We are ALL cool under the skin

People that feel good about who they are act accordingly. Self-confidence is not inborn rather it is the result of day-to-day experiences. A person who feels worthwhile will hold their head high and persevere when faced with the challenges inherent in our lives.

Healthy self-esteem is confidence and satisfaction in oneself, based on understanding, accepting and liking the person that you are. People with a healthy sense of self are enthusiastic, make friends easily, and are energetic. Those that struggle with a lack of self-esteem constantly compare their life to that of others rather than acknowledging their own individuality. Many social scientists blame low self-esteem for a host of social ills, from poor academic performance, drug abuse, violent crime, to weight problems.

“ Fat Land” has become an acronym for citizens of our country where weight problems abound causing a lifetime of poor health and a myriad of psychological problems. Overweight children become overweight adults. This cycle is difficult to break; however it can be done by: 1) establishing healthy eating habits 2) a consistent exercise programs 3) building a realistic healthy sense of self. Losing weight is not as difficult as repairing shattered self-esteem.

This is not to say that all people fighting weight problems have a damaged ego. Fortunately, A strong sense of self grows in families where unconditional love and acceptance abound. When a person feels that kind of love, self-confidence and coping skills are strong. This is necessary because many overweight youth have suffered the slings and arrows of childhood cruelty. They are insecure and often feel isolated and alone in the world. When the weight begins to tumble off many dieters set increasingly unrealistic goals and envision himself or herself in the image of some movie star or anorectic Vogue model.

Being thin does not mean that happiness and love are just around the corner. Who can blame the dieter for having an image of beauty based on fantasy forms hawked in television commercials and fashion magazines?

Being as thin as a model is difficult enough for the professional and near too impossible for the layperson. Most models are at least six inches taller and thirty pounds lighter than the average young adult. Not accepting oneself gives rise to daydreams, which bring to life the fantasy that after a goal weight has been reached things will be all right, and dreams will come true.

This is not to say that aspirations are bad just that their not being met can lead to abandoning the diet and the spiral of weight gain starts once again. Some teens wonder what they will look like as a thinner person, "What if I lose a lot of weight and after all that I'm still ugly?" When the realization that life is not a fairy tale sets in many dieters retreat back to their former comfort zone overeating. The excess poundage accumulates the grim statistic is that dieting becomes a chronic condition. Eighty percent of all weight loss results in failure and putting on more excess poundage.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?” How difficult it is to actually see one’s own image and not to picture Snow White in the looking glass. A person with healthy self-esteem does not compete with others. They mostly grow to understand their our own unique and special gifts.

Taking a few concrete steps to build one’s self esteem can be a real asset in stabilizing weight loss.

Live your life while on a diet.

Don’t put things off until the weight is gone.

Buy some new clothes even if they soon will be passed on to others.

Take up a new hobby and by all means go out. No sense hiding in a room for months on end.

One can always go to a dance with friends and have just as much fun as on a date.

Keeping busy with positive pursuits and not obsessing about the weight is powerful.

And as is the case time will pass and goals will be achieved without denial. A person with healthy self-esteem does not dwell on the negative and finds a way of focusing energy on things that are positive.

One idea is to start writing in a journal and fill it with favorite quotes, pictures, and examples of affirmations. When writing in the journal try to set standards when the only competition is against oneself. And there is the key to success in dieting and other pursuits.

We all have limits based on many things and at the same time many possibilities. People young and old that suffer from the American malaise of poor eating habits and a lack of exercise can become healthier for a lifetime. Certainly it takes work to look clearly in the mirror and see our own image. However, from working years and years with so many different people I know with certainty that each and every one of us is really cool.