Let’s start with the obvious question. How do you know if you’ve tied your self esteem in to how much you weigh?
Put simply, you’ve probably linked your self esteem to your weight if you feel better the less you weigh. On the face of it this might not seem like a problem. We live in a society where dieting, weight loss and wanting to be thin are so normalised that we don’t ever really question if this is OK. But if your self esteem is dependent on weighing what you think is the ‘right’ weight then not only is that damaging but it’s also going to cause you problems in the long term.
Basing your self esteem on your weight will only ever cause you issues.
The biggest of these are;
- It takes your self esteem more or less out of your control. Yes sure, you can always diet to try and get back to your goal weight but dieting isn’t easy, doesn’t always work and generally you’ll put the weight back on within a few years. So do you want a life of feeling shitty about yourself just because you haven’t hit or stayed at that magic number on the scales?
- It completely misses out on everything that actually makes you who you are. Focusing on weight to see if you are good enough is like telling your daughter she’ll only be loved if she has blond hair. It’s an arbitrary physical characteristic that in no way reflects how kind, loving, successful, clever, funny, ambitious, dedicated, loyal, trustworthy, respectful or amazing someone might be.
- If you are a woman then at some point you are going to put on weight. Whether that’s because of pregnancy, age or the menopause. And then what? How do you expect to feel good when your body changes if you’ve placed your self esteem entirely on how much you weigh? What happens when your weight goes up and you aren’t able to feel good about yourself anymore?
All of these mean that having your self esteem linked with how much you weigh is just setting yourself up for a fall at some point. And probably a life of misery.
So how do you separate them?
Now that I’ve convinced you that you need to build your self esteem outside of how much you weigh, exactly how are you supposed to do this?
Luckily I have a list of my top tips for building your self esteem independently to your weight.
- Do things you are good at and enjoy
- Connect with loved ones and remind yourself that they love you for who you are
- Write down 3 things daily that you love about yourself
- Set yourself a challenge or goal and work towards it
- Make time just for you to look after yourself, remind yourself that you are important too
- Challenge negative thinking, make a conscious effort to look for the positives in a situation
- Learn to be assertive, say no to things that will negatively impact you or stand up for yourself if someone is criticising you
- Avoid comparing yourself to others, you are unique and on your own path
- Help others or volunteer
- Make a list of your strengths and the things you are good at
Overall, remind yourself daily that you are so much more than your weight. Keep telling yourself all your positive traits that make you the amazing woman you are. And most of all, remember that the people around you who love you don’t love you for how much you weigh. They love you just for being you.
If you struggle with low self esteem after a baby I can help. I offer 1:1 coaching for mums to help them feel great about themselves. You can also join my new challenge and learn to love your post-baby body in just 5 days!