How resentment impacts your weight and happiness

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Feeling frustrated and disappointed is a normal part of life. However, if you’re feeling envious, bitter, angry and hard-done-by, chances are you’re feeling resentful.

Resentment can seriously affect your physical health, mental health, weight, relationships and overall happiness.

What is resentment?

Resentment has been given many definitions. Here are a few

“A feeling of anger because you have been forced to accept something that you do not like.”

“A feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult or injury.”

“Bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.” 

But perhaps one of the best definitions of resentment came from Nelson Mandela, a man who was imprisoned for 27 years because he believed in inequality. He said: 

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Once you understand what resentment is and how it affects you, you’ll understand how true that definition really is. 

So let’s take a look at signs that you may be feeling resentful and how it impacts your life.

Signs you’re resentful

If you experience resentment you’ll often feel a complex variety of emotions, especially recurring negative feelings towards certain people or situations. Signs that you are resentful include:

  • Feeling angry or frustrated
  • Feeling hostile 
  • Comparing yourself with other people
  • Constantly watching what other people do
  • Feeling happy when others fail
  • Feeling jealous or angry when others succeed
  • Gossiping or talking about people who are succeeding
  • Holding a grudge against particular people
  • Being unable to stop thinking about certain people or situations that trigger these emotions
  • Feeling bitter
  • Having tense or toxic relationships
  • Feeling worthless or inadequate
  • Thinking it’s ‘not fair’
  • Giving people the cold shoulder
  • Displaying passive-aggressive behaviour
  • Being ‘prickly’ or putting walls up around certain people or in certain situations
  • Taking things personally
  • Putting down other people or making disparaging remarks about what they do.

How resentment impacts your weight

While it may initially feel good to direct your negative feelings towards someone or something, in the end the only person you hurt with your resentment is yourself.

Too busy watching other people to focus on your own journey

When you feel resentful, you spend a lot of time watching what others do. Spending your energy watching other people means you can’t focus on the things that you need to do to ensure your own success which will keep you going around in circles, lead to more frustration and further feelings of resentment.

You’ll self-sabotage yourself with emotional decisions

When you let resentment run your life, you’ll feel negative emotions most of the time. This will increase the likelihood of you making emotional decisions, which we all know usually don’t end well. For example, you may be so envious of someone else’s weight loss success that you don’t take the time to understand or accept that they have had to work hard to get where they are. Instead, you may feel that they are ‘lucky’ while nothing good ever happens to you. Because you feel so badly about yourself, you end up self-sabotaging yourself by engaging in emotional eating to soothe your feelings.

You won’t celebrate your wins

Feeling resentful all the time will mean you won’t be able to celebrate your wins. When you focus on what others are doing and feel jealous of their success, your wins can seem insignificant. Focusing on what you haven’t achieved, by comparing yourself with someone else will leave you feeling frustrated and will erode your confidence. This means you’ll be slow to take action, you’ll doubt the journey, and you’ll live a life that’s based in fear. However, letting other people do their thing and focusing on your own path will help you celebrate your progress, no matter how small. This will also improve your confidence and keep you motivated to keep progressing forward.

You don’t have power to change your own situation

When you resent situations or people you give your power away. Resentment is form of blaming others for your situation, instead of taking responsibility for where you find yourself. If you continually believe that others are responsible for where you are, you’ll never have the power to make the changes necessary for you to have the body you want.

You’ll feel stressed

Constantly experiencing negative emotions, feeling angry and bitter, and watching what other people are doing is exhausting and stressful which will take its toll and prevent you from losing weight. You can read more about stress in our blog How stress and weight gain are linked.

You’ll have poor relationships

Resentment can destroy relationships, whether they be romantic, friendships or even family-based. When you resent other people you’ll often feel angry, find fault with them, argue with them, or detach from them altogether. That’s if the other party doesn’t ‘break up with you’ first. Poor relationships can leave you feeling lonely and depressed, which can impact your overall health as well as your weight. You can read more in our blog Can chronic loneliness lead to weight gain.

You’ll be more likely to binge eat or emotionally eat

People who are resentful often look at life with a ‘glass half empty’ attitude. Instead of focusing on what is good in their life, they look for the bad. This constant focus on the negativity can cause you to feel empty on the inside — that there is nothing good in your life. When you feel empty, you’re more likely to turn to food or alcohol to fill the void, or cover your emotions. Of course, bingeing or emotional eating will lead to further weight gain.

To discover if you’re an emotional eater or a binge eater, why not take our quiz?

How to get past resentment

Now we have a better understanding of how resentment affects you, it’s easy to see that the only person it hurts is you, which is why it’s important to be able to move past it. Here’s how to do that.

Take responsibility

Resentment is a way to justify our ‘failures’ by explaining them in terms of being treated unfairly or because we are victims of injustice. However, when you take full responsibility for the circumstances of your life, you’ll find that there is no room for resentment. The truth is that weight loss success, or success in any endeavour is due to hard work and consistent effort, not special treatment. When you take responsibility for your weight, and the actions and behaviours (habits) that have led you to where you are now, you have power to change your circumstances.

Stop focusing on the result

It’s very easy to resent others who are not overweight or have succeeded in losing weight, when you desperately want the same thing. This often happens when you are focusing on the end result, or your goal weight. However, when you focus on the end result, you won’t be able to take the right actions to help you get there. For example, you won’t learn the lessons you need to and you won’t be able to change the habits you need to. Instead, focus on the journey that lies in front of you, not the results you want, or the results someone else has already achieved. You can read more about this in our blog Focus on the journey to lose weight fast.

Drop the self-entitlement

Resentment is born from self-entitlement, which is believing you have a right to something, or that you deserve privileges, resources and outcomes without doing anything to deserve them. Self-entitlement can lead you to believe that you should be able to lose weight without putting in the effort required — and feeling resentful towards people who have been successful. In order to succeed, you need to acknowledge that you are not special and that you have to work to get your results. You have to view weight loss as a process that may take time and you need to commit to the process, not just do things when they’re easy, or when it suits you. You can read more about this in our blog Do you have self-entitlement syndrome? How it slows your weight loss and what you can do about it.

Focus on what you can do 

Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can. This will require you to stop comparing yourself with others and focus on your own journey. For example, if you have an injury of some kind that is making certain movements and exercises difficult, focus on the movements and exercises you can do, instead of feeling sorry for yourself and not doing anything. Successful weight loss is not because of big actions, but due to lots of small actions that compound over time. Any step you can take towards your goal is a worthwhile one. You can read more about this in our blog The snowball effect: Why small things add up to big weight loss.

Celebrate what you’ve already achieved

Celebrating your achievements is incredibly important as it keeps you excited about your journey and provides you with motivation to keep going. Celebrating your achievements will also keep resentment at bay, because you’ll be focusing on the good things that you have already achieved, instead of comparing yourself with others and thinking how unfair it is that you haven’t achieved everything you want to.

How DATSTM Program helps you get past resentment

The DATSTM Program helps you get rid of resentment because it enables you to take responsibility for your own actions and consequences. Our exclusive DATSTM Accountability Tool outlines all the steps that our members need to take in order to get results, without the need to compare themselves with each other. They are empowered to be responsible for their own success and encouraged to share their wins and achievements. 

The DATSTM Accountability Tool also helps our clients focus on their own journey so they can get the results they want. Furthermore, our program has structure and accountability which means that if feelings of resentment are creeping in, we can provide our members with the exact action steps they need to take in order to eliminate it. Quite simply, DATSTM provides our members with the lifelong knowledge, systems, tools and skills to help them lose weight and keep it off.

In summary…

  • Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
  • Resentment can seriously affect your physical health, mental health, weight, relationships and overall happiness.
  • You can eliminate resentment from your life by taking responsibility for your current situation, focusing on the journey instead of the destination, dropping the self-entitlement, and celebrating what you can do and have already achieved.
  • Our DATSTM Program helps our clients focus on their own journey which helps eliminate any feelings of resentment towards others.

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