Yup. I asked it. The all uncomfortable, all fully loaded for judgement question. Is it ok that I want to lose weight?
Is it ok that I want to have a good relationship with food AND have a weight loss goal? Just to put your mind at ease, I will start this post by saying YES. This is totally ok. No one should shame you for this, and if they do, well, this is another post, but boundaries and ditching toxic people is the title of that one.
Now, let us look at this a little deeper. For what probably seems like your entire life, you have known what good and bad foods are right? This is where your guilt comes from. The pit in your stomach when you get asked if you want dessert, the pre researching menus before dinner with the girls, the calorie counting, the macro cutting, this is where it all stems from. Society over the years has dictated to you what good food and what bad food look like. It is an ever controlling, ever judgmental, unsustainable way of living, raise your hand if you are about DONE with it? Yea, me too.
When I found intuative eating, it allowed me to begin to repair my relationship with food. It allowed me to see foods for what they were, to listen to my body and eat what I wanted, not what I stuffed into a colourful container or dialed into the my fitness pal app, I did that for too many years, to my body, I say I am really really sorry.
If you feel like you need to lose weight there are a few reasons for it. One may be that you do, and that is ok. Another may be because you have in the past, so you know that it is possible for your body, thus making you believe it is what needs to happen. Here’s the thing. We all have a NATURAL BODY WEIGHT, and guess what? That number MOVES! It fluctuates, because you are not a brick, you are a human, and you need to put things INTO your body to survive. The truth is, we can always lose weight, that doesn’t mean we need to OR that it is healthy. Let me ask you something. When you stopped dieting and went up a size, you automatically thought you failed right? That it was bad? Mmmhm. Food for thought. If you had to hardcore diet and restrict to get to that size, doesn’t it make sense that when we stop that cycle we gain weight? If this is the case, I encourage you to look at the cost of dieting for you. What did you have to give up? How did that make you feel?
If you are anything like me, it meant that you thought about food over 90% of the time. That you planned out your meals, that you consciously said no to things like dessert or seconds. Heaven forbid you have something with sugar in it. After all, what would Jillian Michaels say to that? You opted for salad instead of fries, ditched the bun, and probably did everything you could to wait as late as you could in the day to eat. Anyone sitting there with their hand up? Or just me?
Let me ask you something else, 7 months into a pandemic, what are your values now? Have things shifted a bit? Are you ready to just enjoy your body and the food you eat?
Here is where the shift happens.
Focusing on weight loss inherently makes us ignore our body cues. We can’t be hungry we just ate 3 hours ago, I have to be full, my plate is empty, or how about when your friend or partner asks you if you want to split a dessert? Have you ever stopped to think how your body feels that you totally ignored it saying to you ” Fiona, you just ate, dinner, you are having a wonderful time with your husband, I would happily digest half of that big ass butter tart he always wants to split before heading home” But diet mentality causes us to ignore these feelings and leaves us feeling guilty, to hurry up and leave, to rush home, or maybe we eat it but then we feel like shit after because we failed, or we gave in. We deny the gentle que from our intuition, and then four days later after continuing this pattern, we binge eat and decide to say fuck it , this isn’t for me. Just long enough to feel like shit again and find a new diet.
Studies have shown that even contemplating your next diet causes cravings, feelings of shame, guilt, judgement and negative self talk. I mean, is this really why we are here? To look the way society tells us to look so we can fit into a smaller box at the end of it all. FUCK THAT. And if you just said that with me, keep reading.
This is not how things have to be. Repairing your relationship with food AND wanting to shed a few pounds is OK and totally doable. Intuitive eating may not be the fastest way to drop the pounds, but let me ask you something, are you ok with loving yourself through it? If your body needs to lose weight, it will.
Give yourself permission to put the nasty word diet in the trash, and put the words weight loss on the back burner. Give yourself permission to listen to your body and her ques. Give yourself permission to eat the foods your body wants, move your body because it feels good. If weight loss comes, well then it is suppose to, and if it doesn’t, maybe we need to work on loving this body that we have right now a little harder. Maybe we need to dig a little deeper and see what is really going on inside and what other areas are in need of a little TLC and healing.
My encouragement. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind. Eat intuitively. Stop telling yourself foods are bad. You know what your body needs to thrive, you do not need a meal plan or diet to tell you that. Move your body in a way that feels good to you, this may change daily, and that’s ok, because guess what, you are changing daily too.
So, no, wanting to lose weight is not bad. Wanting to feel better in your skin, also not bad. None of these things are ever anyone else’s business and if someone judges your choices, its them you need to remove from your life, not the butter tart. However, you can have a weight loss goal, and love yourself and your life at the same time.
I hope if anything this post has left you with the comfort of knowing you don’t have to feel this way anymore, and to pose the question, is my focus on weight loss helping me feel good, or is there another way I can learn to care for, love, appreciate and respect this body I get to live in?
If you have questions and want some more support and encouragement, book an Alignment Inquiry call with me or comment below and let’s talk.