When I start working with a woman who wants to lose weight, I always ask her why. What will be different when you reach your weight goal?
They say things like: I’ll be happier. I’ll be able to go hiking. I’ll be able to buy clothes I love. I’ll have more self-confidence.
Really? I wonder. I ask them questions like: Why can’t you go hiking now? Why can’t you buy clothes you love now? Why can’t you have more self-confidence now? Why can’t you be happier now?
They stop and think. There really is no reason why they can’t have all of those things now, regardless of their current weight. In fact, if they did these things now, it would make losing weight easier.
You see, they’re approaching it backwards.
Being overweight isn’t the problem. It is a symptom of something deeper. There are a host of emotional reasons why people are overweight, and those need to be fixed before the weight will come off and stay off.
A big one for many women is a mindset of unworthiness.
Many of the answers my clients give to the questions above come from the belief that because they are overweight, they are inadequate and unworthy. They don’t deserve to go hiking, have nice clothing or to be happy because they are too fat.
These beliefs have no basis in reality. Because they generate negative emotions, such beliefs are actually counterproductive, as they cause women to eat to forget their feelings!
I say, start believing right now that you are the person you want to be after you lose weight. Start acting like her, and you’ll have a much better chance of one day being her.
Our beliefs form who we are. If you believe you are worthy of looking great and being happy, why wait until you’re slimmer to do that? Start right now. Here’s how to do it:
Question your old beliefs about your worthiness. Are these beliefs serving you? Surely not. Worthiness and thinness do not overlap on the Venn diagram of life! Do you judge other people’s worthiness based upon their weight? No doubt you know some amazing, successful and happy women who are overweight.
Whenever you find yourself thinking your old, conditioned beliefs about worthiness and weight, notice them. Acknowledge that they aren’t true, and push them out of your mind. Believe that you deserve to have nice clothes and do fun things now. Practice believing that you are worthy of happiness and good things regardless of your weight.
Develop a mantra or affirmation like, “I deserve the best and accept it,” “I am worthy of my dreams,” “I am worthy of abundance in every area of my life.” Choose something that resonates with you and that you believe.
Start living your life as if your body were the size you want it to be. Make a list of all the things you haven’t done because you are waiting to be slim first. Then this week, do at least one of them. And keep doing them.
I mean real self-care, which does not include using food and overeating as a reward. Don’t fool yourself into believing that you are caring for yourself by dousing your negative mood with food. Putting food into your body that it does not need is the opposite of self-care. It makes you less healthy. Do things that care for your body and your spirit.
In other words, treat yourself like the fantastic woman you are! Make a list of things that make you feel good and find comforting that do not involve food. These can be a walk in nature, a cup of tea, a bath, reading a magazine or book, meditating or working on an art or craft project. Maybe it’s just taking a well-earned break at work. Then, when you feel the urge to eat but aren’t hungry, do one of those things instead.
Once you change your mindset and stop putting your life on hold until you lose weight, you will likely find it a lot easier to actually drop those pounds!
Are you currently trying to lose a little weight? What are the things that you do that make you feel good? Do you think that your mindset on losing weight is preventing you from living the life that will lead to healthy aging? What are the things you can do right away to start the journey? Please join the conversation.