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Why self-compassion is important when starting your health journey

August 31, 2023

Why self-compassion is important when starting your health journey

When you decide to become healthier, whatever that may mean for you, I’d like you to consider doing this from a place of self-compassion. In terms of meeting your nutrition and body goals, this mindset can help you build a sustainable foundation for long-term results. For many people, there is a mindset of wanting to change the way their bodies are because they don’t like themselves. Because they are driven by low self-esteem, they begin their journey on a path that is not easily maintained.

What else can you read throughout this article?

 

Have you considered why up to 90% of diets end in failure?

These diet tactics we have learned about that involve pushing ourselves with unhealthy mindsets were created to fail, with up to 90% of diets ending in failure. By making diets unsustainable instead of helping to make healthy lifestyle changes, the diet industry continues to make money. It is predicted that the average person in the UK will begin and fail three diets per year, which means this industry can keep selling the latest diet to the same consumers.

 

How does burnout impact our ability to make healthy lifestyle choices?

The first reason this can be so unsustainable is because often, when we are coming from a place of self-hate, we push our mind and body beyond their limits. When we have self-compassion, we will recognize when we need to take a step back and allow ourselves to rest or to make changes that are more viable for where we are on our journey. By having this understanding of what our body needs, we are less likely to burn out. When making lifestyle changes such as eating healthier or exercising more, if we push ourselves to the point of burning out, we are much more likely to quit altogether than if we were to be more gentle in our choices to begin with. There is also the chance of reaching a point where our bodies will not allow us to continue or creating an illness that makes us unable to continue.

 

Do unhealthy mindsets lead to unhealthy choices?

Another reason this mindset is not helpful is because it can lead to making choices that are actually unhealthy. If we have a goal that comes from a place of low self-esteem, sometimes we can want the outcome so badly that we don’t consider what the important steps are to reach that goal in a healthy way. An example of this is when people choose calorie counting but instead of eating a balanced lunch, they eat a doughnut with the mindset that as long as it fits their calories and allows them to lose weight, it doesn’t matter that they are missing out on essential aspects of their diet. When we choose the path of self-compassion, we will care for our bodies and want to take care of them, not just make them look a certain way.

 

Does our mental health have an impact on our physical health?

There is a known link between mental and physical health; in the UK, 46% of people with mental health problems also have a long-term health condition.

Source: Naylor C, Parsonage M, McDaid D, Knapp M, Fossey M, Galea A (2012). Report. Long-term conditions and mental health. The cost of co- morbiditiesThe King’s Fund and Centre for Mental Health

 

It is proven that mental health problems lead to an increased risk of physical health problems, and it is also proven that physical health problems lead to an increased risk of mental health problems. These can then become a cycle that worsens each other over time. Pushing ourselves mentally with negative thoughts and mindsets around our bodies and health can lead to or increase mental health problems, which only makes it more likely we will struggle physically. When we learn to show ourselves love and compassion, we are cultivating good mental health, which will help us on our health journey.

This mindset also gives us more room to give up because it’s not a strong reason to continue. Negative thoughts towards ourselves can lead to the idea that we are not worthy or capable of reaching our goals, especially when combined with the reasons above. This can lead to a lack of motivation for our goals and might make us give up all together.

When we have love for ourselves, we want to take care of our health because this means we are likely to live longer, feel better, and overall be happier. These are strong reasons to continue, and since with this mindset we won’t be pushing ourselves beyond our limits, we will have the ability to grow our limits in a sustainable manner, eventually reaching whatever goals we desire.

Now that we understand the practical reasons for this positive mindset shift, I would also like us to consider that this is an opportunity. We can choose to create a world that is a little bit kinder over a little more hateful by choosing kindness to ourselves, and that is a world I would like to live in. If you want to find out more about learning to shift your food mindset to one with self-compassion while still reaching your goals, then book a one-on-one session here: https://mindfulmeadow.co.uk/contact/

 

FAQ’S (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question: Why 90% of diets fail?

Answer: By making diets unsustainable instead of helping to make healthy lifestyle changes

Q.: why self-compassion is so important in making healthy choices?

A.: When we have self-compassion, we will recognise when we need to take a step back and allow ourselves to rest or to make changes that are more viable for where we are on our journey.

Q.: How low self-esteem impacts in our perception of Goal?

A.: If we have a goal that comes from a place of low self-esteem, sometimes we can want the outcome so badly that we don’t consider what the important steps are to reach that goal in a healthy way.