I recently posed these questions on my Psychology Today blog: How Do You Like Yourself…When There’s So Much to Change? And, How Do You Change….When You Don’t Like Yourself? (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thin-within 10/8/10 and 10/22/10)
For all of us, perhaps, but especially for those trying to lose weight, these are crucial questions. Despite the growing number of Americans struggling with their size, we continue to think negatively of the overweight. It takes a lot of work to keep from internalizing these negative views—and few succeed.
Yet the very process of making major changes, such as those needed to lose weight for good, requires that we bring some self-confidence and care to the task. In other words, you’ll have an easier time sticking to new, at-first-uncomfortable routines when you’re feeling worthwhile and capable. And worthwhile and capable are surely not how the world works to make a heavy person feel.
So consider that balance between self-acceptance and the push for change. If there are things about your body or your eating habits that you don’t like, try to separate all that from your notion of who you are as a person. No one is perfect….and given your particular history and biology you’ve probably been doing your best until now. Despite what we might take from the media or from ill-informed others, “it’s not just you”. A lot of factors conspire to make overeating easy, and weight loss hard, in our current world.
Paradoxically, accepting all that may make it easier to start the tough job of change, and to succeed.