The Essential Ingredient For Weight Loss

·It’s nothing you can see, buy, or touch. But it can change your life.
·It’s something that very few of us have, and yet it’s readily available to everyone at any time.
·It is something that most of us aren’t even aware of, and yet it can make the difference between living a life we love or living a life of mediocrity.

It goes by many names. We could call it ‘self-esteem’ or ‘self-love’. But there’s a problem with that: we’re viewing it as an item, an object.

Viewing it as an object keeps it in that little box in our mind labeled “self-esteem”. There it lies, packed away until we read an article about how it’s so essential to our well being, or we attend a seminar on how to succeed.

Why is this a problem? Because self-like or self-love is NOT an object, not another tool that we snap onto our belt or shove into our purse for a rainy day. As an object, it’s useless.

As a practice, it can change your life. As a practice it can be called things like:

·“being your own best friend” or,
·“being on your own side” or,
·“practicing never-ending self-support” or,
·“being your own biggest fan”

However, just to make it easier for this article I’ll call it “practical self-love”.

Now I’m not talking here about self-conceit. Self-conceit makes a person think they are better than everyone else. Self-conceit talks on and on about itself and it’s accomplishments without regard to the listener or the listener’s accomplishments. And, interestingly enough, self-conceit is often based on a foundation of insecurity or self-hatred.

Practical self-love, on the other hand, isn’t based on perfection. It is based on unconditional acceptance. You don’t have to be perfect. You can just be. You don’t have to tell everyone in the room how wonderful you are. You can let others shine because you know in your heart that you matter. You don’t have to make lots of money, or be a size whatever, or be promoted to vice-president.

Because practical self-love isn’t based on self-performance. You don’t earn it. You just choose to give it to yourself.

Now I’m not telling you to take a sabbatical journey to the far reaches of Taiwan to find your inner child here. (Are there far reaches of Taiwan?) I’m talking about being able to take yourself out for a coffee and just enjoy the atmosphere. Take yourself window-shopping (or shopping, depending on your bank account). Take yourself to the movies. These are all important ways to get to know and like yourself.

But this concept extends farther than that. When you like yourself, you refuse to judge or criticize ANYTHING you do (you are still responsible for it, of course). You’re free to try anything you’ve always wanted to try. So what if you look funny to others? (and you probably don’t) So what if you don’t do it perfectly?

Eleanor Roosevelt once said that ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ When you practice self-love on a daily basis you will find this to be true.

So how does this help us lose weight? Very simple. When you practice self-love, you get rid of a lot of those self-defeating thoughts that make us overeat in the first place. Thoughts like:

·“Well, you’ve totally blown it, you might as well binge for the rest of the day” or,
·“Why do you try? You know you’ll never change!” or,
·“I have to eat it or she’ll be insulted!” (What about you?)

Not only that but you’ll also start to value your body and know that it only deserves the best. One day you’ll be going along, hit a snag (like an emotional upset, or boredom, or an old habit), and you’ll run to the fridge to fix it. As you stand there thinking about which food is going to be the most comforting, suddenly a thought will pop into your head like, “You’re better than this, you don’t need food to deal with it.”

You’ll probably jump and think “Wow, where the heck did that come from?” But you’ll know in your heart that it’s true. Practical self-love keeps you on your own side.

So many of the weight-loss programs out there don’t even mention this crucial aspect to weight loss. Maybe none of us want to be labeled conceited by talking about it, I don’t know.

But I’ll tell you this: No matter how many diets you try, no matter how many fruits and veggies you prepare, no matter how many supplements you take, if you don’t know how to love and nurture yourself from the inside, you will always turn to food to give you that love.

Start today by spending some time alone and finding out what makes you unique. Make the choice this moment that you are going to be your own best friend on your journey to weight loss and health.

Author's Bio: 

Kathryn O'Neill, H.BSc. is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Specialist as well as a Weight Mastery Coach. To read more articles visit her website at or contact her at