I’ve lost count of the number of people who have sat across from me in a session or just in general conversation who have said something along the lines of..
“I’ve just got sooooo much going on. I have this injury that is keeping me from exercising. My boss is constantly on my back and I have been working late every night to meet these deadlines. I’ve got my parents coming in from out of town to stay with me next week. I’ve got that wedding coming up and I’ve said I would help out to organise the kids’ school fete. You know, I’ve REALLY got to do something about my weight because it is just getting out of control.”
It doesn’t really matter what all the ‘life’ stuff is that gets listed off. What always tends to be the same is the overwhelming urge to lose weight that comes with it.
And do you know what? I can completely get it.
When life gets hectic, it is totally natural to want to latch on to something that we feel we CAN control.
And controlling the body is something that feels achievable in times where everything else feels out of control. Especially for people who have dieted on and off over their lives.
Because what does pursuing weight loss generally involve?
- A plan
- Something to work towards
- A specific endpoint where we can tick a box and say “I’m done”
These are all things that help make us feel safe, on track and productive when the rest of our lives seem anything but.
why turning to weight loss is not the answer
While turning to weight loss might feel calming and soothing, like putting on a comfy pair of PJs, ultimately it is not going to the answer. Here’s why:
- By putting your focus on losing weight you are using up precious bandwidth to get on and deal with all of the stuff that is actually going on in your life and needs your attention. Essentially focussing on weight loss might feel ‘safer’, but it is distracting.
- And it is only a temporary distraction. Because all of that stuff going on in your life that feels hectic and out of control is still going to be there.
- It wouldn’t be a feel good eating article if I didn’t put in a reminder somewhere that the pursuit of weight loss has a very poor success rate long term.
what might help
If this sounds like you, I would invite you to do some reflection and have a think about whether it is weight loss you want really want. Or are you craving some stability in the rest of your life? Do you need some support to manage all of the competing priorities? Do you need someone to validate, or give you the space to vent that you are going through a tough patch?
Are you getting your basic needs met? That is, things like enough sleep, hydration, food?
What might also help is to gently remind yourself, almost like a mantra that,
“My body is not the problem”
Because guess what? It never is. And weight loss is definitely not going to be the thing to ‘fix’ it, or anything else that is feeling scary or out of control in your life.