A lot of people wonder why they can’t seem to lose weight or stick to a diet. They start on a diet with the very best of intentions to follow it through and lose weight. Once the good intentions of the New Years Resolution fade people often go into a negative and defeatist mode; self loathing and low self-esteem take over and the person resigns themselves to the belief that they are destined to be “fat” and they don’t deserve a better life

Whoa! I think that is why people fail at dieting! They literally hate themselves for being “fat” and have zero self-love. I know, during my obese years I can honestly say that I hated myself. I hated what I had become and hated the fact that I couldn’t seem to change it.

Did I suddenly become a different person and was then able to lose 10 stones? NO. I had a ‘light bulb’ moment - I suddenly realised that “I” wasn’t “fat” but rather, my body was. I took an inventory of what, and most importantly who, I really was - funny, intelligent, resourceful, creative, caring, loving, loyal, romantic, talkative and sincere. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders - I wasn’t fat! Sure, my body weighed 20 stones, but I wasn’t fat! I was all these other wonderful traits. I started focusing on those traits more than I allowed myself to focus on my fat. I realised fat is NOT a personality trait. And in doing so, I was able to rediscover self-esteem and self-love!

Once we love ourselves, despite our current “fat” condition, then and only then can we realise the success we desire. YOU have to first believe you are worth it. This belief gives YOU back to you! It empowers you and let’s you believe in yourself again (or even for the first time!)

So how do you get a hold on that belief? Finding self-esteem and self-love is difficult task for many people.

A very important part of loving yourself is nurturing your body by giving it the healthy foods, water and exercise it needs to be optimally healthy. Need help with this step? We’ll provide you with all the information and the support you need, from meal plans to online support groups. We’ll give you every tool you need to succeed.

Use these tips to increase your self-appreciation and start treating yourself more like the ones you love. If it increases your chances at weight-loss success, isn’t it worth it?

1. Take a closer look.Stand in front of the mirror and determine which body parts you find most attractive. Instead of singling out the things you don’t like, zero in on sexy feet, shapely arms or a great face. Every time you feel those negative images creeping in, replace them with mental pictures of your preferred parts.

2. Stop being so shallow. If someone else judged you on looks alone, you’d probably be disgusted by their shallow attitude. So why do it to yourself? Your self-perception should be about who you are, not what you look like. Think about all of your great attributes, including your personality, your intelligence and your job or people skills, and let those things, not the way you look, drive your self-esteem.

3. Pamper yourself. Treat yourself (and maybe a daughter or friend) to a nice massage, a pedicure or a facial. Such relaxation can be good for relieving stress and boosting your mood, which will help prevent stress eating and increase your chances of sticking to your plan.

4. Take good care of your health. Show you care about your future health by doing the one thing that can protect you against a host of diseases: regular aerobic exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes, five to six times per week. This can mean a spinning class, running, dancing or just walking at a brisk pace.

5. Flatter yourself. Instead of your standard haircut, ask the stylist to give you a cut that will be flattering to the shape of your face. Then purchase some clothes you feel truly comfortable and confident in - even if you’re not at your goal weight. Make sure to admire how fabulous you look in the mirror before you leave the house for a daily boost of self-esteem.

6. Show your love with food. One way many people, especially women, show love is by preparing home-cooked meals. You can do the same for yourself (and your family). Instead of your age-old recipes, test out new, healthier options – use your meal plan as a guide and you’ll see how eating well can make you feel like a new person.

7. Protect yourself from injury. You wouldn’t let a loved one workout in a way that could cause injury, so you shouldn’t let yourself do it either. Make sure you have appropriate shoes for the type of exercise you’re performing. Visit a sporting goods store and have a sales rep help you pick out the right shoes.

8. Cut yourself some slack. It’s easy to get mad at yourself when you give in to a craving or eat too much at a meal. But negative self-talk can only serve to worsen your self-esteem. Don’t beat yourself up when you eat too much at dinner or have a biscuit that isn’t on your plan. Just promise to do better next time and focus on sticking to your plan at the next meal.

9. Be your own biggest supporter. Start a journal. On the first page, write down your reasons for wanting to lose weight (all the things that motivated you to sign up for a plan). Then jot down words of encouragement on the following pages. Each time you feel a dip in your motivation, read those words of encouragement. Then write down your present thoughts and what’s causing you difficulty. Recording your thoughts and reading them back can be just as therapeutic as talking to a friend.

10. Celebrate your accomplishments. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, it can be a long journey to your ultimate goal. So be sure to stop along the way (when you reach small milestones, like losing the first five pounds or sticking to your plan for five days in a row) and pat yourself on the back. Of course, refrain from using food as a reward. Instead, treat yourself to a movie, a new pair of shoes or another treat.