The Secret to Ending the Weight Struggle

upstream or downstream?

There is one thing and one thing only that is keeping you overweight, bingeing or yo-yo dieting. It is the fact that you are struggling. The struggle is what makes you hold on to your fat cells, or quickly regain them the minute you stop dieting.

The struggle is not about how you are behaving, it is about how you think and what you believe. Giving in to a huge “cheat” meal followed by way too much dessert might seem like giving up on the struggle, but the thoughts and feelings that accompany “falling off the wagon” are what the struggle is all about.

There is only one way to have the body of your dreams become your natural state, (and in this case, there is only ONE way) and that is to have your behaviours, thoughts and beliefs in total agreement with each other. Let’s call it inner alignment.

Let me give you an example you will find easy to relate to.

The Calorie Controlled Weight Loss Diet Feels Good

You decide to go on a calorie limited diet with exercise to lose weight. You believe that this will result in losing fat because (a) your coach tells you (b) the internet tells you (c) you’ve seen it work for other people and (d) you’ve experienced it working for you before. You believe that staying low fat or low carb is better for your body type and that you need to do x amount of cardio and weight training to maximise the fat loss.

So off you go on your diet. Your behaviour (eating and exercising according to your plan), your thoughts (I am doing so great, I’m on fire, I feel great when I eat this way) and your beliefs (this is what I need to do to lose weight) are all in alignment. There is no disagreement and no struggle. You feel good and so you lose weight. It feels easy and fun or what you could call paddling your canoe downstream.

Falling off the Wagon Feels Bad

The only time you gain weight is when one or more of those elements gets out of whack. Your beliefs and thoughts remain the same but when you eat “bad” food or binge your behaviour no longer agrees with your beliefs. Your thoughts quickly plunge into self loathing and guilt.

When you return to your diet, you are now doing extra to make up for the mistake and your beliefs get a bit shaky. You say to yourself “I’m just doing this extra run to burn off the calories I ate last night” or “I’ll skip breakfast to compensate for the calories I ate yesterday” even though you believe that this is not healthy and not what your coach/internet/other people/you would want you to be doing.

And so the struggle begins. Your good feelings are gone. It feels like hard work or what you could call paddling upstream. You either gain weight or start to really struggle to lose it.

Not Dieting Feels Bad Too

When it all gets too much, you throw your hands in the air and give up. You move on to an extended binge or even try intuitive eating, but all the while you still believe that you can only lose weight if you control your calories so you get what you expect ~ you gain weight. Sadly, you only have to look at a donut and you gain a kilo. You are doomed to a life of 1200-1500 calories and 60 minutes of intense exercise a day or you WILL look like a fat cow. You know it’s how you’re made, it’s your genetic disposition and that is that. You are still paddling upstream.

Inner Alignment is the Key

In order to end the weight struggle you need to ensure your beliefs, your thoughts and your behaviours match. You can change your behaviours and thoughts to match your beliefs OR you can change your beliefs and thoughts to match your behaviours. Both take work, so you have to choose the path of least resistance.

Belief : Limiting the calories I eat and increasing my exercise calories will make me leaner

Thoughts : High calorie food will make me sick, eating junk food is not respecting my body, I don’t mind being hungry, this is my purpose in life, I can do anything I set my mind to, whole food makes me healthy, I love this challenge, I get a sense of achievement when I follow my plan and reach my goals.

Behaviour : Stick to your diet plan and exercise regime and enjoy it. = Downstream.


Belief : Many people are naturally lean without worrying about what they eat. It is because they believe they are naturally slender so they don’t have to work at it

Thoughts : My body knows better than my brain, I have a small appetite, food goes straight through me, I can eat whatever I like, my metabolism is on fire, if there is no struggle my body can easily achieve it’s peak condition, inner alignment maximises my calorie burn 24 hours a day, I will only think loving thoughts about my body, feeling good is my highest priority.

Behaviour : Food has lost it’s magical power, a small bite of high calorie food is enough, there is pleasure in eating, I love to run/walk/practice yoga/swim and I can’t go a day without moving, I prefer clean food most of the time. = Downstream.

What You Can Do Right Now

Pay attention to how you’re feeling because it is the truest measure of what works for you. If you think about eating a piece of cake and you feel bad, you can choose to either believe that the cake is making you leaner (carb load, free meal, diet break, your body will burn it up, etc) and feel better or choose not to eat it and feel better. If you feel good, you are free from the struggle and in fat loss mode.

It is not necessary that you have the same beliefs as me, your only job is to be true to them. In your heart of hearts you know it works ~ remember those time you went on holiday and had a wonderful diet free time and never gained weight, that post comp meal you enjoyed every single bite of that didn’t show up on the scales, or that week off exercise because your coach ordered it that made no difference to your weight. Why ~ because you felt good, and your beliefs, thoughts and behaviours were all in agreement.

You Can Believe Whatever You Want (They’re Not Facts)

A belief is just a thought repeated over and over so you can choose to believe whatever you want. Go with things that are within your reach now  ~ if I drink 2 litres of water the weight will just fall off me, if I don’t eat broccoli I won’t be bloated, every time I pee the fat cells are being flushed away.

Know for a fact that your thoughts and feelings are what effects your body. The next time you cry, blush, or you jump when you hear a loud noise, you’ll realise it’s true.

→ photo : FreeWine

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing