Dropping self judgement is the most important thing you need to do in weight loss. I've been coaching women over 35 for years and I've noticed time and again that the biggest thing getting in women's way of reaching their goals is self judgement.
Women are their own worst inner critics and they think if they can't be perfect right away with their habits, they automatically believe they're not good enough.
In my years of coaching women to lose weight, feeling not good enough is why they don't follow through and do their healthy habits. They'll say they so desperately want to lose weight, yet they won't do what they know they need to do.
They'll say things like "I always let myself down. I never follow through with my commitments. I always fail. I'll never figure this out. I fell off the wagon" Under those sentences, is judgement and shame.
Most women are attempting to lose weight because they think losing weight means they will feel better emotionally about themselves. The truth is you have to FIRST feel better emotionally about yourself and then comes the benefit of physical health and weight loss.
Most women are trying to lose weight in the reverse way, but it simply does not work that way. You have to get emotionally healthy FIRST and that starts with stopping the self beat downs.
You have to learn to drop self judgement and look at your situation objectively. You have to learn to support yourself instead of putting yourself down every time something doesn't go as expected. You have to end the self beat downs.
Being negative towards yourself does not motivate you to take good care of yourself. That's why so many women struggle losing weight. They are horrible towards themselves. It's something I see daily and it's epidemic.
Dropping self judgement is the key to losing weight permanently. I coach clients to drop self judgement starting day one of the coaching program and it's part of the mindset work I do with women.
Without dropping self judgement, weight loss will be impossible. Listen to the full podcast for help on this!
In this Dish on Ditching Diets Podcast Episode 63, You Will Hear:
- What Self Judgement Sounds Like - Common Phrases Women Say and Don't Realize They're Putting Themselves Down
- Why Mothers Are The Worst Self Judgers
- Why Perfectionism, Judgement, Shame and Self Beat Ups Don't Motivate You
- The Muscle You Have To Practice Building
- Why You Have To Have Emotional Health Before Weight Loss
- Why You Won't Feel Better At 150 Pounds If You Don't End Self Judgement
Dropping Self Judgement in Weight Loss Podcast Transcript
One of the things I’ve thought a lot about throughout the years is what is it that normally stands in women’s way of losing weight permanently? I’ve been coaching women for many years and what I always see time and again is women thinking they don’t lose weight because...
Of their past history, their past diet failures, because they don’t have enough support, because they have to work and are too busy, because they’re a Mom, they think it’s because they don’t know what plan to follow or what food to eat, because they’re too old, their metabolisms are broken, their hormones, their this, their that. I can come up with a thousand reasons why women tell me they can’t lose weight and I believe the main reason is self judgement.
It all comes down to how we are judging things and judging ourselves. For example, when you blame your past – you say there’s no way I can lose weight. I’ve tried so many times and I always gain it back. Now I get it. I was overweight for a long time, and I judged myself every time I would quit.
I would take those failures and make it mean something about me. Something was wrong with me. And THAT was always what stopped me. It was not because I didn’t know what foods were healthy or what diet to follow. It was not because I WAS a failure.
It was because I was judging myself so harshly that whenever I would try again, my self judgement didn’t allow me to do something I could see myself doing until I was 80 years old and enjoyed. My self judgement didn’t allow me to be okay with going slow and making slow habit changes over time. It wasn’t enough. It was good enough.
My self judgement would cause me to do drastic things I knew I couldn’t sustain overtime. My self judgement also didn’t allow me to analyze past diets to see what worked and what didn’t work.
And this is what I see every woman getting caught in – their own self judgement. Do you know how many brilliant, successful women I work with? CEOs, doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners and they come to me saying I have no idea how to lose weight, I have no idea how to eat.
Under that is all self judgement and they just believe it’s true. It’s all I’m not good enough and it’s rampant and epidemic. This has to STOP. Stop judging yourself.
I lost my way, I fell off the wagon, I gave up on myself, I never stick to think I say I’m going to. No! All of that is self-judgement. When you’re not on plan, here’s how you know you are not judging. Oh, I notice I’m not on plan today. I’m going to make a plan.
That’s someone who’s not judging themself. Someone who has a lot of judgement says I’m not on plan, screw it – see I never stick to anything. Saying that has a lot of judgement in it. I see this with clients all the time who say they overeat at night.
There is so much judgement over this and let me ask you this – when has judging yourself ever helped you? It doesn’t and that’s why so many women stay stuck in despair.
Someone who overeats at night who isn’t judging would say – oh, I’m noticing I’m overeating at night. Let me analyze how I ate throughout the day and what happened during my day that led to that.
Oh, I noticed I skipped breakfast and lunch – I need to work on eating my meals. Or oh, I remember having a fight with my husband, I need to work on how I respond to my anger. Notice how none of that is judgement.
Look for where you are subtly judging yourself all the time. It’s happening – I guarantee it. I catch my clients doing this and I hear women doing this in consults and they don’t realize they are even doing it. They just think it’s true. I fell off the wagon – they think that’s just true.
The problem is all the feelings underneath the “I fell off the wagon” feels terrible. Do you feel good when you say that? No! You feel like a broken woman who can’t get her you know what together.
I let myself down all the time – you tell me how that will ever be a useful or helpful way to think about yourself? It’s not. It sucks and you’re choosing to think that. And women will come and argue and say, well no, I do let myself down all the time and here’s all the ways!
What if here’s all the ways I didn’t follow my plan, here’s the ways I’ve been overeating, now here’s the things I need to try or adjust to keep going. I think that’s a much better and helpful way to think about things. Don’t you think? Do you understand what I am saying? I hope you do.
One of the reasons we eat so much, don’t prioritize ourselves and don’t pay attention to how we eat is because we’re avoiding feeling bad. We’re avoiding feeling uncomfortable.
I spoke about this in episode 60 where I talked about the client who thought eggs were the problem when it was really her emotions that were taking over. We have to watch as women where we are creating extra discomfort for ourselves.
The world is going to bring enough drama and stress to our door. We don’t need to add more to that with our own stinky thinking and judging ourselves so harshly. And then try to stop eating. That’s not helpful.
Self judgement gets in the way of everything. How you show up as a wife or partner, how you show up at your job, how you show up for your kids and how you show up for yourself. Mothers are some of the worst self judgers. If their child messes something up, somehow, they did something wrong. OMG my child got a C.
That must be my fault. No! They didn’t study. You have to make sure you’re not sitting around – under mining yourself with our own stinky thinking. Your child getting a C is one of many small ways that women do this and it’s so subtle and discrete.
Before you can ever help yourself find solutions to the things that get in your way of taking care of yourself, being consistent, losing weight or whatever it is you need to work on – you FIRST need to get out of your own way of beating yourself up over it.
That part has to happen first otherwise the solution will never click. This means you have to take care of how you treat yourself before you lose weight.
The human brain has a habit brain and the reasoning brain. The habit brain drives you home from work on the same route every day without you knowing it. The reasoning brain is the one that decides what color to paint the kitchen. Most of the time, the habit brain is what is working. Our brains look for patterns we do in our lives to conserve energy.
That’s why when you start doing something like going for a 10-minute walk your brain starts throwing a fit. Your brain is immediately going to go to that’s not good enough. Why bother? That’s your habit brain saying, we don’t usually do this. Why are we doing this?
In the beginning, you have to keep pushing through and going on the 10-minute walk each day until your habit brain latches onto it and realizes this is just what we do. So, you need to stop getting mad at yourself and judging yourself for your habit brain just doing its job.
Showing up for yourself is a skill you have to practice. The ability to do something you don’t want to do has to be practiced. In the beginning your brain is not going to want to go for the 10 minute walk or leave behind a few bites on the plate or say no to the cookie. Why?
Because you haven’t built the muscle yet to make decisions for yourself to experience what it’s like to show up for yourself. Before I started losing my 80 pounds, I used to eat chips and ice cream every night.
When I started losing weight, I knew I couldn’t keep doing that, but I didn’t throw the chips and ice cream out the door. I bought individual packs of chips and individual servings of ice cream and did that for a long time like at least a year, before I finally realized I didn’t need that anymore.
Notice how I didn’t throw judgement on myself and say you’re so fat and you really need to get yourself under control. You can’t have chips and ice cream. That’s all stinky thinking and it creates negative feelings inside you that causes you to do drastic things like cutting out all the foods you enjoy.
But here’s what I really want you to see. The reason I was finally able to let go of the chips and ice cream and recognize it wasn’t serving me was because I built the muscle of making decisions for myself and showing up for myself. Most of you, don’t have that muscle yet.
I tried cutting things out many times before, and I knew that didn’t work. I also knew I didn’t want to live my life without them. Losing weight feels miserable when you do that! That’s why so many women dread losing weight.
They immediately think the only way they can lose weight is by restricting and depriving. Well, of course that feels miserable! But the only reason you think you need to restrict and deprive is because you’re judging yourself so harshly and that is what I want you really to see.
Do you know how many times clients tell me they are so they’re losing weight, eating more food usually than before they began working with me and they’re including things they like? A lot! They didn’t realize they didn’t have to be so strict with themselves. But it all started w/ them dropping the self judgement.
The worst thing I see women doing is a bunch of gimmicks to lose weight. They lose weight, are thrilled they’ve lost weight, that they did it and then they realize OMG I forgot to eat in a way that I could keep doing until the day I die.
Oh no, I didn’t learn how to not be afraid of food. I’m terrified I won’t keep this off. You know what your result is when you do that? It’s not that you weigh 150 pounds and are at your goal weight.
You’re stuck in an eating plan you don’t like, you’re stuck being scared of your own body, you’re scared of eating foods you consider off limits, and you’re stuck exercising in a way that makes you feel worn down, tired and hungry and takes time away from you living a life you love and enjoy.
150 pounds sure doesn’t sound great when you think of it that way. If you look around at people in the world who’ve lost weight and kept it off, that is NOT how they did it. Like me.
I didn’t know how harshly I was criticizing myself but looking back I see why I was so unsuccessful with my previous attempts losing weight. Because of how I was judging myself.
When I started losing weight, I no longer allowed myself to think that way about myself. I didn’t put up with my own stinky thinking anymore. And when I heard it in my head, I said nope – not thinking like that anymore.
What I see most women doing is just jumping straight into I’m broken and I’m out of control, so I need to cut everything out. And then they wonder why it feels so hard, they wonder why they can’t be consistent, they wonder why they can’t stick with it very long or why they can’t keep the weight off. It’s because they’re throwing judgement and shame all over themselves.
I see this all the time with food journals. Women don’t want to write down what they ate because they make the food they write down mean something about them. They judge and shame themselves for what they ate. Brilliant, successful women. Not helpful.
I actually have a podcast episode coming up specifically on this topic. If you can’t write down or track what you eat, I will tell you right now – it’s going to be impossible to lose weight.
And it's the only way standing in your way is you being your own biggest critic, you judging yourself so harshly and getting caught up in why you not doing it right or perfect enough. You must be able to look at yourself objectively.
No one can be perfect and if you hold yourself to a high standard, I want you to check yourself because your expectation of yourself is not reasonable or achievable. You are setting yourself up to self-sabotage with that way of thinking.
Holding yourself to a high standard especially in the beginning and especially after years of doing crummy diets that taught you nothing but to restrict food is only setting you up to fail.
It is so fascinating to me all the brilliant successful women I work with won’t take good care of themselves because of this thinking. Holding themselves to unreasonably high standards and putting themselves down so viciously. It’s epidemic. It truly is.
Now, what a lot of women are doing is saying they want physical health first. They think if I lose the weight then I will feel better. I’ll like myself better. I’ll say better things to myself. I’ll start loving myself. I’ll feel happier. You think the better emotions will come after the physical health and weight loss.
Now if that were true, no one would ever regain weight. They would lose weight and keep it off for good. Losing weight happens when you address FIRST your emotional well-being and dropping self judgement is part of that emotional well-being. Emotional health is also what I refer to as your mindset.
The more emotionally balanced you are, the easier it is to deal with the stuff that comes up from eating and your life. Most of you are looking for physical health and weight loss first so you can feel emotionally better and what I am saying to you is it needs to be the opposite.
You have to learn the skill of treating yourself better. You must build that muscle and that begins with dropping self judgement and shame. Once you do THAT and you begin looking at your situation more objectively, and you begin taking care of yourself. It’s so much easier that way.
What most of you do, is say I don’t want to be like this anymore. I don’t want to overeat at night. I don’t want to be overweight anymore. I don’t want this; I don’t want that.
Saying what you don’t want to yourself and others on repeat all the time, all that does is keep you stuck and give you more of what you don’t want. Then you only beat yourself up more because you stay stuck. This is why many women start a diet and stop.
Because they start judging themselves with their stinky thinking for not doing it right, for messing it up, for not being perfect enough, for it not going fast enough.
All of that and all of that is stinky thinking. It’s a reflection of how you feel about yourself. And if you don’t feel good about yourself at 200 pounds. You won’t feel good about yourself at 150 pounds. At least not long enough to keep the weight off. I guarantee that. It doesn’t work like that. Emotional health first. Physical health and weight loss second.
Now, promise me that beginning today you are going to practice dropping self judgement and being so hard on yourself. Do you promise? Good. I’ll talk to you soon!