I used to always get seduced by different diets. As soon as I heard about its miraculous workings and how it would leave me feeling great with the body of my dreams, I willing pledged allegiance to it.
There is always the same promise with every new diet. This one will be the last one, solve your weight-loss woes and make you love your body.
Over the years I had compounded the idea of happiness with having the perfect body. What I thought having the perfect body and losing the “weight” would give me was confidence and peace of mind. I thought it would set me free. I thought it would give me a different life.
Geneen Roth has said,
Even a wildly successful diet is still a failure because inside the new body is the same sinking heart. Spiritual hunger can never be solved on the physical level.
The beauty of my obsession with weight and food was that I escaped the madness of the world. I got to overlook the emptiness in my heart and focus on the fullness of my thighs.
But the size of our thighs don’t correlate with the fullness we feel in our hearts.
No matter what size we are, our fulfillment in life isn’t a function of gaining or losing weight.
We have bodies but we are not our bodies.
Weight loss isn’t truly the goal. Sure it would be nice to have a bangin’ body. Don’t get me wrong, I want to rock a bathing suit and look hot as much as the next girl. But feeling loved, feeling like enough, feeling like we are living out our lives purpose…. That is so much more fulfilling than any number on the scale.
What are we really chasing when we go on a diet?
So what is it that we think weight loss will give us access to? If we look past the desire for a smaller body and into our heart what is really there?
We want access to something. We want to experience living a life we think we can’t have because we have weight to lose.
Diets allow us to bolt from feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, boredom, anger, regret, vulnerability, accountability, pain, and acceptance and obsess over food and weight.
Our joints might hurt, we have headaches, we’re fatigued, have brain fog, our clothes don’t fit, we can’t walk upstairs without getting winded. We might physically be miserable because of the extra weight, but if you’ve spent the last 5, 10, 15, 30 years obsessing over 5, 10, 15, 20 extra pounds, there is something else going on.
And it has absolutely nothing to do with the weight.
Perfect body ≠ perfect life
I was hypnotized by the idea that a perfect body meant the perfect life. It took me years to untie the knot between the two in my mind.
This idea allowed me to not take responsibility for my life. As long as I was the victim to my body I stayed stuck in my comfort zone. This idea gave me an excuse to not put in the work. It kept me from putting my heart on the line.
It’s much safer to focus on a problem like our weight instead of going after what we really want. Admitting what we really want means we have to risk not getting it and that is really scary and vulnerable.
There is always a reward in it for us to keep the cycle of yo-yo dieting, binging and purging and emotional eating alive. Otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it.
But what there is to discover is that the reward is so small in proportion to the impact of what it’s costing us in our life.
By continuing my eating disorder and destructive relationship with food, I didn’t have to hold a mirror up to my self judgments.
Instead of working on having confidence and self-love I had to deal with the weight. Sometimes losing weight seems like an easier battle than actually going to fight for what we really want out of life.
So the next time you decide you are going to start a diet ask yourself – what do you truly want to get out of it?
Then shift your focus and attention there and not on the weight and the food.
What have you looked for a diet to give you in the past? Let us know in the comments below ????