When I start working with women, it’s normal for them to still want to lose weight. Even though they want to accept their body, there is still that nagging voice telling them that all hell will break loose if they do and therefore they need to cling to weight loss for dear life.
There is so much fear around what will happen if you accept your body and I certainly experienced it myself.
Here is what I thought would happen if I accepted my body:
- I would never stop gaining weight—after all, I “believed” my metabolism was broken*
- I would eat mountains of pizza and cupcakes everyday for the rest of my life—what’s the point in eating broccoli if you’re not trying to lose weight?
- I would inhale banana cake all day everyday because I thought I was “addicted” to it
- I would never feel attractive and hate shopping more than I already did
- I would be in a constant state of despair because of my “grossness”
- Everyone I knew would perceive me as a failure
- I would be a failure
- I would live in a constant state of shame
- People would judge and reject me
- I would stop wanting to go to the gym, the beach or see friends because I would be embarrassed by my body
- I would go crazy being tempted by the “thin ideal” and feel like a total outcast by accepting my size
- My self-worth would plummet even further if I wasn’t thin
- I will be doomed to feel broken and lost for the rest of my life
Do you have those fears? Guuuurl, you are not alone. When you’ve never experienced another way and you’ve been buying into thin fantasies created by diet culture, it’s normal to have all these concerns and more.
Of course, these fears keep us clinging to weight loss and dieting for dear life. Who would want to feel this way?!?! “Sign me up!” <-— said no one ever.
Here is what ACTUALLY happened when I accepted my body:
- My body found its healthiest weight and has pretty much stayed within the same range for the past few years—and I honestly don’t care if it goes up or down (like I reeeeeeally don’t care, which my former self never would have believed)
- Food is no longer an obsession—I haven’t felt guilty about food or binged (and I eat broccoli because I want to)
I’ve eaten banana cake about two times and it has gone stale in my fridge—I never crave it (something I thought only genetic freaks could do)
- I feel more attractive and confident than ever
- The people I care about love me unconditionally and don’t care about how I look
- My friends notice that I’m way less of a control-freak and more fun to hang around with
- I’m so much less distracted and able to focus on the things that truly bring pleasure to my life
- I really don’t care if someone doesn’t like me or find me attractive
- I met an incredible network of body positive women that have become new friends and continually inspire me
- Body shame is a distant memory**
- I rock a bikini at the beach, shorts at the gym, try on clothes with “unflattering” changeroom mirrors and let my jiggly cellulitey thighs show off in all their glory without giving a F
- My self-worth is not tied to my appearance at all
- I feel empowered, confident and free—I know I am enough
None of my fears came true. Nada. Zip. Zero. I proved them all wrong and then some.
I’m not telling you this to make you feel bad that “you’re not there yet”, rather I want you know that I TRULY understand where you’re at and the fear you’re experiencing is totally normal.
It’s scary to enter into a new way of being that you’ve never experienced. To be honest, these fears got more intensified when I made the decision to leave dieting behind. There were so many unknowns, what-if’s and a sensation that I had lost all control. Fear is going to be there whenever we step outside our comfort zone!
Here’s a question I find helpful: What is more important to you than being thinner?
When we can identify all the awesome reasons why we’re doing this, we can start to “be more loyal to our dreams than our fears” (words from one of my mentors, Tara Mohr).
It’s scary to enter into a new way of being that you’ve never experienced. The only way to move through it is to take one baby step at a time to prove to yourself that everything will be OK and you’ve GOT THIS!
Let me be clear: This did not happen overnight. You can’t teleport your way to this point. It took LOTS of time, patience, fumbles, tears, lots of resources invested in my self-improvement, support and persistence.
But, it is possible. You can have this too and it’s SO WORTH IT.
You might be thinking, where do I begin?!?!?
Rock Your Body – the 12-week group coaching program to help you stop hating your body, drop any lingering diet thoughts and start living a kick-ass life beyond the number on the scale. The women who graduate from this program are always amazed that at how none of the fears they had going into it came true. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you experienced that freedom too? Get details and enroll here>>>
*My metabolism wasn’t “broken”… in fact it was doing what a healthy metabolism does when you restrict and binge – it was protecting me from the famine (mental and physical restriction) by holding on to whatever energy (food and therefore, body fat) I was sending it. Once it got the memo that it was receiving consistent amounts of food, it chilled out and found its happy equilibrium. Neat!
**I still have self-loathing and self-doubting moments and days… however, they are rarely about my body. I am human after all.