Even as I sat down to write this post I thought yikes, this is a complicated topic and their are minefields anyone reading this can fall into. I want to acknowledge that right out of the gate.
And I want to share a practice and open up the topic a bit.
While diet and exercise are a part of how we gain or lose weight. Sometimes, from where I sit, they are not the be all end all.
Because some of what we carry is the weight of grief, shame, repression, family wounds, cultural norms and expectations, over-caring, genetics etc. Some of the challenges are with gut health, with endocrine systems and our stress response.
If weight isn’t coming off with diet and exercise it may be helpful to look a little deeper. To wonder about what you carry that might be contributing to the physical weight. To see through a wider lens. To stop shaming and blaming yourself.
I have a practice I learned when I was doing a course called The Embodied Life. It’s one of my favorite practices for getting more information about what is going on in my inner life. You can do this process if you have ten minutes to yourself.
1. Find a quiet space. Put a timer on. Have paper or a journal near by.
2. Close your eyes. Take a couple minutes to center yourself (you can listen to a 2 minute guided meditation).
3. Then imagine you have a backpack on. In the backpack you are carrying whatever thoughts, feelings, beliefs, stories, pains, joys, sorrows you have.
4. Now ask yourself some gentle questions like:
What am I carrying that might be in the way of me feeling healthy and whole?
Is there something in here that is preventing me from seeing myself healthy?
Notice what comes.
5. Imagine taking whatever it is out of the backpack. Set it next to you.
6. Ask the question again. Continue to take things out. After two or three things are out notice how you feel. Has anything changed. Keep going until you notice a shift.
7. Take a moment to describe how you feel once you’ve shifted. Perhaps lighter, more peaceful, open, confused?
8. Then sit for a minute let yourself have the sensations and the feelings that come with the experience. Then you repack the backpack. Perhaps you are carrying it differently. Perhaps a couple of the things in it didn’t need to go back in. Whatever feels true and right for you in the moment.
9. Thank yourself and your body for giving you some information.
It’s also a process that can be done with a therapist, coach or good friend holding space for you. Give it a go. Be kind and curious. Learn to wonder instead of judge.