Why Can’t I Lose Weight?
Are you desperate to drop those 10 pounds before summer? Have you tried every diet around?
Then you may be like me, CrisMarie. You’ve spent a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, criticizing yourself, trying to lose that 5, 10, or 20 pounds over and over again.
My battle with weight started at the ripe age of six when, after I ate all the charms out of the Lucky Charms cereal box, my mom banned sugar from our house. I was miserable with a lunch of my boring turkey sandwich, an apple, and carrot sticks while my classmates enjoyed their Ding-Dongs and Hostess cupcakes.
That event locked in my addiction to sugar.
Have you ever promised yourself, okay no more sugar, dairy or gluten, only to find yourself eating a whole bag of milk chocolate cookies later that afternoon?
Your weight issue is not about what you eat. There’s a missing ingredient to every diet around. It’s your feelings. It’s about what you feel or, rather, what you don’t want to feel. For many, the reason you’re stuck in yo-yo dieting is that you’re unconsciously or consciously using food to avoid what you feel.
The patterns of how we eat and how we feel were set up at very young age and they are linked together. The good news is you can unhook them.
Are you a gobbler of cookies? Do you binge on chips? In both cases, something in you is unconsciously or consciously trying to repress what you feel.
Growing up you likely got the message that your feelings were not good or safe to express. Did you ever hear:
Don’t be so sensitive
Don’t be so emotional
Don’t be so difficult
What you heard as a child likely taught you that being cool or even rational is much more acceptable than being emotional.
You didn’t have a lot of power as a little one, but you did have a helpful, powerful brain. To avoid rejection and shame, your brain, as an ally, represses what you feel – especially those socially unacceptable feelings such as sadness, fear, or anger.
The problem is you are an emotional being. We all are!
Your emotions are here for a good reason. Emotions are energy moving inside you and are felt as sensations in your body. They tell you what you like and want, what feels good. They also tell you what you don’t like and want, and what feels bad.
Your feelings are also your connection to your gut instincts, sensations in the body that tell you when something is vital to your well-being. It’s how you connect with your intuitive guidance.
When you learned to repress these natural responses to secure acceptance and approval, you disconnected from our own GPS guidance system, your soul.
One strategy the brain uses to help repress what you feel is to distract you from what you feel by using decoys. A major decoy is unconsciously or consciously eating.
Thus, a binger of chips or a gobbler of cookies. Don’t forget, if you’re not a food binger, you it could be binging on Facebook or overwork…
It’s one big game your brain plays with you with its misguided motive to keep you safe by not feeling your feelings. It also tells you scary thoughts like:
If I express this, I’ll be rejected.
If I feel this, it will never end.
If I feel this, I’ll be overwhelmed by it.
These are lies. The truth is that your feelings are always changing. Do you feel now the same way you felt two days ago? Two hours ago? Two minutes ago? No.
By the way, another complication of not feeling your emotions is that physically, it leads to chronic stress and inflammation, making your body store excess fat versus losing it.
The good news is that you can retrain your brain and your body.
You need to fire your brain as your CEO. Your mind, while a good manager, makes a lousy CEO. Your soul, however, is an excellent CEO and your best GPS. You want to reboot your system, and settle your overprotective mind into a more productive role and bring back the ability to hear your soul’s guidance.
FYI - your soul communicates to you through your emotions and body sensations.
Here are some steps to try:
1. Breathe: Connect to your breath. Your breath brings you back into contact with your body and your emotions. Emotions as energy in motion are felt through sensations in your body. By breathing, you wake up your system and allow the energy to move, and you will often get information that informs you of what is most important.
If you find yourself going for that cookie, glass of wine, or bag of chips, pause, and take three minutes and breathe deeply. Breathing helps you connect back to your body, which knows if it’s hungry or not.
2. Ask: After breathing, ask yourself, “What am I feeling and where do I feel that in my body?” Are you happy, sad, mad, or afraid? Now bring that brain back into the equation by finding healthy ways to express what you are feeling.
Then ask your body “What do you want right now? What would feel like love?” If the answer is the cookie, wine, or chips, this is another opportunity to use your brain. Your mind can help you find the BEST wine, cookie or chips!
3. Compassion: Now see if you can come up with some compassionate acceptance for yourself, – even if you’re feeling like a mess. Imagine you are a friend of yours. What would you say to her? Try saying that to yourself.
If you’re punishing yourself by looking at those pants that are one or two sizes too small, thinking, “I’ll feel better when I can fit into those.” Stop it! Right now! I mean it. Criticizing yourself just adds to the stress.
Get rid of those pants or at least put them in another closet. Now, go out and buy something that fits and makes you feel attractive.
This will not be a quick fix, but it will be lifelong fix. Sadly, this means you may not lose the 10 pounds before summer starts. But when you do begin to make this shift and commit to feeling your feelings, you are more likely to release the weight for good!
P.S. If you want support through this process, why not take sign up for Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo, or our signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana? I, CrisMarie, am also available for one-on-one personal coaching, which is a great gift to give yourself!
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.
Interested in coaching? Check out CrisMarie’s executive coaching and personal coaching, or Susan’s personal coaching and equus coaching.
Want to take a class? Sign up for one of their virtual classes: Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo or come to their signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana. Click here to check out all their service offerings.
Click here to contact them to coach with you, consult with your team, or speak at your next event.