Imagine achieving something amazing... and treating yourself as though you haven't.
Sounds unlikely, doesn't it?
Now imagine losing a lot of weight, but when you look in the mirror, you still see the old, bigger you.
You carry on wearing the same clothes you used to wear.
And you haven't changed how you feel about yourself. At all.
There's an expectation that if you achieve a weight loss goal you'll feel differently about yourself, but often it will take our brains a while to 'catch-up' - leaving us feeling deflated instead of elated!
In some ways, we trap ourselves by constantly referring back to pictures of how we used to look - we show them to other people and expect their reaction, their shock, their amazement, how impressed they are. But we don't feel it ourselves.
One of the most common side effects of being unhappy with our weight is not wanting to see how we look. We get used to avoiding both cameras and mirrors. But the numbers on the scales can only tell you what you've achieved - they won't show you.
And every time we show someone a photo of the old 'us', the bigger 'us' - if that's the only time we see ourselves, we reinforce to ourselves that that's who we still are.
Every time we wear the clothes that are too big, and just make do, we diminish our achievement.
To make our brains catch up with our bodies, we should celebrate - not just the numbers on the scale, but the physical reality of what we've achieved.
Buying new lingerie and clothes is a genuine act of love towards ourselves. We're telling ourselves we're worth it. We did it. That it's ok to like ourselves.
And when we allow ourselves to look in the mirror, and even be in new photos, we'll gradually replace our old notion of who we are, and be properly able to celebrate who we are now.