- in Blog by Melissa Costello
The One Big Barrier that Prevents Weight Loss
Weight loss can be a life-long challenge for many people. It's hard to know what to do when there are so many diets out there making promises that just don't deliver.
When I was yo-yo dieting (most of my life) and trying to lose weight, I constantly felt like a failure. It wasn't until I discovered the ONE major barrier that was preventing me from losing weight and keeping it off that everything completely changed for me....My Inner Critic, aka., Inner Meanie.
Yep...you read that right.
We all have an "inner meanie." You know, the one that tells you "you're not enough", "that you ruined your diet, so what's the point," or says "you don't deserve to be happy," or tells you regularly that "you're ugly and fat," or "that you will never get it together or be successful at weightloss." Where do these voices come from?
One thing I know for sure; we all come into this world as a pure bundle of love. We are all innately deserving and worthy of a life of joy, abundance, happiness and love. But things happen; painful things...we believe what little Johnny down the street says about us, or if one of our parents tells us to be seen and not heard, and we start to put on armor...
One of my clients recently shared with me that when she was 7 she climbed a tree, and the boy below her looked up and shouted out that she had fat legs. From that point on, that little girl believed her body was ugly and fat. And as you can imagine, she struggled with yo-yo dieting, binge eating and weight loss her WHOLE life...no surprise there.
For most of us, our inner critic starts when we are young. Mine started around the age of 12 when my body began to change. There were a lot of things modeled to me in my household that made me believe I needed to have a perfect body to be valued and loved. My family life also felt of control a lot and so I started to control my food as a way to feel safe.
As I got older, my inner critic became meaner and meaner. I literally hated my body and was full of self-loathing. This is how all the food craziness and yo-yo dieting started. Over time I put on roughly 30 pounds, and hated myself even more. I was emotional eating, overeating and binge eating regularly, which fed my inner-mean girl. My body was a result of all the mean, horrible things I said about myself, and all the choices I had made.
It wasn't until I started to look deeper and work with my coach, that I truly began to understand that my inner-meanie was actually the biggest barrier to my weight loss.
Think about it...why would my body (or anyone's body, for that matter) want to release weight, and be healthy if all I was doing was beating it up, pinching it, calling it ugly and scoffing at it in the mirror??? And then, I would feed it bad food to make matters even worse.
As my friend, Christie Miller says, "The stories you tell yourself about your body create your current results. The more you say negative things, the deeper the stories get buried in our cells and psyche. These stories, negative thoughts and limiting beliefs are keeping you stuck in a body you hate, at a weight you despise and from actually living a life you really want."
If you want to feel better about yourself, and lose weight, and be happy then you must change the stories you tell yourself, including the nasty, comments loaded with self-loathing and self-hate.
Start by becoming aware
Take some time to notice the things you say to yourself.
What is the constant dialogue running in your head. Are you extremely hard on yourself? Is nothing ever enough? Do you constantly feel rejected and unworthy? What stories are you telling yourself about your journey with weight loss? What do you say about your body regularly?
Self-criticism tends to become habitual over time. We sadly get used to saying and hearing the negative internal commentary. The way to start to shift it is to first become aware of it.
Track your thoughts for a few days and see what you notice. Write them down.
re-frame those Inner Meanie Comments
As humans we are wired to be negative, it's part of our survival mechanism, but you can change this. Every time you hear yourself say something mean, turn it around right then and there. Tell yourself beautiful, loving things that will help you lose weight and live a life you love. You won't believe it at first, but that's ok...keep going anyway.
This will take practice and mindfulness, but you can do it. You CAN change your thoughts about yourself over time. I am a shining example of that.
Remember, you must take responsibility for your own growth and transformation. No one else will do it for you and it all starts with your mindset and shifting the things you tell yourself.
Would you EVER say the mean things you say to yourself to your child or best friend? Absolutely not. So why do you say them to yourself???
Bring Compassion to your inner meanie
The one inside of us that is mean, is the one that was hurt at some point in life. We pushed that part of us aside, for fear that the pain would be too much to bear. That forgotten part of us is where the inner-meanie was born.
Your Inner Meanie is there for a reason, actually. It's there to get your attention. The way to calm the inner-meanie is to give it lots of love and compassion in the form of self-care, acceptance and appreciation.
Start to appreciate yourself and all the things you bring to the world. Focus on the reasons why the people around you love, and care about you. Write those things down and read them often.
When your inner-meanie starts to spout, tell her or him that you hear her/him, but you're going to choose to think something else, something more empowering.
Try these things on and practice them over and over. The most empowering way to lose weight and keep it off for good is to shift your mindset and to fall in love with being kind to yourself.
To learn more about shifting your mindset when it comes to weight loss, check out my Blog on How to Ditch the Diet Mindset.
The most empowering way to lose weight and keep it off for good is to shift your mindset and to fall in love with being kind to yourself.