In my dieting days, every year around this time, I’d curse the end of February while also anxious about wearing my spring clothes. This was proof I had failed my “new year, new you” resolve. Why hadn’t I been able to fix my weight?
Because I didn’t realize I wasn’t broken, I’d tune into all the advertising and magazines that operated under the same premise: that I had failed but they had this “one thing” that would be the answer.
And then 12 years ago at the end of February, I felt like I was stewing in a crock-pot of depression, sadness, frustration and anger over my winter weight gain.
And so I gave up. On dieting. On the hope of my different, thinner life.
Me. The little girl my dad nick named “jackhammer” because I would pound away relentlessly till I broke through whatever barriers to get what I wanted (including his nerves!).
Giving up didn’t feel like a choice. It felt like resignation. I remember telling myself, “well, you’re going to have to figure out how to like your life being fat.”
What I didn’t know then was I wasn’t giving up. My constricted feelings were signaling that I was ready to break loose of doing the same thing of fighting food, my cravings and body. My breakdown was a breakthrough.
I was finally ready to consider that self-acceptance could be about appreciating my current body and still wanting to improve it. For example, it was about doing the work to understand the root cause of my supposed love of carbs (I had never bothered to understand blood-sugar beyond reading about it in the South Beach Diet).
About half my clients come to me under these same circumstances. They know my work is very different than what they’ve tried. And, they candidly share I am their last hope. That yes they want to lose weight but they will “settle” for internal peace.
What I tell them is that seems like resignation to you, feeling lost and uncertain, tells me you are open. To real change.
Contrary to motivational speeches everywhere, being ready for profound change isn’t about feeling inspired. This can get you started. But what gets you through the middle, which is most of any journey, are the choices you make when you don’t know which way to turn.
Will you go around in circles, learning “more” from the media that keep this painful yet familiar battle story going? Or will you consider a different path, even if you’re skeptical in the beginning?
As humans, we narrate our lives in reverse. In other words, things only make sense after the fact. That is when we can see how “oh, this led to this.”
So if you’re feeling lost, confused and really not sure where to turn next with this “food thing”, it’s not winter, spring or your body you are rallying against.
It could be that you’re ready to stop being against yourself and for a breakthrough.
Like me, my clients are persistent. But now it’s time to persist in reading and writing a different story.
As one of my favorite poets Rumi says, “Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”
So sit with what possibilities are stirring within you.
If you do feel ready for a breakthrough, I’ll be back shortly with a great next chapter to create a plot-twist in your tired dieting story.