Today I want to share about the correlation between self-care and weight loss. Self-care is quite a buzz word, especially on social media. What do you think of when you hear the term? Often, we see pictures of someone taking a bubble bath or giving themselves an at-home spa treatment and calling it self-care. While those activities certainly have a place in taking care of yourself, true self-care is about something much deeper. It isn’t always fun or glamorous.
In relation to weight loss and being healthy, self-care is honoring our commitments and follow through with ourselves. It is how we learn to get the long-term, pleasurable results that we're looking for instead of always settling for short term fixes that always have unintended consequences.
Let’s think about the short-term pleasure of eating cupcakes, which is what we call an artificial pleasure. It has an equal and opposite consequence that's a bummer. We gain weight, we feel terrible, we do not honor our commitments to ourselves. But then there is the pleasure of losing weight, and that pleasure doesn't have a negative consequence to it. In fact, it has lots of positive consequences.
When we focus on losing weight in the ways I’ve taught, we develop a strong relationship with ourselves, by honoring that commitment to ourselves and managing ourselves. It feels great! We feel empowered, in control, we can wear smaller clothes, we can feel thin and fit. We can go somewhere and buy something in a normal size clothing store that we really enjoy.
By committing to losing weight, and honoring that commitment to ourselves, that is the act of true self-care. Taking care of ourselves first, so we can show up well for our loved ones better.
We should treat ourselves better, emotionally, than we treat any other human being on the planet. Most of us don't even treat ourselves as kindly as we treat the person at the grocery checkout. We're kinder and politer to them than we are to ourselves. Self-care is really about having a commitment to not beating ourselves up under any circumstance. It’s about honoring our commitments to ourselves, to making plans for challenging situations, to having our own backs when we're committed to something. It’s about being tender with ourselves when we're going through a difficult emotion, allowing ourselves to be still, and not choosing to do things that are harmful to ourselves. That's all self-care. Taking the time to prioritize what's important to us, taking time to find out what we want and making that be the most important in our lives.
You also have to be proud of yourself and kind to yourself in order to get the results you want. I have never seen a client insult themselves into permanent, happy weight loss. A lot of people think that being "kind," to yourself means rewarding yourself with food or letting yourself eat whatever you want. That's not kind. Think about a small child, and if they want a bunch of candy, would it be kind for you to let them eat all the candy they want? It would be like the cupcake example, while it might give them temporary, false pleasure, there would be many consequences that would come along with allowing that.
They need to have direction and discipline for their own good, and so do you. You need to look at your desires that are going on in your brain, those conditioned desires, and give them supervision, and so that's where the thought work and the model (more on that later) is everything.
Managing your mind and honoring your commitment to lose weight and be fit and trim, is the ultimate and true self-care.
Have you tried any of the tools I’ve shared? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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