Sustained weight loss is a byproduct of living a life based on meaning and values. By constantly keeping your eye on the scoreboard rather than the ball, you’re going to have a drop time and time again.
In this case, the scoreboard is the scale and the ball is basing your choices on what you care about most and what leaves you feeling your best.
Case in point:
Many of dieters believe that they’ll feel better *after* they lose their excess weight. Therefore, they do everything in their power to influence the scale. They deprive themselves. They beat themselves up in the gym. They ridicule themselves. They practice rigidity.
They suffer now to hopefully reach a point of happiness later.
It makes some sense, too. The human condition is such that we have this innate desire to thrive. We want to grow and become more than we were yesterday. It’s easy, though, to get hung up on this notion of giving up a lot right now to become more later.
Right here and now, you are enough.
Stop reading. Take a giant Buddha belly breath. And now another. And say to yourself, “I am enough.”
This can’t be about punishing yourself all the way to some perceived finish line. There is no finish line. You live and you die. Don’t trade away days now in hopes of hitting some magical number on the scale later… just because you’ve been programmed to believe that your weight is everything.
Your purpose isn’t to weigh a certain number. It’s to be a certain way. It’s to serve yourself, the people you care about most, and the things that you value.
Yes, if you have an abundance of excess fat on your body, you have to lose it in order to feel better. But it is illogical to conclude that weight loss is the purpose of your life and that you should do anything in your power to make it happen.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to figure out how to be happy right now. I’m not talking about that instant-happy you get from stuffing your emotions down with a box of crackers or a pint of ice cream. I’m talking about real freaking happiness. The kind that stems from living in accordance with the things you value most in your life.
I’ve battled binge eating a long time now. If I’m not mindful, I can fall into a groove of living from one hit of food abundance to the next. With hindsight, I can see very clearly how truly shitty I feel when I’m in that cycle. Hopping off that cycle in the heat of the moment, though, is something entirely different.
It starts, though, with reflecting on how truly great I feel when I’m deriving my happiness from the things I care about more. Climbing trees with my kids. Fishing with my dad. Growing some vegetables and finding ways to make them tasty. Listening to my feelings and responding logically rather than stuffing them down with food. Using my body rather than judging it. Moving in ways that make me happy and leave me feeling refreshed and strong. Tackling tasks and goals that I truly want to conquer in my life rather than focusing all of my energy on food.
On and on it goes. When I choose me right now… even if it’s some very tiny way… I start building momentum. It’s not about really good later. It’s about feeling a little better right now and accumulating a lot of these little hits of “good” by acting in accordance with what I believe my purpose is and what my values are.
This isn’t about brute forcing your body into compliance. It’s about accepting your body. That doesn’t mean you must settle for its current condition. Hardly. But by choosing to see it for what it can do for you right now and how it allows you to lead a life that matters… you wind up creating the space for flexibility, self-love, and improvement. You create the conditions in which intention takes over and judgement and self-loathing fall away.
Next step?
You have options. One might be to spend some time reflecting on your purpose and values. What are they? How does your physical vibrancy relate to these things? And how do you feel when you’re living in accordance with these things? How do these feelings compare to the ones you experience when you’re ignoring your values, using food to cope, and mistreating yourself physically and mentally?
Start shining a light on this side of the journey. It’s not clean and simple like most diets and gurus want you to believe. But it’s at the core of I think you’ll start to see things in a way that