There is a woman, I’m not even going to give her google hits by trying to find out what her name is, who claims that overweight people are just lazy. To prove her statement, she gained weight and then lost everything again. There is one very big flaw in her thinking process: the mind!
My statement is that losing a big amount of weight (and keep it off) is not so much about learning how to eat healthy or adopt an active lifestyle. It is foremost a psychological process. We’re going to explore this more, but let me first tell you something about my own experiences.
As you can read in my weight loss story, I started becoming overweight when I was a child. I was put on diets and as a child, I would rebel against it and buy candy secretly. Being overweight brought me a lot of negative emotions, but also negative attention (and a lack of positive attention). The popular and skinny girl in school got the boys, the fat girl was bullied. I started to have negative feelings about myself, not feeling worthy and guess what: food was there for me, it helped me cope and feel better. Shortly though, because after eating a lot of bad food I would feel disgusted by myself and angry at myself because I did this, making me feel negative again and the whole cycle of negative feelings and eating starts again. This became such a fixed pattern in my life, that though I tried diets and exercise, it never changed the way I thought about myself and in that way, the cycle of negative feelings leading to eating. So, it didn’t matter how much weight I lost during those attempts, it always came back to bite me in the behind. Society doesn’t help either, by bullying and the bad image fat people have. So how did it change for me? First of all, I started working and after studying for so many years, it really gave me an accomplished and proud feeling. It helped that I started working in psychiatry. Most of my work wasn’t related to this, but knowing more about how the mind works, really helped me to see it more clearly. I also felt very loved by colleagues and coworkers, which helped my journey even more by feeling that you are good as you are. What helped me the most, is not feeling mad at myself anymore. I’m human, I make mistakes and I can feel guilty about that, but hey, why beating yourself down? It doesn’t help a bit and it only makes things worse. There are also a lot of other aspects of looking at your diet, I’ll talk about that in another post.
So, when I look at this problem in general, I might say that self love and self acceptance is very important in a weight loss journey. But how do you do it? Because, yeah, you want to change, want to become fit and healthy, so you cannot accept and love yourself right now… Or can you? Can’t you love yourself for being so courageous to take this step? Self love is much more than just saying I love myself. It’s being kind for yourself, not beating yourself down after a mistake, finding yourself important enough to take care of, or accepting you have a flaw.
So, I started this story with the woman who says fat people are lazy. For me, it’s easy to talk about my own story, because I broke my own cycle. It is not easy though, to break that cycle! It takes a lot of time and insight, and also the knowledge that this is the problem. So, for everybody who thinks losing weight and getting fit is easy, I’m telling you: yes, everybody can eat less and exercise more, but that is not the issue! The issue is in the mind and please, let us all be more kind to each other, it can make a huge difference in somebody else’s life, and in yours too!