1. It’s a goal
Goals are specific tasks with a start and end date and once completed should no longer require any further effort. If you have a goal to run the City to Surf, once you’ve done it … well, it’s done. No more training, thought or planning is needed because the goal has been accomplished.
Things that inspire us to work towards them continuously are VALUES — weight loss is not a value, having a healthy body may be, but weight loss is not required in order to be healthy. Those who have health high on their list of values have little trouble staying at their natural body weight.
2. It’s not the solution to the actual problem
If I were to ask you why you wanted to lose weight, you would come up with a range of reasons. Maybe to feel better about yourself, to be more attractive so someone will fall in love with you, or to prove to yourself that you have fantastic self-discipline and will power.
There are better ways to feel better about yourself, be more attractive and to increase your self esteem that don’t require sucking the joy out of eating and moving your body. There are actions you can take today that will give you immediate results. Weight loss requires deprivation with the promise of reward later. You are always waiting until you see that magic number. In the meantime you still feel unattractive and unworthy.
Buy a new dress, get a manicure, hang out with your kids or your nieces and nephews, have sex, create something beautiful and marvel at your spirit, your intelligence and your compassion. Weight loss won’t make you feel better about yourself if you can’t do it right here and now.
3. Dieting and exercise is sometimes isolating rather than inclusive
Eating specific foods and going to the gym typically involves doing things differently to everyone else or spending time on your own. Connection gives meaning to life and separating yourself by your food choices and the time you need to spend working out alone breaks down that connection. How many times have you refused to out to dinner with your husband or participate in a birthday celebration because you’re “watching your weight?” Sacrificing love for the sake of your dress size will never bring you happiness.
If your husband doesn’t get it and won’t go for a walk with you because you are always checking your heart rate monitor then something is wrong. If you spend more hours with your group fitness class than you do with the people you love then you’ll always feel like something is missing.
4. Moving towards beats moving away
Women use diet and exercise to avoid uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes losing weight relieves those feelings but once you don’t have the bad feelings to push against you lose your motivation.
Moving towards (self) love means that every day you can take care of yourself, listen to your body and celebrate your unique essence. When your actions come from a deep place of connection and your intentions are loving then you never tire of finding new ways to be with the people you love or do the things you love even while you continue to have fear and pain in your life.
5. You create what you think about
Thinking about how heavy you are and how you’ve never been successful in keeping the weight off in the past will just bring you more of the same. One of the greatest lessons I learned when I gave up dieting was to stop thinking about food. I put my attention on things that brought me joy — learning, writing, teaching, discovering and watching what happened when I spoke the truth.
We all know what it’s like to be so caught up in something we forget to eat. Notice how different this feels to weighing, measuring and writing down every morsel of food you consume.
6. Being skinny is highly overrated if it’s not your natural size
No-one cares what size jeans you wear. Some of the sexiest and most confident women are curvy (and some are skinny too). The women we admire feel confident in their own skin and are not desperately trying to change how they look. When you embrace your natural size and shape then all people see is your radiance. Love who you are and everyone else will love you too.
7. All we have is this moment
Right now is all that matters. Our lives are lived in moments — the moments that we see, feel, touch, smell and taste things that bring us joy, light and peace. Enduring pain in order to be rewarded with a smaller body is throwing your short life away.
If you can choose delicious healthy food and go for a walk because it brings you pleasure right here and now then you are truly living. If you drink wine and order in pizza because you’ve been in bed all day making love then that’s living too. Right here, right now — fill up your senses with what it means to exist in this glorious universe. Don’t waste time — you don’t have as much as you think.
Please don’t set yourself the goal of “losing weight” because it’s a fundamentally flawed idea. Choose instead to give love, receive love and be love and the shape of your body won’t matter.
And the magic happens when you just let go … and wake up one day to discover that you look extremely hot naked and you wonder why you never noticed it before.
Has that ever happened to you?