You might not be aware of how this whole thing happened. This body love, peaceful eating passion of mine.
For many years I attempted to control my weight through radical diets and extreme detoxing. My motivation was ‘get skinny to get dancing work”. My passion was dancing from a young age and I wanted to succeed professionally.
I did experience success. On the outside I was in great shape. But I was never truly happy in my body. I was living in a world of control, stress and fear of either not being skinny enough or not being able to maintain the skinniness.
Eventually, after years and years, (and after the longest ‘last diet’ ever), I gained weight. Quickly and a lot. We’re talking 15kg.
I’m not going to lie, this stung for a long time. Because to say you’ve gained weight, can be so fully loaded. It’s the embarrassment, shame and self loathing behind it that stings.
After the initial tantrum and hysterical melt down, I realised I had some changes to make. There were lessons to be learnt. And my body finally got my attention. (It had to make a grand alert, since I didn’t listen for so long.)
Weight gain has something to teach us. It’s a symptom and a nudge for us to wake up and look around. Whether it’s to take a look at our diet or take a look at our relationships or jobs or unhealed wounds. Whatever it is, it has something to say.
Here are 3 things my weight gain said:
:: Stop hating your body. But actually stop, don’t just pretend.
What a test, to learn body love at my biggest. I had never been kind or compassionate to my body. And obviously that wasn’t working.
Yet I have good health, I am free to move as I please and my body doesn’t hold me back from working and doing the things I want to do. How can I NOT be grateful for that? How can I berate it for not being the size I think it ‘should’ be? I started to show my body love by not punishing it with strict eating regimes or hardcore negative self talk.
Accepting it in the now was the hardest but best thing I ever did, because it opened the door to so much joy and freedom.
:: Stop dieting. It doesn’t work.
Revolutionary thought, I know… But truly, they DON’T work!!!
Although I was scared to let go of my habitual pattern, I finally truly understood this. The word diet isn’t limited to fad diets, it describes any way of eating that is not sustainable in the long term. I always thought I failed when I gained weight back after a diet, but actually, it’s just the way diets work (or don’t work). Putting weight back on is predictable. Ditch them. Let that mentality go.
:: Stop trying to control your body.
I thought I was out of control with food and I needed lots of strict rules to keep me in line. But the truth is, it’s the controlling in the first place that causes problems and an all or nothing attitude to develop.
When you control or restrict your food (counting calories or intricately measuring your food etc) eventually your body (and your soul!) needs to balance out. It’s not sustainable. Perfection doesn’t exist! Right around the corner from trying to control and achieve perfectionism is self sabotage. Let the control go and relax into your body’s wisdom.
I know how confronting it is to gain weight so quickly or even accept your body as it is now regardless if you’ve gained weight or not. But instead of struggling and fighting yourself (because: who wins?) how can you learn from it. Extra weight is a place holder. Ask yourself, ask your body, what do I need to learn?
Learn from it and get back to living. You are too much of an amazing human, full of potential, to spend all of your creative life energy on something as insignificant as your looks.
Lots of love to you,
P.S. This was over a year ago now, and since then I gave up the scales, so I have no idea where I stand in terms of weight. But I am happiest I have ever been with my body, I am healthy and physically fit. I can’t ask for much more than that!