“I agree completely with this post and your idea of loving and accepting one's self, however, it seems easier said than done. I can honestly say that I like my body (love is too strong of a word). Even so, I still find myself slipping every so often. I find fear to be a factor too.
Interestingly enough that same day I received an email from another reader expressing the same exact sentiment. These ladies clearly understand on an intellectual level that loving and accepting oneself is of the utmost importance but still in their own ways feel stuck.
Reading this feedback, I was struck by the level of empathy I felt. I clearly remember what it felt like to be stuck. What it felt like to desperately want change but somehow lacking the motivation to do it. What it felt like to live in fear, fear of gaining weight and fear of not being able to keep weight off I had lost. I would have told you at any point in my life that I loved myself. And as a teenager I already professed that I wanted to loose weight to be healthy not for aesthetic reasons. Yet that was not enough to motivate me to make change, not enough for me to find joy in making those changes.
The question at hand is, HOW DOES THIS LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE GET YOU FROM POINT A TO POINT B?
Love and acceptance helps you realize that you are at already at point B (aka where you want to be). There is no where to go.
I want to share a note I wrote on FaceBook.
“There are so many diets out there, so many programs. The truth is when a person follows these plans or programs they will meet their goal of losing weight. So why, for most of us who have battled with our weight, are we not successful? I challenge that the root of our failure isn’t in our lack of self-discipline; instead I believe it is our lack of self love and acceptance.That note was entitled Radical Weightloss and it was the predecessor of this blog. I wrote it in the very beginning of my radical hateloss journey. I wrote it before I had lost any weight. When I wrote it I felt as if I already had lost 100lbs, because I felt free for the first time in my life.
How many woman, and probably men too, do you know that truly love and accept themselves as they are, in particular their physical bodies? Even those that would considered “skinny”, say they need to lose 5 pounds or that they hate this or that about their bodies. Most of us stay focused wanting the body would make us happy. If we had this body then we would be happy and satisfied! What if you completely and totally accepted and loved your body TODAY, right now? I know what you’re thinking…If I accepted myself…where would I find the motivation to be healthy? Isn’t my discontent the force that drives me to keep battling my weight? Yes actually it is, your discontent does keep you battling your weight. I don’t know about you, but me, I’m tired, unbelievably tired of battling. I want to be in congruence instead of conflict.
So today I am learning to love and accept my body and myself. I don’t need to be skinny to be sexy. I don’t need to be skinny to be happy. I don’t need to be skinny to be who I truly am. I am all those things right now, in this body. What I choose to do today is not a means to an end. I have one purpose and one goal in my life, to continue to be present in each moment. I don’t choose to eat the foods I eat to fill a void or as a means to an end of a lower weight on the scale. I eat the food I do to nourish my body and eat it joyfully. Nor am I exercising to lose weight. I am exercising because it feels good, for its own intrinsic value. I am finding joy in feeling my muscles move and grounding myself in my body. I am choosing not to weigh myself. I don’t need that feedback to define me. In the past the weight on the scale brought joy or defeat, both faces of the same monster.
Obviously choosing the present moment, may very well lead to weight loss. Somehow it all feels different, radical even. It’s like doing the whole thing backwards. Instead of feeling happy after I have lost weight, I feel happy right now. Happiness is my starting point not my goal. I don’t really have the words to express, just how right that feels."
The shift in me happened when I fully realized that what I had been chasing my whole life, a smaller weight and size didn’t matter. That I didn’t need to be thin to be healthy, happy or my whole self, because I already was all those things in the moment I chose to be.