Women criticise themselves on average 8 times a day – Guess what the number 1 topic is?

Correct – their size!

A recent report in The Daily Mail highlights research undertaken by WomanKInd, a nationwide campaign that explores why modern women are unkind to themselves.

2000 women were surveyed and they discovered that the average woman criticises herself 8 times a day, with nearly half of the respondents admitting to at least once before 09.30 in the morning. My guess would be it starts when deciding what to wear, not necessarily what we would like to wear but what we think we can get away with.

If we start the day thinking we don’t look good it’s easy to see how it can impact the rest of our day.

Image based criticisms were next on the list – including:

  • Your hair is a mess
  • Your belly looks too big
  • Your bum looks too big
  • You’re not as stylish as other women
  • You deflect compliments by saying something negative about yourself

Not earning enough money or having a good job were also regular put downs.

Imagine if others could hear our thoughts! Most would be horrified at how unkind we are to ourselves and would probably tell us we are wrong (at least those who care about us would)

And we wouldn’t be so unkind to others would we? Not if we wanted to have any friends!

Unfortunately these thoughts appear very real to us and once we engage with them they shape our lives by affecting our feelings and behaviours, often with unwanted or unintended consequences.

So even though we may not voice those thoughts out loud they do find a way out into the world and have an effect.

Here at DietMaps we believe the starting point for any undertaking is the extent to which we believe in ourselves. This is particularly true for weight loss which is why it is one of the subject areas in our full reports. 

We call it “self efficacy” which is a psychological term meaning “the extent to which we believe in our ability to execute the behaviours necessary to accomplish a task” Or, to put it another way “believe you can do it”

We also believe it’s a personality issue. Some personality types are more likely than others to have self belief and for those that don’t, there are things that can be done to improve it. Having that self knowledge is invaluable for helping clients achieve their dreams. Feeling good about ourselves is important no matter what stage of the journey we are at.

 

Sue Arkle Co-Founder DietMaps

New Year Resolutions

Have you noticed how they are like boomerangs?  They keep coming back – at least in my experience.

I was amazed to find so much information online about the origins of this tradition. According to Wikipedia Babylonians made promises to their Gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed items and pay their debts. I guess they didn’t have weight issues back then otherwise they would probably have been promising to start a weight loss/health and fitness regime as well!

During a recent clear out of old paperwork (I’m a terrible hoarder!) I came across a diary for the year 2000. Right at the back was a list of my resolutions for that year. I was shocked, firstly at how many there were and secondly at how many of them are still ‘unresolved’.

I can’t quite believe that I have made little or no progress in some areas of my life in 15 years. A salutary lesson if ever I needed one.  The other thing I noticed is that they were mostly framed in the negative, such as stop doing this, don’t do that etc. There was little encouragement to do anything positive or set any goals and milestones. Maybe that’s why nothing changed. Luckily I’ve learned a lot since then about the human mind and will definitely be framing my resolutions differently this year.

A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3000 people showed that men were 22% more likely to be successful if they set measureable goals and women were 10% more successful when they went public and involved friends and family. No surprises there. The other part of the study showed that 88% fail, despite 52% feeling confident at the beginning.

But, I’m not going to let that deter me. Stats can be interpreted in different ways and I choose to look at the positive and say that 12% of people are successful and there is no reason why we can’t all be one of them if we approach it in the right way.

I am going to take a lead from a guy I used to know. He was overweight but his resolutions were never about that. Every year he resolved to learn something new that interested him. One year he trained as a stage hypnotist. He had no intention of changing career but really enjoyed the experience.

So let’s all do it differently this year and resolve to expand our minds and seek out new experiences. What a wonderful way to improve our self esteem, and who knows maybe the stuff we don’t like will quietly go away.

Sue Arkle Co-Founder DietMaps