Almost every single woman I work with tells me the same thing...
I just can't be happy with myself until I lose the weight I've gained.
I feel so disgusting in my body and I know losing weight will make me feel more comfortable.
I hate what I see in the mirror and I just want to be the size I was two years ago.
This desperation to lose weight can become an obsession: thinking that when we're smaller, when we lose weight, when we fit into the smaller jeans size...THAT'S when we will finally love, accept and like our bodies.
I probe a little deeper and ask them what they think losing weight will do for them.
"Well, I'll feel more confident in my body. I'll go out and do more social things and not be afraid of what people will think of me. I won't be ashamed of myself and the way I look. I'll be able to be intimate with my partner. I'll finally be happy with myself".
So what is that she REALLY wants?
Confidence, acceptance, feeling like she's enough. Self-love, comfort, happiness.
Can weight loss really bring all of these things?
Sure, when you lose weight, you feel happy slipping in to that slinky dress for the party. You don't think people are judging you for being fat anymore. You look at your reflection and notice you look much thinner.
But what about after that initial euphoria wears off? When the party is over, the jeans you squeeze into become your everyday outfit and the excitement of weight loss fades?
You still have bills to pay, you still get resentful at your family, you still get pissed off at your boss, and your partner still drives you crazy sometimes. And you still use food as a coping mechanism.
You see, it's not that wanting to lose weight is bad or evil.
It's the belief that losing weight is the answer to everything.
What really needs to be addressed is the belief behind what you think weight loss will bring you: the feeling of FINALLY being enough.
Deep down, we're afraid we aren't enough. We are terrified that if we show up in the world as "just" us, it won't be good enough. We won't be accepted for who we are.
And that belief is SO overwhelming (well, how DO I know that I am enough?) so we distill it down into something we can understand and fix: weight.
When I fit into last year's jeans, THEN I'll be good enough.
When I lose the baby weight, THEN my body will be acceptable.
When I look like that picture on Facebook from 3 years ago, THEN I'll be enough.
The problem is that when we "get" what we want, that belief of not being good enough doesn't go away.
It changes and morphs into something else. We get to our goal weight but think we could lose just a bit more. We fit into our jeans from 5 years ago but notice all of our wrinkles and cellulite are out of control. We are smaller but notice we have excess skin and our stomach doesn't look like the 6 pack we've always wanted.
Using something external to make us feel good enough (the scale, a jeans size, your weight, etc) will never fix the inner belief.
Know that this belief is at the core of us as human beings. We're terrified of not being accepted and believe we aren't good enough.
How do you begin to chip away at this belief?
By understanding that you don't need to do, be or have anything else to be enough.
By knowing, deep down at the core of who you are, that just simply by being here and showing up as you, that you are enough.
By connecting to that part of you that is more than your body; the you that doesn't judge you for your jeans size, the shape of your thighs, or the number on the scale.
Kids are such good examples of knowing they are enough. My 4 nieces and nephews don't apologize EVER for showing up as they are. They bring all of it to the table-their meltdowns, their emotions, their size, their abilities, and their faults. They don't ever think they aren't good enough or question their self-acceptance.
We started this life with that belief. And somewhere along the way, we unlearned it. We've learned that we had to be a certain weight, size, or look to be good enough. It's time to change that.
Have the courage to see yourself as enough. Trust that belief that you once had in your enough-ness. Keep connecting to it again and again. It'll soon become your new core belief.