For over two decades, I struggled with my weight. When I was on a diet, I would obsess about food or rather the lack of food. When I wasn’t dieting, I obsessed about my fat thighs. It was a vicious cycle.
My obsessions weren’t just focused on food and my weight. I also obsessed about the number on the bathroom scale. I obsessed about fitting into my favorite pair of jeans. And I obsessed about how many calories I could burn if I exercised 3 hours per day rather than a measly two hours.
Looking back, I think I might have been a little crazy. I mean who thinks about how they look 24/7? Well, I did and come to find out, so do a lot of other people.
Turns out, I wasn’t alone in my obsessions. After having overcome my “craziness” and having worked with other women just like me, I’ve learned that this tends to be a common theme among many women. And I’m not just talking about girls and women who have eating disorders. I’m talking about your sister, neighbor, girlfriend and perhaps, you.
You know, the person who carries extra weight and just can’t seem to get it off to save her life. The one who goes on diet after diet hoping and praying that this time will be different.
So, what’s really going on here? I’m not a psychology major, but I’ve figured out a few things for myself and see the same patterns and behaviors in many, if not all of my clients.
I’ll use myself as an example to explain. When I graduated from high school, I had big dreams for myself. I had been dreaming of what my life would look like post-high school for so long I could taste it. I began pursuing my dreams and discovered that I didn’t have it in me to really go for it. I didn’t have it in me because it was scary and uncomfortable, and I wasn’t willing to take the risks needed to play full out. And in a matter of weeks, my big dreams were shattered.
I went from thinking bigger than life to feeling emptiness and like a nothing with no future. And guess what happened? I started gaining weight. In fact, that was the beginning of my battle. For over twenty years I distracted myself with my weight because it was so much easier to focus on food and dieting than to allow myself to shine and become the person I was really meant to be.
I hid out under big clothes and excuses about why I couldn’t do something great with my life. I kept myself small by using food to dull my senses and prevent me from really feeling. And I did this for years.
Now I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy life along the way because I did. I became a mom during that time, which is one of the most important and fulfilling things I’ve ever done and will ever do. BUT, I held myself back from being the best mom I could be because I allowed my weight problems to weigh me down in more ways than one.
Can you identify with this? Do you obsess about your weight and food? Are you certain there is more in this life that you could be experiencing, but hold yourself back and play small?
What would your life be like if you woke up in the morning and instead of stepping on the scale to see whether you should celebrate or beat yourself up, you woke up excited about the day ahead because you know it’s going to be another beautiful day full of joy, love and abundance.
And each day feels like a blessing to you as you move through life feeling alive and loving the life you’ve created for yourself. This is how it should be! Your life should be free of guilt over what you ate for dessert last night…and instead filled with passion because you spend your days focused on living life to its fullest…being ever present and feeling everything along the way.
It took me a long time to figure this one out. In fact, it’s still a work in progress. The good news is every day I get better and better at feeling, living and loving life. I can’t say that I never obsess about my weight or what I’m going to eat for dinner because those thoughts surface occasionally. But, when I catch them in the act, I remind myself of what’s really important. I remind myself of all the blessings in my life and thank myself for allowing the feelings in rather than squelching them with candy or ice cream.
When you get this figured out for yourself, life is so much easier. And nothing tastes better than the feeling you get when you fill yourself up with love, acceptance and a passion for pursuing all your dreams.