People, self-esteem and weight

It can be very hard in some circumstances to lose weight.

Sometimes there are people in your life that have a negative influence on you. Some may mean that. With others it just happens and it isn’t intentional. There’s also cases where it is a bit of both.

If you don’t feel good about yourself it is really hard to do anything about it. You feel little, insignificant, of no consequence and incapable. You feel like there is nothing you can do, nothing you should do, and that anything you DO do, will be wrong and will only result in more ridicule and derision.

If it isn’t already bad enough that you have no control over your life and hence no ability to steer its outcome, the stress of that – even if you just deny yourself and totally die inside – will drive you into bad habits.

People eat for lots of reasons. The right reason is “for food”. Some of the wrongest reasons are because they are being stressed-out by someone, and because they are trying to recover after being stressed-out by someone. It is hard not to put on weight if you are already eating too much and feel incapable of controlling anything around you. It is very hard to give up some food if that is all you have that allows you to unwind a little. Not only very hard but it may even be detrimental if you can’t get out of the stressful situation or unwind some other way. The odds of losing weight in the circumstances are very much against you.

For myself, I had been doing really well this year. The source of a lot of my stress had moved out of my life and things had been turning around wonderfully. I finally felt that I could do something for myself, that I could choose things and travel along the path that I wanted. It was not an easy change as I had spent many years without any real say of my own. It was a slow change with the constant fear of being trampled on for daring to peer out from under a leaf. I was certainly getting there. However, I’m back under the leaf for now. The situation has returned somewhat and I’m, to be frank, irrationally terrified. If that’s your situation too – I do understand it.

Some people have a bad effect on us. The challenge is to climb over that somehow. Whether it is people deliberately putting you down or people to whom you’ve spent much of your life subservient – sometimes due to status or power but sometimes simply through your own choice.

You are a human being. A person. You have the ability to choose. You do have choices – even when you think you don’t. You are valuable. You do contribute to the world, even if it is only through a rare smile to someone else. You can control some outcomes. You can influence your life.

Think of something really simple that you want done. Do that. Realize that it was you that did it and that you made it happen. Do more of these. Keep them small. Keep them things for which you don’t need permission. Don’t tell anyone else. Don’t need others praise. Appreciate yourself.

It helps enormously if you can stay away from whatever stresses you out, brings you down or makes you feel powerless. But sometimes you can’t. It is true that “it is all in you” (meanly put) or “you determine how you feel” (same thing put more nicely). However, when you’ve gasped what seems to be your last breath, being told to “just breath” doesn’t achieve anything. What can you feel good about? What have you achieved? What can you do? They can’t really all be “nothing.” Be honest with yourself about the good times. There will have been some. You need to focus on them to pick yourself up. If you get “up” enough, bit by bit, no-one will ever knock you down again – by mistake or by intent.

Then you can start losing weight if that is why you are reading this article.

Of course, if you need help / support / counselling / police, you should seek that assistance. Any advice here is general in nature and cannot take into account individual circumstances.

Picture: Najwa Marafie – Free Photographer / CC BY-SA

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