It is officially Spring! I don’t know about you, but I packed on a few (okay, maybe more than just a few) pounds over the winter. I am not a winter gal, so I tend to hibernate for the cold months. Factor into that a lot of travel, busy work schedule, moving to another house, and a boyfriend who loves chicken wings and beer, and my jeans are definitely tight!
Almost every woman I know struggles with her weight. There are the lucky ones for whom weight is not an issue, but in my circles they are a minority. Most women have tried A LOT of diets.
What about you? Are you a chronic dieter? I have been one, for sure. I’ve tried so many diets I’ve lost count. And even though I know that ‘diets don’t work’, I used to keep going back for more. And I ended up gaining most, if not all, of the weight back.
Why do we feel such a strong pull to diet? Because we want a quick fix. We want those pounds gone NOW. And often, it works. The pounds come off quickly (because the diet is so restrictive) and we feel amazing!
We go off the diet, feeling strong and invincible. Maintenance will be a piece of
cake broccoli! There is no way in hell I will allow myself to put those miserable pounds back on!
And then, months, maybe years later, we look in the mirror and there they are again. Those miserable, unwanted pounds are back. How did that happen?
You know the answer. Diets don’t work, because as soon as we go off the diet, we go back to our old familiar way of eating. Slowly but surely, we take more liberties with our food choices, and the pounds creep back.
Because it’s spring, there are articles galore out there that are luring you back to the diet trap. Every magazine has a ‘bikini body’ plan or a ‘lose 10 pounds in seven days’ program. It’s tempting to want to try just one more diet. Believe me, I know! And that’s exactly what the marketers of diet programs are bargaining on.
Look. You know damn well what you should be eating. You know that you need to exercise. We are all very informed about what it takes to lose weight. “Eat less, move more.”
So why don’t we do it?
Because the weight is not there because of lack of information.
The weight is there because of a heart issue (metaphorically speaking).
I am done with diets, because I know now that my weight is not about lack of willpower, or because I’m lazy or don’t have time.
My weight is about what’s weighing down my heart and my soul.
It is an external indicator of internal pain.
So I’m done with diets, because I am convinced that the ONLY way to be free of weight struggles is to be free of the pain.
Most of you are walking around with pain and hurt that you have suppressed, ignored, and stuffed for years. And it’s toxic. It’s toxic to your body, your brain, and your heart. And so you find a way to soothe yourself, because you don’t want to feel the pain. Some people overeat. Some drink or do drugs. Some shop, some gamble, some use sex to numb out. The list goes on and on.
If you use food to numb out and to comfort yourself, it’s because you have unresolved pain and hurt that is weighing you down.
Marianne Williamson has written a brilliant book about this, called “A Course In Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever.” It is not about diet and exercise. It is about acknowledging the stuffed feelings and healing them. She uses spiritual principles to get to the issues that are really causing the problem. And in her book, she says something that blows my mind:
“Over eating is an act of violence against yourself.”
Think about it. Isn’t it true? When you have so much pain and hurt inside, and you do not love yourself, the act of over eating is not only one of numbing out, but also one of violence against yourself. You are hurting your body. You are not loving and caring for your body. You are harming it.
That’s serious stuff right there.
One of the principles she teaches is to picture all those hurts as a huge brick wall. This brick wall is what you put between yourself and your heart. This brick wall is made up of every hurt, fear and injustice that has ever happened to you, or that you have not been healed from. And in order to heal you must take down the wall, brick by brick. This wall is what is keeping you from self love, health, and wholeness.
Some of these bricks might be: Anger, resentment, jealousy, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, fear, doubt, judgement, self pity. Take some time to examine each brick. Write out what the feeling is, and why you feel that way. Stay conscious, don’t numb out. Write it all out.
This is the first step to acknowledging and facing some of the buried hurts. Unless they are faced, the pain will still stay stuck in your body. This exercise helps these stuck feelings to be able to pass through you and move on, freeing you up and releasing enormous amounts of energy.
Doing this inner work takes time, commitment and persistence. It really is a process, a constant moving towards self love and away from fear. But, as I have discovered, it is the only way to be free of the weight forever. The more we love ourselves, the lighter we become.Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. Hermann Hesse #quoteClick To Tweet
So I will be doing my spiritual work, and digging out the bricks I have put into that wall. I know the truth is I didn’t put on some pounds because I was ‘too busy.’ Those pounds are there because I have more work to do to return to love and eliminate fear, and face the feelings I have been avoiding.
If this resonates with you, I highly recommend buying Marianne’s book. She will guide you through the deep work of self love and the vital task of letting go of all that is not serving you.
If you would like further help on your journey, please reach out to me. I am here to support you on your journey towards your most authentic self. I am on that journey too….the great thing about life is that the growing never ends – thank goodness! That is why I have a coach, and my coach has a coach! We are all humans on this journey of life, and we all have the opportunity to become more of our best self.
Enjoy Spring, wherever you may be.