Self Compassion Breeds Success in Getting Healthy

I have often been accused of being too nice to my clients! Such a problem! But, my feeling has always been that  guilt and self flagellation only produce feelings of worthlessness, not feelings of motivation. When you tell yourself that you are bad because you ate a cookie, or ugly because you are overweight, these words only create feelings of worthlessness. And, when you feel worthless, you are  telling yourself that you are not WORTHY of treating yourself well, or taking time for self care, or eating right and exercising consistently.

Many of my clients  have bought into the stereotype that a good trainer screams and yells and berates their clients…that this somehow will be motivating to them. This is one reason I hate The Biggest Loser, as it reinforces this ridiculous stereotype.  If I spoke to my clients the way Jillian Michael’s speaks to hers, I’d have no clients.  The producers of the show should be ashamed of themselves for the way the trainers act, and the way they portray the contestants on the show. Don’t these people deserve love and compassion?

On several occasions, I have blogged about the fact that many obese men and women are victims of sexual, physical or emotional abuse. Thus, when the trainers on The Biggest Loser  berate their clients, it is merely reinforcing the patterns that they grew up with. The contestants take it, because it is familiar and normal, not because it is right.  Clearly, it is not the way we should treat other human beings.

Last week, I gave a workshop on this exact topic to a group of women attending my lecture series, Today’s Superwoman- What To Do When Your Cape Is At The Cleaners?  Today, I was forwarded an article that appeared in The New York Times on Self Compassion and Eating.  The article quoted a study that showed that women who were told to be easy on themselves, to not feel guilty about eating something, ATE LESS than the women in the study who were not given this message. Truly, the universe is in agreement with the principle of self compassion for success. Perhaps it’s time you adopted this philosophy?

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