I’m going to slow the roll in this post because this topic is truly close to my heart, mostly because I was guilty of self-loathing for decades until I figured out how detrimental it was to my weight loss success.  I was one of those mean girls we have all seen in the movies, or worse, interacted with in real life.  But here’s the twist: the meanest girl I faced wasn’t in the hallways of high school or the backdrop of a chick flick—she was in the mirror. Yep, I was my own Regina George, doling out harsh critiques and impossible standards to the one person I was supposed to protect: me.

So, this post is a tale of transformation and recommends all of my best tips for crushing weight loss, but not the kind you might expect. There’s no magical makeover, and no fairy godmother is waving her wand for an instant glow-up. Instead, it’s about how I learned to swap the script of self-loathing for one of self-love, especially on the rocky road of weight loss. And trust me, if I can turn my inner mean girl into a cheerleader, there’s hope for anyone!

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In the spirit of sharing and caring, I want to dive into how the power of positivity—akin to speaking sweet nothings to plants (or rice, if that’s more your style)—can revolutionize not just the way we look, but how we feel on the weight loss journey. So let’s get into the good vibes and explore how a little love can make a massive difference and help us achieve the feel-good outcome that we desire.

What do plants have to do with it?

In an intriguing experiment that has caught the eye of many, two plants (or in some variations, jars of rice) are treated with either love or hate. One flourishes under the shower of positive words, while the other withers when exposed to hateful words and emotional energy. This experiment, though lacking in rigorous scientific validation, opens up a profound conversation about the impact of our emotions and intentions on the world around us—and, by extension, on ourselves.

When it comes to weight loss, especially for women, the journey is often marred by a battlefield of emotions, including self-love and self-loathing. The parallel with the experiment is clear: how we talk to and about our bodies could very well influence our physical and mental well-being during this journey.

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The Science of Emotion and Physical Change

While the plant and rice experiments are not scientifically validated, they metaphorically underscore a truth recognized in psychology: our thoughts and emotions can significantly impact our physical health. Studies have shown that positive emotions can boost our immune system, while stress and negativity can lead to detrimental physical effects.  If you listen to any of Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work, he speaks directly to the idea that our thoughts can create wellness or sickness – it’s up to us to decide and practice.

The Weight Loss Journey: A Path of Self-Love or Self-Loathing?

Many embark on weight loss journeys with negative motivations: shame, fear, and self-disgust. This internal dialogue of hatred mirrors the negative speech directed at the withering plant. But what if, instead, we approached weight loss from a place of self-love?

Let’s try something on for a minute. Imagine nurturing your body with words of encouragement and love, acknowledging your worth and beauty at every step of the journey. This doesn’t mean ignoring areas for improvement but rather changing the lens through which we view our efforts and progress.  If you’ve tried it, did you notice how you felt?

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Holistic Health and Well-being

A positive approach can transform the weight loss journey from a punishing regimen into a loving act of self-care. It can increase motivation, as actions are driven by a desire to nurture rather than punish. This mindset fosters persistence, making it easier to bounce back from setbacks.

Viewing weight loss through the prism of self-love encourages a holistic approach, emphasizing overall well-being over mere numbers on a scale. It promotes healthy behaviors not as a means to an end but as integral components of a loving relationship with self.  And trust me, once you lose 100lbs, if you haven’t mastered love of self, you will still have the old thoughts, and dare I say, the inner you will still be the same.

As you stand on the precipice of change, teetering between the old ways of self-critique and the nurturing path of self-love, it’s crucial to remember that the journey of successful weight loss begins with a single, positive step. And let me tell you, embarking on this journey without a map of self-love is like trying to find your way in a foreign city without Google Maps—frustrating and likely to result in more than a few unnecessary circles. 

Shedding weight without addressing the weight of negative self-talk is akin to changing outfits without changing your mindset; the exterior may differ, but the interior remains unchanged. So, as we gear up to weave positivity into the very fabric of our journey, remember: it’s not just about the destination but about loving who we become along the way. 

Now, let’s dive into how we can start speaking to ourselves with the same kindness we’d offer to our best friend, transforming our inner dialogue to one that uplifts and supports, rather than criticizes and undermines our progress.

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How to Integrate Positivity into Your Weight Loss Journey

1. Mindful Speech: The Foundation of Self-Love

Mindful speech is about becoming acutely aware of how we communicate with ourselves. It’s the practice of speaking to ourselves with kindness, patience, and encouragement, just as we would with a dear friend. This shift in internal dialogue can have a profound impact on our confidence, motivation, and emotional well-being.

  • Pause and Reflect: Before you critique yourself, pause. Ask if you would say this to someone you love. If not, reframe your thoughts.
  • Positive Affirmations: Start your day by affirming positive thoughts and feelings. Phrases like “I am capable,” “I am worthy,” and “I am strong” can set a positive tone for your day.
  • Correct with Kindness: When you notice negative self-talk, gently correct it with a positive spin. Instead of “I can’t believe I failed,” try “I learned something valuable for next time.”

2. Celebrating Small Wins: The Path to Big Success

Celebrating small wins is about recognizing and appreciating every step forward, no matter how minor it may seem. This practice helps build momentum, making the journey more enjoyable and sustainable.

  • Keep a Success Journal: Write down your achievements daily, no matter how small. Reviewing your progress can boost your morale.
  • Reward Yourself: Create a system of rewards for milestones reached. These should be healthy and supportive of your goals, like a relaxing bath or a new book. (Do not choose a food you love as a reward!)
  • Share Your Success: Sharing your progress with supportive friends or loving family members can amplify your sense of accomplishment.
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3.  Compassionate Goals: Setting Intentions with Kindness

Compassionate goals are set with understanding and kindness towards oneself. They are realistic, achievable, and aligned with self-care, rather than stemming from self-criticism or pressure from (unrealistic!) social media channels.

  • Be Realistic: Set goals that are achievable and tailored to your current lifestyle. Unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and self-blame.
  • Focus on Health, Not Just Weight: Make goals around eating nutritious foods, improving sleep, and reducing stress, not just losing pounds.
  • Flexible Approach: Be open to adjusting your goals as you progress. What’s important is moving in the right direction, not perfection.

4. Self-Care Practices: Nourishing Body and Soul

Self-care practices are essential for supporting both physical and mental health. They are acts of kindness that we give ourselves, helping replenish our energy and maintain balance.

  • Physical Activity You Enjoy: Find a form of exercise that brings you joy, whether it’s dancing, yoga, or hiking. Enjoyment is the secret key to consistency!
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: Incorporate mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep-breathing exercises, to reduce stress and improve mental clarity.
  • Nourish Your Body: Choose foods that nourish your body and soul. Eating should be an act of self-care, not deprivation.
  • Rest + Relaxation: Ensure you get enough sleep and allow yourself time to relax and do things you enjoy. Rest is crucial for recovery and resilience.
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By embracing mindful speech, celebrating small victories, setting compassionate goals, and prioritizing self-care, you can transform your weight loss journey into a loving, nurturing path toward better health and happiness. These practices help build a foundation of self-love that supports you not just in your goal of a physically healthy body, but in flourishing in all areas of your life.

Though the idea of speaking to plants—or our bodies—with love or hate might seem far-fetched to some, it symbolizes a deeper truth about the importance of our emotional state in achieving our goals. Just as speaking hateful words or conveying negative emotion toward plants caused them to wither, practicing similar thoughts in our minds causes us to also contract and lose connection with the joy of life.

As we embark on or continue our journeys to a healthy vibrant body, let us choose to be the plant that flourishes, nurtured by words of love, encouragement, and positive intention. Let this be a journey not just of physical transformation but of deep, meaningful self-love and acceptance.

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