As I celebrate 14 years of sustained weight loss, 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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I have fallen. Deeper. Into my body. Into love.
I had to be shown the way, finally. I had forgotten. How to love. How to hold. How to honor. And worship.
Some days, I am in love with everything and everyone and myself too. But, the days I do not love everything and everyone, I am intensely aware I am out of balance and need to get back in love.
Once you know how to love, you cannot stop. You cannot forget. You must have it again. Once you love yourself, you know you will love and love again and because you have to.
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This is the prime week for weight loss depression in the United States. Dead of winter, resolutions a thing of the past… reality sets in. Weight loss can feel hard. Goals can seem F…A…R… away.
Needless to day, a weight loss coach hears these things a lot. But, the failure or lack of original gusto for a weight loss resolution doesn’t have to be “hard” or “depressing.” It doesn’t even have to suck the life out of your energy.
It’s all a question of perspective.
What bothers most people about weight loss is that it doesn’t happen quickly enough. And, if we switch perspectives, that’s a fantastic fact.
Quick weight loss comes back. If your weight loss is slow, it’s much more likely to be permanent. I’ve been helping clients lose weight for over 10 years, and I’ve done it myself – I’ve lost almost 100 lbs. and next month will mark 13 years I’ve sustained that weight loss. I’ve been able to see what makes people successful:
2012 is drawing to a close! It’s time for my annual contest where YOU guess how many exercise sessions I completed this year. The winner will receive a set of Catalyst products, including workbooks and CD audio classes worth more than $500, to illuminate your permanent weight loss journey!
For anyone who’s new to this blog, I’m a proponent of non-diet, permanent weight loss through true lifestyle change.
Diets are temporary ways to eat with endless mind games and emphasize willpower. True lifestyle change addresses the deeper need for food and lasts forever. My twenty-year struggle taught me to deal with the deeper needs in life, so those deeper needs don’t sabotage healthy efforts.
My Approach to Exercise or Activity
I don’t use fancy apps to track my exercise and I’ve lost over 90 pounds without counting a calorie. I know a calorie is not a calorie when it comes to fuel for the body. If you don’t understand the calorie game, get my audio class called “The Hard Cold Truth About Permanent Weight Loss” NOW!)
Here’s my “foolproof” recording method:
Yep, that’s 12 sheets of paper, calendar style, for 2013! It works because the physical act of recording, with a pen, is magical in terms of claiming your work. And you never have to worry about losing it via a computer problem. I have years of these calendars. It’s an instant reference when I need to remember how far I’ve come, or what I was doing that year I lost 20 lbs., or whatever.
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