Does self hatred have a place in your weight loss journey?
August 19, 2017 Ashley 0 Comments
“Love yourself more”.
It’s admittedly a wisdom filled bit of advice you’ll hear from many. Including me.
In fact, I literally just wrote an article on this.
Indeed, the path to weight loss isn’t won by increasing self hate. And, while I stand by that, something seemingly counter-intuitive holds true too. And that’s that the journey to self-love doesn’t mean lying to yourself either. It doesn’t mean denying where you’ve come from. It doesn’t mean ignoring the bad feelings you have. It doesn’t mean pretending you’re not feeling negatively about yourself right now, even if those feelings are based on fallacies of thought. Example? If you’ve been living with this cyclic, ritualistic mental tendency toward self-shaming all your life because someone poked your love handles in high school or called you thunder thighs, then guess what? The effects of that don’t turn off immediately just because someone else tells you to. There’s no power button for our brain habits. It takes work. All there is, is time – time spent habit erasing and replacing those habits with helpful ones.
(That moment when fists with which you once metaphorically hit yourself, are punching up in victory at a goal reached.)
So, how can we do that?
Simple. (Note: I said “simple”, not “easy”.) We do it by baiting that hateful voice inside of our minds. What we do, is coax it out – like a snake melodically drawn out’ve a pot – and then snipe it as soon as we see it. In application, it’s the equivalent of physically saying something out loud, like: “I’m judging my weight gain right now,” (that’s the summoning bit of it), followed by, “but I know I’m only upset because of how pudgy I used to be – and I know that those four pounds are just retained water after last night’s salty supper at P.F. Chang’s.” The idea’s that you know it comes from some silly childhood memory and you know that it’s not here forever. You can keep working hard to get where you wanna be. Or it can even be, “I’m judging myself ‘cause my dress size still hasn’t gone down,” followed by, “but I know I’m only obsessed because my mom’s body obsession rubbed off on me – plus I’m on the right track to not being plus sized. Also, I know it takes more than a week of exactly what I’m doing to see real results.”
That “but” and “and” are crucial. Sure, we start by honoring the way we feel. We gotta give that ugly face a place in the spotlight. If we don’t, we drive ourselves crazy when we’re unable to mute the evil, internal narrator saying we’re worthless. We exhaust ourselves trying to drown him out or talk over him by changing the subject with empty affirmations. By calling it out, though, two things happen. First, we don’t have to feel weird or strange. There’s a reason for why we’ve been the helpless slave of this false thought. And, second, now that we’ve reminded ourselves of its origins, it loses its strength. That means we can follow the knowledge of its background – the exposing of it – with how that empowers us to keep the path toward the health, wellness, and weight loss we want.
The thing is, when we keep this ridiculous relic of a mentality – this antique lie on which we’ve built our lives – all to ourselves, it doesn’t feel ridiculous. Not to us. It feels real. It feels like our identity. We mistakenly identify with it and tell ourselves that’s who we are. The good news? That might be where we are – but it doesn’t hafta be who we are. Not forever. Not if we opt out of the hateful, self-judging. Not if we choose to see it’s just some awful, opposite-of-a-fairy-tale we’ve crazily kept telling ourselves for years. By labeling these scathing, ruining inward remarks out loud, we can shine a big, beautiful honesty spotlight on ‘em and watch ‘em burn – like vampires in the daylight.
So, next time your brain starts bathing in self-haterade, honor that monster, momentarily.
Say it to yourself. Say it to your BFF. Say it to your swoll mate.
Just vocalize those loathesome thoughts – and then squash ‘em – with promises of awesomeness.