Do you find weight loss confusing?
We hear a thousand new messages every year about how to lose weight – new diets, new approaches, new “bad” foods, new fads, new “don’ts”, and new research, which is almost always paid for by an interested Diet World company.
We hear very little about how to lose weight and maintain weight loss all the way to a permanent state.
Permanent weight loss is my entire focus. The last time I lost weight was my last. It didn’t just happen that way. I had that determination going into it. And minus 92 pounds and holding steady at 17 years (on March 13, 2017) is damned well permanent in my book.
I received sad news today… a woman I first met on social media, asking for help to lose weight, has had serious complications from surgery intended to alter her stomach’s ability to hold nutrition (gastric bypass surgery).
After years of pretending she was concerned for her health, I watched her dip in and out of diets, always despondent when they didn’t work. She embraced (and had personal evidence) diets were never going to work, but she preferred to keep “trying”, rather than face herself.
Am I surprised? No. Not really.
This is the saddest part of my work as a professional weight loss coach.
I’ve helped hundreds directly with coaching and thousands through my online programs, but not everyone wants to lose weight, and lose weight permanently.
Anne (a pseudonym) gave me permission to share her story with you.
She called me for help, but never quite signed on to begin a coaching relationship. Or a class.
She had a million excuses.
Actually, she was waiting for something to force her to act. (We usually wait for something ominous to force our hand – by then, it’s too late.)
Anne wanted someone else to take away her excuses. The rock-and-roll and in-and-out of diets seems comforting after a while, always living in the future, living in hope with no action.
Of course, hope with no action is fantasy.
Anne knows that now.
Really, she didn’t want to change. Most of us don’t!
Many people cling to the thinnest shred of any possible reason NOT to take charge. It’s a big step. They know there are no excuses available after they begin to work with me – they sense I teach an ultimate form of RESPONSIBILITY. (After all, I teach a class in responsibility called Own Every Bite!)
I get it.
I could not have seen my own weight rise to 242 lbs., if I didn’t have to work through the same shit everyone else has to work through to get to a point of change.
And I’ve had more than one potential client decide not to pursue coaching or healing their food addiction, clinging to their “safe” world of food-as-problem-solver and food-as-soothing-agent, and wind up right back in my office a few years later with a breast cancer diagnosis or diabetes (excess weight is a major contributing factor to both). Even then, they don’t quite see the connection of what they have created in their bodies, but their doctor told them to get their act together.
I don’t really want to see you in my enLIGHTen Your Life! Mastermind Class or as an individual coaching client when your doctor sends you… I want you to show up BEFORE that… when there’s still time for you to make positive change and ALTER the path you are traveling, a path that leads to poor health, body breakdown, and loss of power.
I want to see you when you recognize you have choices and are choosing health and self-care over your old martyrdom story of “everyone else comes first.”
No job, no relationship, and even the kids don’t come before your health. If you don’t put the oxygen mask on yourself first, you can’t help them. You won’t be there to help them.
And you’ll have given them a piss-poor example of how to manage life if you can only cope by stuffing your face.
No, you are not hiding that from the kids either. They know fat. Just like they know if you secretly drink, or drug, or cut yourself.
Believe me, I was once in your shoes. I walked that walk, until I got a new one.
Here’s what I think keeps most of us from receiving help:
It takes some real humble acceptance to recognize and admit we need help, or need to learn a new way to cope.
We often feel, if we avoid getting help, we’ll solve fat alone, and no one will be the wiser to what we’ve been doing or (worse!) what we’ve been thinking about ourselves. Because we feel a lot of shame about our physical condition.
Here’s what I think encourages us to move beyond addictions:
Somewhere, deep inside, you have to know you are worth more than the scraps you are getting in life. After all, if you were getting what you truly need, there would be no drive to augment life with excess food.
- That boring job, with the stress and headaches? Yes, you can do better.
- A terrible parent or relative who constantly judges and puts you down? Yes, you can find supportive, loving new “family.”
- The ungrateful children or siblings, who don’t understand your needs? Yes, we all need to be understood and loved. It’s possible.
- A spouse or partner who doesn’t hear, see or revere you? This costs a fortune in esteem.
- The toxic relationship you’ve forged with yourself, where you berate or excuse (or both) yourself for your choices and habits… it’s time to release it.
Overeating is about making up for something, stuffing real feelings, hiding.
We all need to love ourselves enough to choose to live differently.
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.
I don’t track food in any way (never have), but exercise is different.
One of the things I realized this year is: I have a long history with exercise.
I never thought I’d say that!
It’s amazing because I was once the couch potato queen. I used to HATE exercise, as in hate with a fiery white passion.
But, things change.
And, if you are driving change from an empowered place, change is good!
But I want to talk to those you who are just now, at the beginning of a new year, struggling with the idea of exercise. The many myths about exercise in our culture can actually cause more harm than good when they break down the body, resulting in extreme depletion, fatigue or injury.
Here are a few things I learned as I lost 92 lbs and kept it off for fifteen years:
In today’s world, women are stressed, exhausted and waaaaayyyyy too busy. Is it any surprise excess weight is the result?
When stress hormones run rampant within the body, the addrenal glands are overworked, affecting every gland and organ in the body… and the body is not able to efficiently deal with the toxicity created… fatigue and fat are natural results.
It’s time for a different perspective, especially if you want permanent weight loss.
Is this how you gather strength…
so you can take care of everyone else?
In the last forty years, women have made tremendous advances in the world, busting down boundaries, raising the glass ceiling, taking more responsibility and wielding more power – and don’t misunderstand me – those are all tremendous accomplishments.
But, there’s a problem.
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.
Looking for love is a quest that fuels endless drama, fills Amazon’s order queue, and funds dating service executives’ retirement accounts.
The drama plays out online, through texts and on Facebook.
Valentine’s Day drove a hornet’s nest of fury my way when I went on the NBC15 news to suggest (gasp!), most people have the quest backwards, and self-love comes first.
Valerie wrote to admonish me: “LOVE IS ABOUT GIVING, NOT RECEIVING!” she yelled (yes, those are her caps).
“What are you going to give, if you can’t fill your own needs?” I asked.
“I understand self-love,” Adelaine wrote, “But I know I shouldn’t get too full of myself.”
“I bet the world would simply stop turning on its axis if that happened, Adelaine.“
“I have heard that concept of loving yourself first a hundred times, and it is just baloney,” Cindy told me. “I mean, what does that mean anyway?”
Cindy, I’m writing this blog for you. And I will tell you what it means.
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