Self-care is one of the key elements to successful weight-loss, and it’s often the hardest to implement, particularly for women (I’m not being sexist, I’m just saying). But until you have the ability to care about yourself, you will not have the perseverance to stick with a weight-loss program.
Why is it so difficult for some of us to care for ourselves? This is a loaded question, and since we don’t have time to sum up years of psychological analysis, I’ll just share an important mindset change you can make to give yourself permission to care for yourself. We can save the deeper analysis for another post.
Instead of believing it is selfish to put your weight-loss goals in front of others, you need to realize that unless you take care of yourself, you will not have the energy and wherewithal to care for those you love. I’m not suggesting you become a narcissist. I just want you to realize that caring for yourself is not a selfish act. Anyone who’s ever flown on an airplane knows you “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others”. You need to realize that caring for yourself is the best way to care for your family and friends. In fact, the greatest gift you can give your loved ones is a healthy happy you.
Don’t believe me? Who is a better parent? The cranky one who has no energy to play; or the fit and healthy one who radiates happiness? Who is a better friend? The stressed out one who only has time to vent about her crazy life, or the rested and relaxed one who has the wherewithal to listen to you and your concerns.
So if you’re working all day and your spouse offers to make dinner, let him/her. If you don’t want the temptation of the cookies your kids “have to have”, it’s okay to “disappoint” them (you’re actually doing them a favor). If your friends want to meet for a drink and you’d rather go for a walk, tell them.
You have to believe it is okay to take care of your own needs first, if you want to have the body and life you want. If you make your own care a priority, you will be able to share the best version of you with those you love. You have to change your mindset. Can you switch from believing “my weight-loss goal is selfish if it interferes with the needs of my family or friends” to “it is selfish not to give my family and friends the best version of me”?