Non-Diet Weight Loss Tip #13
Quite often, clients tell me their bodies have gone beserk and are putting on fat at an alarming rate.
Well, yes and no. The body is NOT a fat-making machine.
When assaulted by poor eating habits, excessive dieting, fasts and cleanses, or any other fad… it seeks to regain balance.
As I celebrate my 15th anniversary of sustaining a 92-pound weight loss, I feel unimaginable sweetness in my life.
My journey to my own sweet spot began as a tiny girl when my grandmother and I would sneak candy as a secret.
I couldn’t admit to my mother I had developed a taste for candy, cookies, cake, pie, brownies – the list was endless – because my grandmother was diabetic and was not supposed to be eating sugary things!
Not only did I get the message that sweet things weren’t good for you, it had to be hidden. It was shameful!
As I developed a serious sugar addiction, I felt an outright fear around sweet foods – I craved them and I loathed them – quite a double message – and I hated myself for loving sweet things so much.
This Thanksgiving week, I feel especially grateful for my health and happiness.
Often, when I’m giving a speech or presenting a workshop, I make this statement:
“Today, I’m grateful I struggled with excess weight for thirty years.”
It seems I always have at least half an audience who become incredulous at that statement, but, now that I’m on the other side of struggle, it’s quite easy to see the life lessons I learned on my way to success:
As I celebrate 14 years on the permanent weight loss road, my own little “self” anniversary, I’m making it a point to look back as well as forward.
Reflection is only useful if it brings greater awareness. Speaking from the beginning stages of weight loss, one of my newer clients asked me, “Oh, don’t you look back and feel bad for those days when you could enjoy eating anything you wanted?”
She was earnest, and honest, but looking through the lens of her own fears. And, no, the pleasures I feel and create today don’t even compare to pepperoni pizza. They couldn’t come close to that meaningless little chocolate truffle. No, they’re not even on the same planet.
Sure, food can be a pleasure but, when your senses are tuned into life, you are constantly creating heightened states of energy, ecstasy, and expansion — within your soul, not just your body.
Today, our culture is big on doing.
It’s also big on measuring, judging, denying and overindulging.
Research shows the incredible rate of weight regain after a diet resulting in a 30-lb. loss to be 97-99%.
Doctors are so desperate to make change, the American Medical Association has reclassified obesity as a disease, so they can justify highly invasive and expensive weight loss surgery which, by the way, causes complete regain in between 66-78% of patients, depending on the statistics you read.
Despite extremes taken to lose weight:
1. Via exercise: injury ends roughly 65% of weight loss efforts made with exercise, usually because exercisers are going beyond their fitness levels to excessive amounts of exercise.
2. Via fad dieting: look at cleanses – can you think of a more ridiculous idea ever suggested to a food addict, that they simply and suddenly STOP eating?
the fact remains YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO LOSE WEIGHT.
That’s because losing weight is not a DOING thing. Witness the things we DO:
- We adopt our employers’ idea of how much we should overwork and overstress.
- We overfill our schedules when every sane person knows they should only book 60% of the calendar because STUFF HAPPENS.
- We think we are more valuable or important when drama reigns in our lives, driving excessive eating, drinking and drugging.
- We take prescription drugs instead of addressing WHY we are anxious, depressed or overweight.
So, losing weight isn’t about food, or calories, or the gym.
It’s about WHO you are BEING in your life.
Whether you’re being what (you think) society expects you to be, or being the important big wig at work, or even being the subdued wallflower who never voices her needs because she doesn’t want to bother anyone, or using all your precious energy taking care of everyone else… it’s the state of BEING that needs addressing.
- Living truthfully about your needs means you don’t choke them down with a donut.
- Expressing emotions clearly and truthfully means you don’t medicate them with a box of cookies.
- Refusing to hide or pretend is a positive fat melter.
It’s time to stop DOING and start BEING thin.
As a former food addict, and someone who’s wrestled more jeans than all the supermodels around the world, Fall brings a special challenge.
Call it a test.
The jeans test.
The softer summer clothing gets packed away and the brutally honest denim emerges.
Since I rarely weigh myself, every year, I wonder if living in the stretchy fabric of summer has given me permission to regain a few pounds.
I grew up in a cranky Southern female family that emphasized looks over achievement, the perfect body over brains, style over substance. I was ninja trained in the black arts of judgment, comparison and self-hatred by a mother who could eviscerate the toughest-skinned cowgirl with an evil look or a few words. In the face of unbearable beauty, her final clawing words were:
“Yeah, she’s pretty, but she knows it, so that cancels it right out.”
It wasn’t easy knowing you’d never be good enough, and, if you did have the luck to grow up pretty, you couldn’t even enjoy that knowledge without the dreaded cancellation effect occurring.
Talk about a lose-lose situation!
I was only ten when she put me on my first diet. Even though I wasn’t fat, there was fear I would be… because she was fat. Mama taught me to closet eat and to use food for every possible doubt, fear, delay or frustration. She also taught me to diet with a vengeance after days, weeks or months of channeling the power of food into bodyfat.
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I was once fat. Many people prefer another word but I like “Fat” and, since it was mine, I figure I get to call it any name I want.
In the year 1996, I weighed 242 lbs.! That’s quite a bit of fat, no matter what you like to call it. Like most people, I wasn’t fond of my fat. I desperately wanted to change it, and I had tried for over 20 years to solve fat. My first diet was at age 10. And, when you try to solve something for 20+ years, and aren’t successful, you get pretty pessimistic about the whole damned project.
The way I saw it, Fat got in the way of finding a career I loved. It got in the way of relationships. It affected how I felt about myself.
And, by 1996, I was seeing it pretty much as UNSOLVE-ABLE!
This wasn’t just an obstacle – it was the biggest obstacle of all time in my eyes. No matter what I had tried, and I had tried every diet, intervention and exercise modality known to wo/man, the excess weight always came back.
Like a stalker!
Like it had FAT GPS!
And I thought I was the only one in the world who had this problem!
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