The low self-esteem trap

Think about what it felt like the last time you received a compliment. Perhaps someone told you how beautiful your smile was or how kind you felt pretty good right? Now take a moment and think about how you talk to yourself on a daily basis. Are you telling yourself “you are too fat, not attractive enough...your thighs are too chunky, you don’t spend enough time with your kids, you are rubbish at your job”...etc...all day long? Many people talk to themselves in this harsh way - often being more unkind to themselves than they would ever even consider being to a friend, stranger or even enemy! Yet if you think how good just one compliment makes you feel - now think about just how BAD all of the negative self-talk can make you feel.

A lot of the people that I work with feel awful about themselves and their bodies. In fact a lot of people I encounter in life generally tell me that they are not happy with their body, appearance - or don’t feel great about themselves. This is because they are criticising themselves all of the time - this is because their thoughts are focused on their flaws - and this leaves them feeling awful a lot of the time. When it comes to weight however - these negative thoughts can turn into a vicious trap ...because when you feel bad about yourself, what do you often turn to in order to feel better??...yep you guessed it - more food!

If you want to achieve your health and fitness goals - it is key that you are being kind to yourself and not criticising yourself all of the time. It is key for you to stop all of the negative self-talk.

How can you do this?

When it comes to improving your self-talk, the first step is self-awareness. I always recommend that my clients keep a journal of their mood and their thoughts throughout the day. Only around 10% of the population is naturally aware of their thinking - so for most of us, we actually have to stop and start paying attention to how we are talking to ourselves daily. Journaling is a great way to start noticing how you are talking to yourself. Once you have an awareness of your negative self-talk, you can then start to make a conscious effort to try and find that “compassionate inner voice” - the one that is kinder and more forgiving. Every time the negative inner-voice comes up - the compassionate inner voice can respond back, directing thoughts to more positive ones. So when you are focusing on how much you hate your body - you can turn your thoughts instead to how wonderful your body is for allowing you to carry your children, for example. When the compassionate inner-voice is consciously given more attention - slowly this will become your default way of thinking.

Another step you can