I spent probably 20 years of my life wishing I was thinner.
No matter how much weight I lost, I still never thought my body looked right. I always wanted to change it or fix it, so that I would look different than how I was.
Like so many women, I fantasized about finally being thin. It became the promise of a new life…
When I’m thinner, I’ll start dating.
When I lose weight, I’ll stop avoiding social outings and go out with friends more.
When I get back to where I was last year, I’ll rock this new dress I bought.
When I’m a different size, I’ll sign up for that dance class I’ve always wanted to take.
Have you ever done that?
But when/if you do lose the weight and actually get to the size you want to be…
It may bring a moment of elation. You fit into that dress, you look great in a pair of jeans, or you don’t mind being naked as much.
You still have to deal with life. You still may want to stress-eat when you get angry at your partner. The tub of ice cream may still be your go-to coping mechanism. And you can still hear the call of the cookies when conflict arises and you don’t want to deal with it.
We lose the weight, but we are still us.
With the same habits, behaviors and reactions.
The desperate “wish to be thinner” only derails the journey. The real work is about going inside and looking at WHY we do what we do with food.
So, when you find yourself desperately wishing you were thinner, remember these two things:
1. Find “Enoughness”
We are all born knowing we are enough.
Little kids don’t ever question whether or not they are enough. They simply know. They show up exactly as they are in this world and never for a second wonder if they aren’t good enough.
It’s a learned behavior to feel “not enough.”
We grow up learning that, in order to be acceptable, we’ve got to look or be different than we really are.
You learn to feel you’re not acceptable until you’re thinner/have a nicer car/get a better job. You learn to feel you have to be slimmer, more toned, prettier, or more perfect before you can be enough.
But I’m calling BS on all of it. Who ever said that a size 16 is “less than” a size 4? Who actually determined that this shape is better than that body type?
It all begins with how we perceive ourselves.
And the journey to healing starts with finding enoughness.
The deep belief that you are acceptable enough just as you are.
Where and how do you find this deep belief?
You find it inside of YOU.
If you can’t find it, don’t know what it feels like, or find it confusing, make this your mission. Fervently explore how to find the feeling of being enough.
I found it through meditation, journaling, connection inside, and a deep knowing that innately I AM enough.
You may find it through any of this or something else: religion, spiritual work, writing, a passion, affirmations, etc.
If you need permission to believe it, here is that permission. Permission to be exactly who you are in this world. Enough, just by being you.
This isn’t something you find once and are done. It’s a lifelong process of remembering and forgetting.
How do you believe you are enough?
Because you just are.
Whether you are 3lbs overweight or 300lbs overweight, you are still you. You are still YOU with or without the extra weight. There is no one as beautifully unique, with exactly your qualities, look, quirks, personality, and way of being in this world. Accept that. Embrace it.
Enoughness isn’t something you “get.” It’s something you discover that was there all along … a deep whisper in your soul that beckons and waits for you to connect.
2. What Do You Really Want?
What else do you want besides being thinner or having a different body?
What do you deeply, truly desire … more than anything?
Comfort in your skin?
To look better in clothes?
To look good naked?
These are all just scratching the surface.
What ELSE do you really want?
When I was desperately struggling with food and my weight, I asked myself this question.
It took some prodding to go deeper and hear the answer, because for so long I’d stuffed it down and ignored it.
What was it that I deeply longed for?
I wanted to travel and explore the world.
I wanted to do something big with my life.
I wanted to explore my passion of writing.
I wanted to find deep connection in an intimate relationship.
I wanted to end a relationship that I was in.
I wanted freedom to explore who I was without the expectations of others.
But wanting to be thinner was easier.
I knew how to fix that problem. Diet, exercise, restrict, control my food. Boom, problem solved.
Except you all know how that cycle goes… (Cue binging, overeating, and then promising to start over again.)
You see, I wanted to travel, but felt terrified of quitting my job.
I wanted to do something big and bold with my life, but was afraid I never would.
I wanted to explore my passion for writing, but was scared of what others would think.
I wanted to be more intimate, but was horrified at the thought of baring my soul to someone.
I wanted to end a relationship, but was scared at the thought of being alone.
I wanted so much MORE … but change, uncertainty and failure terrified me.
So I focused on controlling my food, fixing my body, and changing the number on the scale. It was an easy, familiar problem that I knew how to fix. It made it possible for me to avoid facing my biggest desires.
So, my dear, what is it that you deeply want?
If you don’t know, ask the question anyway. See if anything comes up.
Open the conversation with the deeper part of you. She’s always speaking to you, if you take the time to listen.
It’s your turn now.
When you find yourself wanting to be thinner, how can you use your innate enoughness and your true desires to bring yourself back to your journey?
Want to learn more?
Watch Jenn’s interview with Your Brilliance where she talks about what it takes to eat normally again.