The Five Pounds That Dominated My Life
Finally! I found a solution, I remember thinking as I read about visualizations for weight loss. In the months leading up, I had gained weight in new areas of my body that wouldn’t go away, no matter what I tried. Normally if I gained a few pounds I could drop them pretty quickly. While I was aware that other things were off in my body, my focus remained on my weight. It seemed more important than the other symptoms… feeling no energy until late at night, brittle nails, changes in my hair, constant stomach bloating, struggling to run two miles.
I was frustrated with my body and pleading with it. Get on board!!! Let’s lose some weight and then we’ll work through the other stuff. I continued ignoring the distress signals my body was giving and remained consumed with the weight loss part. Even when I finally had labels – multiple gut issues, hypothyroidism, and adrenal exhaustion – I remained fixated on weight loss. Instead of focusing on the health issues, I downloaded the visualization for weight loss and put on my earphones.
I know – yikes! Writing this brings back a lot of shock and disbelief. It’s a reminder of how out of touch I was with my body. I was so wrapped up with other things in my life that I ignored my body’s needs. I was in a one-way relationship with it. My body gave and I took.
Needless to say the visualization meditation didn’t work. Nothing I did worked. Ironically, the turning point came when I did nothing. I was told my body needed rest to heal. After muuuuuuuch resistance and a lot of denial, I finally surrendered and did nothing but rest for a few weeks (which felt incredibly challenging for this recovering workaholic). I’m talking about the kind of rest where you don’t do your hair or make up, you don’t shave, and you don’t care what you look like.
At the end of the first week I happened to look at my face in the mirror when I washed my hands, and I noticed my face looked much thinner. I lost 5 pounds. This made no sense. I was basically immobile for a week and didn’t change my diet. And I lost five pounds.
I’ve since learned that it actually made perfect sense, and it helped me begin to completely shift my relationship with my body. When I listened to my body and gave it what it needed – rest and some other things – it began to heal and return to its normal state. Before, when I had stubbornly prescribed solutions without truly listening to what was going on in my body, nothing changed.
It kicked off a major journey of self-forgiveness. I acknowledged what an unappreciative *ss I had been to my body. I did meditations to connect with my body and to really listen to what it had to say (yes, our bodies have voices, and yes mine was pretty ticked off 😉 ). Once I finally understood the importance of my relationship with my body, the healing started. My energy started returning. My nails grew stronger. My hair got back to normal.
Releasing my 5-Pound Prison Sentence
The more I reflected, the more I realized that my initial reaction – to lose weight instead of addressing the health issues – was an automatic, programmed response. For the majority of my adult life, regardless of my weight, I lived life with a 5-pound prison sentence. I could be at my skinniest and the voice would tell me I needed to lose 5 lbs. I could be at my heaviest and the voice would tell me I needed to lose 5 lbs. It was never enough, or, rather, I was never enough. So this situation was really no different to me. New situation (health issues), same old voice (you need to lose weight).
This isn’t easy to share. I teach mindfulness to others, and there I was being completely mindless with my own body. But I chose to share this because I so frequently see how many other women have my old voice, my former prison sentence. The first solution to everything in life seems to be to lose weight. I will feel better, be better, be worthy, meet the right guy, if I just lose some weight. But it runs much deeper than the weight.
The voice telling you to lose weight is the symptom. The cause is perfectionism, comparison, not feeling good enough, feeling overwhelmed and needing to control something, being disconnected from self, or something along those lines. So you can continue to try to cure the symptom, or you can begin exploring the root cause. And here’s the best part… when you develop a trusting relationship with your body, by getting to the root of the situation, you will look and feel better, naturally. Without obsessing, depriving, forcing or controlling. By developing a healthy relationship with your body, your weight will naturally normalize because your body will receive what it needs to produce the energy required to function properly. The days of using weight as an excuse to criticize self will be gone.
In Gaining Weight I Gained Wisdom
My body is learning to trust me, and I am learning to trust it. We’ve made a lot of progress, but it’s an ongoing process filled with little triggers and temptations. I am still carrying a few extra pounds, but it doesn’t bother me the way it used to. It’s a reminder to keep building a relationship with my body. And each pound lost has a much sweeter meaning. It means I am making good decisions for my body and my body is feeling the love!
I listen to its cues now. I listen to when I’m hungry and when I’m full, and I honor those messages.
I know when my inner voice says, wow, you’re not hungry yet, it’s the first sign that hunger is about 20 minutes away.
I’ve learned what it means when I’m eating delicious food and I hear the voice inside my head say, omg, I don’t want to get full, I want to keep eating. It means stop eating. I’ve had enough. I can walk away at that point and not feel too full but not feel hungry. (OK, sometimes I have a few more bites. 😉 )
I’ve learned that my body needs small breaks when working, and when I give it those breaks I do better work and have more energy left over at the end of the day.
I’ve learned my body is a wise guide. My health coach asked if I felt ready to start working out again (I was told to stop during my healing process). My response was that my body would let me know when it’s ready. And it did. I had a dream that I was running and it felt amazing. The sign that my body was ready for movement. So I started walking. 🙂 I know I’ll be running again soon.
I’ve learned that by eating what my body needs, I have more energy and I eat less food.
I’ve learned that I’m so *bleep* grateful I have the energy to get out of bed and to do amazing things in my day. I know that as I continue to develop this new relationship with my body, my energy will keep getting stronger.
I’ve learned that I can put on a piece of clothing that used to fit better and not let it ruin my day.
I’ve learned to look at a picture of myself after gaining weight and still see beauty.
I’ve learned that it feels amazing and boosts your self-worth and happiness to connect with and take care of your body in this way.
I’ve created a new twist to an old saying, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. I believe it’s, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
Releasing Your Prison Sentence
I want to plant a seed for you.
Instead of setting the usual New Year intentions, which if you’re female almost always involves weight loss of some kind, choose differently.
Choose you. Choose your body. Choose peace and happiness. Set the intention to build a stronger relationship with my body. Please. It will change your life.
Set the intention to be a good partner to your body…to listen to it…to respect it…to love it through choices… to honor it through your thoughts. You are worth it.
Set an intention to understand what makes your body run well and be happy.
Make a commitment to take actions to bring it health and happiness.
Most importantly, set the intention to stop criticizing it. Choose kindness and compassion instead. Again, you deserve it.
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Molly Hamill, MA, is a certified life coach, Kundalini yogini and mediation enthusiast. She works with people around the country helping them lose their stress and feel their best. After recovering from her own health journey (Hashimoto's Hypothyroiditis, Adrenal Fatigue, and Leaky Gut), she is especially passionate about helping others establish mindsets and habits that support their health and happiness. For more information about Molly, get her weekly emails (sign up in green bar below), follow her on her Instagram and Facebook page, or chat with her in her private Facebook group, where she posts daily to help keep you connected with truth, dreams and desires. Prior to breaking free of the 9-5 life, she was an award-winning human resources executive for a national healthcare company.