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#11: Transform Your Body Image: The First Step to Sustainable Weight Loss

Embracing Body Positivity Before Achieving Your Weight Goals

We often try to lose weight with the hope that once we have lost it, we’ll feel good about ourselves. We look forward to feeling proud of our bodies, believing that the guilt and shame will finally vanish. As a result, we aim to lose weight as quickly as possible, because the feelings we desire are paused until we’ve got there.

Learn how to feel positive about your body right now and why this is crucial not only for losing weight but also for maintaining it:

The Learned Thoughts of Body Image

How you feel about your body consists of learned thoughts—unhelpful habits you’ve developed over time. If you lose weight without changing your habits about how you feel about your body, you’ll still likely harbour negative feelings when you’ve reached your weight goal. You’ll carry the same old shame, guilt, and frustration, which often leads to the weight creeping back on.

Living in the Moment

Putting your best feelings on hold until you reach your goal means you’re missing out on life right now. You also won’t feel as amazing as you anticipate once you reach your weight goal, because your thoughts and feelings will remain unchanged—only your physical appearance will have altered.

This might seem daunting, especially when for so long you may have been critical of yourself. However, if you don’t feel good about yourself and your body, you’re less motivated to make beneficial decisions. You’re also more likely to engage in self-sabotage. The brain reinforces what it believes you want, so feeling better about yourself and your body actually makes managing your weight easier.

Celebrating Every Win

Instead of spending time and energy disliking parts of your body, focus on celebrating the wins you achieve every day towards your goal. No matter how small, each win deserves recognition. Gradually, your mind will start to focus on these successes instead of dwelling on deemed mistakes and failures. Remember, acknowledging when you mess up is not about judging yourself harshly but about learning and moving forward.

Practical Steps Towards Feeling Better About Your Body

Consider what you can do today to take a step towards appreciating your body. Perhaps this could involve editing your wardrobe by removing clothes that don’t make you feel good. This includes outfits that you aspire to wear once you’ve lost weight, which may remind you of how far you have to go, as well as clothes that aren’t flattering for your figure right now. Instead, choose to wear clothes that make you feel good now. This will change how you show up every day.

Changing Your Mirror Perspective

When you look in the mirror, focus on the aspects of your body that you like. Quiet the inner voice that criticises and remind yourself of your decision to feel good now. Also, reconnect with your overriding ‘why’ for your weight loss goal.

Affirming Your Self-Worth

Finally, write a list of all the things you like about yourself. This can be difficult, especially if you’re used to criticising yourself. After writing the list, enhance its power by adding “I am” in front of each sentence. Phrases that follow “I am” become potent affirmations of your self-worth and can significantly influence your mindset and actions.

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