They say the truth will set you free, so here it is....
I have low self-esteem. I lack confidence in quite a few areas in my life. So I work on it regularly.
Do you ever have those days when you feel like everyone is prettier or smarter than you?
The thing is it’s not just you who struggles with this: statistics show that 95% of people lack self-esteem.
This doesn’t just mean that somebody doesn’t like the way they look. It could be that they lack confidence in speaking their mind and end up keeping their mouth shut. Other people put on a “know-it-all act” to cover up their feelings.
How does this relate to emotional eating?
I am glad you asked. When you have low self-esteem you start beating yourself up and then food tends to become a soother.
This voice will just keep building and beating you down until you numb yourself with food. Then you spend your energy focusing on food being the bigger issue. The cycle then continues.
So let’s focus on how to manage this cycle.
Whatever areas you feel you need to work on, here are 5 steps to start making changes and stop beating yourself up.
1. Make a list.
List the things that make you feel good about yourself. Is it going to the gym? Hanging out with specific people? Getting a job done?
2. Note what makes you feel inadequate.
This is definitely not a fun one, but we all have things that bring our confidence down. Do you feel overweight? Do you feel that you’re not good at a part of your job, like making presentations? Do you feel that you lack education? Debating skills? Whatever it is, it’s in your head already, so you might as well write it down, and then you can start taking baby steps to change it.
3. Start being nice to yourself!
Stop beating yourself up. If you do not speak nicely to yourself or treat yourself well, nobody else will either. I bet you wouldn’t let anyone else speak to you that way , so don’t be mean to yourself.
I always recommend carrying a picture of yourself as a child and asking yourself “Would I speak to her like that?”
4. Notice the negative statements you say to yourself.
We all have a voice in our head. Start noticing what you are saying to yourself and write it down. Would you let somebody else speak to you like that?
5. Break it down into manageable steps.
If your goal is to become a better public speaker, do not start agreeing to do presentations. The first step would be to research classes or courses that can help you learn how to make better presentations. If it's getting fit, it may be best not to join a gym right away, but to see how you can incorporate activity into your schedule. Maybe you can walk to the grocery store when you only have a few things to buy. Or maybe you can take the stairs in your office.
Start taking care of yourself emotionally and it's a great step towards managing your emotional eating.
Want to get off the diet roller coaster, stop eating emotionally, and lose weight? Get my Emotional Eating Toolkit.
Natalie Shay is a Psychotherapist and Life Coach specializing in emotional eating. She struggled with her own weight for 20 years. She finally learned to stop dieting and lost 75 lbs. In 2007 she became a Registered Psychotherapist to help emotional eaters stop turning to food for comfort and lose weight without dieting. She helps support her clients and guides them to meet their goals to stop dieting and start living.
Natalie can be reached here