Updated: May 24, 2019
Self-compassion is the catalyst to overcoming our self-harming behaviours. All permanent change begins on the inside. It takes time for our efforts to affect our behaviours. My journey has been about learning to love myself. It has been a life long journey where I have worked on my self-sabotaging attitudes.
We all have negative thoughts which can hinder our living freely. It’s important to identify these if you find you cannot get out of ruts and unhealthy lifestyle patterns. For me, the words ‘you will always be fat’, ‘you are slow’, ‘selfish’, etc. were the stereotypical comments which rolled through my mind. At first, I used these comments to spur myself on. But I then recognised that they created stress for me which led me back to eating for comfort.
Over time I also found that the stress I experienced from punishing myself with these thoughts depleted my energy levels, so I wanted to eat. Then, with some good medical advice, I learned that this stress increased my body’s use of cortisol. Cortisol causes weight gain.
This toxic bundle of negative patterns and stress was one of the reasons I had gained such a lot of weight in my adolescence and adulthood.
I learned that if I felt fear, anger or shame I had to identify what was behind them. As I worked back from the feeling and questioned the reasonableness of these thoughts, I found that they were not conducive to the lifestyle I wanted. One by one, as each thought surfaced, I dealt with it. Often, I recognised where they had come from, and frequently I discovered they were deeply rooted. Mostly, they reflected how I coped with people and situations in my past.
Continued perseverance has brought about success for me. I encourage you to take note of your self-talk. Be open with yourself and those you trust. The change it brings is worth it.