Why your weight is not the problem
I met with one of my clients recently and we had a very powerful session. We discussed where she was with her journey towards Mindful Eating and her Body Image.
"I just can't accept myself at this weight"
she said and her eyes watered. I could see the frustration in her face and she explained it like this:
“I understand that diets don’t work but I still have the mental tussle with not being OK with the size and weight I am.”
As her coach, I felt this on a very deep level. I want this approach to work for my clients. I REALLY do. And I felt it deeply on a personal level as well. Because I’ve been there MANY TIMES. I can remember the despair I used to feel when I looked at my body and I could feel the pain in that statement, and the bravery there as well, because it’s not easy, saying this stuff out loud.
So back to my amazing, brave, client who is having this ongoing mental tussle. We talked about lots of things; about what and how she’s eating, about what’s going on for her in the rest of her life and we revisited the Mindful Eating strategies she knows about and is using in many aspects of her relationship with food.
What I kept thinking about was her initial statement, “I just can’t accept myself at this size”. There’s a lot going on here.
We talked about how focusing on her weight isn’t going to help her get out of this cycle (in my opinion) and then she said “I don’t even know if I’d feel any different if I lost weight”.
And there it was, the truth bomb.
When we realise it’s not about the weight-because it isn’t really-we can start to see that losing weight won’t solve the problem. Losing weight DOES NOT SORT THIS STUFF OUT!
What it is about, is how we think about ourselves and our weight and everything else really. Because our thoughts, cause our feelings, and our feelings feed into our actions, and this affects our outcome.
We then talked about lots of things, which I won’t go into here but it was around understanding that we aren’t all supposed to be the same size. I questioned how she knew what she was ‘supposed’ to look like and she realised she didn’t know. We even talked cats!! I asked her if all cats weighed the same and looked the same. Which they don’t of course. What if we are all SUPPOSED TO LOOK DIFFERENT due to natural variation in species? Think about it.
If we address any overeating (or undereating) behaviour by learning to Eat Mindfully and then we learn to be more accepting of ourselves by changing our mindset, questioning society's harmful messages, then we can find a place of peace and freedom. The Mindful Eating part for me was life changing in itself but once I came to terms with my body where it is NOW and started to accept it, that was total liberation.