So you want to lose _____ amount of pounds? Here's how!
“I think everyone should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
-Jim Carey, actor
There are many different reactions that come with this quote- I totally acknowledge that. Humor me, and please continue reading. I have heard countless times after a speaking engagement, or working with patients, that they’ll be so happy when they lose the last few, 5, 10, 20, 40+ pounds. Then they can do everything they’ve ever dreamed! Notice he didn’t say ‘win the lottery’, aka the quick fix to getting rich, but full on worked to achieve it. Same with weight- this goes beyond the cleanse, a few supplements, the fad diet, or new superfood, but the WORK it takes + habits that NEED to change to get to that happy fulfilling feeling.
My freshman year of college I joined the marching band (anyone else do band camp?) and between the Arizona heat of August, the time difference of being from NY, and the long practice hours, I lost weight. Like I haven’t been this skinny since I was about 15! I was only 18, but I actually gained about 10 pounds in high school (muscle + a developing womanly figure of course).
Even though I was a competitive gymnast, slender, and defined, I still never felt ‘good enough’ or ‘thin enough’, until now, because I finally lost whatever few pounds to totally pull off the bandana tube tops (yes, those were a thing), and nothing could bring me down. Except my once 6 pack abs were now barely a 2 pack- that was NOT supposed to happen.
Moral of the story? Sometimes what we think we want isn’t always what we need, coupled with what we find out through our journey of actually getting to that place. Choosing a certain amount of weight to lose is an incredible goal, one that takes responsibility and the willingness to change, yet with it also comes the unknown that whatever we may want, our body may have a different story in mind. For example, maybe those 10 pounds will come right off, or maybe your body plateaus at a 5 pound weight loss, and then you realize you need to change yet again to lose those additional 5 pounds (or maybe only 3.5 + another change for that 1.5).
How to continue losing weight, pushing past a plateau, while not feeling completely foreign in your own body (and trick your brain’s signals that aren’t exactly helping):
Get curious about when what you’re doing isn’t quite working anymore- The faster you realize this, know you’re not going to be thrilled, and then get curious. What’s a small change that you can make: Go to bed a little earlier? Go to the gym an extra day? Find time to meditate? Drink some extra water? Clean out your closet/home/who you spend your time with? We are what we’re surrounded by. Or is there a nagging feeling/truth you’ve not been wanting to admit to yourself or someone else. Weight is also proverbial for holding on- so really take some time to assess ALL of your life.
What do you really want?- Part of my story above was about wanting to feel ‘good enough’, yet even when I got to the weight I wanted, it wasn’t necessarily what I needed. Of course I knew that, but I just wanted to ‘get rid of those bad feelings.’ Sound familiar? It wasn’t until over a decade later that I learned a decision to lose weight and keep it off is actually incredibly life-changing and powerful. What would you do if your life changed? Now hold onto that feeling…
Do all that you can to keep that vibration- I know, a little esoteric. I can tell you about all the supplements, energy medicine, superfoods, etc, and yes, they’re all important and will help you get to where you need to be, but just like supplements aren’t going to replace less than ideal physical health, they’re not going to replace unwanted emotions (yes, I’ve been there too) either. To turn this around- think about how you feel any day, any time you can. Feel it to your core. Breathe.. now act accordingly. You are now out of your comfort zone, but still safe in that feeling of knowing you’re going after what you want.
Weight is a symptom of something except those reasons are so broad, it’s why no single diet or pill or protocol works for every single person. Nor should it! We’re here for a reason! YOU beat out 140 million sperm to get here! Whatever patterns our brain knows, regardless of what we want, it will stay like that. Even if we want to lose weight. So we need to trick our brain. Small, consistent changes tell our brain that we’re safe, no need to ring the alarm and jack up cortisol, which is probably constantly elevated and our abdomen’s cortisol receptors are 4x more responsive. Aka, hello bloat and extra belly weight. Oy! Anywho, The good news is that even as you lose weight, here’s all that you’ll gain!