The Self-Confidence That Comes with Self-Discipline

When we lived in Florida, I had friends who would run races for charity. I would sometimes go cheer them on if the charity was one that I supported. I felt much like the fifth wheel as my friend would cheerily wave as I stood on the road looking after her. I sometimes felt like a shadow person.

Yesterday, I did a 5K that benefited a local charity. There were runners of all sizes and a fair amount of spouses, friends, children, and significant others who weren’t running but were cheering on their loved ones. There was one lady in particular that caught my attention. She looked almost exactly like I used to when I was morbidly obese. Her clothes were a bit ill-fitting, her shoulders were slumped, and her demeanor felt eerily familiar to me. The whole time I was running I found my thoughts straying to her and feeling extreme empathy for her.

I remember feeling like such a failure and feeling as though I would always be fat. I would always be too tired to exercise, and feeling as though I would never be able to achieve any level of self-discipline that my friends who could walk or run a 5K had achieved. Never.

There are a lot of variables involved in the successful weight loss journey. Selecting the right nutritional and calorie balance for weight loss, deciding what exercise routine works for you, and figuring out what role self-discipline plays for you.

We might not like to use the word “self-discipline” because of negative connotations, but I believe there is a need for self-discipline in the weight loss process. And with the discovery of self-discipline when it comes to food and exercise, there is often a rediscovery of some lost self-confidence.

What is Self-Discipline

One dictionary of definition is “Training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement.” The key word here for me is training. It’s not like we don’t have the ability to control our food intake, but we often need to train ourselves to make the better choices that can help us lose weight and feel more self-confident.

What Self-Discipline is Not

It is not a negative. Think about it. We exercise self-discipline in almost every area of our life, from making sure we get to work on time to the self-discipline required for something as simple as brushing our teeth every day. Without self-discipline in our lives, we would have some pretty serious consequences. Being self-disciplined helps us be more positive in many ways.

The Link Between Self-Discipline and Self-Confidence

Here’s where it gets interesting. I believe that it is ideal to approach weight loss from a position of self-confidence in oneself, but I also know that for many people, myself included, the weight loss increases self-confidence. Then as the self-confidence increases, the desire and belief that you can actually get to a healthy weight becomes more and more powerful. It is almost like a snowball rolling down a mountain picking up more snow as it goes along. The more practiced and disciplined you get at making healthy food and exercise choices, the more your confidence increases.

When I stood getting ready to run the race yesterday thinking about the woman I used to be, I realized that years and years of practicing self-discipline (and not just with food) have helped my self-confidence in so many ways. I feel more confident and able to try new things, I feel more in control of my food choices, I feel more confident in my relationships, and find myself not afraid to stand up and say what I think.

Self-discipline doesn’t always come easy and oftentimes it seems to come and go. As you work through either weight loss or weight maintenance, the new habits you develop also develop your self-discipline and enhance your self-confidence.

What role do you think self-discipline plays in weight loss and its relationship to your confidence level? Diane

11 thoughts on “The Self-Confidence That Comes with Self-Discipline

  1. evilcyber says:

    Absolutely correct. When I lost weight and was well on my way, being able to have, well, some say in where things were headed and experience that I could consciously decide what previously seemed beyond my control made a lot of difference.

  2. blackhuff says:

    Self-dicipline plays a very big role in my weight maintenance (and also when I tried to lose the weight) due to the fact that I had to control the type and amount of food consumed as well as the exercise which needed to be consistent.
    Still, I need to practice the above. If not, I am sure I will gain all the weight back again and it’s not a place a want to be again.

  3. Dr. J says:

    Great article, Diane!

    As in all the self-(fill in the blank), it is not given to us by anyone else. The good news is, we know where to look for it and how to get it!

    How did the race go? I hope you didn’t make the mistake of starting too fast 🙂

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    LOVE Diane!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know many find those words turn them off BUT for me – a positive like you wrote about!!! DR. J is so right with his comment! I have written about words in the past & I said if the words bother you than find new ones & just keep moving forward! 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful day!

  5. Karen Ogle says:

    I have also found the opposite to be true. If you lose your self confidence, as I did when my marriage became troubled, I lost my self discipline and regained almost 100 pounds of the weight I lost. I had lost 180 pounds and was feeling really good about myself. My husband losing interest in me and my mental health issues causing me to lose the happiness in living brought me very low and I am in trouble with my weight again. Right now, I am concentrating on not falling completely apart as my husband has moved out and filed for divorce. I have been shaken to my core. It is hard to refocus on weight loss. It is on the back burner for now. Right now is just about surviving.

  6. Siobhan says:

    For sure. 🙂 I think the more self confidence one has, the easier it is to have more self-discipline because one begins to believe things are possible. Not only with weight but with all areas of our life such as relationships and finances.

  7. Leah says:

    This is so true. I also used to be the fat friend cheering my healthier friends on in their endeavors. While I’m still not to goal I am now the friend running a 5K on a holiday. Change is possible, and self discipline is key.

    Thanks for the great post! 🙂

  8. Taryl says:

    I definitely think self discipline is key, and though I had plenty of self confidence at my high weight, I have more after managing my weight for so long. I knew I could do it then, I have the proof now. Both factors are important, but you can have all the confidence in the world and yet, without discipline, never achieve much of anything.

  9. L says:

    For me, self-discipline has developed as I have challenged myself to do one more thing that I hadn’t done before. Self-confidence has come from seeing the small changes make big differences. I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m sure not where I used to be and that makes me happy. More than happy, joyful! Thanks for this post, Diane. Good stuff!

  10. Karen says:

    Discipline will help in almost any situation, from studying for a math class to keeping up with the laundry. If I don’t have the discipline to keep up with it, I lag behind. I can’t see how there is any negative connotation attached to it. There ARE negatives to the lack of that self-discipline: having to spend hours on a mountain of dirty laundry, spending extra time on study or being tutored, or gaining extra pounds.

    As with anything, success in a situation fosters confidence and easier continuation. Of course, the opposite is also true. The lack of success can foster self-doubt. In my own situation, the “big secret” was to simply keep going, even when it was hard and felt pointless.

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