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The Struggle

What's underneath the weight?

This is a question I've been asking myself lately.

For those of us who struggle with our weight, I think it's an important question to ponder.

Let me back up a moment.....

When I say struggle, I'm referring to the idea of wanting to lose weight and keep it off. There are many of us who are successful at losing weight, but somehow, we always seem to gain it back. It tends to happen mysteriously over time. It creeps back before we realize it, then there we are. We seem to be stuck in some sort of perpetual loop that keeps the pattern playing over and over again. That’s the struggle.

When that happens, when we get stuck in the loop, we typically try going back to whatever diet or plan worked the last time. We think “it worked before, so it will work again”. Unfortunately, that's not true. If it truly worked before you wouldn't be going back to it again. You wouldn’t be spending more money on the same weight loss plan, or something similar. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. This is something the diet industry doesn’t want us to realize.

What I have learned on my own personal journey is this: it is important to understand why you're holding on to your weight, and it is equally important to know what's underneath your weight.

There's a reason your body gains the weight back. It's not because you're weak. It's not because you suck or have no self-discipline. I tend to believe that the extra weight we carry can be a physical manifestation of something. What do you think it is? For every person it is different. You may not be conscious of the answer(s) to that question, but it is inside of you. And yes, it is possible that there is more than one answer.

My weight has served as a source of protection and safety. It's been my comfort, my solitude, my warm blanket, and my friend. It's also been a rebellion against the people who disapprove. In a twisted way it has served as my voice, saying "screw you" to all of those who fat shame. I manifested a shield that would both protect me and serve as a big, giant middle finger. Good intentions, but probably not what I need at this point.

I know why I have held on to my weight. Now it's time to explore the next question.

What is underneath my weight?

Beneath all of the layers there's a wound that hasn't had an opportunity to heal. There's pain, and sadness that has been stuffed down and covered up.

I wanted to keep it covered, because I thought that would feel better. I know that exposing it will hurt, and I have been afraid to feel it. However, what I have learned is that keeping it covered will eventually hurt more. The wound wants to be acknowledged. It needs light. It needs space. It wants to breathe. In some ways, I think it wants to talk. That’s why I feel so much better when I share my stories, publicly or privately. That part of me is able to own my story. Sharing offers acknowledgement, and release. It's all part of the healing.

All of the weight loss attempts I tried over the years served as band-aids for my wound. They provided some temporary pain relief, but never exposed the wound. In truth, I didn’t know the wound was there. I didn’t know there was something underneath. Those plans don’t teach you how to feel, or how to explore. The root was never exposed. Instead, I landed on a hamster wheel of sorts that kept reapplying the same band-aid over and over again.

We tend to think that it's much easier to slap on the band-aid so we don't have to feel, but that only helps us on the surface. There's hurt happening underneath, we just avoid it, and numb ourselves to it. The pain is still going on behind the scenes, and we’ll continue to stay in the loop.

I have ripped off the band-aid covering my wound(s). I’m exposing everything that’s underneath. That’s what many of my blogs have been about. There are some stories I’m not prepared to share publicly, not yet. That’s okay. I write about them. I share them with myself, my husband, and even with my clients when it makes sense. In one way or another, I’m owning the stories of what is underneath. I'm giving that part of me the love that she needs & deserves. My wound is the little version of me that was hurt over and over again. She is the little girl who believed she was worth less because of her size. She is the little girl who wore a t-shirt over her bathing suit every single summer just to cover up. She is the one who tried desperately to be good enough for everyone, but also fought tirelessly to rebel against those same people. Right now, it’s time to rest. The band-aid has been removed. The answers are exposed. There’s nothing that needs to happen. For now, I think I’ll just stop.

There’s a quote I read this week that gives me great comfort as I continue to unravel all of this. It’s from the book Trust, and it goes like this: "Everything I experienced in life was a divine setup orchestrated by my soul to grow me into the consciousness required to fulfill my purpose in life". -Iyanla Vanzant

There’s not a doubt in my mind that all of those stories led me to where I am today, helping other women find the answers for themselves. I would love to help guide you on this journey. I want to help you explore what’s underneath the weight. I want to help you expose the struggle. Until then, it’s just another band-aid.

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