The sun’s attempting to come out here in Michigan as I sit in my living room watching Jackson wonder what he’s going to be doing with this delicious day. He’s determined to grab my attention.
It makes me think of “trying” to lose weight. People get fed up with being fat and tired, tell themselves they’ll start tomorrow, and if they do start to eat better, exercise and lose some weight, then “something” comes up and they get off track again. Usually they put the weight back on again, sometimes more.
I’ve done that dance. At the beginning of 2011, I worked off 60 pounds with diet and exercise for about 9 months. I felt like a million bucks.
Then I gained a good portion of it back and felt defeated. I was miserable living in a larger body.
In 2015, I decided to get rid of some extra weight again. This time I thought about reasons to lose weight and made a list and used it to inspire me to think carefully about the choices I made as I moved forward with my life.
Did I want to have more energy and life force within me so that I could enjoy being more active, travelling and have fun? How would losing weight benefit my relationship with my husband and other people? How would it benefit my relationship with clients?
As I pondered these questions, one thing was for sure – I wanted to live peacefully in my body.
Like anyone else, I have a little voice in my head that scrutinizes and judges me. If you’ve ever lost and regained weight, you know how horrible it feels. You long for the vigor you felt in your body when the weight was gone, the elation of wearing nicer clothing, and the wonderful quietness of the inner critic.
So I created a list with only one item. To live in my body fully and welcome peace and appreciation into my existence. I realized that I wasn’t actually hungry for slimness. What I really wanted was to feel alive and connected to life and I was using food to manage that desire.
That’s when I decided to never diet again.
I used a method of Transformation Hypnotherapy on myself which helped me make the connection between feelings and eating.
I learned to become more mindful of when I was hungry (mentally or physically.) I learned to question what was really happening.
By paying attention to what I felt each time I had something to eat, I was able to address sabotage and critical thinking. And while it feels vulnerable to admit this, here’s some of the things that I noticed:
<li>I ate because when I was lonely</li>
<li>I ate because I felt embarrassed about being fat.</li>
<li>I ate because I was bored</li>
<li>I ate when I was angry.</li>
<li>I ate because more weight meant safety.</li>
<li>I ate when I was feeling depressed and didn’t feel I could come out of it.</li>
<li>I ate to reward myself.</li>
<li>I ate because it was easier being overweight than the risk being rejected for something else.</li>
The guilty seek punishment. I punished myself everyday for being fat.
And we wonder why – diets don’t work.
Over time, being mindful has taught me so much about myself. In order to release the weight permanently, I needed to accept my feelings and let them teach me about my real needs.
So if you happened to choose a goal that includes losing weight (or quitting smoking or another self-sabotaging habit), please remember to start on the inside. It’s rarely about what you’re eating or doing. It’s about your feelings trying to get your attention.
Make the decision to finally ask for help in conquering your eating and weight challenges (or other self-sabotaging challenges that you have.) If you want my help, I’m here for you. You just have to call and ask me.