One time, well more than one time, I bought several giant cookies, chocolate milk, and a bag of Swedish Fish at the grocery store and gorged on them on my drive home. And I’m not talking about your average 1-hour commute home, I’m talking more like a 10-minute one. Before I pulled into the driveway I stopped at the only trash can in our neighborhood to dispose of the trash (aka evidence) because God forbid anyone knew.
So much shame, oh so very much shame.
It sounds like a bit of a crime scene, doesn’t it?
I’ve never told anyone that before, but I suppose that’s the sign of a good story, one that might lead to a breakthrough. I always find that when my clients preface a statement with, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve never told anyone this before!’ that something magical is about to transpire.
We do weird things with food, don’t we? Well, not all of us, but some of us have, I suppose.
My first memory of a diet was around the age of 8, when I saw my mom doing it. An unfortunate thing of being a baby of the 80’s was a higher likelihood of having what I like to call the ’90’s mom diet mentality’ be a pretty prominent force in your upbringing. And, it’s nothing on them, honestly. They were doing the best they could with what they’d been given.
Remember that, because forgiveness is a game-changer.
I never needed to diet. I was very blessed to be born at a normal, healthy weight with no issues around food, and had a very active and happy upbringing.
But then you get to be a teenager and things start impacting you a little bit differently. All of a sudden after years of subconscious conditioning, you think to yourself, ‘It’s time to start dieting now, right? Since that’s what you do when you grow up, you ‘watch it’ so you don’t ‘get fat.”
And so it begins.
My disordered eating tendencies began in high school when I went reasonably underweight, and then flipped to the other side… slightly overweight. Back and forth. Back and forth. Starve and binge. Starve and binge. Bingeing is your body’s natural response to starvation, just for the record.
One of the worst things about the diet-binge cycle is that it’s noticeable. You literally wear your struggle on the outside, but oh, if they could only see how much worse it was on the inside.
Eventually I steadied at mostly the overweight side of the scale (no pun intended here), but that’s all relative. Whatever you want to classify it as, it didn’t feel natural to me. Sometimes I would lose a little weight through dieting, but there was still a painful battle happening with food, and hence within myself and in my body. This lasted all throughout my 20’s.
Whenever I’d lose a few pounds and feel a little better in my own skin, it didn’t feel real. It didn’t feel permanent. It felt fleeting… temporary… transient.
And that’s because whenever we lose something, we want to go and find it again.
All those years I kept going to find the weight again. Over and over and over. Even though I wasn’t conscious of this at the time, I thought I needed it. In fact, I didn’t think I could live without it. I didn’t know how to. Moreover, I didn’t believe it was possible.
Being stuck in the diet-binge cycle, and artificially trying to lose weight was all I knew. I thought it was the only way to exist in the world. This was my identity. I was constantly trying to achieve some elusive ideal, to get to a certain weight, but then what? Would I still feel this way? Still feel this internal battle with food?
And the answer is yes, I would have. I’d accepted this struggle as a lifelong battle.
But then I saw the light.
Until we heal the roots of the diet-binge cycle and our relationship to food, and superficially try to change ourselves, we’ll always go look for the weight we ‘lose.’
That’s why I believe it’s not about losing weight, it’s about choosing to release it and the reasons why we keep it. It’s not about the pounds, it’s about releasing the struggle, the shame, the story we’ve been telling ourselves, and the unrealistic expectations we’ve held ourselves to, forever. And then, to finally choose to come home to yourself.
I’ve worked with a spiritual healer for years, and she takes me through very powerful energy work where I physically, mentally, and spiritually release someone or something from my system to be able to better connect with myself. Weight release is similar. It energetically comes from every cell of your being. It’s a complete paradigm shift. It’s unwinding years of the same story. It’s a new way of existing in the world. It’s an alliance we make with ourselves, to let go that which does not serve us so we can tap into our truth.
First we have to choose to set the weight free and discover the reasons why we believe the weight is serving us, why we are afraid to live without it, why we believe we can’t. Because of this, weight release is slow, it’s not a quick fix.
When we choose to release something, we give it permission to go, peacefully, without the intention of finding it again. We gracefully set it free without pain or struggle. An amicable bond forms with the excess weight, you thank it for all that it’s done for you, and quite naturally without too much thought you go your separate ways.
Under that weight, under that battle with food is your authentic self, dying to have you listen to her. She knows what’s right for her. She knows how she wants to be treated, and how she wants to feel.
So finally, I started to listen.
I got to the bottom of what was causing me to stay stuck in the diet-binge fluctuation pattern for so many years. The reasons are different for everyone. But they might sound something like… ‘I’m afraid. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m unloveable. I’m unworthy. I’m not good enough. I don’t believe in myself.’
Weight protects us from facing a lot of our own fears, but at some point the pain from the shame and self-hate becomes far too much to handle.
When we decide that the weight isn’t serving us anymore and choose to release it, we are giving ourselves permission to be at our natural weight. Releasing doesn’t hold you to certain standards. In fact, it accepts you as you are now and wants you to settle into what feels most natural for you without the battle with food.
So, if you find yourself struggling like I was, I invite you to just give up. Stop trying to lose weight, and instead, choose to release it.
Ask yourself a few simple questions and be ready to hear what’s on the other side.
Why am I eating too much?
Why do I use food in this way?
Why am I afraid of it?
Listen to that little voice inside of you who wants so badly to treat herself well and be free.
Remember, all you need to do is love her.