“Frequently avoidance of the present leads to idealization of the future… When an event does not live up to your expectations you can get out of the depression by idealizing again. Do not let this vicious circle become your life-style. Interrupt it now with some strategic present-moment fulfillment.”
― Wayne W. Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones
It’s so easy to get caught up in the thinking that our happiness is tied up in achieving something in the future. We may tell ourselves how wonderful our lives are going to be once we lose weight, and meanwhile our one and only precious lives are passing us right by.
Weight loss is a process and a journey, not a magic cure-all. If you hate yourself right now, you will probably find things to hate about yourself once you’re thinner. Being self-critical and self-loathing are deeply ingrained patterns that aren’t simply erased once you get thin. I’ve had many women who’ve lost 100 lbs. or more tell me that inside they still feel the same. They feel like a fat person in a thin body. Many of these women had bariatric surgery and didn’t spend much time doing the inner work to release the self-defeating patterns and limited thinking that got them big in the first place.
There’s a quote by Jon Kabat-Zin that says it all: “Wherever you go, there you are.” You can’t escape yourself even if you change your outer appearance. Once you get this on a deep level, you get more willing to do the deeper work.
So many of us want to take short cuts or the fast and easy way to get to our weight loss goal. Unfortunately, weight loss is a process and even if your short cut gets you there, you still haven’t learned the key skills to keep the weight off. Weight loss is actually the easy part; maintenance is where the real skill and challenge lies.
Over the years I’ve had many clients tell me, “I need to get this weight off quickly. Once I do, I will then learn how to maintain it.” Unfortunately, you need to learn maintenance as you go, not once you get there. As soon as most people reach their goal, they immediately start to pack on the pounds again. This is because they’ve only learned two ways of being: overeating or dieting. They haven’t learned the place of balance, the place of maintenance.
Trying to rush the process is self-defeating in the end. I’ve had people come to me who’ve lost and regained 100 lbs. two to three times. That’s a whole lot of life energy spent spinning your wheels. They would have been much better served if they had spent that energy learning better coping tools and working on their self-defeating thinking patterns so they didn’t regain the weight over and over again.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to accept where you’re at right now on this journey. Don’t try to push the river. You can lose weight mindfully by realizing each moment and each stage of the journey holds important lessons and insights for you. Relax and stay in the present. If you try to jump ahead, you don’t learn the lessons, and you shortchange yourself. Having patience and trust is a big part of the process. Trust that as you move forward, you will be given what you need to learn and grow into the next stage. We struggle and suffer when we think the process should fit our timetable. Instead of resisting and controlling the process, we need to adjust and surrender to it, and as we do, we get what we need…and not a moment sooner.
So wherever you are, relax. This moment contains all you will ever need.
Are you struggling to lose weight? Would you like to learn how to lose weight using mindfulness?
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