for 5 days and will move you from self-destruct to cup overflowing without you even having to leave the house.
You’ll have access to me in a private Facebook group for the whole week, and you’ll also get lifetime access to the course once the week is over (so you can revisit the content at your leisure).
Claim your free spot >>HERE<<
I cannot wait to help you to treat yourself better.

 

 

Body Respect

Body Respect

 

My lovely mother-in-law died when she was 65 years old.  I am going to be 52 this year.  If I die at the same age as my mum-in-law, then I only have 13 years left.

Makes you think doesn’t it?

I don’t know about you (although I could take a guess) but I want to fully enjoy what time I have left; I want to live, love and feel happy.

I have been ashamed of my body since I was 7 years; that’s when I realised that I wasn’t the ‘right’ size.

I remember the day so clearly- my Mum had bought me a new pair of trousers.  I’d loved those trousers in the shop: they were purple and more fashionable than anything else I’d ever owned.  I couldn’t wait to get home to try them on.  But no matter how I pulled and wiggled, I couldn’t squeeze into them.  Even though the label said ‘age 10-11’ and I was only 7, they were just too small.  This is the first time I remember crying about my body, but it definitely wasn’t the last.

So it looks like I have spent about 45 years of my life feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and feeling disappointed with my body.  And now finally I say ‘NO MORE’!!  No more self-criticism, no more body abuse, no more shame, no more disrespecting my body.

When I look back at photos of myself in my teens, and actually even in my twenties when I was at my heaviest, I feel sad that I was so critical of my poor body.  I hated my bulky legs most of all.

I was always comparing myself to other girls/ women and the way I saw it, I was just not up to scratch. As a result I was always insecure and lacking in confidence.

I look back at those photos and what I wouldn’t do now, to have what I had then!  When I look at pictures of that young woman who was me, I realise that how I felt about myself then, is not what I see now.  How was I so blind to that amazing skin and that fresh face?  How was I so unappreciative of the amazing lack of aches and pains?

So finally I am choosing not to waste a moment longer criticising, abusing and disrespecting my body.  I now understand that  if I make to 70,  I’ll look back to where I am now in my early 50s and wish that I had the body I have right now- how wasteful to only appreciate what you have had, when you no longer have it!  What a waste of life.

And so I urge you whatever age you are, to do the same.  Start respecting your body and valuing it right now, just as it is!

Your body is unique and it’s yours!  That face is your own wonderful identity card.  Those who love you love your face, just as you love theirs.   Let’s just stop it!  Stop allowing our internal voices to be so unkind and critical.  Let’s try talking to ourselves in the same empathetic, caring and encouraging way we talk to our friends.  Ask yourself: how is all the criticism and self-loathing working for you?  Is it aiding permanent weight loss or true happiness or peace of mind?  I bet the answer is ‘No!’.

Here are a few suggestions to get the body respect ball rolling:

  • Feed your body with tasty and nutritious foods
  • Avoid binging on CRAP! (You wouldn’t let your kids or even your pets do it- so don’t treat yourself in that way!)
  • Allow your body to have enough rest so that both mind and body feel re-energised
  • Take a little more exercise and use those limbs of yours while you still can
  • Remind yourself of ALL the many ways your faithful body serves you (even after the years of abuse you’ve given it)
  • Spend a few minutes longer in the bathroom in the morning, moisturising, putting on a touch of make-up or taking a bit more time with your hair.
  • Wear clothes that make you feel good NOW (Note to self: ditch the old joggers and the leggings with the hole in the crotch….is that just me??)

Please let’s just start loving our bodies today! I promise you, when you’re at death’s door, the last thing you’ll be worrying about are your stretch marks, or the fact that you never had a thigh-gap …….

 

Who’s in?

Who’s going to change their relationship with their body? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and please share this post to help spread a bit of body respect!

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the work I do, and explore what would be a good next step for you and your body, then you can take advantage of a free 30 minute discovery call by contacting me here.  I’d love to be able to help.

Anna x

 

5 things to tell yourself when you don’t want to dress up to go out!

5 things to tell yourself when you don’t want to dress up to go out!

I had a wedding to go to last weekend and as is usual with me I wasn’t looking forward to it.  Apart from the fact that I wouldn’t know anyone other than my husband (it was the wedding of one of his work colleagues), I have a history of getting stressed about the whole dressing up thing.

Firstly I always leave the buying of the outfit until the last minute, just in case I end up 2 sizes smaller by the time the day of the event arrives.

Goodness knows what my stupid body has been playing at all these years, but 2 sizes smaller has never yet happened.  The shopping event itself as a result, is ALWAYS stressful.  In my head I have an idea of how I want to look, and the stupid shops never have the dress that I have imagined.  Having to endlessly look at myself in those stupid changing room mirrors in various stages of undress, makes me realise that I don’t have the body I’d imagined either! These realisations have a tendency to put me in a stupid, FOUL mood!

The day before the day itself arrives, I start worrying about how I’ll look and what people will think of me, and I also start telling myself off big time, for not having lost the weight, as I should have done.  On the day of the event, I can’t face the thought of getting out of bed, let alone putting my tights on!  By now it’s not just my body and the outfit that is wrong, it’s my stupid hair and face and personality too!

So it’s time to be honest with myself

In my heart of hearts I know that what I really upset about is the unfairness of having this ‘fat’ issue to worry about when some women are ‘naturally slim. They get to look forward to shopping and dressing up, and will look amazing in their little shift dresses on the day!  I want it to feel that easy for me too!

Anyway I decided that enough was enough….

And this time I made the decision to change the habit of a lifetime and try to enjoy the day!  I made myself sit down and write a list of things to tell myself, so that I could eliminate the negative feelings that I had bubbling away inside me. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Nobody ever liked or disliked me because of how I look.

    I’m not saying that everyone I have ever met has liked me, but I’m pretty sure that they have not DISLIKED me because of my size, or my dress.  As a usually rational person, what am I even doing thinking in such an idiotic way! If they don’t like me it’s because they don’t like how I act or what I say; it’s got nothing to do with my outfit or my middle aged belly! So I need to stop worrying about what I look like and focus instead on being sociable.

  1. Nobody cares how I look, they are much more interested in how they look themselves.

    What do I need to add to this one?  Nothing!  Because it’s true isn’t it?  (This is the thought that helped me the most- this, and reminding myself that at weddings it’s all about the bride anyway!)

  1. I’ll look better in my new dress, than I do right now in these leggings.

    This acted as a good motivator to getting me off my backside and starting to get ready!  And it was an apt reminder that I spend all of my days looking like ME!  I am what I am!  And most of the time I don’t give it too much thought.  Most of the time I am in my casual clothes. There is no way I can look worse in my new dress (which I actually quite like), wearing a tad more make up than usual and with freshly washed hair!  I CAN and WILL look the best that I can. End of!

  1. I’ve been having these same thoughts and feelings for over 30 years now- in fact since my teens, and now I am choosing to start to think differently.

    All the verbal abuse I give myself is unwarranted!  In fact all the photographs that have been taken at various events over the years, show me to look very presentable!  Looking back at the photos of myself when I was younger, I lament at how cruel I was to myself. I was an attractive and slim (enough), young woman, who didn’t deserve to talk to herself with such unkindness. Even in the photos where I was at my largest, I STILL did not deserve it to be so unkind to myself…….no one does, do they?  I will not put myself through the same cycle of abuse anymore.

  1. I could get knocked down by a bus tomorrow, so I might as well make the very most of today.

    (An oldie, but a goody!)

    And do you know what- I DID enjoy the wedding!   It was a lovely experience and I met lots of interesting new people.  Everyone was a different size and shape and dressed in their own unique style.  I vow to myself to never allow myself to think in such a negative way about an opportunity to dress up again.

P.S. Next time I’ll also start looking for an outfit sooner!

Does any of this resonate with you?  Please talk to me in the comments. I’d like to know: is this just me or not?

PPS For those of you who live in Berkshire there are still some places left in Octobers ‘Find your Weight Loss Mojo course’.  Click here for more details or to book.

PPPS  Watch out for my free online video series coming soon!Free gift- find your weight loss motivation

 

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