How many times have you thought about weight loss as a dream come true? That once you lose those unwanted pounds, life will be easier, more joyous, more fun. That clothes shopping will be a pleasure rather than a pain.
Photos with family and friends no longer dreaded but welcomed!
Bathing suits no longer a source of shame. Perhaps not the most exciting part of our wardrobe, but not one to be avoided at all costs.
How many times have you thought that once you arrive at your desired weight, your relationship with food, your body and weight will finally be healed never to cause you concern again?
That chocolate truffles and pizza will be a thing of the past, no longer shouting your name through a megaphone.
If you’re anything like I was, probably a lot.
However, what I failed to initially appreciate was that my weight loss success did not equal a banishing of all the problems I associated with being overweight.
It created a lot of satisfaction and happiness, for sure. But life still threw curve balls. Feelings of frustration and disappointment still percolated.
I had to remind myself, on the regular, of this simple fact: Life is a 50/50 proposition.
No matter what’s going on, I will always experience both positive and negative thoughts and feelings. No matter how happy and successful I am at whatever I do. That’s just life as a human in this complex world of other humans.
Or, in other words, sh*t happens.
Or, as I like to say when sh*t happens, “There’s always something to disturb ya.”
There’s no way to avoid negativity and problems happening to us in life. Even after we’ve reached a deeply desired goal that we’ve struggled to reach for years, or, dare I say it, decades.
When sh*t happens, the next question for me is always, now what?
Weight loss is not the answer to all your problems.
It’s important to set a big, audacious weight loss goal. To challenge and stretch yourself to achieve results you could only dream about. But it’s a misconception to think that once you’ve reached it your life will automatically become ten times better.
Once we reach any goal, we can bet money that things will come along that weren’t planned or something unanticipated goes awry.
Brooke Castillo, the founder of the coaching program that certified me, teaches a concept about life called the 50/50. It’s the idea that life is equally good and bad.
And, that there is nothing wrong with that. Nor has anything necessarily gone wrong when we experience negative feelings. It’s normal, natural and actually desirable to experience the full range of human emotions.
Actually, the contrasts and richness that 50/50 creates are amazing because they allow us to experience life more fully.
Accepting and allowing the gamut of thoughts and feelings, the good, the bad and the ugly, without judgement or resentment is key to making sustainable weight loss easier.
Especially as we learn that food is never the answer to quell an emotional state we dislike or fear.
So much unnecessary suffering comes from resisting negative emotions.
When you hold the belief that whatever is happening “shouldn’t be happening,” you are fighting a losing battle.
You are doggy paddling in a sea of misery, expending a lot of energy but but barely keeping your head above water.
Instead, allow mental space to get curious about the lessons to learn from this experience — how you might grow.
To paraphrase Byron Katie, “When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time.”
Believing something shouldn’t be happening, or should be happening differently only amplifies the fear, anger, resentment and frustration you’re already feeling.
This does not mean that you just sit back and watch bad things happen and do nothing to create change. But it is very different to create change from a place of acceptance vs. a place of resistance.
What do you typically do to “resolve” your negative emotions?
If you’re feeling hurt or sad about something, do you spiral downward into into negativity ruminations?
Or, when you’re having an “off” day, do you accept that this is just the 50/50-ness of life?
Can you can take a breath and acknowledge what you’re feeling? Can you ask yourself what you need in this moment? Can you tap into confidence that the intensity of this experience will pass?
Are you experiencing clean or dirty pain?
Clean pain is cleansing, appropriate for the situation and restorative. It helps you weather the storms of life by allowing your feelings as they ebb and flow.
But dirty pain is a trap, like quicksand sucking you down deeper into your misery. It layers unnecessary suffering on top of the clean pain.
This is how my fellow coach, Jody Moore, explains it:
Clean pain is a part of life.
It is necessary. It helps us grow and heal. Allowing it is important. Resisting it hurts worse than the pain itself.
- It’s the deep sadness you feel after losing a loved one.
- It’s the hurt you feel after being betrayed.
- It’s the fear you feel upon losing a job.
- It’s the disappointment you feel when your plans don’t work out.
Clean pain almost feels good because it is so cleansing. I recommend you name the emotions and then connect them to thoughts and allow them to wash over you. Depending on how extreme the event is that triggered it, you may need to allow them for a long time but they will wash over you like a wave over and over…getting smaller each time until you’re healed.
For example: Hello sadness. I see you. I feel you. You are dark and heavy and slow. I know you’re here because of the unexpected loss of my mother. I am mourning her presence in my life and it feels good to mourn her. I need to feel sad right now. I want to feel sad so you can stay. I’m going to allow you here for a while.
Dirty pain is created by your mind.
It is not necessary. It does not help. It stops your mind from finding solutions and instead points it in the direction of finding evidence that something is wrong with you, with someone else, with your life or with the world. It is created by thoughts such as:
- I will never be happy now that my best friend is gone.
- I am so stupid for not realizing I was being taken advantage of.
- I should NOT have been let go from that job!
- I am a horrible person for making that mistake.
- I’m worried about what COULD go wrong in the future.
Dirty pain is minimized by allowing yourself to truly feel clean pain. But all of us create at least some dirty pain and the majority of the pain we feel in life IS dirty pain. I recommend you notice it. Notice yourself allowing thoughts that are creating it. Then question those thoughts. Are they really true? Are they absolutely positively true all the time? Or are they actually not true at all. Could the opposite be true even?
In order to lose weight, practice accepting your body at its current size, shape and weight.
Losing weight from a place of accepting your body and loving and respecting it for all the things it is doing to keep you alive makes sustainable weight loss much easier.
Hating your body because it “shouldn’t” be the size and shape it is creates a totally different experience and outcome.
Both might end in weight loss, but it is far more enjoyable and empowering to take care of a body you value and respect. To make the changes you will need to make to adjust to a new lifestyle of thoughts and actions. To create the lifestyle habits you will need to enjoy sustainable weight loss.
Accepting what is will get you through even the hardest times with much less suffering.
So take me up on my offer for your FREE Strategy Call. Then you can see for yourself how it’s possible to make weight loss easier when you make peace with the 50/50 nature of life on planet earth.
Making peace with what is, and where you are today on your weight loss journey, can help you reach your weight loss goals with a lot less stress and drama.
It’s totally possible to make 2022 your year to create the healthiest you. No matter your age, stage or past disappointments.
Jump start your fresh start. A year from now you will thank yourself you reached out to me today.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. Let’s go!