After battling my own weight for years, I’ve come to realize that the harder I try to lose weight the less weight I actually lose.
I choose the word “battle” intentionally because that’s exactly what it had always been – a knock-down, drag-out war – against myself, against my weight, against food. You name it. If I thought it would help me lose weight, I would battle it too!
In a study done by Self Magazine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 75% of American women have unhealthy thoughts and feelings related to their body and food.
3 out of 4 women have a negative relationship to their body and to food.
That statistic is alarming although not at all surprising considering that was me not that long ago. After getting into a life-altering bike accident in 2004, I gained 40 pounds on my small 5’1” frame and subsequently spent nearly a decade trying to lose it.
My battle against my weight included the latest and greatest diet fad, cayenne pepper and lemon water fasts, calorie and point obsessing, pre-packaged meals and even diet pills.
I was on the yo-yo diet roller coaster. I would lose 5 pounds and gain back 10. It was miserable. I felt horrible in my body. I hated the way I looked in my clothes, felt overwhelmed all the time and was depressed from the searing chronic pain in my back.
I remember thinking, “if I could just lose the weight, the pain would stop.” I equated weight loss with happiness. I thought if I lost weight, life would be good again and I’d be happy.”
Have you ever thought that life would be better if you just lost weight?
Looking back now I know that my life felt so out of control after my accident, that my weight was the only tangible thing I thought I could control. My physical and emotional pain levels were so off the charts that fixating on my weight was all I could grasp onto.
If you feel like you’re obsessed with the number on the scale or the size of your jeans try to look at from a different perspective.
Is there an area of your life that feels out of your control? Are you unfulfilled in your work? Are you struggling financially? Are you grieving the death of a loved one?
My ah-ha moment came when I realized that losing weight was actually a very small game to play in life and that my struggle was part of a larger problem. It was easy to believe that my life would be perfect if I lost weight, but ultimately the work I had to do was much grander. I had to learn to love myself.
Now, there is no flip-of-a-switch or magic pill to this process, but there are a few steps that helped me get off the yo-yo, self-loathing diet train (see below) and it starts by all of us realizing that we are more than the size our thighs and we are more than a number on the scale.
Marianne Williamson says it the best, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
What’s holding you back from being the brilliant, gorgeous, talented person you truly are? And don’t say your weight! Go beyond that and tell me about it in the comment section below. What are you battling? What are you fighting against?
5 Steps to Feel Good in Your Body Now.
- Ditch your scale. Donate your scale, throw it in the trash or tell a loved one to hide it away in a safe place. Give yourself one month without your scale. Rather than asking a number how you feel about your body, ask yourself.
- Get naked. Ugh, I know you might be thinking, “what is she nuts?” But, this step can be truly life changing, if you’re brave enough to try it. Stand in front of your mirror once a day and find one part of your body to love and appreciate. Look at yourself in the mirror, say outloud, “I’m beautiful.” And really mean it. It might take some practice so keep trying.
- Drink a green smoothie. Have you ever noticed that when you’re eating more veggies and fruits you feel better about yourself? It’s true! Load yourself up on feel-good minerals and vitamins in the form of a green smoothie and not only will your cells be happy, your thoughts about yourself will be too.
- Balance your Soul Food. Soul food is things like fulfilling work, relationships, exercise and a spiritual practice. It’s the “food” that nourishes and feeds your soul. Pick an area of your life that is out balance and take one action step today to give it some love.
- Focus on the good. When you feel frustrated or overwhelmed, ask yourself “what’s working in my life right now?” and focus on that. Most of us are programmed to focus on the areas of life that are in need of fixing rather than shifting our energy to focusing on the good. Where your attention goes, your energy flows so spend some time everyday dwelling on the positive.