Many of us have a tendency toward very negative self-talk. It takes effort and practice to move to a more positive way of engaging with ourselves. The Super Bowl was this past weekend, a time where many overindulge. Weekends in general, happy hours during the week, lunches with co-workers, bites off the kids plates, mid-week energy slumps, late night snacking after dieting all day, treats at the office… all can lead to slipping up on plans for healthy living.
When such slips are trailed by self-loathing statements, this only serves to further decrease energy and make it more likely to engage in even more behavior you’d like to beat yourself up for! This is completely ineffective and will not get you closer to your goal.
When you abuse yourself with statements like “I am so fat,” “I look terrible,” “I screw everything up,” “I will never succeed,” “I am a failure,” “I suck,” [insert your personal abuse of choice here]; and then follow-up with, “but, today will be a better day,” you may succeed for a short while. When the day gets long and your triggers hit, however, you will easily treat yourself like the person you abused this morning… “I am so fat, I may as well eat this… I will never succeed, I may as well eat this… I will always look terrible, I may as well eat this…”
If, on the other hand, you wake up and say “Yesterday was tough. I don’t like the way I feel today. I know I can be on track today. I am proud of myself for [still having a healthy lunch yesterday, working out yesterday, stopping after the second bag of cookies, etc]. I am getting closer every day. I had healthy meals and workouts this week (or, I am going to plan healthy meals and workouts for the week). I can do this,” you will be much more likely to succeed when the day gets tough.
You must use your self-talk to boost rather than tear yourself down. While identifying, understanding, and experiencing emotions is important; there is a time to cut them off, get rational, and problem solve. Whining and hating yourself for what happened in the past serves no purpose unless it is short-lived and used as fuel to drive yourself forward with positive planning.
Take some time right now to tell yourself three things you are proud of yourself for this week. This does not have to be related to diet and exercise, anything will do. It is essential to begin boosting yourself through positive self-talk on a regular basis. Consider writing these down on a daily or weekly basis to refer back to on bad days. You will be surprised the incredible impact on your overall wellbeing and confidence level!