I find myself in an odd position. I now weigh about 175lbs and am 5’5. I had a baby 8 months ago. I am obsessed with my weight and my size and try very hard to eat right. My problem is that I have no will power and can’t make myself exercise regularly. I want so much to be back down to 140-145 and often cry about it, but because I am so lazy I’ll never lose the weight. I have posted pictures of myself at my lower weight but it depresses me more than it inspires me. I have downloaded pictures of my favorite movie stars and singers that are the “perfect” size, but that doesn’t inspire me either. I spoke briefly with my doctor about this issue (I was there for a different reason) and she told me that being healthier and living longer should be my inspiration to exercise. She thinks I would be okay calorie-wise if I’d get off my butt and exercise. So, what can you say to someone who whines incessantly about being overweight but won’t do anything to help herself? Sometimes I hate me. – (anonymous)
You’ve hit on a subject that I am passionate about. Ready? SHAME AND SELF DIGUST ARE LOUSY MOTIVATORS FOR CHANGE. As long as we cling to guilt and self-hatred we will never start – and, more importantly, MAINTAIN – change. If we give ourselves negative messages, we rarely care enough to begin change. And if we do shame ourselves into beginning a new behavior, we almost never continue the changes because inevitably our negative voice will overwhelm us and discourage us! You know, “Well I joined that gym and look at me, I’ve only been a few times…see, I am a failure.”
Does self-talk like this inspire us? No. Would we talk to our children this way? No. Because we know it would discourage them, not encourage them. Posting pictures of ourselves and others at a lower weight also brings about the discouraging self-talk, even your doctor is trying to get you to focus on positives rather than negatives.
Most people have a hard time believing this line of thinking. Ask yourself if “beating yourself up” in your self talk ever really inspired you? Would your loving creator talk to you this way? Boot camp works because there are far more positive messages given than negative.
If you really want to change, I challenge you to try a new approach for a week. What could it hurt? Try talking to yourself as if you were a precious, fragile being who needs encouragement and hope. You are these things. Tell yourself. “I deserve some success and I will give myself loving encouragement for ANY positive changes, no matter how small.” Give it a try, please.