When Self-compassion is an Excuse for Doing Nothing

Sticking head in the sand

The news and my social media these last couple of weeks have been full of these sorts of messages:

  • 48% of respondents to a UK survey said the have put on weight during lockdown.
  • I haven’t found any recent numbers for how much weight people have put on in the UK. Which in itself is telling. But as at July 202, 75% of those who had put on weight, had gained more than 5lbs. I suspect it’s a fair bit worse now.

There’s also a bunch of messages about

  • It’s been such a tough time for everyone
  • We need self-compassion and self-love.

Now. I absolutely totally agree with this in principle. We need self-compassion and self-love, for sure.


I do also think there’s a quite a lot of hiding behind this self-compassion argument… A bit of self-denial and burying the head in the sand.

I’m the first to argue that we need to love ourselves, be our best friend, silence the inner critic and so on. If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll be familiar with this. I absolutely hold that we need to seek change from a position of love, not loathing. To workout because you love your body. To eat well because you want to nourish your body.

And I absolutely agree that it has been a tough time for everyone.

But, but, but… Notwithstanding all that. We have to start doing something, right? I mean, it’s been a full 12-13 months. We’re surely past the worst. We have to start facing up to reality. And that reality, on a macro level, is that this is probably a substantial amount of weight gain, for a population that already had a sizeable overweight and obesity problem.

So, on a micro level, we have to start facing up to it.

Start Super Small

Remember my suggestion is always to start with a small step. A step so super small that you can’t fail to succeed in it. Things like fixing your breakfast, getting to bed early, eating more greens.

Don’t try to overhaul everything at once. This is where self-compassion comes into it. Understand and accept that you have a limited capacity, limited energy, limited motivation, limited resources. But START something, however small, to start making inroads on the problem.

Precisely because we love ourselves!


If you’d like some help, start by joining my free FB group where I’m running a 7 Day challenge to help build some healthier eating habits. The link is here

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