You are invited to participate in our 20-year Anniversary Make Over!  This week we are exploring a new approach to your perspective – about YOU. It’s easy to think that being hard on ourselves will create change. What if the opposite – being kind to ourselves was the key?

According to Precision Nutrition, there are three main components of self-compassion:

Being non-judgmentally and consciously aware of what you’re doing, thinking, feeling, and experiencing.

What if there was a link between how we talk to ourselves, how we see ourselves and our nutrition habits?  A study published in Nutrients suggests that there is.

In short, the study looked at the eating habits in a group of 100 moms in relation to how they viewed themselves (self-esteem) and how they talked to themselves internally (self-compassion, or lack thereof).

Past research has shown that being at peace with our bodies (having good body esteem) is connected to healthier and more intuitive eating patterns. What was new in this study was seeing the possibility that self-compassion may be the key to improving body esteem, which will in turn, makes for an increase in healthy habits.

So, if you want to improve your relationship with food – reduce emotional eating and increase your intuitive eating begin by cultivating self-compassion.

Here’s how:

Mindfulness: Being non-judgmentally and consciously aware of what you’re doing, thinking, feeling, and experiencing.

Common humanity: Recognizing that we’re part of a greater whole, and not so very different from those around us.

Self-kindness: Being generous and decent to yourself.

Self-compassion may not come easy to us, but we can practice, and we can get better at it.  Self-compassion does not mean a lack of accountability. It means being less critical, giving yourself some grace and recognizing all the factors that led to our choices – many of which we had no control over.

Here is an example of practicing self-compassion:

Mindfulness – “I am carrying more weight than I ever have.  I am not loving how my clothes are fitting or how I am feeling.”

Common Humanity – “I am sure I am not the only one who has gained weight with the stress and loss we have all experienced over the last couple of years”

Self-Kindness – “I can make new choices to reduce stress and seek support for myself. I don’t have to do it all at once or all by myself”

Self-compassion doesn’t have to be big or perfect or complex; small, repeated effort can cultivate kindness toward ourselves, improve our self-esteem and even improve our eating habits!