Learning to love yourself | Weight loss without dieting with Maryon Stewart

Happy woman holding smiling balloons drawingIn our final part of Maryon Stewart’s weight loss guide, she talks about learning to love yourself and accept the skin you’re in.

According to the song, learning to love yourself is the greatest gift of all, but it isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. People who can’t find a multitude of things wrong with themselves are in the minority. You know the old story – your hair is the wrong colour, or it’s curly instead of straight or vice versa. Your nose is too long, your eyes too small and your figure is completely the wrong shape. You haven’t got as much character as your friends and you’re not as clever and so it goes on.

But unless you like yourself you don’t stand much of a chance of getting your body into really good shape. Show me someone who is happy with their life and their shape and I pretty much guarantee that they have good self-esteem and like who they are. And you will find by following my recommendations, as each month passes and your weight reduces you will begin to like your reflection in the mirror and automatically feel much better about yourself.

The truth is that no one is perfect, and many of us will probably never be entirely satisfied with our lot, but we can get close to it. However, while there is always room for improvement, it is important we recognise the good things about ourselves that make us who we are. Find out if you love yourself enough and if you don’t, discover what to do get you back on the self-love track.

Humour me for a minute – how many of these are you guilty of?

Do you always think everyone is better looking than you?

Do you dislike your shape?

Do you think you are too fat?

Do you avoid looking at yourself in the mirror?

Are you embarrassed to undress in front of others?

Do you skip meals in order to lose weight?

Are you constantly on a diet?

Do you usually concentrate on your bad points rather than your good points?

Are you unhappy with what you have achieved in life?

Now, when this film is over take five minutes out, get a pen and find a comfortable place to sit and relax. Instead of all the negative thought make a list of five things you like about yourself, and another five you like about your body. It may be the first time you have consciously looked for positive points but it’s an exercise well worth doing.

Let look at how you can be more positive

Being outgoing and optimistic is more likely to bring success than spending time introspecting. There is plenty of evidence that those who believe they will be successful usually are. So if you are short on confidence make a point of indulging in some positive thinking for ten minutes every morning when you wake up and before you go to sleep at night. Get a vivid picture of your slim and attractive body going through life being incredibly positive and see things through those positive eyes.

Spend time imagining yourself in ideal physical shape, looking and feeling great with good things happening to you. Maybe you are indulging in passionate encounters or enjoying the company of new friends. Perhaps your daydreams will centre round success in your studies or at work, or you want to look and feel attractive to others. Whatever you decide to focus on, make the images in your mind so realistic that you can actually feel you are the experiencing the situation. It may take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes like watching a movie. Remember, unless you feel positive about yourself you don’t stand much chance of getting yourself into shape.

Pat yourself on the back

It also helps to keep a note of your daily achievements, however small. It is too easy to move on to the next thing, or even the next day, without acknowledging what you have actually accomplished. Again, we tend to fixate on the negative, our mistakes and things that perhaps we later regret. Making time to review your successes helps to build your self-confidence. Get yourself a notebook, and write in it on a daily basis as you would a diary. In the same way, as you begin to lose weight, keep a note of it each week and congratulate yourself.

Make yourself proud

Life can be so demanding that it’s all too easy to go from day to day fulfilling your own needs without stopping to consider the needs of others. A big part of liking yourself is the reward that comes from helping to make other people’s lives more pleasant. Why not team up with a friend and give them help and encouragement as they go through the

Is life changing plan with you – you might be surprised how much of a buzz it will give you.

Living your dream

We don’t always get what we dare to dream of without putting in a little effort. If you talk to six different people, you will probably find six quite different views on how to succeed in life and fulfil dreams. Some may even suggest that there is no point to dreaming, for fate will take charge of your destiny. We are each perfectly entitled to our own view, but there is now significant evidence to suggest that you can get much of what you wish for by applying specific techniques. Positive thinking and visualisation, when channelled correctly, can go a long way to getting you where you’d like to be, in the shape that you would like to be in. And there is scientific evidence to support this approach.

It is worth taking time out each day to visualise yourself just the way you would like to be. Experts believe we are at our most suggestive first thing in the morning when we wake and last thing at night just before going to sleep. So start and finish the day with a five- or ten-minute visualisation of yourself just the way you would like to be, slim, attractive, fit, successful, on a beach, with the partner of your dreams or whatever takes your fancy, and imagine living life as your ideal self. Visualising is an acquired skill, so if it doesn’t happen in full Technicolor and your mind keeps wandering at first, stick at it, as you will eventually get the hang of it and hopefully start living your dreams. You have nothing to lose and it’s a positive, fun and therapeutic way to begin and end the day. Regular visualisation of your ideal scene will help you lose weight, improve your fitness and love yourself a whole lot more.

Maryon Stewart
About the author

Maryon Stewart is well known in both the UK and Australia as a pioneer in the field of non drug medicine. In 1984 she set up an Advisory Service specialising in women’s health, which now helps both men and women as the Natural Health Advisory Service. To date she has written 26 popular self-help books, co-authored a series of medical papers, written regular columns for numerous daily newspapers and magazines, had her own radio show, made two films as well as contributing to many TV series, including being the Nutritionist for Channel Four’s Model Behaviour and now she presents The Really Useful Health Show. Her formal training has included preventive dentistry, nutrition, counselling and health promotion and she regularly lectures to both the public and the medical profession. She helps individuals in her clinics and via her telephone consultation service and she is passionate about making a difference through her health promotion work in order to improve health prospects, and as a result make quality of life and relationships more rewarding. In the late 90’s Maryon was voted the 51st most influential woman in Great Britain in a Good Housekeeping survey and in December 2009 she was voted one of the 5 most inspirational women in the UK by Fabulous Magazine. She is the Founder of the Angelus Foundation whose mission it is to make society a safer place for young people. She has already transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world and intends to turn that number into millions.

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