How Negative Self-Talk Can Sabotage Weight Loss Efforts

Not always, but sometimes our self-esteem takes a hit when we’re overweight.

It is often difficult to feel good about yourself when you are feeling physically or emotionally weak or tired.

What you tell yourself (repeatedly) you tend to believe - it’s called our “self talk.”

And does it stand to reason that if you’ve talked negatively about yourself for years that you would not know how to even think or talk positively about yourself in an encouraging way.

Here are a couple of ways to talk back to yourself and help raise your self-esteem to empower YOU when you’re feeling stuck.

First STOP! Take a minute to regroup.  Break the negative thoughts that flood your brain.

Aloud, or silently, come up with a phrase or word that you can say that will “snap you to attention” and help you to refocus. So you might want to use the word - STOP or REFOCUS or any other phrase that will s-l-o-w you down before you follow through with an undesirable behavior (such as overeating), or undesirable thoughts (negative thinking).

This word or phrase can help you to be more in control of your feelings and body and can help the anxiousness you may be feeling at the moment. Then redirect that negative energy somewhere else.

Walk briskly away from the moment
(if you're standing at the fridge, eyeing a specific food, realizing you're not hungry, but having an internal fight with yourself whether or not to take one bite or not -it is within "moments" that the most damage can be done, so STOP, and walk away from the situation as quickly as you can).

Make a phone call (you're feeling restless, not particularly hungry, and you're wandering around the kitchen, not really consciously aware that you're rummaging through cupboards, recognize you need to do something, anything else but to be in the kitchen, so divert your attention and make a phone call to someone for a few minutes).

Take 5 slow, deep breaths (you're just feeling anxious, uptight and sometimes you just don't know why, but you're feeling some food will calm you, it seems to soothe you, and it's at those moments where you literally have to close your eyes and slowly, consciously, take some deep breaths - be very deliberate about the action so when you're on your last breath, you can walk away from the temptation with confidence because you're refocused).

Next, Question and Counter your negative self-talk.

By that I mean to challenge yourself with appropriate questioning and then counter your negative thoughts with positive statements (facts).

Ask yourself:
What’s the proof of this?
Is that always true?
Where is the evidence?

Let me give you some examples:

You:  I’ve tried changing my lifestyle a zillion times and nothing works.
Question:  Is that always true?
Counter: Actually, I have changed a couple things and they’re working really well for me. I just need to keep tackling little things which add up to big things.

You:  I always fail at making a long-term plans for myself.
Question: Is there any evidence to support that I always fail?
Counter:  The actual  evidence is that I have started working out twice a week last year and have stayed with that faithfully. And, I did complete those classes in the last year. I do follow-through on a lot of long-term plans.

Finally, it’s always good to have a “Big Picture Plan” for yourself but you have to chip away at it in small pieces.

Start with how you think about those small pieces.

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