Hi friends! It recently occurred to me that people are asking the wrong question. Whenever the topic comes up, or someone sees my weight loss story online… I get asked (in person or through emails) HOW DID YOU LOSE WEIGHT? This is such a simple question and a simple answer. And I HATE this question. Over the years, I’ve developed a very standard, shallow response… “I started eating better and exercising”. Wow… what a boring response. That’s not the answer most people even want to hear. But that’s the answer I always give because that’s the question being asked. I give you what you ask for, not what you need to hear.
What do you need to hear?
Well, first you to be asking HOW DID YOU KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF FOR SO LONG? The answer to this question is very complex and requires more thought and detail. If you’ve been obese for any stretch of your life, you KNOW that dieting and exercise does work— however… you know that it’s a struggle after awhile to do it ALL OF THE TIME. Following a rigid plan is easy for a little while. But what happens when you fall off of that plan? Do you beat yourself up and feel like a total friggan loser? Do you decide that happiness looks more like eating pizza every night alone in front of the tv? Do you just give up on yourself because it seems too hard?
What weight loss question are you asking?
I have to admit, I struggled a LOT after I had already lost 150 pounds. I lost the weight through ONLY thinking about diet and exercise. I worked my butt off to try to be perfect for a very long time. And it worked. But then… the binge eating came in. I wasn’t happy. I needed to fill a void. I wasn’t fixed. Out of sheer fear of gaining back 150 pounds, I exercised more. I restricted my food more. The cycle continued. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I attended OA meetings that made me feel worse (they labeled me a sugar addict). I tried everything I could think of to keep the weight off because I didn’t want to be another statistic.
After battling to stay thin for about 3 years, I tamed this obsessive thinking. I knew the behavior I was exhibiting with myself and the people around me was unacceptable. I was focused on being perfect and having the people around me being perfect, too. It was my way or the highway. Now, I can admit that I made a lot of mistakes. Overtime, I developed an acceptance and tolerance for myself and my setbacks and flaws. When we accept and love ourselves for who we are and stop trying to control everything, we are FREE to step into who we really are and what we can do in our lives. We don’t have to struggle all of the time to get ahead.
I’m saying this… and I know that 5 years ago, I would have said THIS IS COMPLETE HORSESHIT. Every spiritual weight loss book I read back then I immediately tossed aside and said it was garbage. How can loving yourself and giving yourself compassion help you lose/release weight? I didn’t know it back then. I wasn’t open to it back then. I’ve kind of evolved as a person since that time in my life.
So, how do you keep the weight off for the long term? You love where you are at right now. It’s true. You love who you are right now. You love your accomplishments. You learn to reframe your failures and short-comings. You understand your personality (your strengths and weaknesses), and what you are actually capable of. You forgive yourself for your mistakes. You are willing to ask for guidance. You are humble enough to realize you’re not right. You’re confident that you deserve a good life and to feel happiness.
Sorry if this sounds like babbling. It’s definitely a different writing style… because it’s raw and unfiltered and TRUE. I don’t want to have to feed you guys bullshit all of the time. I write a lot about nutrition and exercise because that’s what everyone wants. I’m not saying nutrition and exercise aren’t important, but it’s the easy stuff. No one wants the hard stuff. But here it is.
So, do you think you’re ready for more than a superficial answer?
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