I have many clients who tell me that the reason they can't lose weight is because they've got low self-esteem. They want to eat to suppress that nagging feeling that they aren't valuable people. And then of course their self-esteem is lowered even more because they get angry with themselves for eating for the wrong reasons.
It's a fact that some people appear to have high self-esteem and some people appear to have low self-esteem. But I challenge you to think about how those people with high self-esteem got there. They didn't get there by sitting around and waiting for it to come their way. They got there by clocking up little achievements step-by-step.
There are lots of books on how to increase your self-esteem and I'm sure some of them have valuable exercises in them. But I challenge you to carry out the following exercise. Think of one little thing that you can do in the next 15 minutes that will give you a good feeling.
Here are some ideas:
* Clear out a drawer or your desk
* Clear out files on your computer
* Phone someone who will be pleased to hear from you
* Send a letter that you've been putting off
* Indeed start something that you've been procrastinating for months (you don't have to finish it you just have to get it out and make a small start)
* Throw out a packet of biscuits that only you will eat
* Don't eat again until you're physically hungry
* Get out some fitness equipment that is now serving as a clothes horse, five minutes to uncover it and ten minutes exercising on it
* Take some flowers round to someone
* The next meal you have, leave some food on your plate (if you're not yet hungry then postpone this one and the next one)
* The next meal you have, eat half the amount at half the speed by putting your knife and fork down between bites
* Make enquiries about a course that you've been thinking about.
Once you've accomplished that, dream up the next thing. For several days keep these accomplishments very small. Then slowly let them grow. Keep up the ones you want to make permanent and, day-by-day, adopt some more. You'll discover that you'll lose weight and so gain self-esteem. You can't wait for self-esteem to magically reappear before losing weight.
Dr. Judy Citron works as a Diet Coach.