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Self-esteem and Weight Loss

Most people wouldn’t think so but good self-esteem leads to more success with weight loss.

Judgments that people make about their worth is what is called “self-esteem.”

Characteristics of High and Low Self-esteem

People with high self-esteem believe they are worthwhile regardless of anything else including their looks and their actions. They accept themselves unconditionally as they are – understanding that they are fallible humans. While they may judge their behaviors, their worth as people does not change based on their behaviors, achievements, or lack thereof. For example, someone may be disappointed in her performance on a test but not go so far as judgingherself as inadequate based on this performance. They may wish they were more attractive in some way but not judge themselves as worthless because of it.

On the other hand, people with low self-esteem continually base their self-worth on the external such as how they look, what they do, how much money they have, or what they weigh. People with low self-esteem do not feel good about themselves unless they perceive themselves as having earned something such as having gotten to a desired weight or size. As one might imagine, the person with low self-esteem rides a roller coaster of self-worth – going up and down continually based on their judgment of their behavior.

How Self-esteem Can Interfere with or Facilitate Weight Loss

With respect to weight loss and fitness, self-esteem can mean the difference between success and failure. Why would the way a person judges himself interfere with successful weight management? Here are some reasons:

  • People tend to behave based on how they judge themselves. If someone believes he is unacceptable he will behave accordingly. If the person considers herself a failure, she will behave as one. That’s how the human brain works psychologically.
  • People with high self-esteem aren’t bogged down with mistakes. They accept them and go on. If they didn’t eat just right at a meal or gained some weight, they don’t bother to put themselves down but rather note the behavior and continue on to strive for something better. People with low self-esteem will become preoccupied by mistakes and maybe even quit.
  • People with high self-esteem are more likely to praise themselves for small achievements. Frequent rewards for small steps lead to success. Those with low self-esteem are more focused on punishment and reprimands than rewards, and feel they are not worth rewards unless the achievement is large. This interferes with weight loss goals.
  • People with high self-esteem tend to talk to themselves more positively. It is well known that positive thinking leads to positive feelings and positive results.

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