Self-Esteem: Why it Get’s Mistaken for Weight


I am preparing this blog post ahead of time, as I’ll be on vacation next week.  When this is posted I’ll be lounging poolside in Las Vegas basking in the sunshine, floating down a lazy river, and sipping cocktails (hopefully) delivered by some cute cabana boy.  I can’t wait!

Weight & Self-Esteem.

As I’ve been getting ready for this poolside vacation I’ve found myself reflecting on the connection between Self-Esteem and weight.  Sometimes it seems like 95% of information on self-esteem talks about nothing but weight and body image. Do you notice this, too? I think it’s annoying, and to be frank, disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that our body image plays a part in our self-esteem, of course it does- it’s part of us.  But, it’s not the only part of us.  More importantly, weight struggles are not the only way low self-esteem shows it’s ugly head.

So why do we focus so much on weight & self-esteem?

Because weight, especially too much weight, can’t be hidden.

Unlike anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders and chronic pain our size is out there in the world everyday.  There is no way hide our size.  There is no way to pretend we are a size 0 if we aren’t.  There is no way to secretly struggle with weight.  If we do struggle with weight, it’s out there, everyone knows.

On one had, this is difficult.  It’s hard to publicly be exposed as “less than perfect,” especially in our beauty driven culture.  But on the other hand, it’s kind of amazing!  Publicly living a struggle gives access to a great resource that would be missed if the struggle were secret- community.  Other people going through, or who have been through, similar circumstances. Body positive programs, blogs, articles, and support systems are popping up everywhere because weight can’t be hidden.

Celebrate Community

“Shame is about the fear of disconnection” -Brené Brown

One thing I know for sure- secrecy hurts.  As humans, secrecy and shame are the worst pain we experience.  There is nothing like the feeling of reaching out, being real, sharing who we are and what we are going through.  Trying to hide who we are, and cut ourselves off from community, hurts like hell.  So why do it, especially about something like weight that’s already out there?

Self-Esteem comes from exploring what is, creating coping skills, living authentically, and having a relationship with ourselves, not our jean size.

Connection comes from being open, vulnerable and real with others.  If we find a way to do this, to be authentic with people who understand our struggle, then the struggle turns into a blessing.

Next time your jean size gets you down, try these idea’s instead of the old familiar negative self-talk and/or searching for way to change yourself.

  • See it as a opportunity for connection.  Reach out to someone you trust and let them into what is going on with you.
  • Look for ways to improve your self-esteem, other than weight loss.
  • Find a community! Check out body positive blogs, groups, articles, Facebook pages, or people to follow on twitter so that you know, and feel, that you aren’t alone.

Maybe, just maybe, if you approach it differently it will actually feel differently too?!