If we do not live up to what we believe our ideal weight to be, when it comes to thinking we are overweight or we are unhappy with our body shape, we can experience powerful feelings of self-loathing.

"The lack of love in you – expresses that lack throughout and out, And the true love in you, expresses that love within and then, for all to have."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric and Exoteric Philosophy, p 298

Self-loathing is intense hatred directed at ourselves

This can be reinforced every time we attempt to lose weight by dieting and do not manage to keep it up. In such a situation the person who is full of self-loathing will consider themselves not only overweight, but also worthless, weak-willed, ugly and a complete failure.

Does this sound all too familiar?

Are you one of the many people who are unhappy with their body shape and would try any diet to fix the fat thighs, the big butt or the fat stomach ... quick!? Are you also someone who berates themselves for each perceived diet failure but would never consider that the diet fails, not because of a failing in you, but because the truth is that it never could have worked in the first place? If so, this is your very own experience of self-loathing.

A huge contributing factor in self-loathing is shame

We feel shame when we fail to meet the standards of behaviour expected of ourselves. We are only as good as the last thing we got right. When it comes to weight loss and dieting, we can feel shame because there is an expectation that we should have lost weight or got thin and that our overweight state is somehow a result of us being bad, a failure and wrong. We do not question our methods or the validity of the ideals that we are trying to attain, seeing only that our failure to reach or maintain that elusive ideal weight is somehow our fault ... and this reinforces our negative self-image.

Does this sound uncomfortably familiar?

You are not alone. Our need for an ideal body and the misery of trying to make ourselves fit the ‘right’ size, shape and look – all feed self-loathing.

How many of us go through life with a love/hate relationship with our body image?

At younger and younger ages, when our body image doesn’t measure up to the ideals pictured in the media (from cartoon princesses to fashion models, actors and rock stars) or when the latest fashion doesn’t look right on our body, we come off feeling the worse for it – loathing our body because it is not the body the world tells us that counts.

This sets us on a cycle of searching for the diet, the outfit, the cellulite busting cream, the weight loss pill, the exercise machine – ANYTHING to make our body fit that image of the ideal weight and shape.

In the rejection of who we are, the wonder and beauty of ourselves is lost in a blanket of self-loathing that smothers us with thoughts of being weak-willed, not good enough, unattractive, stupid, ugly and wrong.

What people on these pages have discovered is that when we stop believing all the things that are wrong with us, stop measuring ourselves against the impossible images and ideals outside of ourselves and begin instead to live from the inside out, we start to connect to the unique beauty we are and always have been and live from this knowing.

When we build a connection with ourselves and begin to feel once more the beautiful preciousness we innately are within, something amazing starts to happen:

The things that fed our self-loathing begin to lose importance and we start to live from the inside out

Without a connection to ourselves it is easy to believe the hateful propaganda that we are too weak, too fat, too this or too that and to seek solutions, like dieting, to fix a problem that did not really start with food. Self-loathing begins when we look to the world to tell us how to be, what to say, do and look like to be considered worthwhile – to measure up and be ok.

We can undo self-loathing – not by trying to make ourselves right with the ideal weight or perfect body – but by re-connecting to ourselves with the Gentle Breath Meditation and finding out that who we are, and always have been, is glorious.

From here, how we eat our food and how we treat ourselves, naturally changes.

Filed under

Body imageSelf-esteemDietsGentle BreathWeightRejection

  • By Adrienne Hutchins

    I’ve always been interested in understanding the underlying cause and effect behind what we experience in life and for this the heart is the greatest teacher any student could have.

  • By Alison Greig, BA LLB(Hons), LLM(Hons, Grad Dip Psych, EPA Accredited Practitioner.

    Alison is a writer, life coach and a passionate advocate for true freedom of expression. Her legal and philosophical interests include regulation of cyber-abuse and cyber-crime, health care, freedom of religion and human rights.