Before you roll your eyes and think, “I can’t give up on weight loss. I don’t want to be fat forever” please hear me out.
So many of my clients come to me wanting desperately to lose weight and finally reach their “ideal” weight.
But when I dig a little deeper and ask the question “What do you really want?”. Some of the answers I receive are vitality, acceptance, happiness, confidence, a partner, friendships, dream job, and so on.
Most of us believe that once we lose the weight we will have whatever outcome it is we are desperately craving (the guy, the dream job, happiness, ect.).
But the truth is that weight loss does not guarantee anything.
Unfortunately, our society and the media puts this false sense of hope in us that makes us believe that once we lose weight we can have or do whatever we want.
But what if we lose the weight and we still do not feel confident, or still cannot find that partner or dream job?
You may not believe it right now, but this is often what happens when people lose weight.
They come to realize that it actually was never the weight that was the real issue.
Often times there are so many underlying issues that go unresolved when we just focus on weight loss as our goal.
I think it’s time we approach our health and life differently.
I think it’s time we start working on our mental, emotional and physical health from a place of love out of a desire to truly be healthy and happy.
Once we can let go of our unrealistic expectations of reaching this arbitrary “ideal” weight, then I believe we can finally break free from the mental and emotional stress that we are putting on ourselves by obsessing over weight loss.
But wait, How do you actually stop obsessing over weight loss?
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Here’s my 5 tips to get started shifting your mindset around weight loss:
1. Get Informed & Practice Self-Acceptance. There are quite a few books, podcasts, and blogs that are actually about transforming your relationship with food and your body without focusing on weight loss as the primary goal. I think the best way to start practicing self-love and acceptance is to learn how others have done it and surround yourself with like-minded people. Here are a few of my favorites resources:
2. Ditch the scale: I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, throw out your scale and stop letting the number on it define you.
3. Focus on Nourishment: Instead of your primary goal being weight loss, how about shifting your mindset and focusing on nourishment. When it’s time to eat ask yourself, “what will make me feel good and nourished?” Also, look at other areas of your life and ask yourself “What needs to be nourished?” Perhaps your relationships need extra attention or you need to tap into your creativity. This simple shift in thinking can really lead to living a more joy filled life.
4. Discover What You Really Want: Now this one may be a challenge or you may be thinking “Duh! I know exactly what I want”. But, I want to ask you to pause for a moment and ask yourself “What do I think I will get once I lose weight.” As I mentioned earlier, there’s usually a much deeper reason we want to lose weight and it’s important to acknowledge what that is. If this doesn’t come easy to you and you’re just not sure what it is that you really want, I suggest to just start doing things that bring you joy and be curious and aware of what you desire in your life. You could set out to try new activities or travel and just be curious as to what you are lacking or craving in your life.
5. Go After What You Really Want: Now that you know what you want, it’s time to start going after that instead of waiting on the weight. If it’s a boyfriend you truly desire, you do not need to lose weight before you find him. Start dressing up and putting yourself out there just as you are. If you think once you lose the weight you will feel more confident, than instead why don’t you try to start focusing on way to build up your self-confidence just as you are. A great start would be to read books or blogs and learn more about how you can develop self-confidence now.
The benefits of releasing the obsession with weight loss are endless. You may actually be happier, enjoy eating and exercising, feel more confident, have more energy, and finally embrace your true desires.
I really hope this blog has opened your eyes to new possibilities that you may not have even considered before. And if you’re still not loving the idea of giving up on weight loss, then I suggest making it a goal for it to not be your primary focus. It’s all about taking baby steps and learning how to shift our mindset around weight loss (which is no easy task!).
The truth is your weight does not define you and your weight will not give you what you truly want. Only you can do that... and you already have everything you need right inside of you.