Off in a beautiful land not too long ago, Christine*, our nutritional heroine, said “Enough!” and set off to pursue, in a valiant effort, a weight loss journey of extraordinary measure.
She called on conventional teachings of her people. The path had been laid out before her:
Eat Less, Exercise More, Lose Weight.
And that she did!
She began her journey by signing up for a 8-week fitness program, where she lunged, burpeed, and kettlebelled her way into a stronger, more toned physique with daily practice.
Yes, it was challenging, but she was determined.
And then onto food…
She took to the advice to reduce her portions, and reduce them she did! Each time an opportunity to eat a little more arose, she proudly said, “NO.”
Eight weeks came and went. Yes, she had lost weight and she celebrated.
But then a strange and mysterious thing happened. The weight loss “high” she experienced waned. She found herself missing certain foods. She found that most of her mental and psychic energy was devoted to her eating and it was growing tiresome.
When she felt stressed or triggered at work or with her family, she found herself feeling less resilient, less motivated, less inspired to stick with her plan.
Where were the strong legs she felt she had to stand on?!
She found herself, veering off her perfect diet.
And the imperfection triggered her. Her mind seemed to turn on her, compartmentalizing days into “good days” or “bad days,: foods into “good foods” and “bad foods,” and portions into “good portions” and “bad portions.”
She ate “clean” and exercised some days OR she skipped workouts and imbibed in a slew of earthly delights on others.
Our heroine fell unconscious to an energy that her people had not warned her about.
Because they, too, fell unconscious to it’s seduction.
Christine found herself looking for NEW programs, NEW protocols, NEW promises to help her overcome her problem.
Her inspiration seemed have gone into hiding.
The popular belief: Eat less and exercise more, somehow back-fired.
And now she felt not only like a failure, but like a victim.
Victim to an energy inside her that expected nothing but perfection.
Any weight higher than her lowest weight was wrong. Any way of eating that was less pure than her most pure way of eating was wrong. Any way of moving her body that was not the most intense or weight-loss focused was wrong, wrong, wrong.
To quiet the criticism, in the most ironic of ways, she found herself soothing herself with food.
Instead of taking classes most days, she was ordering take-out most days.
She even tried to love her body, a popular new movement, and found herself failing at that, too. The same frustrating cycles continued for weeks…and for years.
In a moment of Grace one evening, when our dear Christine was feeling quite low sitting alone on the couch with a full, rounded belly, she opened to 10% more curiosity that she ever had, and dared to consider:
“Maybe there’s nothing wrong with me. Maybe something about the way I’ve been doing things is causing my suffering…
“Maybe these weight loss teachings are out-dated…”
And with that, the spell had not been broken, but challenged. And the challenge was enough for Christine to stay open to new knowledge. Knowledge that could free her.
Now a brief pause from our story…
More exercise + less food = weight loss
Does this work long term?
Your intellect may say, “No way, Jose! I’m too smart for that sort of thinking.” But somewhere this belief has been implanted into the minds of many women, lurking in the background, and it’s influence may take hold during times of body or eating challenges.
Making things more complicated, many, many women have some personal account in their biography of eating less and exercising more and losing some weight.
Then what happened?
Often they report that something happened and they gained the weight back. Whatever they were doing was unsustainable for the long haul for whatever reason. But because it “worked” in the past (no matter short-term it was) they feel bound to a belief.
Now they spend most of their time fighting themselves, while holding this past weight on a pedestal. (A past client of mine reported still being attached to a weight she reached several years ago for her wedding. A weight that she stayed at for 3 days total through intense dietary restriction).
Are you attached to a former body weight?
In these cases, working with and healing the person who is actually doing the eating is far more important (and effective!) than following some new restrictive dietary plan.
But no one can force this sort of work sooner than it is ready.
Each of us must hit our own wall hard enough or enough times, to finally wake up and consider an entirely different alternative.
For our heroine Christine, the frustrating wall she hit invited her to finally open to wisdom teachings that focused on the deeper dimensions of personal change.
Every woman’s journey is different.
Each will be called to tend to, in different degrees, the factors that are really affecting the way she’s taking care of herself: her body, mind, spirit, and soul.
Christine found that ever since she was young, she felt most rewarded by anything about her that was extraordinary. Living in an average body was particularly painful to her because it ran up against her sense of self-identity. She began to unravel some wounding and patterning from her youth.
Through helpful dialogue she also began to challenge and deconstruct old programming and belief systems about health, weight, and nutrition.
She was taught to work with her body in a different way, learning how to care for it’s real nutritional needs (without any crazy gimmicks). A solid dietary intervention.
And finally, disenchanted with pop culture spirituality, she learned in what ways her eating challenges were placeholders for the development of aspects of her spiritual life.
This is a very brief overview of Christine’s process. But I hope you can see that healing the mind, soul, and spirit are often the precursors to solid, sustainable changes.
A real heroine’s journey.
Now bring the attention back to you…
Are there any patterns that you’ve been running up against for years, only to be remedied by variations of the same old tricks?
Sending love and support,
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