Monday, August 9, 2010


The other day, in the course of skimming a number of weight loss blogs, I came across the sentence: "I failed." How many times have you said that to yourself with respect to your weight? And in what context have you said this simple sentence (or words to that effect)?

Did you say it when the scale didn't move for a week?

Did you say it when you had one lick of your child's ice cream cone?

Did you say it when you only exercised three times during the week rather than six or seven?

Did you say it if your goal is to limit carbs as much as possible and you ate one cracker?

Doesn't anyone see this as self-hate? Doesn't anyone think this might be self-defeating or harmful to one's legitimate sense of self-worth?

Isn't there already enough hatred towards the overweight in this world? Do you feel that you have to add to it by ensuring that if nobody else hates you, you'll castigate yourself, just to make sure you feel the hatred too?

BTW, if you're curious, go and check out pro-anorexia sites. The goals may be different, but the similarities in terms of self-recrimination are striking.


  1. yes. I did an article once on the proana sites for the newspaper.
    sad heartbreaking and filled with self-loathing.


  2. I think people are so harsh on themselves because they think that it is the only way to motivate themselves. They buy wholesale into the idea that abusing themselves will make them change.

    Personally, I don't have an issue with people saying, "I failed" as long as they view the world productively. Failure is a part of learning and serves to help us get closer to success. Unfortunately, the way we tend to see "failure" applied to weight loss is as a catalyst for self-castigation - 'what's wrong with me?!, why can't I do this? I'm so weak!. That sort of talk isn't about learning from failure but about tearing ones self-image down to fit their status as failures.

  3. I did check out a couple of those site.
    You are an insightful one!

  4. Thanks for the reminder that a positive outlook is an oh-so-important aspect of this journey. I got a little down on myself last week because I lapsed back into my old habits and old ways a litte more and a little faster than I was comfortable. It's scary to think that all the hard work and sacrifice I've invested thus far could slip away so rapidly if I turned my attention elsewhere for too long.

    I'm trying to build a lifestyle I can live with for the rest of my life. I'm going to continue being pushing myself, continue striving to instill good, positive habits that'll take hold even when my brain is elsewise occupied.

    But I need to remember that falling down isn't aa failure. Thanks for the reminder, smart lady.

  5. I'm glad to see that my message of self-respect and self-care resonates with you all.

    Weight loss and maintenance are sadly horribly difficult for many people, but if any of us are to succeed, we can only do it by treating ourselves with love and respect.

    It's sad when lovely, caring people--who have such compassion for others--feel that in order to succeed, they have to demolish themselves.

    No!!! No one deserves self hate!

  6. Speaking for myself, it's a guaranteed recipe for disaster to try to shoehorn myself into any type of regimented diet plan.
    & AMEN! to any plan only working if you [ahem] JUST DO IT (re: intuitive eating).
    I am working very hard on being nicer to myself.