No More Resolutions for Weight Loss: My Life Lessons from Chronic Dieting
It’s time to break this New Year tradition: No more resolutions for dieting and weight loss. We all know that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So why do you begin every New Year with the resolution to start another diet?
Has this EVER worked? If you’re like me, this insanity has been going on for a long time. Way too long!
What if this year you broke this New Year’s tradition?
What if you start this year with more clarity and try to figure out why diets don’t work for you and what your issues with food and weight are here to teach you? Restricting food and exercising more is a short term outdated method for weight loss that leaves most of us in worse shape than we started. You know that’s true.
If you want to finally have a healthy relationship with food and your body you have to be willing to delve deeper into your mind and body connection. And that starts with learning what your weight issues are here to teach you.
So instead of signing up for a new diet looking for a quick weight loss solution, it’s time for a new approach.
Here are some of my own life lessons about my weight and dieting that helped me make sense of my struggles. My hope is that this will help you turn inward to seek your own insights and Aha moments.
What I learned from decades of chronic dieting and struggling with my weight
- Patience. I’ve struggled with patience my whole life. There’s a song “I’m in a hurry (and don’t know why)”. This was the story of my life. Always rush! rush! rush! – on the job, driving, eating, everything. Being overweight can be a great teacher in learning patience. After all, there is NO QUICK FIX. Without patience in the process of losing weight and loving your body along the way, there’s only suffering. I finally got it! All those years of looking for quick fixes only delayed results.
- Unconditional love. I have to accept myself NOW, all of me, just the way I am. I can’t hate myself into change. I can’t put conditions on my happiness – I’ll be happy when I’m thinner. I have to be okay with who I am no matter what size I am. Where the hell is it written that you have to be thin to be happy and loved? Why did I buy into that crap for so many years? EVERYONE deserves love and happiness unconditionally.
- My body is brilliant. I’ve learned to listen to my body’s brilliant wisdom, not only about these life lessons, but about the way food impacts my body. So much of being overweight for me was about mindless eating and numbing myself and checking out. The lesson for me was to pay attention in life AND to how my body responds to food. How does my body feel after eating processed foods, sugar, caffeine, dairy, vegetables, and everything else? Intuitive eating, listening to my body, and feeding my body what it really wants has changed my entire world.
- I’m not alone. Being overweight can be isolating (self-imposed, of course). I felt embarrassed, different, weak, and like a failure. I learned that weight and body struggles are universal issues and very much part of our culture. There are millions of people experiencing the same challenges that I have and I can reach out for support at any time and feel understood.
- I can’t change to please someone else. If you’re trying to lose weight because your parents, spouse, friend, or even doctor wants you to, it’s predictable that you won’t succeed – at least not in a sustainable way. My father once bribed me with a new car to lose weight. What he didn’t understand is that no external motivation was going to magically help me succeed at something that I didn’t know how to do.
No more resolutions!
Your life lessons may be different than mine, but one thing’s for sure – they won’t be found by going on another diet.
I don’t know why it took me so long to learn these lessons and to truly understand that my issues weren’t only about food. And in truth, I’m still working on some of these lessons. I hope your awareness and awakening about food and dieting comes sooner than mine did. But if not, that’s okay too.
What is your struggle with food and dieting here to teach you? Taking the time to answer this question can change your relationship with food and your body for good. What’s the lesson you need to learn? Every experience teaches us something; are you open to learning what it is?
Still think that starting a new diet is the answer? Read how to stop dieting to learn why diets don’t work and what to do instead.
No more resolutions!