I’m going to say something radical.
Weight loss battles (sometimes) allow us to indefinitely postpone taking responsibility for having to pursue our dreams. We pretend like we need to lose weight in order to have what we really want, when in fact sometimes it’s just easier to believe that than to go after what we truly desire. We claim that we need to lose weight before we can have the partner, job or lifestyle that we want. Then we go through never-ending cycles of deprivation and allowance, chasing the elusive loss of that five, 10, 50, 100 pounds.
We’re trapped in the illusion that we’ll be better equipped to be who we want to be when we weigh less.
This extra weight serves as our excuse for why we don’t/can’t have what we want. Our (real or imagined) extra weight is our alibi. It gets us off the hook for having to go out and get it. But when we’re honest with ourselves, we discover that we wouldn’t even know what to do if we didn’t have that excuse.
Many of us put all our eggs in the weight loss basket. We avoid going after the lives we crave full-throttle. We tell ourselves we’ll start on our dreams once we’ve hit our “target weight.” But when it comes down to it, it’s entirely possible to feel sexy, proud, confident, happy, healthy, connected, powerful, fulfilled and accomplished at any weight.
We can start a business, find a loving partner, have fun, be adventurous, get rich, feel healthy and vibrant, regardless of that “extra” weight.
Telling ourselves that the extra weight is preventing us from being and acting the ways we would like to is a cop out. It’s like saying “I’d love to go skydiving, but I have brown hair.” What’s brown hair got to do with sky diving? Nothing.
What do our stomach rolls have to do with our ability to start our own successful business?
There’s nothing wrong with losing weight if that would be healthy for us. But we have to be clear with ourselves about why we really want to lose weight and make sure our weight loss goal isn’t letting us avoid responsibility for actually going after what we want. Sometimes focusing on a weight loss goal is easier than focusing on our dreams.
Some of us really don’t know what we want anymore. We’ve numbed our true calling with weight loss battles for so long that we can’t even feel what really inspires us. So here’s an exercise to help you get back in touch with what you really want, and see what might be underneath your weight loss goal:
If you had your perfect body, how would you live differently? What way would you be? How would you feel?
Now, visualize yourself being and acting that way in the body you’re in now.
It’s not our weight that’s stopping us — it’s our belief that we have to lose weight before we’re ready to be who we want to be. If we could have what we wanted to have now, rather than when we lose 10 or 100 pounds, wouldn’t we? It’s like what Glinda told Dorothy, at the end of her journey trying to get home along the Yellow Brick Road: she realized she had the power to get home all along. She only believed that she had to face those challenges first.
We too can come home to our truth, right now. We don’t need to wait to achieve a goal that may or may not ever happen.
Whoever we want to be, whatever we want to accomplish — who we are right now is enough for that.
If we try to prove our worth by losing weight, we will waste the precious time we could be using in service of what really matters. So let’s cut to the chase, and get to the root of what we really want.
When we’re working whole-heatedly towards our dreams, our weight becomes irrelevant. We know that we can live the life we’ve imagined regardless of the number on the scale.