When I first embark on my 15 weeks to fat loss program, I didn’t know what will transpire. I am never overweight, but I feel that as a fitness instructor, I need to look more toned and muscular.
I want to lead by example through my own body.
During my 15 weeks program, I try a few things: counting my calories, timing my food intake, having smoothie for breakfast and exercising intensely.
Then in the middle of my experiment, I allow myself some junk food. I stop counting my calories and allow my body to guide me.
It still works.
At the end of my experiment, I look more toned. And I realize a crucial factor in the success of my program lies in my self-esteem.
What exactly is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is our overall opinion of ourselves – how we feel about our abilities and limitations. A healthy self-esteem makes us feel good about ourselves realistically, promotes good body image and self-respect. A low self-esteem makes us put little value on our opinions and ideas. We constantly label ourselves as not being good enough. A healthy self-esteem empowers us to think positively about ourselves and our abilities.
5 way self-esteem is crucial in weight management programs
5. We see challenging situations as opportunities
Changes are difficult, especially if we are changing habits that have been with us for decades. A person with low self-esteem might look as challenges as impossible tasks to overcome, ultimately giving up. With a healthy self-esteem, we learn to face our current limitations and find ways to work towards changing for the better.
4. Confident in our abilities to control our lives
To make changes, we must set your intention, and believe in our ability to change. There are many people who set New Year resolutions but not many will follow through. If we do not believe in our abilities to make changes, we will remain in status quo despite our desire to make changes in your life. Feeling confident in accomplishing the steps that we design to change our lives is one leap forward in our weight management program.
3. Realistic in our expectations and less likely to be overcritical of ourselves
We let go of perfectionism. Perfectionism is a major source of stress. Aiming for perfectionism is setting ourselves up for disappointments and even failures. Let’s say we have a weight management program that requires us to lose 1kg in 2 weeks. If at the end of 2 weeks, we found out that we have gain weight instead, we might think that we have failed in your program. And if we failed for a lot of times, we might even think that this is an unattainable goal to pursue.
However, using weight as a measure is a one-dimensional aspect of weight loss. Depending on our body types, if we have built up muscles, the weight gain might be from the muscles. Our weight fluctuates during the various time of the day. Someone with a low self-esteem might become fixated on the results and think that they have failed. Having a healthy self-esteem empowers us to look for holistic answers and continue working towards our goals.
Most importantly, we need to have a clear understanding and accept that there will be good days and bad days and weight management seldom proceeds in a linear manner.
2. More resilient and better able to weather stress and setbacks
In life, there will be unpredictable events. So as we embark on a lifestyle change for weight management, there might be instances of relapse or an unhealthy meal. With a low self-esteem, we might frazzle over the past, and think that we have blown the whole weight management program. Having a healthy self-esteem, we will be able to use this experience as a reminder, forgive ourselves and make plans to tackle future temptations or setbacks. Instead of berating ourselves for the mistake, we can learn to empower yourself to make the right decision to go back to the healthy lifestyle.
1.Less likely to experience negative feelings such as worthlessness, guilt and shame
It is not uncommon for a person to come into a weight management program because they are motivated by guilt and shame. Mass media has altered our idea of beauty: we all have a tendency to feel that we need to have a certain body type to be beautiful. Guilt and shame might be very strong precursor feelings for embarking on a weight management program. However, throughout the program, such feelings will be detrimental. Negative emotions demotivates us. A permanent change in lifestyle requires a focus on positive emotions. This will motivate the person to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and make it easier to sustain it.
So how could we improve our self-esteem? In our next post, we will share with you our tips on maintaining a positive self esteem.