Weight Loss Kindness
By default we use self-judgement. Even after listening to Pema Chodron for hours, “self-kindness” still sounds too soft to me. I don’t associate it with achieving goals… People who know me can say how hard I can be on myself – and maybe you know from experience: those moments are far from productive. It was with others’ help that I learned to be nicer to myself.
By default we push ourselves to reach our goals, we use harsh self talk, sometimes even abusive language, and when it comes to losing weight – we “hate the fat”, starve ourselves or push thru the exercises and diet meals we don’t even enjoy. We would never do those things to someone else. (I hope)
For some reason it stuck with me: ages ago, in my architecture prep school (from which I run away through a window after only two months. Yes, I fit thru the window, I did not fit in the boring calculations class) there was a girl, Joan. She wanted to lose weight to look great for her sister wedding. Her plan: cigarettes. No food. I worried watching her outside on the breaks, in a cloud of smoke, warming her hands on a cup of black coffee.
And maybe these days nobody is that extreme… but
for some of us, we have to be alive for a good several decades before we realize: self-judgement and mistreating the body doesn’t work.
When it comes to our weight loss process, what if this time it was a self-care journey? What if it was a “wellness project”?
Doesn’t sound effective enough? Shedding the unwanted pounds may take several months, or a year. Doesn’t matter. Why waste any time for “hating your fat” and being impatient.
But how to change self-abuse / self-judgement to self-kindness?
Not in one day. Not in one step.
One thought at a time, one action at a time, one choice at a time.
Just like you lose 25 pounds: first pound, second pound… twentieth pound.
One day at a time.
Obviously it’s hard to go from hating to loving.
You first have to know that there is such possibility for you.
Then you can choose a thought that feels just a bit better than the previous thought. And again, better than the previous thought. Then you naturally roll back to the negative thought. So you start again. You get further.
Patience with yourself is a learned skill too. Kind of… necessary because creating a better body takes time!
And from here the process of change feels so much better. Still, it’s not easy, but I can tell you, even the moments of, so called “deprivation” (which is just an illusion, a matter of perspective), when I show up with self kindness – I handle them deliberately.
Don’t say you can’t. If I can, you can. You may not know yet how, but the door to this practice is always open.