• Dr. Jen Spring

Your inner-meanie may be keeping you stuck


Photo by Mathias Arlund


What’s the emotion fueling your current weight loss?


Is it critical and loathing toward yourself?

Or is it positive and loving?


I used to think the answer to this question didn’t matter-- if the result was weight loss, who cares how you get there, right?


WRONG! Turns out how you get there makes all the difference in IF you stay there.


You know your weight loss is fueled by self-loathing if:

  • you tell yourself you “can’t” eat ____ because you don’t deserve it, because you’re too fat, because it will only make you bigger

  • you are on a diet that you know (maybe only in the back of your mind) you won’t be able to maintain for the rest of your life

  • you are super strict about what you’re eating and freak out when you’re in a place with no food that’s on your plan

  • your weight loss can’t come fast enough-- you’re in a hurry and would do anything to lose weight quickly

  • when you make a mistake and overeat, you use it as evidence as to why you suck and give yourself a mental beatdown as punishment for it.


You know your weight loss is fueled by positive and loving feelings if:

  • you plan ahead and feel proud of yourself when you follow through

  • you think more about how good your body feels from fueling it well than you do about missing all the junk you aren’t eating

  • you aren’t afraid to write down what you are eating because you truly want to assess what works for your body and what doesn’t

  • you aren’t in a hurry- you recognize that weight loss is a process that takes time and you are in it for the long haul regardless of how long it takes.


Now, don’t get me wrong, even if it is fueled by love, there is still discomfort and challenge involved.


There are still urges, cravings and times you just don’t ‘feel’ like doing it...but discomfort with a foundation of love is very different than discomfort with a foundation of self-hatred and punishment.


And it makes all the difference in if you are going to MAINTAIN your weight loss.


When you fit into your size 4 jeans and you hated yourself and the whole process getting there, you will still hate when you arrive.


You will be full of resistance and fear about gaining the weight back.


The negative emotion will give way to “f-it” overeating and you’ll end up back at where you started.


On the other hand, if your weight loss is fueled by love and respect for yourself,

that love and respect will grow as you go through the process.


When you make a mistake, you get right back at it. When you have urges and cravings, you know it’s part of the process and it’s okay.


You stay committed and disciplined regardless of what comes your way. And you maintain your weight loss. Because it feels good and you BELIEVE you deserve to feel good.


Only you know what emotion is fueling your current weight loss journey but if it is not compassion, unconditional love, respect, self-acceptance, and/or determination, I encourage you to be honest with yourself and start working on coming at it from that angle.

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© 2020 Jen Spring, Psy.D. | www.jenspringcoach.com