“Weight ironically holds a lot of weight”

There is a strong emotional association attached between looking a certain way, weighing a certain amount, and how we want to feel. Many people say they want to lose weight so they can gain confidence, have better mobility, build their self-esteem, feel accepted, and feel loved.

I believe in looking beneath this association and to start focusing on what we think we will gain from looking a certain way. We can ask ourselves do we really need to lose weight to improve how we feel. For example, you want to gain more confidence. Will losing 10lbs really achieve this? How about learning a new skill like public speaking or joining a new club? If it’s self-esteem you want to improve on, again it’s about finding ways to truly build your self-worth and not simply losing weight. Taking a personal development course could be an empowering and long lasting action to take.

Of course losing weight can contribute to you feeling more confidence and self-worth. However, if weight loss is the ONLY focus and directly attached to how confident you feel, then you are heading down a slippery slope. Our weight will fluctuate throughout our lives and if confidence is directly linked to this, an emotional rollercoaster can, and will, follow.

I have personally experienced this search for acceptance, confidence, and love. I truly believed by controlling my body weight and my appearance, these desires would automatically arrive along with my ‘ideal weight’.

It was a never-ending search that depleted my energy and my joy. I was so overly focused on my physical improvement that I lost sight of the many other parts of me, including all the improvements I’d made in the process. I craved connection, love, and acceptance. I thought it could only come from outside of me. I believed I had to become someone different to who I was naturally.

For me it was a nervous breakdown and a few very dark periods of depression that made me learn very gradually that the endless search outside of me was pointless. Getting support from wise therapists and from reading a lot of great books, I learnt how to see myself as an emotional and spiritual person and not just focus on my physical body.

I slowly found connection, love, and acceptance from within myself. No diet or exercise routine could ever get me to this place. My eating and exercise, instead, started to come from a more intuitive and relaxed place.

I am not saying this is an easy journey. This is about starting a new conversation with yourself about ‘weight’ and what it means to you. Become more aware of what you hear and see around you about dieting and weight, then decide if these are truly helpful to you. If not, look for more positive and holistic information about weight and body.

Your desire to lose weight truly can be a doorway into a deeper and more meaningful path, beyond what you see on the surface.

CALL TO ACTION:

  • Write down (at least) three qualities you want to gain from losing weight.
  • Other than losing weight, what actions can you take to gain each of these qualities.
  • How different would your life look if you gained these qualities?
  • Find videos, articles, and books that have a positive view about body and weight.
  • Look for like-minded people to support your goals.