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Need Help losing Weight? Check Out Your Self Esteem Issues.

Posted May 14 2011 5:00am

What about your level of self-esteem? What raises it? What lowers it? What keeps it right where it is? And why is it responsible for putting weight on, responsible for successful weight loss, and responsible for controlling your weight?

Is self-esteem a feeling; is it an emotion? Well, it certainly feels like a feeling. But you could say that it’s a bunch of feelings, or the result of feelings, or it certainly causes feelings. No need to be too precise. Feeling bad about yourself is feeling bad about yourself any way you slice it. Feeling good about yourself—that’s a different story altogether. If you feel good about yourself, and your level of self-esteem is high, there’s not much more to be said—at least not for our purposes of losing excess weight and such.

But—if you don’t feel good about yourself, what do you do? What do you do? It’s worth a hard, long look at your self-esteem system, especially if you are an overweight woman, have been for a while, and you either have little motivation to lose weight or you are having great difficulty losing weight.

You’ll not be surprised to hear that your very own self-esteem system does not belong to you exclusively. It’s an open system. In other words, it’s not closed and self-contained—although sometimes you might want it to be. Your self-esteem system is open to what other people think and say about you. Therefore, your self-esteem may rise or fall with what the word on the street is about you. As everyone knows, it helps to have a filter as part of your self-esteem system. A filter that helps you take what others say with a grain of salt—if necessary.

Then there’s the closed part of your self-esteem system. This is where you and you alone determine your level of self-esteem. This may seem like a contradiction, to have your self-esteem system closed as well as open, but that’s the way it is. Live with it.

The closed system: When your weight goes up, your self-esteem goes down. When you lose some weight, your self-esteem rises. That’s not all. It works conversely as well: When your self-esteem goes down, your weight goes up, and when your self-esteem is on the rise, your weight has some extra motivation to be on its way down.

In the closed system, you are the one who decides how you feel about yourself. And your decisions are not affected by what other’s think. What you think is more powerful, and you’re not open to changing your mind, at least not easily. This is good sometimes, of course—when you are your own person. That’s good. The bad part comes when you are your own worst enemy. Not good.

Whether it’s social feedback that is affecting your self-esteem or your own self-appraisals, self-esteem is something that you have to carefully consider and regulate if you are not able to lose weight.


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