Archive for the ‘Self-esteem’ Category

BE KIND TO YOURSELF: It's Better for Your Diet

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

How we beat ourselves up for that brownie or pizza slice!  Once we’ve lost control or overdone it, forget about self-care and serenity.  But research keeps confirming some ancient wisdom when it comes to eating better.  Gentleness, being kind to oneself, paves a better path to success than self-flagellation. 

One early (2007) study asked dieters to go easy on themselves in the face of eating proferred candy.  Eaters first rated as “highly restrictive” ate less after hearing a self-compassion message than those who did not.  Christopher Germer, Ph.D. mentions this study in The mindful path to self-compassion (2009).  He explains, “When dieters’ heads are ‘not cluttered with unpleasant thoughts and feelings,’ they can focus on their dietary goals rather than trying to improve their mood by eating more food.” (more…)


SPEAK UP TO KEEP WEIGHT DOWN: For the Holidays and Beyond

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

 As we near the holiday season—and its inevitable challenges to sane eating and weight control—I’m highlighting the importance of speaking up.  For stating your needs and preferences becomes especially important in the holiday push to join in, avoid making waves, and keep others happy.   It’s not that joining in and making others happy is bad.  It can lead to the abandonment of self-care, though, and of course to regained weight.  And for this we often end up feeling pretty unhappy ourselves.

Speaking up can prove hard at times, perhaps especially in this season.   I offer here some quick reading resources to help you get through these weeks feeling good about how you’ve cared for yourself, with some emphasis on the “speaking up” part.

 Eat Sanely blogposts:
11/23/09 (“The Best Holiday Gift:  No Weight Gain”)
12/22/09 (“The Joys of ‘Just Maintaining’”)
Click on “Older Entries”, below

Thin From Within blogpost: 
11/4/10 (“Assertiveness and Eating Better:  Speaking Up to Manage Your Weight”)

Other articles: 
“Avoiding the Holiday Spread,” Suzette Glasner-Edwards, O the Oprah Magazine, 12/08

“4 Ways to Put Your Diet First,” Suzette Glasner-Edwards,, 11/08

“Caring for Yourself at Thanksgiving,” A.F. Hutchinson,, 11/08



Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

I recently posed these questions on my Psychology Today blog:  How Do You Like Yourself…When There’s So Much to Change?  And, How Do You Change….When You Don’t Like Yourself?   (    10/8/10 and 10/22/10)

For all of us, perhaps, but especially for those trying to lose weight, these are crucial questions.   Despite the growing number of Americans struggling with their size, we continue to think negatively of the overweight.   It takes a lot of work to keep from internalizing these negative views—and few succeed.

Yet the very process of making major changes, such as those needed to lose weight for good, requires that we bring some self-confidence and care to the task.  In other words, you’ll have an easier time sticking to new, at-first-uncomfortable routines when you’re feeling worthwhile and capable.  And worthwhile and capable are surely not how the world works to make a heavy person feel.

So consider that balance between self-acceptance and the push for change.  If there are things about your body or your eating habits that you don’t like, try to separate all that  from your notion of who you are as a person.  No one is perfect….and given your particular history and biology you’ve probably been doing your best until now.  Despite what we might take from the media or from ill-informed others, “it’s not just you”.  A lot of factors conspire to make overeating easy, and weight loss hard, in our current world.

Paradoxically, accepting all that may make it easier to start the tough job of change, and to succeed.