As a nutritionist, I’ve worked with a lot of clients who are hoping to lose weight. While nutrition isn’t one-size-fits-all, there are some generally accepted principles that work well for most people if this is a goal you desire: Eat real food...that nourishes you...only when hungry...slowly and without distractions.
Most people know this. But, in my experience, most people don’t do this. Why?
Why is there a huge gap between what we “know” and what we “do”?
Because weight loss isn’t about what food you feed your mouth as much as what thoughts you feed your mind. If you’ll remember from our previous blog post on programming, it is our beliefs that drive our actions, not our thoughts.
Changing our beliefs is an inside job. You must identify the beliefs that are keeping you stuck. What is it about losing weight that is undesirable to you? Yes, I said undesirable. If we are not achieving our weight loss goals, more than likely it’s because we are unknowingly sabotaging ourselves. Our thoughts tell us that we want to lose weight but our beliefs tell us that we don’t want to lose weight.
Why wouldn’t we want to lose weight? Because it is unsafe to be thin. Because we may get more unwanted attention. Because people may judge us. Because it may make us more visible. Because we don’t want to outshine our mother / husband / best friend. Because then we would have to address the other problems in our life that are being overshadowed by our struggle with weight. Because we don’t feel worthy of being fit. Because we wouldn’t know what to do with our time and energy if we didn’t spend it focusing on food. Because we were told that putting our needs first is selfish. And the list goes on.
Most of the time, these beliefs are subconscious; we are not even aware that they are running around like little renegades in our mind. These beliefs came from what we heard and observed as children. They were espoused by others that we trusted and respected. They were instilled in us when we were younger and more impressionable.
In order to heal your relationship with food and your body, these beliefs must be excavated. They must be exposed for what they are. And they must be paraded out, one by one and tried on for size. Instead of accepting them as fact, you must consciously decide whether they resonate with you and whether they serve you. This is a deliberate and intentional practice. It is about redefining your truth and letting go of what no longer serves you.
In Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says “The greatest power we are given is the power to change our minds”. If you are ready to manage your mind and let go of what’s been subconsciously sabotaging your efforts, check out How to Change Anything where I outline this process in more detail.