Struggling to lose weight is rarely due to a lack of information. Nearly every client I meet with knows what to do to lose weight. By the time a client is on my couch, they have tried every diet. They have lost the same 10 or 20 or 50 pounds over and over again only to gain it back. They end up feeling shameful and hopeless. So, they try another diet hoping this time will be different. What is missing here? They are missing the hidden barriers that keep them stuck. In my experience, there are three huge barriers that will always get in the way until they are addressed…
- All or nothing thinking keeps us in a shame cycle. If we don’t eat perfectly or exercise as many times for as many minutes as we think we “should”, we give up. We feel more and more shame which drives us deeper into the downward spiral. When we try to adhere to rigid expectations, we don’t allow for life to happen. Life necessitates flexibility. Without that flexibility, we set ourselves up to struggle each time.
- Unresolved emotional experiences ALWAYS impact our relationship with food. When we have used food to deal with or avoid problems, it will continue to get in the way until we address the underlying emotions. Food becomes our life line when we are drowning. Once we address the pain, we can free ourselves to find other ways to deal with it. The key is DEALING with it instead of brushing it under the rug and trying to convince ourselves it doesn’t exist.
- We are disconnected from our bodies. When we have a history of trauma and/or have used food to numb emotions, we get more and more disconnected from our emotional experience which leads us away from our body. By re-connecting with your body, you can get in tune with what it needs. It allows you to pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Once you key in to what your body needs, it allows your body to get to its natural set point.
Knowledge is power, but when it comes to diets, it often leads us astray. At the end of the day, the only thing we can trust is our body. To get there, we need to get out of our own head, deal with our emotions and listen carefully to what our body needs.