When I say the words “weight loss program” what is your response?
Do any of the following statements resonate?
“I’ve tried them all. Sometimes they work for a bit, but then the weight comes back.”
“I just haven’t found the right one yet.”
“Did someone say weight loss? Tell me more!”
“I am so tired of struggling with my weight, spending heaps of time and money trying to fix this problem.”
If you felt like I was reading your mind, you might be stuck in the belief that something external is necessary to achieve your health desires. This is an easy belief to develop! Diet programs are begging for our attention from our phones, computers, TVs, and magazines. They promise that their products/foods/pills/lotions/supplements will fix you.
For some people, a structured program does indeed provide space to finally address long-held eating patterns and conditioned behaviors.
But for many, an addiction to searching for the next best weight loss strategy can signal a belief that something is wrong and an external source is necessary to fix the problem. Hopping from one program to the next, temporary relief may occur, but eventually past behaviors return that prohibit lasting health.
If you have found yourself attaching your hopes and dreams to the promises of a weight loss program; if you believe you will finally be worthy/happy/successful/confident/content when you lose that weight at the end of the program….then you are stuck in the mentality that you are not enough.
Radiant health can not emerge from this lack mind-set.
You might resist this idea at first, but I promise that you are whole and perfect right now, and that you are exactly where you need to be. If you can’t quite believe me yet, at least open your mind to the possibility.
You might be saying, “Well, I know I’m not whole nor perfect because there is this little voice in my head that is constantly telling me to lose weight, that I’m not good enough, that I look horrible!”
Those my friends, are your egoic thoughts, and they are not you.
Let’s do a little exercise. Think back to the last time you felt at peace, present and calm.
Perhaps it was watching a sunset, reading a story to your child as he fell asleep in your arms, in savasana after a yoga practice, drinking tea under a cozy blanket while watching the snow fall, tending to your garden, or taking a walk on the beach.
Can you feel that sense of calm, blissful joy? That is you, that’s your essence.
That feeling of beautiful being comes from presence, from acceptance of the now. It can not coexist with obsessions about how life will be perfect when you finally lose weight.
I’m guessing that right now you might feel detached from your essence because your mind is busy telling you you are not enough.
When you stop and observe the thoughts running through your head you might hear things like:
“I just need to lose these 10/20/50/100 pounds.”
“My pants are so tight; I look disgusting!”
“I won’t get this promotion because of the way I look.”
“It’s not fair that so-and-so eats whatever they want and they stay so thin.”
Remember what I said earlier? Your thoughts are not you.
They might be saying that you are broken, that you need to find something to fix you. But that’s not true.
The best thing to do with those thoughts is to practice observing them. When you observe them, you can accept them as what they are: thoughts- not you. Then you can let them float on by.
How do you do that?, you might be asking. Focus on your breath, the present, the task at hand. When those thoughts pop up again, and they will, witness them as a detached observer, and return to the present.
If you keep up this practice you will likely find yourself laughing at those egoic thoughts, because they feel like outsiders to your inner essence.
As you begin this practice, you might want to reduce things that may tempt you into believing those”not-enough” thoughts. Here are some things you could consider limiting:
Social media, especially if you find it tempting to compare yourself to others.
The scale, particularly if your emotions are tied to it.
Conversations with friends about how hard it is to lose weight, and how nothing is working.
Your stack of diet books.
The click-bait advertisements that offer the “true secret” to weight loss.
When you limit these things, you can give yourself more space to enjoy the present, the truth of who you really are.
Your essence is joyful bliss and unlimited potential. Your radiant self is waiting to shine.
The way is accepting the now, not looking to the future for a program to fix you.
This week, be present. Be present with your thoughts. Observe them. Say, “Oh, there’s that limiting belief again. But that’s not me.”
Be present in the times when you are truly you. Be present when you are cuddling with a pet, stretching, walking in the woods, playing with your children, admiring a flower, watching the birds at the feeder.
Feel that radiant goodness. From this place of knowing the juicy goodness of your truth, you will shine with radiant health.
You are whole.
You are perfect.
There is a vibrant, radiant life-force inside of you.
Can you share more of that with the world this week?