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Why aren't I feeling better about myself even though I've lost weight? Body confidence, weight loss and the right time to diet

When should you diet?
How should you diet?
What's the best method for weight loss?
Is there a difference between fat loss and weight loss?

What’s a keto diet?
What’s the difference between slimming world and weight watchers?

(This is a whole new level blog / rant that will come soon, those who know me know my feelings on these money-making, non-educational, ‘diet’ schemes).

When will you feel good about yourself when you’re losing weight?

These are questions which I get asked all of the time but I wanted to clear some things up about the last question more than anything; when will I feel good about myself when I’m losing weight?

I’ll be really honest, about the middle of March I weighed myself and was shocked that I’d gained about 9kg and was sitting at 84kg. With Christmas, health, lack of training through injury and opening Pride Performance Gym and specifically Reese’s peanut butter cups, I’d sent my nutrition and training went out of the window. I’d noticed my clothes feeling tighter, feeling a bit less tight and most importantly, I was feeling absolutely awful about myself when I looked in the mirror. All I could see was my hips, my mum tum, my bum which was gaining great shape was feeling really saggy. Sound familiar?

So, did I diet?

I gave my head a wobble and put my concentration back into my nutrition, I wrote myself a plan, I worked out my macro’s and I started to stick to it. Great!

Was I feeling better? No.

I was losing weight, but I wasn’t feeling any better about myself and I realized something; I have never been confidence in my own body! I have been every size and shape from a size 16 to a heavily pregnant size 6-8 but I’ve never felt good about it. Surely, the skinnier we are, the better we feel? That’s what society says isn’t it?

Every time I looked in the mirror, I still saw my hips, mum tum etc., you get the picture? Why wasn’t I feeling any better?

Because I wasn’t looking for the change and the positive, I was still focusing on the negative and the things I didn’t like! I took this as a life lesson and began working on finding my own confidence recently (see blog post; bikini-not-ready to bikini-ready in a change of attitude) and I put more importance on feeling good in my own skin rather than dropping down and still being self-conscious! Learning to love ourselves is so important, there is so much pressure on looking or feeling a certain way!

I have three questions to ask yourself when you’re feeling the pressure;

  • Am I healthy? This is important! I promote body confidence on all levels, but I want you to be honest, and this goes for all shapes and sizes, are you being good to your body? There is a lot of fat shaming in today’s society and I want to make it clear, I am not saying that; anyone of any size can be unhealthy. If you’re not, change one thing at a time, drink more water, go to the gym, for a run, concentrate on your eating. Don’t do everything at once!

  • Am I happy? I don’t just mean in your body. Are you happy in general? I personally have an incredibly lucky life, don’t get me wrong, I also have some incredibly difficult times but day to day I have two beautiful children, an amazingly supportive boyfriend who’s taken my two munchkins on as his own from day 1, I own my own gym, I absolutely love my job. Does having a mum tum or my hips not being quite as small as I want them to be really affect this that much? No way.

  • What do I like about myself? I’m not going to say find a reason to love yourself and then you don’t need to lose weight etc. don’t worry! I’m saying, have a look at yourself and find some positives, find a reason to smile when you look in the mirror instead of feel bad, find a reason to be confident in yourself. No matter how small this thing is, if you go from only seeing the negatives, even one tiny positive is a big step! The more you see that you like, the more you focus on the positives and the less you concentrate on the negatives, thus in turn increasing your confidence.

 Unfortunately, I haven’t got any photos of when I first started to show you but I’ll use a more recent photo and show you what I mean.

I could focus on my thickness, my tum, my chub being squeezed out under the bikini, or I could focus on my abs trying to pop through and think about the hard work I'm putting in?

I could focus on my thickness, my tum, my chub being squeezed out under the bikini, or I could focus on my abs trying to pop through and think about the hard work I'm putting in?

I haven't got the waist I want, or got the bum I want but I have got a back that is leaning out, my bum is changing shape and I love my tattoos?

I haven't got the waist I want, or got the bum I want but I have got a back that is leaning out, my bum is changing shape and I love my tattoos?

I haven't got the waist I want, or got the bum I want but I have got a back that is leaning out, my bum is changing shape and I love my tattoos?

Which of these thoughts are going to make me feel better about myself?

Hopefully, these answers will help you to see something in yourself and your life that you’ve not seen before and also give you an idea of one thing to change to begin with.

So, referring back to the question of the day; when will I feel good about myself when I’m losing weight? My answer, you should be beginning to feel good about yourself before you start!

If you don’t feel good about yourself before you start, who says you’ll feel good after?

If you are so busy looking for the next thing to fix, how can you appreciate where you are now or how far you've come? You don't work as hard as you do just so you can pick at yourself somewhere else, you work hard so you can feel better and reach your goals and maybe set new ones once you get there but it is important to remember, it isn't just about the destination, it's the journey! Appreciate it all; the changes, your progression, your effort. Don't let your hard work go to waste. Appreciate the little things and you'll learn to love yourself at all stages, the beginning, the journey and when you see your results!

Written by Pride Performance's British Weightlifting Coach Heather Flannery, May 12th 2018