Can you recall a time you enjoyed your weight? A time when you hopped onto the scale with delight and when you got off you felt all tingly with excitement?
No? I don't think you’re alone.
I recall times when I’d be feeling pretty good and then I'd get onto the scale hoping I’d see the magic number and when I didn’t, I’d spiral into despair. I’d go make my mandatory “you failed” salad for lunch and pace back and forth in front of the vending machine in the afternoon trying to decide if I should sneak a 100 calorie ice cream sandwich.
Why do we put ourselves through this nonsense? Why do we give so much of our energy, our power, to this torture?
We believe that when we lose the weight we’ll be happy. Life will be so grand when we’re thin and at our goal weight. We’ll be able to laugh again, be happy-go-lucky, and all our cares will melt away.
But is that true?
Often, when we reach our goal weight we’re generally no happier than we were. Why is that?
If you’ve ever actually reached your goal weight you know that you can’t take time to be happy because now you have to maintain that goal weight. And if you’ve been restricting food intake to reduce, chances are all you really want to do now is eat and with abandon. It’s a cruel twist.
We know that around 80% of women who reach their goal weight on a weight loss diet will gain the weight back within two years AND they will continue to gain another 5-10 lbs.
Restriction, which is what most ‘diets’ are, is not the answer - although I personally gave it a shot for over 40 years. We humans are a bit more complicated than that.
If you’re truly carrying excess weight, weight loss diets are rarely successful because they don’t address the underlying issues that put the weight on in the first place. Weight can be a placeholder asking you to explore habits, thoughts, and patterns that no longer serve. What are you holding onto that’s weighing you down?
When you start to look at what is wanting to be known, the challenge shifts from needing to lose weight to body acceptance and acceptance of self. In this way your energy, and your power, can be used to cultivate a nourishing relationship with your body, with food, and most importantly with life.
As an added bonus, you may well find that you’re desire to step on a scale vanishes and that’s a loss that can make anyone happy.
Image: Unsplash - Priscilla du Preez