Practicing Self-Love Now is the Path to Sustainable Weight Loss

self love

The weight-loss industry has misled and wrongly conditioned your beliefs about success and how to achieve it…

They’ve taught you to postpone feeling good about yourself, loving yourself, and feeling a long list of positive emotions until AFTER you achieve the external goal that society can validate and evaluate you on accordingly…

You know, the abs, small waist, toned triceps, hour-glass figure, pants size, and, of course, number on the scale…

Um, how fucking backward is this!?

In today’s episode, Paul is fired up talking about the path and approach he has instilled in The 5% Community and all of his one-on-one coaching clients over the years that is the exact opposite of this approach:

Choosing self-love and practicing self-compassion now to take an inside-out approach to lasting results.

If you’ve ever told yourself something similar to “I’ll feel happy when _____.” this is a must-listen for you!

Start prioritizing yourself today and learn how to approach sustainable weight loss through a path of self-love and compassion as a part of The 5% Community. Apply to join today!

Key Highlights

  • Discover how the diet industry has conditioned you to remain stuck in the self-sabotaging cycle…and even supports it (yikes!).
  • Learn why taking what you may consider a backward aporoach has proven to be the secret to the sustainable weight-loss success all of Paul’s clients have achieved over the years.
  • Learn the truth about what self-love is and why it’s not a one-time thing…

Episode Resources

Read our “Maintain Your Weight Loss After A Diet” Blueprint

Join The 5% Community


Paul Salter:

Hey, 5% Way Podcast listeners. Welcome back to another episode of the 5% Way Podcast with your host and sustainable weight loss specialists, myself, Paul Salter, and the wonderful Micheala Barsotti. We are incredibly grateful that you’re choosing to let us hang out with you in your earbuds yet again today and I’m really looking forward to taking a subtle, yet significantly different approach in today’s episode when it comes to talking about helping you achieve sustainable weight loss, because we are going to get there together through love, and specifically through self love and self-compassion. Those two ingredients have been the core focal point at the very beginning of every single person’s journey in both the 5% community, the 5% Fundamentals Program, as well as both Micheala and myself’s journey. And I really look forward to shedding some light, reframing, and rebuilding our relationship with self-love and ultimately, helping you leave the end of this episode feeling as if self-love absolutely needs to be a priority and here are a handful of action steps to start implementing it into your daily routine.

But before we do that, Micheala, how are you on this wonderful Tuesday?

Micheala Barsotti:

I am great. I am excited for this conversation. I think it’s going to be a really powerful one. So, I’m very excited to dive in, but before we do that, you know how much we love and value celebrating wins. So I figured we could kick things off with a couple of positives going on in the community, or just in 5% as a whole.

And I’ll start with, we had a new article drop today all about self sabotage and how it affects your ability to lose weight. So I know this speaks to a lot of people, myself included. We all have those negative behaviors that just hold us back from achieving our goals, so if this is you in some way, shape, or form, I guarantee you can relate, this article is going to be really helpful for you.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, I have so much fun writing these articles and this one really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, not only when doing some research to share some new information, but it made me examine some hard truths as well to really become aware like, “Oh shit, self sabotage is happening in my life in this instance and in this area.” But fortunately by the end of this quick and impactful read, you’re going to walk away with a better understanding of where self sabotage is happening in your life, why it is potentially happening, and what you can do to break free of that cycle and reclaim, take that control, whatever it may be so that you can continue to stretch outside your comfort zone, which is where the success, the project, the progress, excuse me, and the magic happens.

And on that note too, one of the most popular, or I guess common themes of feedback we receive from members of the 5% community, members of the 5% Fundamentals Program is that what people are learning in our communities is so much more than nutrition. And I think at this point, especially if you’ve been a long-time listener of the 5% Way Podcast, which in and of itself is going on, I think this will be our 22nd or 23rd episode together, we cycle through various topics, mindset, emotional awareness management and intelligence, behavior change for a reason. People come to our communities with the goal and the ambition to lose weight and keep it off, but they get so much more.

Lives are changing from the inside and out, and I just would encourage you, if you’ve been on the fence about the 5% community in particular and you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uncertain, maybe with your nutrition, how you look, how you feel about yourself, but also potentially in your job, your role, your relationships, your friendships, the 5% community is going to give you a lot to chew on and help you chew it up, digest it, and implement it into your life so that you can truly step into that next best version of yourself and begin feeling, looking, and being the best version of yourself.

But today let’s get back on track and let’s focus on how you can begin to love yourself to sustainable weight loss. And I want to kick things off with a harsh truth. The weight loss industry, the diet industry have misled and wrongly conditioned you, me too, Micheala three. They’ve taught us to postpone feelings or feeling good about ourselves, loving ourselves and feeling a long list of positive emotions until after we have achieved that external goal that society can validate and therefore evaluate us by accordingly.

And what I mean by this is, for example, a lot of the women I’ve worked with over the years have shared with me that if they could just weigh x amount on the scale, if they could just lose x number of pounds, or kilograms for all of my European and Australian clients, if they could fit into size four, six, eight, whatever it may be, if they could get rid of the loose skin hanging on their triceps or the fat around their midsection, the fat on their thighs, if they could just do one of, or maybe multiple of those things, then and only then, they would be ready to start feeling good and loving themselves.

And I personally think that is so fucking backwards. That’s why we have this podcast episode, so I can basically use it as an outlet to vent and to go off on tangents, to ultimately circle back to what matters most, and that is loving yourself exactly how you are today because you deserve it, you’re worthy, and by the way, it’s going to accelerate your progress to actually achieving all of the external goals you desire when you begin by doing the internal work and choosing love as you are today.

And Micheala, I’m really curious, really being able to speak specifically from the role of a woman in this situation and how that relationship with the diet industry can be quite different than my role as a man here, what stands out or resonates to you about how the diet industry has conditioned us to really focus on delaying self-love or feeling good about ourselves?

Micheala Barsotti:

I think they make us think that happiness is a destination. So, we start to believe that when we achieve X, when we lose the 25 pounds, when we lose the stubborn fat around our midsection, whatever it may be, that’s when we’re going to be happy. And so we are like tunnel vision to that end goal, we don’t stop to celebrate anything along the way. And I know, I feel that so hard because early on it was all about body composition goals for myself, and so I never celebrated, stopped to realize how far I’ve come. I was always so fixated on where I still needed to be that it’s demotivating, especially if you do have lofty goals regarding your body composition, weight loss goals, whatever, it might take you a long time to achieve that. So if you are thinking that you’re not worthy or you can’t be happy until you reach x, that’s going to be really unfortunate because I’ll tell you too firsthand that when you reach x, you’re always going to want more. There’s never going to be a time where you’re like, “Okay, I’m good.” You’re always going to want more.

Paul Salter:

Yeah. And it just, you’re absolutely right, we just keep delaying and delaying and delaying. And speaking from personal experience, when I first got into competitive body building, I wanted the completely ripped six pack, a super low single digit percent body fat percentage, and I had developed such a great sense of tunnel vision hoping I would feel really happy the day that the BOD POD told me I had sub-6% body fat or I stepped on stage. And the happiness was not present during the journey. The prep was awful. And then after competition, I still wasn’t happy.

And by the way, I just spent five months alone specifically skipping out on social occasions and whatnot, so I wasn’t fulfilled in my friendships, my familial relationships, or any of the above, because I was delaying happiness and therefore trying to do as much as I could to get to that external goal where I thought I’d finally be worthy of that happiness, and next thing I knew, I ended up alone, still unhappy and unfulfilled, and it was not a fun or a bright space to be, to say the least. And that is something that I don’t wish upon anyone, which is why I hope you will really take this episode to heart as Micheala and I continue on.

Micheala Barsotti:

I would say too that the diet industry does set us up for that because there’s all these programs, do it this way and you’ll achieve the results, but oftentimes that way is not the way that we really want to do it or that aligns with our lifestyle. So what happens, it’s hard to enjoy the journey, enjoy the process and embrace it all when that doesn’t align with your actual goals and how you want to live life. So, it’s just so contradicting and it is hard to love yourself when you’re taking that approach. If it’s not customized and individualized to you.

Paul Salter:

Yeah, absolutely. If it’s not unique to you, simple, or flexible, it does not check the essential three ingredients, so to speak, for a recipe that promotes the significant sustainable results we are all after. And I’m laughing right now, you guys can’t see me because I know this is audio only, because Micheala just took a big step into my mind about where I wanted to go with this conversation, which is fantastic. No, I love it because you’re absolutely right. Not only has the weight loss and diet industry conditioned us to take or to delay our happiness until we achieve the external results, but then you’re right, they force feed us these unsustainable, restrictive approaches where it’s actually hard to be happy eating 1,200 calories per day and being married to the treadmill six days per week.

And ultimately, yes, because human beings are incredibly resilient, we will start to some external changes in a quick manner when we do commit to such an extreme, unsustainable approach, but in the blink of an eye, because you took these asinine approaches to achieving results, all of the weight comes back and then, not only does the self-love disappear, but you feel even worse because you’ve taken seven steps back all of a sudden and you begin feeling like a failure, you begin placing blame, not on the diet industry, but blame on yourself. Like, “I’m not good enough or I couldn’t stick to this. I’m not worthy or deserving x, y, and z.” And this is something that absolutely, ladies and gentlemen, needs to end today, because the real secret to achieving sustainable weight loss is already inside you today.

You’ve heard Micheala and I say this many times, you already have the knowledge of what to do when it comes, to make the appropriate nutrition choices and to choose portions that are appropriate for you to begin losing weight, you need to shift your focus to self-love, self-compassion because that is going to be the two missing ingredients that will absolutely accelerate your progress, make it desirable to exercise consistently, practice self-care, and make nutritious choices on a regular basis. But it has to start from the inside out, and that begins by choosing loving yourself today, and ultimately you will arrive at your so-called destination far sooner.

And just as Micheala mentioned, you’re going to have 50 more million destinations ahead of you as you keep getting to one to the other and your goals grow bigger and they stretch you more out of your comfort zone. If that self-love is ever present, you’re going to be a-okay ascending from one level to the next on your way to feeling, looking, and being better.

And what we do in the 5% community in particular is, and during the onboarding orientation process, we focus specifically on self-love by talking a lot with this analogy of planting and nourishing the right seeds of word choice, self talk, compassionate thoughts, and work to rewire belief systems to cultivate a mental environment, that’s a good way to think about it, a mental garden so to speak, that is rich in promoting self-love and joy in the now exactly where these individuals are in their journey, where they are when they come to us in the 5% community. Rather than saying, “Hey, you can feel good when you lose those 20 pounds you want to lose.” Because ultimately that promotes this is desire to take these rapid unsustainable methods to get there sooner rather than later. But as we just mentioned, we end up feeling far worse and even further away from our goal in a short while.

So what I’d like to do now is transition to a little bit more clarity and defining self-love because, although you may be familiar with the concept, I bet you there’s a piece that’s likely missing in how you would describe self-love, because I’ve done a lot of research, I’ve talked to quite a bit of people about their view and definition of self-love, and this was a missing component in my definition, as well as many other’s definitions.

But let’s begin with this, three simple statements to truly describe self-love. Self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself that grows from actions that support your physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own wellbeing and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs, yes, even you mothers who have kids and a family and a household to run, it means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your wellbeing to please others or care for others first.

But here’s the kicker. Self-love is more than just a beautifully written definition. It’s more than just a choice. It is a commitment, a daily commitment we must make to ourselves and honor on a daily basis. It’s something that, ultimately, you have to commit to and has to become so deeply ingrained in your DNA that you shine as brightly as possible on any given day because you have made it known to yourself, those around you in the world, that self-love is incredibly important and you love the fuck out of yourself exactly as you are. And to make this easier, which is exactly what we want to do, we do want to share some mental models, strategies that, specifically, I have used to ingrain self-love into your default operating network.

So the first thing I want to share with you, I think I’ve got five steps here to cultivate more self-love exactly right now. Hit pauses after each strategy I share with you, or as soon as you’re finished this episode, make it a priority to brain dump some notes and get your thoughts down on paper for the next five to 10 minutes. But the first thing that I have been doing for years that’s been truly a game changer is writing down one positive thing about myself every single morning and every single night before I go to bed. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning, one of the last things I do in the evening.

And what this does is it consistently trains our brain to continuously find the positives, the things we love about ourselves on a daily basis. And where this really shines is, we are humans, we are still prone to getting stuck in emotional ruts, even when we’re doing all of the right things not to, that’s just part of the human experience. And if you find yourself currently in an emotional rut, we have an entire podcast episode that shares either seven, I think it’s actually nine strategies to break free of that emotional rut. And I’ll link that in the show notes below.

But what this ultimately does is when you are in an emotional rut, it’s going to lessen the intensity and it’s going to shorten the duration that you find yourself in that rut because you continue to bring your mind’s focus to something positive that you love about yourself, which inevitably becomes something that you are grateful about and the power of gratitude and positivity is unmatchable in the impact it has on every aspect of your life.

The second strategy to cultivate more self-love is working to develop a self-love mantra, such as, “I am beautiful, kind, and confident. Nothing anybody says or does will lead me to believe otherwise.” And this is an incredibly powerful tool to use as soon as you wake up, either right when you turn your alarm off as a cue or right when your feet hit the floor, to repeat a self-love, compassionate mantra that really works to build yourself up. It’s rich and positive verbiage that speaks to your best self and this ultimately ingrains these words, it tattoos them on your subconscious so that now everything from your subconscious, as it gets filtered through your conscious, goes through this incredibly powerful, positive self-love lens to make sure that your thoughts, your word choice, and your beliefs are rich in self-love.

Micheala Barsotti:

Yeah. And Paul, I would just say too, building off of the self-love mantra strategy, for myself specifically, because this is challenging for me, I’m working to be receptive and also give myself more compliments. I’ve never been good at this and it’s something where I receive a compliment and I cringe. I get all weird about it, but it’s being more accepting of that in that I am worthy of these compliments and we should be able to compliment ourselves. That’s not, in my brain it’s kind of like, “No, that’s conceited,” or whatever, but it’s like, “No, that is a form of self-love, complimenting yourself.”

Paul Salter:

I love that, it’s also a kind of declaration to the world that you have an abundance mindset. Like you said, you’re worthy of these compliments, you’re open to receiving gifts, love, compliments, praise, kindness, et cetera. Absolutely.

Micheala Barsotti:


Paul Salter:

And on that note, the third strategy to cultivate self-love is practice speaking kindly to yourself every single day. And the framework I have been using for years and sharing with you and others for years is, when you catch yourself speaking unkindly to yourself, ask yourself if you would speak that way to your significant other or to a child. Chances are there is no way in hell you would speak like that to somebody else, so practice speaking to yourself as if you were speaking to a loved one or a child, with the utmost kindness, compassion, and care.

Micheala Barsotti:

Something I also do with that one is if I notice, because let’s be real, negative thoughts are always going to creep on in, but having the awareness to know that they’re present, I start to think about, why might these be present? How am I feeling?

For instance, I just shared this on my social media, but last week I was struggling with a just bad body image day. I was just not being kind to myself and I started to notice those thoughts just very present. And when I thought back about my whole week, I realized I was super stressed last week and I was being unkind with my thoughts in other areas, so it just trickled into how I view my body. And so having that correlation and noticing that, it was like, “Oh, okay. That’s why I’m feeling like this. I know that it’s just a feeling that’s going to pass soon.” And it made it a lot easier to let go of, I think.

Paul Salter:

Oh, I like that-

Micheala Barsotti:

Because I had that awareness.

Paul Salter:

Very good. Fourth strategy. This is a fun one. Stop comparing yourself to others. So easy to do. I totally understand it. But as we were talking about in a previous episode, we get so caught up thinking that everybody is thinking about us and judging us, yada, yada, yada, when in reality is, they’re all in their own heads doing the exact same thing that you’re doing. So stop caring what other people think. And also remember that hurt people hurt people. So if someone does make a snide remark or a passive aggressive comment, kill them with kindness. They are jealous, hurting, or in a very bad place in some way, shape, or form and it is not a reflection of who you are. So remember to stop comparing yourself to others and remember as well that we are all on our own journey and you can’t judge somebody else who’s been going on it, for example, for 10 years versus your 10 days.

And with that too, with just the popularity of social media, Instagram is such an easy place to conceal the true and to highlight the positives of our lives when we have absolutely no idea what’s going on behind the scenes away from the stories and the profile photos. So, keep that in mind. You’re on your own journey and you are exactly where you are supposed to be, right in this very given moment.

And the fifth strategy, which I realize in hindsight I kind of convoluted with the fourth strategy, but they all work themselves out, is detaching from what others think. So similar to what I said, hurt people hurt people, I realize I jumped ahead of myself out of excitement, but that’s the real premise here is we have to let go of what other people think. Only those closest to you who you love and have the utmost respect for, we want to listen intently with the utmost compassion and care about those people’s opinions because they’re coming from a place of compassion to help us. But otherwise, the person on social media, the stranger, whoever he or she may be, if they make a negative comment, a snide remark, we could just simply brush it off, kill them with kindness, and go about our day. So really work on detaching from what others think.

And when that happens, if you find yourself in a position where you’re on the receiving end of a negative comment or a rude comment, quickly build yourself up. That’s why the power of a self-love mantra is invaluable. It’s something you can use multiple, multiple times a day, but especially after a challenging situation like that.

And at this point, I want to kind of tie everything together here and circle back to the example I shared with you in the beginning of this episode related to planting and nourishing the right seeds. That’s incredibly, incredibly important. So that includes your self talk, your word for voice, and your thoughts. And it’s this potent combination, like I shared, that makes up your mindset and literally serves as the determining factor for what you believe, how you behave, and what you achieve.

And when you start positively priming your mindset with kindness, compassion, and love on a regular basis, which helps you to feel more love, joy, and acceptance now, you’ll notice that all of a sudden, you’re far more motivated to prioritize yourself, to prioritize self care, because consistent priming, what that does is produce more dopamine, which is that wonderful feel good reward-based neurotransmitter and that is essentially going to begin training your brain like, “Hey, this is a really good thing. I’m digging how I’m feeling. I want to do more activities that make me feel this way.” And that’s when you insert all of the wonderful self-love and self-care activities; eating well, moving often, massages, doing things you enjoy, reading, yoga, meditating, breathing, walks outside, time with friends, significant other, family, children, uninterrupted by your phone, social media, distractions, et cetera. And this has such a positive accumulating and compounding effect in helping you step into that very best version of yourself, and to do so at a much faster pace than you imagined.

Micheala Barsotti:

Yeah. You’ll never be able to hate yourself into your dream body. And this was something that I tried to do for years, and it wasn’t until I started working with myself and working on the thoughts that were in my head that I realized, “Oh, okay. We can be a team here. We’re not working against each other trying to get to that end goal,” because it’s not going to happen. But when you feel good, you do good. So it makes it that much easier.

Paul Salter:

Absolutely. And what I would love to leave each and every one of you dear listeners with is the following reminders. You are enough right now as you are. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. And you are lovable and worthy of and deserving of the utmost success, joy, and love right now, not when you have the abs or wear this clothing size or weigh this amount on the scale, right now as you are today.

So thank you so much for listening to this episode. I hope that you found it tremendously valuable. I hope that you’ll truly take it to heart. And if you did find it that way, share it with somebody who needs to hear this messaging, who needs the reminder that they are enough and they are beautiful and worthy of love, success, and joy right now as they are. And if you haven’t done so already, it would mean the world to Micheala and I if you took 30 seconds to leave an honest, genuine rating and short written review on both Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

With that, we thank you so much for listening and we wish you a wonderful rest of your day and we’ll catch you in next week’s episode.

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Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.



Micheala is a Transformation and Community Success Coach. She specializes in bringing out the absolute best in you and helping you see that you already have everything you need to achieve the transformational results you desire. Micheala will be an incredible asset for you on your journey since she went through the process herself and has seen long lasting results.

The Maintain My Weight Loss After A Diet Blueprint

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