For a long while, I’ve been on a quest to prove what my mentor, Marc David, taught me about pleasure. He swears by Vitamin P (p for pleasure) and claims that without it, it’s virtually impossible to lose weight. As a culture, we are programmed to believe that the more punishing our lifestyle, as with exercise or depriving ourselves of foods we love, the more rewarding in terms of weight loss, yet the concept of pleasure completely turns this belief upside down.
Even though at first I was skeptical, I have to say that the more I study it, and apply it, the more I agree.
I was your typical Type A corporate juggernaut for many years, constantly in motion, never stopping to slow down. If I wasn’t moving, I was bored and had no clue what to do with myself. I found it maddening to try to just sit still. The energy of my career matched the energy of everything I did, including how fast I spoke, how fast I ate, and how fast I worked out.
In fact, the thought of slowing down at all was completely foreign to me and as far as I was concerned, had no merit.
So along I went, pushing, forcing and shoving my way through life, resisting any form of pleasure in the slightest, completely unaware of my body’s constant need to avoid pain and seek pleasure. I had been taught that punishment was the rule of thumb, as is evidenced in every aspect of life, from corporate America, to religion, to healthcare, and so it was for me too.
Until one day, I came to a new understanding and finally realized that the reason I couldn’t lose weight was because my body was resisting the militaristic tactics that I was using on myself in an attempt to achieve my goal. They were out of alignment with who I am at my core and my body didn’t want to do them so it shut down and stopped all normal metabolic processes.
Fast forward to now, 3 years out of corporate and into a whole new way of living that’s void of self-deprecating behaviors. Instead, I make my body a priority by feeding it well according to what it wants. I do yoga and belly dance. I have boundaries between work and play, and I no longer take aim at myself as the cause of everyone else’s misery, including my own.
In other words, I stopped hating myself and began seeing myself as loveable, worthy and deserving, along with my body. I indulged in self-acceptance instead of self-hatred and in the process, learned to tune in to what my body wanted rather than force-feeding it what I thought it should.
And it started to respond.
Whereas on the one hand I had systematically pushed it past its physical capacity in ways it didn’t want to move or be, on the other, I started to pay more attention to what it was telling me and for the first time ever, drew the connection between mind and body and awakened to the truth.
My body was in control of my body, not my mind.
So I asked it how it wanted to move, what food it wanted, and who it liked and wanted to be around. For so long, I had a habit of sharing myself with people, particularly men, who were rough, abrasive, and even somewhat abusive, and my body didn’t like it. What it wanted was for me to protect it, something it had never had before, but the problem was that I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing to it much less had the ability to shield it from undesirable advances.
I was astonished at how easily the answers came, as if it had been waiting a lifetime to tell me. I quickly eliminated erratic food behaviors and relationships with those who didn’t serve me. I ousted toxic substances like sugar, gluten and dairy. In essence, I just let go and allowed the inherent wisdom of my body take over, and when I did, the weight loss I longed for came swift and effortlessly.
It was then that I finally got that my wise teacher was on to something after all. It was no longer a mystery to me how there could be truth in such a simplistic notion that pleasure was the catalyst for lasting weight loss, and yet, it became undeniable.
Being in alignment with who you are at the deepest level of your being is one of the most courageous ways to be and is the only way to permanently release weight, yet people shun the very suggestion of it as a diabolical theory never to be spoken of. Until you accept that the most authentic and sustainable way to get to your true weight is to fully be and express who are, you never will.
If you feel you’re ready, then I encourage you to apply for a Get Calm, Clear and Confident by Losing BIG Strategy Session and learn how.