Over the last few years, I’ve had a few close friends go under the knife. Each person came to their decision for different reasons; some were health related, others were looking to improve their outward appearance for personal reasons. A few weeks ago, a close friend who recently underwent weight-loss surgery shared that although she was losing weight her confidence was still in the dumps.
The insecurity she felt about her weight led her to cover her body with baggy clothes and limit her social interactions. So far on her weight-loss journey, she has lost 45 lbs! She has 30 lbs to go to get to her goal weight, and she doesn’t let herself forget it.
As we spoke, I thought about the number of times we don't celebrate our accomplishments. I said to her, “You can’t wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself!”
Like many women, I have also struggled with body image issues for most of my life, and I always thought that I thought I would be happier by losing weight. It took time for me to recognize that confidence didn't come packaged in weight loss, new hair, or a fresh outfit. Building confidence takes patience and a steady stream of positive self-talk.
Identifying and breaking down cognitive distortions helps us have a better understanding of ourselves and become more in sync with our feelings. None of this is easy, but here are a few steps in the right direction:
* Take a long look at yourself in the mirror
* Compliment yourself daily
* Be your biggest cheerleader
* Open yourself up to accepting respectful compliments
In addition to these tips, having a core group of supportive friends and family who you can lean on is absolutely crucial when battling negative thoughts and low self-esteem . Surround yourself with people who are understanding of your feelings and don’t downplay them but remind you that you have got it goin’ on!! The reality that exists in your head is not always the truth. Allow people who love you to remind you of that.