Okay, so I promised the final three myths or fears around having a good relationship with your body. But this next one is so juicy, that I think I'll finish with the final two next week. See if you can relate to this one and how it might be informing your own journey with your weight loss and self-esteem!
MYTH #3: I have to punish myself for my weight.
This is the greatest Catch-22 of them all. Don’t let yourself be happy until you’ve dropped the weight. Then guess what happens? That unhappiness creates more of the same, and makes it more likely that you’ll want to act out in unhealthy and unsupportive ways: by overeating, drinking, avoiding.
Happiness seems to create more happiness, while unhappiness creates more of the same. That’s why punishing yourself for your weight is never going to break the cycle. It’s only going to bring you more unhappiness.
You can go on doing this, but since you’re connected to your body for the rest of your life, sooner or later you might get sick of feeling like a martyr. It’s exhausting, and you’ll keep finding that it doesn’t get you to anything new. The more guilty and awful about yourself you feel, the more likely you are to keep recreating that state of being.
Books like The Secret have started to tell us how important our mindset is, that sometimes our thoughts can literally create our reality. I think it’s even more tangible than that. I think how we feel right now can create our reality. If you choose love and connection, you’re more likely to create a life that feels loving and connected. You have to feel what you want to feel in order to create more of the same in the future.
That’s the leap of faith here, and that’s why the tools in this book are so important. You can’t get to feeling good about your body by feeling bad about your body. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s hard for so many people to see.
When you stop punishing yourself and your body and start focusing on building a better relationship, you’re already giving yourself the tools to create something that feels better right now. That more connected, loving place is more likely to create more of the same. When that happens, you begin to break the cycle of negativity you were stuck in. Then you’re already creating the feeling of the reality you wanted: to feel good, to feel more energized, to feel more alive. The external changes become the icing on the cake, and much more possible.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking punishment is required for you to get where you want to go. Punishment will create more feelings of punishment. Forgiveness, listening and reconnecting will create a way of being with your body that change that cycle, which is really what you’ve wanted all along: to feel better!
You may need to ask yourself if you believe it’s okay for things to feel good and to be easier. Maybe you’ve gotten used to the feeling of punishment, to never feeling like enough, to having a reason—like your body weight—to minimize your goals or your dreams. As you forgive your body, you may also need to forgive yourself, and allow a way of being that is kinder and more loving into your life.