Daniela Lobato Bentivogli, a psychologist specializing in eating behavior disorders and weight management, shared with us five recommendations to nurture self-esteem. We share them with you hoping that they will be of help to you.
Many times when we are really dissatisfied with some part of our body, or when we have an overestimation of weight and figure which means basing our personal evaluation in terms of weight, figure and the ability to control it; we resort to certain behaviors of hatred towards our body. Seeing it in the mirror, the only thing we want to do is erase it, modify it and we think that no matter what we have to do, as long as that reflection is different, it is more like “the established”.
Then what do we do?
We look for the most restrictive diets, because in our minds it is obvious that the fewer calories and carbohydrates, the faster we can lose weight. Or we run to the gym or to internet channels to spend hours of the day exercising to burn fat and calories. Or, unfortunately, we can go to extremes like vomiting and abusing laxatives and diuretics.
And then, every bite you eat or don't eat, as well as every movement becomes a punishment: we are acting out of hatred, out of rejection.
What to do to change that mindset ?
1. Identify your values
With this we are not talking about those who taught us in school, we are talking about what you value in life. Think about how you want to live, how you want people to remember you. Do you want them to say that you lived it starving yourself and in the gym? Or do you want them to say something else? I would love for them to say that I lived a healthy, balanced life, where I found enjoyment in my decisions, even if they didn't always feel "good" at the moment.
Courage is how you are going to live each day of your life. If the way you take your food does not nurture this love, this vibration of satisfaction with your life, then you are doing something wrong.
2. Focus on the process instead of the result
If you live each day waiting for the scale to indicate a lower and lower number, then you are not living, you are surviving, and at the mercy of a number, a goal, a result. Here comes again having your value well identified so that you can focus on the path you want to travel. What do you prefer? Live a healthy life, balanced and flexible, even if the results take longer to arrive but you can sustain them; or live a life of punishments, rules and rigidity in order to get the result as soon as possible, although it is likely that you will not be able to sustain it and it will lead to bigger problems.
3. Focus on the long term, don't get lost in the short term
We live in time, we have a past, a present and a future. But with every second that passes, our present is becoming past and we are walking towards the future. People have a tendency to lose ourselves in moments, in the short term. We want pleasure right now and avoid everything that is unpleasant. However, this will often bring us problems, because we lose sight of that future to which we are inevitably heading. To live a life of value, we have to look at the long term, and many times that will mean that the short term, the moment, is not pleasant, but in the end ask yourself... was it worth it? Were you able to reach that horizon you wanted to reach? And I leave you with another reflection, when has something that has been important to you been achieved easily, without complications?
4. If you have a goal, help yourself from a professional
If your goal is to eat healthy, lose weight, maintain it, increase muscle mass, whatever. The best we can do is go to professionals in the area, if you make an effort to find ethical ones, it is likely that they will accommodate this life of balance that I am telling you about.
If something is difficult for you, you do not have to fight alone, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
5. Reflect at the end of each day
Don't let life pass through your eyes without you realizing it. Before you go to sleep, reflect on how much the actions you did that day brought you closer to or further away from your value. How much you did things for love or hate. How much tolerance and patience did you put into practice to achieve that better future that comes with every second.
If you leave with a feeling of annoyance, anguish, emptiness, anger, or any other of these negatives. Something is not right. If you can't sustain your diet and it keeps you feeling good inside and out, even if it's uncomfortable at times, then you have to change your path.