‘i hate my body, i need to lose weight’
‘i need to exercise, i look gross’
‘i’m so lazy, i need to start eating well’
Any of these sound familiar?
As much as it may be tempting to give yourself tough love, hating yourself to change behaviour is incredibly ineffective.
If the above strategy were to be an effective one, the increase in weight-based stigmatisation in our culture for example would have led to an improvement in health-supportive behaviours (which it hasn’t).
Many of us tread this path of emotional self-flagellation, and we assume it is good for us. we think if we beat ourselves up for our shortcomings and faults we would be more motivated to change them.
Ironically, this approach often sabotages our attempts to make positive changes in our lives. It keeps us stuck, we blame ourselves for our problems and lack the confidence we need to try doing things differently.
The harsh inner critic that tries to motivate us to change by telling us how bad we are causes us pain. as we attempt to avoid feeling that pain, we resort to unhealthy behaviours that offer a temporary escape from it, then feel ashamed of ourselves for doing so and try to avoid that feeling, so the cycle repeats itself.
So here’s your little reminder:
You can’t hate yourself happy, you can’t criticise yourself thin, you can’t shame yourself wealthy. real change begins with self-love and self care.
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©2023 [alice bleathman dietitian]