Truth #1 Our Food and Weight Challenges Can Be Our Greatest Teacher
This is the 1st of 8 posts on “My Eight Personal Truths About Weight Loss” from last week.
“Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation.” ~Bernie S. Siegel
Struggling with weight loss and other food related challenges can feel frustrating, unfair and all too often very disempowering. The standard approach to weight loss, which means low calorie, low pleasure eating and intense exercise sets us up to battle weight, fear food and see your body as enemy #1.
Key strategies like willpower and self-control presume that you cannot be trusted. Morality plays a big role in weight loss too, relying on Guilt and Shame as implicit tools for weight control.
And as everyone knows by now, you’ll likely lose weight in the short term, but your chance of keeping it off for five years or more is a disappointing 5%. And when you do begin to gain back the weight, everyone will blame you – including You.
The results of all this can be a lifetime of body hate, wishing yourself different and feeling like a failure.
Clearly, what the $65 billion diet industry is selling doesn’t work. Maybe it’s time we look at this issue through a different lens that can actually help us learn and evolve from our weight challenges instead of being trapped in them.
What if you just stopped the battle and refused to waste any more energy fighting yourself? What if you started to see the challenges you face with losing weight, or not being the size that you want, or the feeling like you’re living in the wrong body, as opportunities for true healing and self transformation.
I’m not saying that there aren’t real metabolic issues to address but what I’ve learned is that unless you practice shining the light of consciousness on your beliefs and mindset first, any external changes we try to make will be short-lived.
So what if instead of “why me?” you shifted to “what lessons am I hear to learn?” or “Is this possibly an opportunity for me to address another issue that I’ve been avoiding for too long?”
Our food and weight challenges can be our greatest teacher if we surrender to what is here. This is not the same as accepting defeat or giving up our desire to look and feel our best, it just means we stop the constant judgment, blaming and obsessive fixing. In order to move forward, we need to be honest with ourselves. “What is it that we truly want?” “How are we really feeling?”
Over time, we can get complacent and feel our spirit is broken when our weight challenges persist and feel overwhelming. I believe an effective way to help our spirit come back to that place of wholeness is to become a curious observer of your life. Life’s journey continually affords us opportunities to grow and expand our scope of what’s possible. When we are open and eager to learn, we are more apt to find inspiration to take action, live fully, evolve exponentially and heal what needs healing.
A powerful question to ask yourself along these lines is: “Who would you be if you weren’t constantly battling food, weight and your body?” or “How would your life look if you took all the emotional and mental energy you’ve devoted to dieting and applied it elsewhere?”.
In my personal experience and my professional work coaching hundreds of clients, there are endless life changing lessons to be had when we make weight challenges our teacher. They’re just Life asking us to evolve in ways that can be really hard and sometimes in ways that push us beyond our comfort zone.
Powerful lessons about self-love, trust, self-care, control, patience, humility, slowing down, life purpose, worthiness, pleasure, emotional intimacy, forgiveness, self acceptance and more. It’s about using these powerful lessons as the source of motivation to get you where you want to go.
When we let go of the belief that excess weight is the enemy and re-direct the tremendous amount of energy we spend at war with our bodies to feeling healthy in our whole being, we pave the way for living the life that we were truly meant to live.
To your health and happiness!