Hi! I think a lot of us struggle with this at some point if not repeatedly so you are not alone. I go through phases of struggling with self-esteem and being okay and what I've noticed is that when I'm surrounded by positive supportive people and working on things I love, self-esteem is never an issue. When I hit a bump in the road for whatever reason, all those self-doubts come rushing back and cause havoc. Of course, there's never going to be a time when it's all smooth sailing so for me the key is to handle the bumps in a way that keeps my self-esteem high. The way I do that is going to sound simplistic and funny at first but it does work -- I'd recommend starting the day with a list of things you want to accomplish (this shouldn't just be tedious, "I have to do this" stuff, it should be things that are enjoyable, will move you forward toward all your goals..related to family,career,life as well as the usual laundry type things)..Every time you can tick off something that moves you forward toward your goals, you'll gain trust in your abilities and it will make you stronger. Self-trust builds self-esteem and once you know you can count on yourself you won't think you're going to back-track. I'm trying to get out of a slump using this method at the moment and it does work. Plus self-affirmations and telling yourself that you are worth the effort at any moment during the day definitely helps. I would also recommend getting away from or minimizing contact with toxic people who primarily put you down (if you have any of those in your life)..sometimes that makes all the difference as well. I wish I had all the answers - still a work in progress but I hope some of these ideas help. Remember, you are not your weight, you are a beautiful human being who is worth respecting and caring about at any and every weight.
I think the best thing to do is write out a set of goals (which was mentioned) and write down what you want out of life, what you would like to be better at, etc.
I went through this for YEARS and over the past few months I started feeling better about myself. I still hate being around people, but I'm getting better. It helps that the source of my frustration moved away in April (coming back in 3 weeks though-boo). But enough about me.
Personally I think right now you shouldn't even focus on losing weight, even though that is your ultimate goal. Keep on eating better and tracking and focus on your exercise and how you can improve, such as if you walk for 30 minutes then the next time work up to 35, then 40, then 45, etc. With strength training, work on repetitions or the amount of weight that you are using. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a session at the gym or wherever you like to exercise; don't beat yourself up you go over your calories in one day or end up eating that extra treat. It's ok! If you have a habit of talking yourself out of going, try to talk yourself back into it.
Do you have a habit of focusing too much on the scale? If you do, then maybe only weigh yourself once a week or month and focus on how you feel after you workout and go by how your clothes fit. The scale doesn't tell you everything. Besides, that in itself can turn into an obsession and that can cause your downfall (take it from someone who obsesses about it sometimes!).
You aren't going to lose weight all the time and if you are strength training, you will gain muscle. It's totally normal. Also, don't forget that around that time of the month, you will gain weight (it's only temporary). If you don't track that time, it would help IMMENSELY if you did. Then you can control your cravings easier and when you do hop on the scale, you won't freak out as much.
I don't give out advise that I don't use myself, so this should help. You can do it! Don't give up! Like I said-don't think about losing weight; just think about feeling better and the weight should come off. Besides, stressing about it can make you gain too. I ALWAYS used to beat myself up because I didn't think I was worth it and with my low thyroid, I always figured 'What's the point?'. It took me a while to get going and I can tell you-it is worth it! I'm not losing as fast as I like but I do feel better after I've worked out, even when I didn't want to. We all mess up sometimes-just think of it as learning-and all you can do is get back on the wagon.
I will tell you that before I started exercising, I was SOOOOO uncomfortable around people that it has affected me in my work-now that I've been exercising, I do feel better about myself and I do have more confidence. It will happen! You just have to try and stay positive.
Fitness Minutes: (9,064)
241 6/4/13 5:50 P
STARDUST2K4! That is awesome! What an inspiration you are!
I've created a goal list, and I've placed it on my desk at work, so that I see it 5 times a week. On my goal list, I have "Read positive affirmations." I also have a list of affirmations I've personalized for myself, and I add more affirmations as they come to me or as I read them. A few of the affirmations I read in a mirror outloud 5 times a week are "My body is perfect, it's always been perfect" and "My body is exactly the way it's supposed to be in this moment" and "I will not give up on myself."
A woman told me a few weeks ago, "Show me a woman who doesn't have body image issues, and you'll be showing me a corpse." She also said that she also says verbal affirmations in the mirror. She says, "Damn, you looked good yesterday, but today you look especially good!" She's lost over 100 pounds.
Affirmations seemed silly or pointless to me, but they have actually helped me. When I first started, I didn't believe them, I even cried as I said them because I didn't believe them. But after a while, I began believing them more and more. Not perfect belief, but more. Since I've been saying these affirmations near-daily, I've found that when I"m struggling, I quickly can think of these affirmations and say them and they help me get through the struggle.
I had a really hard time sending you a message just now, because I've had a rough week and the scale didn't budge. I should throw the scale away, but I haven't been able to do so. But, I know that by reaching out to others and trying to help others is a big deal. I find that through helping others, I in turn, help myself at the same time.
I too struggle with issues of self worth and overall self esteem.
I have moments where I should really be proud of myself, but then the negative thoughts come in and put me in a negative mood. I have been working through this by telling myself that I matter. Throughout the years, I had been made fun of and teased, not just for weight. Those messages I received-that I wasn't good enough, or that i wasn't worthy; those messages were repeated so many times to me that I was eventually repeating them to myself and eventually believing it. That then of course, turned to the self-fulfilling prophecy.
I read somewhere that the messages that play in your head are like a tape recorder. You tell yourself so many negative things and before you know it, even when you finally do something successful, the negative self talk becomes a habit and one automatically goes to that place. It takes time to re-record over those old messages with positive ones. I'm currently in the process of changing my habits so I'm not always thinking negatively about myself. I still struggle with it, but just know you're not alone, and there are several methods such as those the others have posted.
Be worthy to yourself for yourself. I decided long ago that I wasn't going to try to impress anyone else. This is all for me. I don't believe that there is a higher reason to do this. I want to enjoy this life, right here, right now, and say that I accomplished something worth my time. I decided to reevaluate what happiness was. It's not about being able to fit in certain clothes, or live up to someone else's standards. It's about being happy with yourself and in the moment. You don't have to achieve something great to be happy and feel good about yourself. We are told so often without realizing it-by the media specifically, that we're not good enough unless we're spending money on clothes or looking a certain way. They're all lies!
It seems like an overwhelming and confusing job to improve your self-esteem. That will happen naturally as you continue to act in a way that makes you proud. The trick to changing your negative self-talk is to first notice it and label it. Even better, give it a funny name. For example, when I find myself down on myself for not doing everything "perfectly," I call it "the attack of the A+ Monster" and I imagine a gigantic furry blue monster wearing a big A+ hat on his head. I know it sounds crazy, but it helps me laugh instead of get down on myself.
After you catch your negative talk, question it and replace it with something more reasonable. You say that you weigh less than you have in 12 years. That's very good evidence that you're efforts are working. There's no reason to think that they won't keep working (unless you sabotage yourself!).
For years I struggled with that inner voice that was always so negative. I finally learned that along with my strength training, I needed to purposely train my mind with truth. I donīt look for self-esteem anymore. I found the truth about my worth through learning how precious I am in Godīs eyes. He sent Jesus to rescue me. I call it God-esteem. He has helped me replace these thoughts for truth in my value. He values you too. I know it is not politically correct to talk about God so openly, but my heart went out to you because I have been where you are now. I still struggle at times, but my mental muscles are much stronger now. They can turn away the negative and find the positive. I know you can too. I am so glad that you have achieved your lowest weight in 12 years. That shows determination. Keep being consistent, donīt strive for perfection, and you will make it.
Fitness Minutes: (222,560)
21,771 6/4/13 5:47 A
It's tough to learn to love yourself "as is", but that's what you have to do. As the old song goes,"Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". In short, play UP your positives and don't beat yourself up over any perceived negatives.
We are our own worst critics. Flaws we see in ourselves NO ONE else sees. Remember being in high school ? What was the absolute worst thing that could happen on the day of your prom ? You get a zit ! How big was that zit ? Probably pretty small and yet to us it might as well have been as big as a mountain. Everyone would look at it. Did they ? NOPE.
No one cared. WE are the ones who inflicted the worst criticism on ourselves.
Well, you don't have to listen to those negative thoughts. Instead, start saying some POSITIVE ones about yourself instead. Give yourself credit and a pat on the back for being at the lowest weight you've been in years. Give yourself credit for engaging in healthy habits.
Most of all, be kind to yourself as you would to others. It takes time, but you can learn to love yourself. But you have to start with some simple affirmations. I'm sure there are some things you do like about your body. Play those up !
And one more thing, when is the last time you treated yourself to a new outfit ? Nothing says new attitude like some snazzy new clothes. DO NOT buy something small to wear later. Buy something that flatters your current figure. Don't worry about whatever the size says. buy what fits and what flatters. If you've been wearing the same old clothes, that's one reason you have the self esteem issues. New clothes really do say new attitude. So, treat yourself !!
Fitness Minutes: (34,370)
22,458 6/4/13 1:22 A
Hi ASHFIT13 - I am sorry that you are going through this. Unfortunately, it happens to a lot of people for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is because of things in the past - i.e. negative comments to and about us, physical abuse, often having other peoples' successes pushed in our faces, etc. etc. If you are finding it hard to deal with, then you might find it very helpful to talk with a professional. One of the first places to turn to would be your Dr. Explain what is happening, and ask for a referral to a Therapist who will be able to help you.
Of course, there are some things you can do for yourself: Make a list of POSITIVES about yourself. It might be * I am very helpful
* I am very kind
* I am good at my job
* (you continue with a lot more now)
Then when you are done, cut them into strips and place them in a jar. Take some out each morning and read them, then RE-read them, until you believe them!!!
My experience: Deliberately encouraging myself to have cheerful, supportive thoughts "resets" my thinking pattern.
My thinking: It took a lot of repetitions to create my old thinking patterns, so I am willing to do a lot of repetitions to cultivate a new one.
I support you!
Fitness Minutes: (100)
21 6/3/13 7:04 P
How do you deal with the emotional and self-esteem issues with all of this? I've been tracking my food, eating well the majority of the time, and getting myself to the gym. That in and of itself is a struggle. But I'm still so unhappy. Even when I have what should be a win, the negative thoughts and self-perception ruin it. I hit 177 last week (which is the lowest I've been in 12 years), but my first thoughts were "you'll ruin that by next week" and "but you're still fat".
How do I boost my self-esteem and get rid of these negative self-perceptions? I'm so scared I'm always going to be unhappy, no matter what I do physically, because of these thoughts? Plus I'm single, which just compounds it because I'm constantly thinking "why doesn't anyone want me...it must be because I'm fat."
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