The Missing Ingredient

If you are like most of my clients, you have done the weight loss/weight gain yo-yo. You have tried every diet under the sun. You have told yourself that the next time would be different….until it wasn’t. So, what gets in the way every. single. time? You just aren’t that into it. Wait. What? No. No, that isn’t the case, you say. I am into it. I want it. I want to lose weight and feel freedom from food more than anything. If that were true, things would be different. I’m not saying you are doing it wrong or not trying hard enough! That isn’t what I mean, at all.

I think what gets in the way is a lack of compassion and trying to make changes because you “should”. Here is how this often plays out….Most of my clients believe that their body needs to look a certain way to be loved, to be successful and/or to be happy. Sure, if you woke up tomorrow and had the body of your dreams, you would feel better. However, it would only be temporary. Soon, you would find something about yourself to berate.

We lack compassion for ourselves when we fall short of where we think we “should” be. If we create a plan for eating or physical activity and base it on what we think others or society expects of us, we will not follow through. If it is based on shame, instead of compassion, we will not follow through. If we think we don’t deserve it, we will not follow through. This is what I mean by not really being into it. On the other hand, if our goals are tied to our values, we have a chance to succeed. If my choice to make changes is based on wanting to nurture my body and valuing what those changes will do for me mentally and physically, I am more likely to follow through.

At the end of the day, if you want to make changes to your body, don’t do it because you “should”. Do it because you want to feel differently, not because you want to look differently. Have compassion for yourself and give yourself grace along the way. Focus on gratitude for your body instead of marinating in shame.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Weber State University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. She has been working in the mental health field since 2001.


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