The weight loss/health/body image world is often so black and white. You either throw the diet rules out the window and go crazy eating what you want. Or you deprive and restrict yourself in order to achieve a body you feel you can accept and love, in the future.
Have you noticed the all or nothing approach out there?
There are movements promoting a “f*ck it I will eat what I want” message. A rebellion against clean eating, dieting, juicing, and the various “_______-free” ways of eating.
“Don’t tell me what to do. I can eat what I want.”
Then there is the flip side. Communities of strict, restrictive diets walking around with a sometimes snotty “eww – I won’t eat that” demeanor. This approach is often driven by the motivation of finally feeling enough when the “dream” body is achieved. It is most often competitive, judgmental, and superficial.
This breeds a world of deprivation, restriction, control, willpower, perfection, being better than, and obsession.
Is either of these ways healthy? Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually healthy?
The issue I see with these 2 approaches is that they both bypass your own internal guidance system.
Is there a way to lovingly lose weight?
I think there is. And it is not found at either extreme. It is found somewhere in the middle, in the gray area.
There is a sweet spot of making healthy choices and journeying towards a healthy weight for your body, and being gentle, loving, and accepting with yourself.
How do you find that?
Get really clear on your intention and your motivation behind losing weight.
There is a huge difference between, “I will love and accept myself when I reach my goal weight,” and “I am making healthier choices in efforts to reach a weight that is best for me, because I love and respect myself.”
Here are 3 concepts that helped me create my own gray area that works.
The Power of Choice:
Forget all the rules. Make choices. This gives you power. It gives you freedom.
When you own your choices, you bring it all back to you. The buying into any external extreme does not serve you. Whenever you soley rely on a way of eating/living that it outside of you, you lose yourself. You know what is best for you. You know what feels good to you. Take pieces and ideas from others and then create something unique that works for you.
Listen, Learn and Shift:
As you move along your journey, know that you can always change your mind. You make your own choices. You also have permission to make new and different choices as you go. After making a choice, listen. Step back and reflect on how that choice is working for you. Slow down and see what your body has to say about it. You may find your body isn’t a huge fan of this new choice. That is not bad or wrong. It is just information.
You are learning as you go. We all are. So when you need to, make a shift. This is really all about experimenting. Try something else. Then see how that feels. There are no good/bad, or right/wrong, choices. They are just choices. No story or meaning attached.
Be gentle with yourself as you find your way. This is a unique journey we are all on.
Fill up on Life:
My weight was the focus of my life for soooo many years. Every thing I did and every thought I had, had to do with my body, weight and food. I didn’t have room for anything else.
Put your weight loss goals to the side a bit. Focus on filling up with nourishment in your life holistically. Create space in your life for more that your weight loss pursuits.
What are you doing for fun? How are your relationships? Are there passions you have that you aren’t pursuing? How are you filling your cup? What brings you joy?
Go do those things. Take on your life as your main course. Let your weight goals be a side dish.
The key here is You. Following someone else’s nutrition program could absolutely be a great choice for you. It could be exactly what your body and heart wants to thrive. Just make sure you are using your own internal guidance system to make that call. Buying into the claims promised by all the experts is a recipe for disaster if you aren’t valuing yourself as your top expert first.
Use how you feel as your GPS on your journey to radiant health and loving yourself exactly where you are. Because, yes – you can both accept your body as is and want to lose weight.