I think it goes without saying that I’m not really into weight loss as a new year’s resolution. I don’t think it’s “wrong” as such, I just know it doesn’t serve a lot of people.
Sure, the idea of going on a diet and really committing to weight loss gives you a bit of a rush. It’s exciting because this. is. going. to. be. it. Right? At your goal weight life will be the BEST thing ever…
But letting the goal of weight loss guide how you eat, move and live, really sets you up for misery and chaos.
Not to mention the fact that what people actually want typically isn’t even weight loss. What they really mean is “I want to be loved, accepted, worthy and good enough.” Weight loss won’t magically provide these things, even if we really want to believe they will. All of these things come from within.
So, if you’re openly or secretly clinging to a new year’s resolution of losing weight, consider these 4 points first.
Here’s what happens when your goal is weight loss:
1. You become uninspired
The other day I was working on my laptop sending out emails to clients and clearing out my inbox. I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed and anxious, so I decided to go for a run. It felt so good to get outside in nature, move my body, sweat, smell the trees and flowers and clear my head. When I got home I felt SO good.
I couldn’t help think to myself; far out I never would have done that if the only reason for moving my body was to force it into a different shape. Not a chance!
Let me paint you a picture. Which sounds more inspiring as your number one motivator for movement?
- You choose to move your body in a certain way because… you want more endorphins, it clears your head, it feels good to get the blood pumping, it feels good to sweat, it feels good to move, it makes you feel energised and you feel like a bit of a legend after.
- You choose to move your body in a certain way because… you “have to lose weight”. (Kind of sounds like a punishment, right?)
Think about it.
2. You become obsessed and stressed with food
When weight loss is your goal, the first thing you’ll tweak in your life is what you’re eating, right? Even if you think you’ve not started a diet, you likely have. (Sorry to break it to you.)
The following words still mean diet: clean eating, low carb, being good, back on the wagon, cheat meal, reset, cleanse.
Dare I say it; even “life style change” is normally code word for diet.
Because they are all referring to a set of ideals and rules around food. A wagon to be on… and inevitably fall off.
Diets cause chaos. When you diet you lose confidence in your food choices, the ability to listen to what your body wants, your social life, your sanity and control around certain foods.
The diet fails. Only you think YOU’VE failed. Leaving you feeling stressed and obsessed about food.
Not cool, weight loss resolution, not cool.
3. You become disconnected from what you really want
When you’re eating and moving purely to lose weight, you lose sight of what you actually like and want. Do you actually like smoothies? Do you actually like bikram yoga?
What is the point of doing all of these things you don’t actually like? If you get serious and think about being on your deathbed, will you look back and think “goodness me I’m so glad that I stuck to my diet and exercise schedule so I could be a size 10”. OR will you think “why didn’t I just relax and enjoy life? Why didn’t I do more things I actually like to do?”
This isn’t about being reckless or irresponsible and not taking care of yourself. Just let yourself explore what you actually like. Maybe you like walking, even if it doesn’t burn as many calories as crossfit. Maybe you hate kale. That’s OK! Do what you love over what you think you should do. It’ll always serve you best.
4. You live in fear
I used to hate myself into shape.
And even when I did lose weight I was still miserable because I couldn’t break the pattern of negative body thoughts, no matter what size I was. I just assumed if I lost the weight I would magically fall in love with myself and life would be perfect.
Instead I felt like I was walking on eggshells. One glance at a piece of cheesecake and I’d instantly gain it all back. (Or that’s how it felt at least.) I felt like I had to keep a tight control on things to make sure I kept the weight off.
Your life doesn’t instantly change when your body does. That’s why it’s so important to do the inner work now. Not just hope that if you try hard enough to lose the weight your life will be amazing.
Can you see now why weight loss as a goal is worth reconsidering? Think about what you really want. What you think you’ll get from losing weight. Then start doing that right now. No more waiting on the weight.
Imagine if you just ate to feel good, for pleasure, to feel vital and energised. Moved your body because it made you feel like a rockstar, because you actually loved how it felt to move it in that way and because it was fun.
Living this way means you get out the way of your body and allow it to do it’s thing. It wants to thrive and feel good. Can you trust that it will relax into exactly where it’s meant to be if you just focus on feeling good and living well?
Magic happens when you live as though you’re already enough.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this! Leave me a comment below.