5 Reasons to Reconsider Trying to Lose Weight This New Year
All around me I hear people talking about their weight loss goals, new ways they are going to eat, their new gym membership, and how awesome they will feel when finally (!) they lose the pounds that have been weighing on them for the past stretch of time. There is so much energy for change in the air and we all want to become our better selves this year, right?
I, too, want you to grow and become the most radiant version of yourself that you have the potential to become.
And that is why I am asking you to pause if you are considering a traditional weight loss journey this new year.
When I say traditional weight loss what I mean is any sort of plan that includes any or all of these three components:
1. Exercise or movement that stresses you out and that you do not love
2. Any sort of plan that involves you weighing yourself and measuring areas of your body on a regular basis.
3. Eating in a way that includes and focuses on eating less. And I mean less when it comes to the quantity of food and less of any type of food. And, yes, this includes a focus on trying to eat less junk food and sugar.
What is wrong with these endeavors?
Here are 5 reasons to reconsider this traditional type of weight loss…
1. Stressful exercise that you do not enjoy. This type of movement will actually put your body in more of a stressed state. This stressed state will put a higher demand on your adrenal glands that are the masters of your flight or fight response. Long-term engagement of your adrenal glands in this type of flight or fight response will exhaust your adrenal glands, therefore robbing them and your body or essential nutrients and hormone balance. Consequences of this are lower libido, energy depletion, body inflammation, reproductive challenges, and it keeps your body in a catabolic (break-down) state rather than an anabolic (build-up) state.
2. Weighing and measuring your body. This is problematic for most because it often leads to discouraging feelings when numbers haven’t shifted as hoped. This discouragement then leads to heavy feelings, negative self-talk that spirals into compromised self-worth and self-hate. Numbers are also not true indicators of health. You are 60% water. In any given day your weight can fluctuate be several pounds due to changes in body water. Additionally, weight loss can be a sign of dehydration…not an indicator of substantive weight loss.
3. Eating in a way that focuses on less – emotional consequences. Whenever there is a focus on taking away, this has emotional consequences that are worrisome to me. Feelings of deprivation grow, a self-battle ensues. Then, when you give in and release the tight grip of saying no to something…there is guilt and even self-hate. The power given to the foods that you say no to, or vow to stop eating, grows in its power over you as your determination to eat less of it increases.
4. Eating in a way that focuses on less – physiological consequences. When you diet/put yourself in a state of deprivation, your body thinks things are scarce and that you are on a desert island. Your body will slow down metabolism and it will reduce a hormone called leptin which results in a physiological message for you to be hungrier while slowing your metabolism down. Your body sensed the fat loss and is trying to regain it by making you hungry and slowing your metabolism so it can hold onto the weight. Chronic dieting results in chronically less leptin over time and thus more weight gain.
5. For those who go on traditional weight loss plans, statistics show that 98% of those who lost weight will regain the same or more of the weight loss within the first 2 years after losing the weight. The 2% who keep the weight off…what about them? They did not go on any weight loss plan. Instead they had a significant life event occur…they got divorced, moved, quit a job, found a lover, had a spiritual awakening etc.
What are you to do if you feel like you need to lose weight? There are so many things I could say here. But for today, I want you to focus on just 2 things.
First, consider any extra weight you have as stored potential energy. What hope, endeavor, feeling, desire is stored away in you? What needs to be let loose and vividly fleshed out in your life? Is it your sexuality? Your passion to grow economically? Your desire to travel? To birth a book? To dance? To reconnect with the Divine?
Second, instead of looking at ways to change your body, look at ways to change your life. This is key. Look at the areas you have turned away from because they are too painful. Look at the areas where you feel things have slid into a mediocre day-to-day hum drum. Look to the areas you feel flat, dull, tired, used up. These are signals for you. These are the very areas for you to lean into and listen more closely. This is where awakening, healing, and ultimate transformation wants to occur.
Who wants to live a skinny life while everything else is hollow? No, this is not about the size of your pants.
This is about you waking up and tapping into that divine vitality that is yours. Your life is beckoning you to live a full life.
Traditional weight loss plans will side-track you from engaging in the real work at hand this year. They are about hating yourself into a false version of yourself.
Instead, the real work is about fleshing out an amazing, fulfilled, powerful you….it is about loving you into your highest most beautiful self.
I’d love to hear more about your weight loss thoughts and journeys. Please share below.