Losing weight won’t make you love yourself.
In fact, if you don’t love yourself and are trying to lose weight, something deep inside you may be sabotaging your success. Part of you wants to lose weight, but there’s another part of you that seems to be fighting to keep things the same. This battle becomes much more evident in the moments when you are tempted to eat something that will set you back. There are two people in your head fighting for two different things.
Why? Because if you lose the weight and realize you’re still unhappy, you’ll no longer be able to blame your weight for your unhappiness.
Losing weight won’t make you happy. It may make you feel better about how you look and give you a “happy high” for a while, but eventually your new body will become your new normal. Everything will settle back down and normal life will resume. If you are losing weight because you are looking for a solution to your unhappiness, you will be disappointed.
You are not a body. You HAVE a body. Your body will reflect the state of your heart. It will always reflect the person you believe you are. If you are always struggling with excess weight on your body, it’s because something is not right at the core of who you are.
You don’t really, truly love yourself.
What happens when you do? Well, here are five things that I’ve learned from personal experience, and from working with others, that happens when you love yourself. I’m not talking about loving your body. I’m talking about loving YOU, the person who has a body.
1. You’ll stop trying to lose weight as a way of deserving love
If you’ve been overweight for a while then, chances are, you’re self-conscious with how you look. You’ve probably thought about how great it will be to lose weight so you look good to others. You don’t want people seeing the overweight version of you and concluding that it’s who you really are. You want people to see the real you, and you know somewhere deep inside that the real you is not overweight.
The truth is we all want to be loved. It’s the deepest need we have. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll try to fill that need from other sources – other people around you. Losing weight will make you look better than you were. It’s easy to assume that others will see that change and consider you more attractive and desirable – things we think make us more worthy of love. When you start to love yourself – the real you – you’ll stop trying to fill the need for love from an outside source.
2. You’ll stop comparing yourself to others to get the love you think they’re getting
Comparison is a trap. If you’re trying to lose weight because you want to look like someone else, or to have what you think they have because they are healthy, you’ll have a hard time keeping motivation.
Why do we compare ourselves with others? Well, we are simply assuming they have something we don’t. We look at others and conclude that they are happier than us. We see someone who is fit, healthy, and attractive, and, although we rarely consciously express it, we think it makes them more worthy of love.
When you love yourself, comparison goes away. You’ll be happy with you. You won’t want to be someone else. In fact, you’ll want nothing more than to be you.
3. You’ll start to see the world through the lens of possibility
You’ll stop qualifying what you deserve based on how you look, or how you see yourself. When you love yourself, you’ll allow yourself to dream. You’ll believe you deserve to have the things you dream of. Everything becomes possible.
4. You’ll lose weight because you want your outside to match your inside
You’ll stop trying to lose weight so you can use your outside as evidence to be worthy of love inside. When you love yourself, your body will change from the inside out, not the other way around. You will see the real you trapped under all the extra weight, and you’ll work to get that person out. Your motivation for losing weight won’t be to get love, it will be because you are loved.
5. You’ll lose your old story about how you look and how you get love from others
When you truly, deeply love yourself the story you’ve told yourself about who you are will start to change. You’ll treat yourself better. You won’t be so hard and demanding on yourself. You won’t beat yourself up for messing up.
Think about the messages you tell yourself every day. Are they messages of love? Or are they messages about not measuring up, failing, not being enough, or being less than best? Those are based on the story you’ve subconsciously told yourself about who you are. When love enters the scene, the story changes. It becomes a love story.
What kind of messages would you send yourself if you were in love with you? If you weren’t trying to get love from around you, and instead getting it from the deepest part of you, how would your life change?
Loving yourself puts you back in line with who you really are. You’ll start to see yourself through eyes of love. You won’t have to always be looking for love from around you.
So the message is simple: love yourself. It may be the missing ingredient towards lasting weight loss, both internally and externally. It will change everything.
For real this time,
For practical steps on how to love yourself (and literally rewire your brain to receive love), read Chapter 7 of For Real This Time: Lose Weight, Quit Starting Over, Become the Real You.