Welcome to week seven in my 15-week experiment on myself with Lucinda Bassett’s Attacking Anxiety and Depression program.

If you haven’t been following along with this series up until this point please go back and read the intro, which is where I explain how this series relates to your health and fitness goals. 95% of the weight loss game is mental and emotional and I’ve met too many people who are both depressed and overweight, but you can get all of the details on my motivation for doing this experiment on myself in my introductory post.

What’s Assertiveness Got To Do With It?

Week seven is about developing assertiveness in your behavior, which includes how you speak and act. This is all about increasing your self-confidence and self-respect, which in turn will change your entire life around.

We’re talking about much more than weight loss here but since you’re a smart reader of Fearless Fat Loss, you already know that I go beyond the physical act of weight loss and focus on your complete lifestyle. 😉

Assertive Does Not Equal Aggressive

  • Assertive = confidence
  • Aggressive = hostility and anger

As you can see being aggressive is a far cry from being assertive, which I am illustrating for you because some think that to be assertive means that you must be harsh or overbearing – not true! Being assertive simply means that you are standing up for yourself, making a statement about how you feel, and exuding your self-confidence all while being respectful of others. It includes being able to say “no” when you need to instead of allowing others to “walk all over” you.

That’s a good example right there – have you ever felt like others walk all over you?

Ask For What You Want

When you are assertive you simply ask for what you want. You can be kind and respectful about it while you ask others for their help, assistance, or whatever else you wish to ask for. This doesn’t mean you will always get what you want but when you don’t at least ask for help with putting the picnic together or help on collaborating that business project then you don’t have the right to expect anyone else to know what you want.

That’s right, no one is a mind reader and if you think that your closest loved ones should just know what you need then you’re setting yourself up for a disaster; not only that but if you’re an emotional eater, then you could end up eating over your frustrations! Instead of doing that it’s best to work on why you are feeling so frustrated and if the source of that frustration is your lack of assertiveness, then you can start asking for what you want and asserting your personal power.

Be Prepared for Adjustment

If you are someone who has been allowing others to walk all over you for years you might find that your first tries at being assertive go a little overboard and come across as aggression whether or not you are being aggressive.

You might be overdoing it and bordering on aggression or it could be that you are simply being kindly assertive but since you haven’t been speaking up for yourself for so long now, others in your life will be taken off guard. They are used to you being a certain way and they will need to adjust to the “new you” but you know what? It’s all worth it because the higher you raise your self-esteem and recognize the value of your own worth the easier it will be for you to change your lifestyle in other ways, such as in changing how you eat and exercise.

All of these areas are related, more than you may even realize and if you are allowing others to walk all over you I’m going to bet that this ties into your issues with food and weight. If you don’t value yourself enough to stand up for yourself you probably don’t value yourself enough to treat your body with love, health, and respect and if this is where you are today just remember that you always have the choice to make changes.

You can always choose a different action and a different thought. The past is the past, it’s over and done with and your power lies in your present moment. You deserve to put yourself first and take care of yourself because the more that you take care of you, the more you will have to give to others when that works for you.

What I Learned in Week Seven

The teachings in week seven of the Attacking Anxiety and Depression program are not new to me but they are always good to listen to again. They also remind me of past times when I didn’t stand up for myself and how that made me feel. I don’t do this today but if you are doing it and you end up overeating because you feel bad about not being assertive I do understand how you feel.

I also know though, that you can turn that behavior around. It won’t happen overnight but you can begin today by tuning into yourself to see how you feel when you don’t assert yourself. If you’re not feeling good about it and you’re also attempting to soothe that feeling with food then you can start today by asking for what you want. Try it out and see how that feels, of course understanding that you might not get what you’re asking for but that you also have the right to say no to others when you need to!

Again, this has nothing to do with being aggressive – you are simply standing up and saying “hey, I have the right to say yes or no and I have the right to ask for help!”

What About You?

Have you ever had challenges with your own assertiveness and found yourself running to food to try to make yourself feel better? Have you raised your self-esteem and increased your assertiveness and in turn found that how you deal with food has changed?