I have been having a lot of conversations lately, with women who are concerned about their weight. Conversations that go something like this:
My biggest problem is that I have been 15kg overweight for the past two years and I just can’t seem to shift it. Can you help me?
I’m so excited about getting married, but I’m not setting the date until I lose 8kg. I want to look hot on my wedding day! Can you help me?
Everything in my life is going well. In fact, my life would be pretty much perfect, if I could just lose this weight. Can you help me?
Well yes – I think I can help you….but you might not like what I have to say.
I don’t think that your weight is the problem.
It’s never about your weight
I think that it’s the meaning that you are giving to your weight, that is holding you back.
Personal satisfaction, enlightenment and happiness are not dependent on how much you weigh.
That is just another limiting belief – something that we cling to that is not necessarily true.
There is no reason why you need to lose 5, or 30 kg before you set your wedding date. There is no reason that you can’t go for your dream job, just because you are a little heavier than you would like to be. (In fact, I have had many clients who have found the courage to land the dream job/business, and suddenly found that their weight was no longer a source of struggle).
We displace our real feelings and and problems onto our weight. It has little to do with weight and everything to do with what’s going on in other areas of your life.
I know for myself that when I am feeling optimistic, when I am fully immersed in work and relationships that bring me joy, and when I am making self care a priority - my relationship with food is positive and my body acceptance soars. When things aren’t going so well and I am finding it difficult to cope? That’s when chocolate and salty fries suddenly reappear as trusty old friends.
It’s never about your weight.
It’s the meaning that you attach to the number on a scale, that has the potential to keep you down. Whether you consider yourself to be overweight or not – it comes down to how you FEEL about your weight.
It’s thinking that once you make it to x number of kgs, all of your problems will disappear. Or that people will notice and like you more. Or that you will then find the confidence to pursue whatever it is that your heart is aching for.
It’s the acceptance that you decide you will only provide yourself with AFTER you have lost some weight – because, only then will you be willing to treat yourself better.
If you want to lose weight, fine. But whatever that magical number is on the scale for you – Remember that it is just a number.
The only meaning that it holds is the one that you are placing on it. It has no other basis in reality.
What are you making your weight mean? What are you holding yourself back from feeling or wanting?
PS - This blog is based on my personal and professional experiences. Obviously there are a lot of socio-cultural elements involved and I am not addressing the powerful role of media imagery, or the deep seated ideas that we have about weight in western societies. I felt compelled to share as I know so many women, of all ages, who continue to hate on themselves because of their weight and I think that this is an important conversation starter.