I Wish I Could Tell You What You Want to Hear

My job is to teach women how to make peace with food and their bodies. It's harder than it sounds, and it's often an uphill climb.

Sometimes I wish I sold a healthy eating program instead of peace with food. Sometimes I wish I sold a workout routine instead of body acceptance.

I wish I could tell you what you want to hear: Just do this one simple thing and the weight will melt off of you! You'll look and feel great in everything! You'll be able to maintain this way of eating forever and you'll always feel fantastic! Your problems are over!

I can't (and won't) tell you that, but lots of people will. Look around the internet, on TV, or in a bookstore and there are thousands of people telling you that if you eat the way they prescribe, or exercise the way they instruct, that you'll look great in no time flat. Never mind that teeny little disclaimer "results not typical," because you certainly won't fall into that category! (Unless you do...)

I also wish I could tell you that the process of making peace with food is really easy. That if you just change this one behavior and then insert this new belief, then bam, you're good to go.

It's not easy, though, and one of the main reasons it's so difficult is that in order to make peace with food, you have to accept, or at the very least, respect, your body. And even after you begin respecting your body, and even after you make peace with food, you may never reach your goal weight.

Do you know how hard it is for me to tell you that? That you may never lose weight? That you may never look like you did five or 10 or 20 years ago? That your genetic blueprint may not allow for you to have six pack abs, no matter what you do? That you might have to get comfortable with letting your partner see you naked exactly as you look in this moment? That you may actually gain some weight as you let go of food rules and restrictions?

Well, it's really, really hard for me to say that, because I want to tell you something that will make you happy, that will make you feel good. I know for most women the thing you want to hear is that if you follow these instructions exactly, you'll lose weight and finally be able to accept your body once and for all, but it doesn't work that way. The diet industry would not be a 60 billion dollar industry if losing weight was simple or permanent or easy.

Even though I can't tell you what you want to hear, I can tell you this: There are benefits beyond measure in learning to respect your body. There is a deep contentment to be found in accepting yourself, mind, body, and spirit, one that quick weight loss will never create. There is peace to be found, with both your body and the brownies, and I know because I've discovered it in my own life.

Yes, I wish I could tell you what you want to hear, but since I can't, I'll tell you something else: You're wonderful just as you are, and accepting that is the first step toward getting what you really want.