Most of us feel quite proud when we successfully lose weight, but that pride may be misplaced. Here are three compelling reasons for those of us on a health journey NOT to be proud of weight loss success.
When we are proud of ourselves for losing weight we tend to berate ourselves for not having weight loss success. It is also common to not be proud until reaching your ultimate goal...the journey isn't enough, it is only the destination that deserves praise. Thus our pride in ourselves is conditional.
We are better served to feel good about ourselves and be proud of our thoughts and actions, many of which will lead to dropping excess weight, but the pride is not conditional on that.
Typically we judge our success on some external measure. This may be the number on the scale or it may be fitting into a specific size. It may also be based on the reactions of others--when they notice that I am smaller I will feel proud of my results; when I am recognized at my weight loss meeting for reaching my goal, I will feel proud of myself.
Ironically, some people use the external praise as a time to negate their own sense of accomplishment. If someone else notices our weight loss then we point out that we still have more weight to lose before we reach our goal.
3. Past and Future Oriented
When we focus on weight loss success we look for results, so we are putting off feeling proud of ourselves until some future date. We may be able to be proud of ourselves for past weight loss success but then somewhere along the way we failed.
Whether we are gauging our success by comparing where we are now to how we looked, or what we weighed, at some point earlier in our lives, we are not living in the present--and the present is the only time we have control over.
Looking at our bodies in the mirror and not feeling pride is bringing the past into our present because our body today is merely the manifestation of what actions we took and what choices we made in the past.
Healthy Pride in Weight Loss Success
Pride in self is a type of self-love that can be very healthy when it is unconditional, is internally based, and is grounded in the present.