It’s common knowledge that people with a lot of confidence are perceived as being of higher social status. And the inverse is true as well—according to a 2014 study, obese people with low self-esteem are less likely to try dieting and more likely to binge-eat. So it goes like this: The more you put up with in terms of imperfections, the more you’re valued for your appearance.
But what if you’re not happy with your appearance? Are you doomed to feel bad about yourself regardless of your weight?
The answer is no. Studies show that people with low body esteem who try to lose weight experience the same levels of satisfaction and self-esteem as those who don’t struggle with their weight. As long as you have confidence in other areas of your life, you don’t need to worry about your weight.
Here are some ways to shed those extra pounds and feel good about yourself again.
Evaluate Your Attitudes Toward Food And Drink
Have you ever noticed how our attitudes toward food and drink change depending on our weight? For example, if you’re underweight, you may eat healthy, organic foods because they’re the only ones you know are good for you. But as you gain weight, that commitment begins to fade. Likewise, alcohol can serve as a tonic to help you relax, but it also contributes to weight gain. It’s no wonder that the combination of food and drink can leave you feeling bloated and unsatisfied.
To avoid this, take some time to analyze how you feel when you eat certain foods and how you feel when you drink alcohol. If you’re already feeling good about your appearance, you may find that your answer lies in changing your diet or stopping drinking entirely. If you think that food is the root of all your problems, you’re likely to experience more stress and anxiety around food than you do with other parts of your life. That’s because when you eat badly, you’re saying something about yourself—you think that you’re not good enough regardless of the food that you consume.
Try A New Restaurant Or Style Of Eating
If you’re looking for ways to boost your self-esteem, one effective method is to try a new restaurant or food shop that you’ve never been to before. Doing so will likely leave you feeling vulnerable and excited at the same time. As you eat the food and get to know the staff, you’ll start to feel more comfortable in a new environment and in a new way of eating. If you go back a second time, you’ll likely order differently the second time around—less food and more of those small plates that leave you feeling more satisfied. These are the types of environments and styles of eating that help you escape from your comfort zone and give you a better shot at feeling happy. You’re also taking a risk here by venturing into a new, unfamiliar place—that restaurant could serve up something that you’ve never tried before and could potentially cause you harm. So be mindful of what you’re ordering and try new things even if they’re not specifically tailored to boost your self-esteem—you may find that it helps in other areas of your life as well.
Take A Hike
One way to lose weight and get your body back in shape is to take a hike. Studies suggest that getting a workout outdoors can help boost your body’s natural production of endorphins and serotonin, hormones that make you feel happy and confident. If you have a fear of leaving the house without my husband, you could always join a walking group that meets regularly and goes on walks throughout the week. While you’re at it, you could also try riding a bike to work or taking the bus instead of driving your own car. Whatever it may be, something outdoors is bound to improve your mood and make you feel better about yourself. Even a short walk can leave you with a burst of energy and a sense of accomplishment that will help you get through the rest of your day. Plus, you’re getting some fresh air—which isn’t something that your air-conditioned office gives you daily.
Take A Skill That You Can Use To Your Advantage
Another way to boost your self-esteem is to take a personal skill that you can use to your advantage. For example, if you’re really good at taking selfies, you might want to start using that skill to your advantage—asking strangers to take your picture for you and posting the results on social media. If you think that you have a promising future in the field of botany, you could start a collection of herbs and plantaines or take up horticulture to become a garden designer. The key is to find a skill that you can use to better yourself and your situation—something that will put you in a better place long-term. Using your skills and knowledge to build something that will assist others is an effective way to show the world your value and what you can contribute. Even if you’ve never considered doing so, you could start a blog where you teach others how to treat their skin—creating a resource that could prove beneficial to those who follow your advice.
Try Something New You’ve Never Done Before
To improve your mental health, you might want to try something new that you’ve never done before. This could be anything from sky-diving to scuba diving. Going through a trauma such as this can cause your self-esteem to plummet along with your fear of water. If you’re looking for ways to combat those feelings, you could do so by taking up a sport you’ve never tried before. During the off-season, you could join a team or league and get involved in something you enjoy—whether it’s golfing, archery, or football. Even something as simple as trying out a new sport once a week could help you escape from your comfort zone and give you a better shot at feeling happy. The key is to find an activity that you love and that allows you to connect with others—it’s bound to make you feel better and boost your self-esteem. As for scuba diving, if this is your first experience with saltwater, it might be overwhelming and leave you with anxiety. However, if you get over those initial feelings, you may find that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget.
Don’t Forget The Big Picture
When you have a healthy self-image, you’re more likely to feel good about yourself regardless of your weight. That’s because you understand that your perceived imperfections aren’t necessarily your fault—you may have been born with a certain body type or may have gotten a bad case of acne as a teenager. It’s also important to remember that not all fat is created equal. If you have a high body mass index (BMI), it may indicate that you have a lot of fat that you don’t need—particularly around your middle. While you want to lose those extra pounds, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your health in the process. There are many effective ways to shed that weight without causing you or your family to endure any serious health risks. So don’t forget about the big picture and be mindful of what you’re putting into your body—you may be surprised at how much better you feel once you start eating healthier.