The Importance of Self-Compassion Throughout Your Weight Loss Journey

The benefits of weight loss are indisputable, but there are both physical and mental challenges that present themselves throughout your weight loss journey. When faced with triggers or bouts of unhealthy eating, many people feel frustrated, defeated, and disappointed in themselves. If you have ever experienced these emotions following weight loss, it’s time you started practicing self-compassion throughout your weight loss journey.

Practicing self-compassion on your weight loss journey

Let’s Talk About Self-Compassion

Self-compassion involves recognising our own pain and suffering as part of the human experience and responding to that with mindfulness, warmth, and kindness. Research suggests that self-compassion is linked to improved health, life satisfaction, and well-being, and can significantly lower levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. Managing weight in the long term is a difficult process, which is why it is important to approach your battles with a positive mindset.

When we lose a significant amount of weight, our bodies believe that we’ve been through a period of starvation. But we’re not just battling our own bodies when we try to lose weight. You’ll find that results come from more than simply knowing what to eat and how much.

Throughout your journey you are likely to encounter emotional triggers that have the capacity to hinder your efforts. We’re often faced with unhealthy choices in our daily life, with easy access to unhealthy food and many triggers that cause us to give in to temptation. Culturally, we use food as rewards, for comfort and to socialise. For example, staff meetings often include cakes and cookies instead of fruit platters and catch-ups with friends involve eating out and drinking cocktails.

Because of these pressures, we often feel like we have ‘fallen off the wagon’ when trying to maintain our healthy habits. When you give in to these triggers, it may feel like your inner self-critic is yelling at you. But rather than leaning into this familiar self-judgement and feeling of failure, start to focus on what you can do to get back on the wagon – one bad choice isn’t the end of your journey.

Exercising for positive mental health

How to Practice Self-Compassion

When we are shamed and blamed by ourselves or others, we are more likely to make unhealthy choices. However, research suggests that showing ourselves compassion can help us to identify better solutions and make healthier decisions. Self-compassion allows us to understand and accept our mistakes, supporting healthy eating behaviours and weight regulation. It can also decrease levels of emotional triggers associated with weight gain, including stress, depression, and anxiety. But how do we actually practice self-compassion?

Here are some simple ways you can practice self-compassion throughout your weight loss journey:

  1. Transform your mindset – it all starts with changing your thoughts
  2. Create a self-care list (and follow it)
    • Go for a walk
    • Meditate
    • Do yoga
    • Spend time in nature
    • Listen to music
  3. Accept yourself as you are
  4. Practice mindfulness
  5. Forgive your mistake
  6. Speak kindly to yourself
  7. Spend time doing things you enjoy
  8. Surround yourself with people that bring you joy

When we feel supported, understood, and safe, we do new and difficult things. So, the next time you eat too much at a buffet, drink more than you wanted to, or skip the gym, approach your setbacks with kindness and ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you recognise that everyone has setbacks?
  • Do you acknowledge that because of all kinds of factors, weight management is difficult?
  • Can you respond gently and kindly to your setback so that you can get back on the wagon?
Be Patient

Staying motivated throughout your weight loss journey and learning how to show yourself compassion will take time, so be patient. If you find yourself struggling with your weight loss journey, reach out to the team at Brisbane Weight Loss Surgery. We are here to support you along your journey and help you reach your weight loss goals.

Make yourself a priority

 

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