For many of us, at some point in our lives we were encouraged and subconsciously influenced to improve our health. At some point this “health journey” may have evolved into a weight loss journey. How? Culturally we have grown to associate the two as being inclusive. You can’t be healthy unless you weigh “x”. But, let me reassure you that health and weight loss are not two in the same. While weight loss has the potential to contribute to improved health, neither is solely dependent on the other. Throughout the years we’ve interchangeably used health= weight loss or weight loss= healthy. I’ll save this topic for another blog. For now, let’s talk weight loss and why you may not be losing weight.
In this blog, I want to discuss some reasons why you’re not losing weight. I am not here to provide you strategies on how to better plan your macros, what new diet to try and or encourage you to bring a gallon of water with you. No. This piece is to help you challenge your beliefs on weight loss and your own personal health journey!
“Whenever you have a bad feeling about your body/appearance, ask yourself who profits off of this emotion?”
1. You Don’t Really Want to Lose Weight:
Media is extremely powerful in shaping our belief system. When we’re constantly sold a very specific body type as being beautiful, we can’t help but fall into patterns of feeling badly about ourselves if our reflection does not match what we see celebrated.
So when it comes to weight loss, what if we don’t really want it?
Consider this, what if it wasn’t about the weight, but about how we’ve been led to believe shrinking ourselves physically will contribute to a positive life experience.
Remember when we were learned that egg yolks increased our cholesterol? Did you start tossing out the yolks and consuming egg whites by the carton? But then, as more research surfaced, it proved “debatable” and the statement did not hold much weight to be true?
We are impressionable, and sometimes to a fault.
So what if at some point you thought you needed to lose weight so as to be happier, more loved or accepted. Was the weight loss part of your own decision or desire? Or was it forced upon you? Preached to you? As women, we are highly criticized on our appearance. We are under a judgment magnifying glass for any pound, pimple or unflattering outfit we wear. It’s not our fault that we pursue weight loss over and over and over again. Only to fail because it was really never about the weight. It was about our happiness. It is about feeling good about ourselves as a whole person. Not just a body.
So maybe, just maybe it’s not about the weight, but more so about a feeling. A feeling of belonging, of feeling confident, authentic, connected and loved.
2. Weight Loss Plans Conflict With Your Values:
Your values set the foundation for you. Anything and everything you encounter whether it’s a health program or new job will pass through your values. It’s sort of like your own screening to understand if something will work for you, especially long term.
Another reason why you’re not losing weight is that every plan, program or weight loss tip conflicts with your values. For instance, let’s say one of your values is self compassion, yet every plan you see is encouraging you to push hard and adopt a no pain, no gain mentality. At some point, you’d veer away from that plan because it may not reinforce self compassion. You’d eventually find yourself disengaging, finding “excuses” or reasons to not eat “x” or train. It’s our brain’s subconscious way of funneling us towards happiness. Happiness is living in alignment with those values.
So, as much as you want to lose the weight or as much willpower as you can spare, your values will either align or conflict at some point.
3. People Still Love You
People around you still show up for you even if you are not at your “goal weight”.
When we say to ourselves “I want to lose weight so I can be more loved” yet encounter daily interactions where we are showered in adornment or acceptance it challenges that belief. Every time your kid runs up to you and says “I love you” we’re hit with a wave of reality of “I am loved in this body”.
Every time a friend expresses appreciation or gratitude for you, we get a dose of confidence, affection and appreciation for WHO we are. We’re being told in one action or another “I care more about you than what shape you’re in". So is it about the weight?
Weight loss is an all encompassing journey. It requires support, patience, self compassion and confrontation with ourselves and our belief systems.
This blog is not to deter you from any weight loss journey, rather to have you pause and reflect on a few areas of the journey. If you desire weight loss, be patient with yourself and remember that who you are today will be just as great as who you are 10 pounds from now.
In Part 2 “Why You’re Not Losing Weight” I will be explaining more brain based concepts on why our brains rebel against weight loss. Stay tuned!