The Development of Self Esteem​ While Losing Weight

Developing one’s self-esteem is the most difficult part of losing weight and getting healthy. I know because I am still working on changing the way I see myself even though I lost my 60 pounds over 2 years ago.

It takes time to change your thinking. But the development of one’s self-image is probably the most important thing when it comes to keeping the weight off in the long run. I learned that my mind had to change as I was losing weight. I had to change the image of myself in my mind. And most importantly I had to learn to love myself and accept myself for who I am.

I quickly learned through the process of losing weight and getting healthy that as my boy shrunk, my self-image grew. And sometimes when it grew, it was challenging. Because your “old” thinking wants to stop you in your tracks.

I had to learn to control my thoughts and slowly change how I saw myself. Here are some of the strategies I used to overcome some of the challenges.

Negative Thoughts Will Sabotage Your Efforts

If you are unhappy with your weight or if you have struggled with weight loss in the past then I’m sure you can relate to the fact that negative thoughts will stop any efforts of success. As I was losing weight in the beginning, I quickly realized that old negative thinking didn’t work for me anymore. Because when I had negative thinking I would sabotage my efforts.

Here’s what I mean. It is almost as if I would have this other person in my head trying to persuade me to eat something that I knew I didn’t need or wasn’t even hungry for. I would have thoughts urging me to just go ahead and do it. On the outside, I seemed to have so much control, yet in my head all I thought about was food.

It wasn’t until I changed my thinking that my weight loss efforts became easier. Here are some of the things I did to combat the negative thinking I had.

Ask, Is That True?

This simple question helped me so much. For example, I would try to convince myself that I couldn’t say no to cake if it was offered. But the truth is, yes I could. I realized that I am the person who makes decisions about what goes in my mouth. It was about me being in control. I’m in control of what I eat, rather than the food controlling me. When I started asking myself if a thought is true, I started to gain power. And in gaining power, my self-image began to change.

I also started using affirmations. An affirmation is simply a true statement. I would repeat these statements to myself daily. I would do it even if I didn’t totally believe them in the beginning. Over time, I began to realize these affirmations were true. I changed my thinking and my self-image began to change. My favorite affirmation was “Every day, In every way, I am getting better and better”. This was written by a man named Emile Coue. He believed that many mental illnesses could be healed by changing your thoughts.

When you repeat an affirmation several times a day, after a while, you begin to believe it yourself.

I Learned to Love Myself

This was really hard but it was very empowering. I learned to look deep inside. I looked at who I was and I found a very loving, kind and generous person. I realized that my body and skin is simply my shell. It isn’t who I am. I am the beautiful spirit inside.

With that said, I also knew that if I wanted to be around and on this earth longer, I had to change my body and be good to it so it would be around longer. It is as if I separated myself from my body. And through loving myself (soul) I learned to love my body and be good to it. This was key in helping me to want to eat healthily and not let negative thoughts get me off track. And so this brings me to the next part which is to be comfortable in my own skin regardless of where I was in my weight loss.

I Learned to Get Comfortable in My New Skin

In the past, I would avoid looking at myself in the mirror. I would not wear the most attractive clothes. I would often put myself in the background. I would avoid being the center of attention. I learned that I needed to learn to love my body. This body regardless of how imperfect it is, it is the only one I have. And really that sort of makes it perfect. God gave this body only to me and no one else. So I decided to love it and treat it the way it deserved to be treated. I started to treat myself to bubble baths and wonderful smelly lotions that made me feel good. I also started to change how I dressed. I will never forget the first time I put on a pair of skinny jeans and was amazed at how great I looked and how I felt inside. I felt sexy.

I Focused On My Health

Losing the weight was not just about how I looked. Actually, it was mainly about my health. Focusing on my health was an important part of me changing my self-image too. I want to live and more importantly, have a good quality of life. I want to feel good every day. So rather than thinking about the scale and the weight loss, I focused on my health and I was proud of myself for taking my life back. I realized that my quality of life was in my hands.

Stop Making Excuses

And this brings me to my last point which is to throw away all of the excuses. I had to be completely honest with myself. My being fat was ultimately and completely my fault. I am the boss of my body. I am the one who ate the food and created my own reality. It is sad but true. But once I had this incredible honesty, I learned to throw away all of the excused.

My weight gain had nothing to do with my jeans or the fact that I was poor and couldn’t afford healthy foods. I am the one who decides my health and wellness. I decided to take my life back and be healthy. I didn’t have all the knowledge and tools, but I made the effort to find the what I needed.

I found that when I stopped making excuses and focused on the development of self-esteem I got the most amazing power and losing weight was much less challenging. If I can change my thinking, you can too.

 

24 thoughts on “The Development of Self Esteem​ While Losing Weight”

  1. Greetings Wendy! Thanks for sharing your story, filled with so much guidance. We all know how hard it can be to loose weight and reach optimal health. I love the techniques you implemented to learn to love ourselves beyond our image. Did you reachout for support during your struggle? Where people willing to be there for you? I loved having a supportive community ready to help. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Jackie! Yes, I was really blessed because my boyfriend Brian and I lost weight together so we supported each other. But I will tell you, I found that most people didn’t really understand why we were so passionate about losing the weight and getting healthy. But once we lost it, they were all amazed and proud of us. But I don’t think people realize the emotional struggle that is involved with losing weight. Being obese really messes with your confidence and how you see yourself. So I found the year and a half that my body shrunk, my self esteem grew immensely.

  2. Hi,
    love the content here. i feel this has simply been written from the heart and i get it. You are so right in what you said. Excuses seem to come so easily and learning to love yourself comes at a much slower rate….. but we will keep trying. thanks for the guidance and tips, will be putting into practice right now…heading off the mirror for a reality check…wish me luck..!!

    1. I wish you all the best in the mirror! 🙂 Thanks for the well-wishes, Kerie! You are very sweet. The emotional part of weight loss is probably the most difficult to deal with. Because you have to change your thinking as you lose the weight.

  3. Hello, Wendy…

    This was a beautiful article on how to address the many issues surrounding self-esteem in general and in particular, your own journey in regards to self-esteem while losing a great deal of weight.

    Congratulations on your triumphs with this self-esteem issue and congratulations on losing all that weight. What you have accomplished is commendable and the lessons for us all in your story are many.

    I might add that the same milieu (battling self-esteem issues) applies to so many areas of life…Self-esteem is a tenuous trait/feeling and one that most people wrestle with at various stages of their lives…

    It is those voices in our heads that try to keep us down a lot of times. If we face those voices, and see them for what they really are, as you did we can silence them…

    The solid tips you provide are ones that all who battle with their inner self can use, and it really comes down to refusing to accept what those voices may be telling you because they are simply not true…

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and I wish you nothing but more successes going forward. You have done a service for all who happen to find this post!

    Cheers!
    Dave

  4. Wendy, such an empowering article. I hope it motivates and inspires people!
    You are so right that self esteem is the key. I am learning a lot more about this and trying to silence those negative thoughts that pop into my head – you are not good at this, you don’t know enough about it etc etc. It is hard but as you say very powerful.
    Any the no excuses is also very important – I have watch my mum who i adore make excuse after excuse of why she couldn’t do something and honestly what happens is not much action and therefore very little results. You are the sum of your actions not your wishes or thoughts! Great food for thought for everyone – 50, 20 or 80!

    1. “You are the sum or your actions”! I love it, Allie. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It really is about mind set. I tried losing weight for years while having negative thoughts. But when I started developing my self esteem and worked on changing my relationship with food I started seeing results. And actually it isn’t just about food. When you work on loving yourself and changing your thinking, you start to see positive results in all parts of your life.

  5. Hi Wendy,

    Great article and inspiring story, I can relate to it and agree totally on the fact that excuses are used a lot when it comes to making changes in our lives.

    Decisions we make every day effect our health, as you say it’s not until we are honest with ourselves that we can change things for the better, wither it’s our weight, mental health or any other aspect of our lives.

    Thank’s for an educational article and keep up the good work.

    Dave.

    1. You are very welcome, Dave. I think being completely honest with our selves is an important part because many of us walk around thinking that we are being healthy, yet we are making excuses for why we keep sabotaging our own successes. It’s really about acknowledging that we are making excuses but also that we are not perfect. And understanding that it takes practice, time and patience to change something that we have been doing for many years. Some of us longer than others. We need to love ourselves and be our own encouragers.  

  6. Great website you got here, and I like your style! And thank you for this inspiring article. I am in the same process of getting rid of my belly fat. My sister told me that this is not fat but rather, enema where water is trapped under the skin of my belly. Oh, really? I am not really sure if she’s right with that. But one thing is for sure, I have to get rid of this belly fat or else, I’m heading on to something not good…

    I’d like to seek your advice here.. Is jogging early in the morning enough or do I have to enroll in some kind of fitness lesson or join a gym membership?

    1. I’m not an expert at all in the area of fitness(smile) as I didn’t work out while I was losing my 60 pounds. I have learned from my own experience that most weight-loss happens through nutrition. When you give your body an abundance of powerful good nutrition, it will take care of itself. With that said, it is always important to be active. And I am very active. I walk a lot and bend a lot and also do lots of outdoor activities.

      As for Edema, your sister makes a good point. You can read some wonderful information here about edema. But for the most part, it is fluid retention and when there is a lot of fluid around your heart it can cause some serious problems. Someone who has Edema may be short of breath when they walk across the room and may to elevate themselves at night in order to sleep. It can become serious. 

  7. Hey Wendy 🙂

    You would be a great motivational speaker for my mother. She’s in her late fifties. To me, she is still a beautiful young woman. Well, if you asked her, she would say she’s very old.

    You are right, self-esteem plays a big factor. my mother and I talk almost every day about her health and about looking wonderful again.

    I’ve been helping my mother with her diet for about 2 months, her clothes cannot stay on her now. The weight is falling off like crazy. However, she still doesn’t feel that she’s not pretty like she used to be. We talk a lot but I can’t get her that mindset.

    I really have to give my mother this article to read. This would give her more insight better than I can. She would really enjoy it.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Actually I think negative whenever I try to lose weight and I really do not like how I look but I did not know that it can affect the results.
    I think I can start by saying no to foods when I am offered. But it is actually quite difficult for me since I am always polite and don’t want to refuse people. What do you recommend for me?

    1. What worked for me, was making my self and my health a priority. I learned that it is okay to say no to people. It is actually very easy to simply say, no thank you. I find it is helpful to make a joke with them. For example, if they are trying to push some sweets like cake on me, I tell them that I’m sorry, but I can’t eat it because my body has a terrible allergy to cake. When I eat it, it makes me fat. LOL! People laugh and joke but they understand that I really don’t want the cake and they don’t get their feelings hurt either.

  9. Not many people realize that fat loss is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge. You have to have the willpower and believe that you deserve a better life.
    One of the hardest things is learning to love yourself, but like you said, it’s so important.
    How can friends and loved ones help somebody improve their self esteem while they’re trying to lose weight?

    1. That is a great question. I think the biggest was is to NOT sabotage their efforts. For example, if your husband or wife is trying to eat healthy and lose weight, don’t bring foods home that may be difficult for them to avoid eating. I was lucky because Brian and I had each other. And the other thing is, when you go out to eat with someone who is trying to eat healthy, let them know how proud you are of them. It is hard work to eat differently and change your thinking. The extra encouragement and reminder that they are loved plays a huge part in the development of self esteem.

  10. Hey there, Great site. I love the message you are getting across in this article about changing your mindset to achieve weightloss goals. I agree, the mindset is key when it comes to maximizing your results, not just in weight loss. I also love your approach to negative thoughts with the question ” Is that true?”. These really are some very helpful tips when it comes to changing a persons live!

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. I appreciate it. I’m glad you found this helpful. The biggest optical, I have found is changing the mindset. There are many challenges to loosing weight, but self esteem development is one of the most difficult.

  11. Hi Wendy

    Thank you so much for this article.

    It proves to me that the right mindset is just as important when you are trying to lose weight, as is the food that you eat.

    Everyone needs to love themselves – after all, if you don’t love yourself then how can you expect anyone else to love you?

    And I completely agree with you – the essential you is who you are inside, not how you look from the outside.

    Which do you think helped you the most when you were trying to lose weight – your attitude or what you ate?

    I think that your article provides great motivation to anyone trying to lose weight, very many thanks for that.

    Chrissie 🙂

    1. Thanks Chrissie, I appreciate that. And I hope I am able to inspire and help others to lose weight and live longer.

      At the time, while I was going through weight loss the food helped the most. I felt very satiated eating lots of good healthy fats. However, I had to keep a positive attitude. The was important in the beginning to keep me motivated. While I was going through the keto flu and not feeling so well my attitude is what kept me going. But once the weight is gone, mindset is very important. For me, I don’t think about my weight so much anymore. It is about my health and knowing that I am giving myself the best chance of living a long and healthy life. I love the real food makes me feel.

  12. I am also in the process of losing weight. Old habits definitely has a way to haunt us. Like you said, when someone offers you a piece of cake, you can say no, but sometimes you just choose not to say no.

    We are human so it can be difficult at times. I allow myself to have smaller piece of cake (maybe a tablespoon amount) once a month to give myself a break. I know weight loss is a lifestyle, health is important so the case is more like a “luxury” in a sense. You don’t use luxurious things on a daily basis do you?

    To me, eating something fattening or unheatlhy is more like a “hobby” that should be done on rare occasions because it is meant for people with top notch health and exercising routines. People with a lot of health is analogical to people with a lot of money. People with a lot of health can indulge from time to time without seeing adverse effects. People who are wealthy can buy a land or two without breaking a sweat.

    That’s why to me, during the weight loss process, unhealthy foods is a luxury, not a need. What do you think?

    1. I agree that once someone is healthy and has lost the weight they can “cheat” without having bad effects. But they also need to recognize it as a cheat and then go right back to eating healthy. Many people start to cheat often and then the mindless eating and old habits creep back. The next thing they know, they are back to gaining weight and being unhealthy again. So yes I agree with you. It is a lifestyle of constantly being mindful of what you eat. 

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