A few years ago, my cat, Molly, who has since passed on, had a few extra pounds on her. She was a petite-sized cat and a few extra pounds on her was like 50 on me, but it always struck me how it never even bothered her.
An extra 50 pounds on me would bother me, no doubt, but her 3 extra pounds – the equivalent of my 50 – were never top of mind for her. She ate and ate and ate, basked in the sun, and chased cat toys around the family room to her kitty heart’s delight.
But never once did she express her disdain over her weight. I never caught her looking at herself in the mirror with disgust, she never guiltily meowed about how she ate too much, and she never forced herself to hit the treadmill for any extended period of time as punishment for enjoying her previous day’s fare.
She just was.
Now being the concerned pet parent that I am, I realized it was important for her to slim down to take stress off her body and prevent disease which is more and more common amongst our pet population nowadays, so I switched her food up.
I added in more protein to balance out her overly refined carb diet, enzymes to help her break it down, and good fats to help keep her satiated between meals. And it did the trick. She released the weight in a matter of a month.
I was marveled and happy at the same time, knowing that my kitten cat was forever spared years of self-abuse with food and the consequential effects that result in symptoms such as excess weight.
With her, it was easy, because she had no reason to resist losing weight. She didn’t have layers of past trauma or abuse to address, she wasn’t trying to protect herself with her weight from unwanted advances from the opposite sex, and she didn’t hate her job and turn to food to find comfort.
It was a simple matter of physiology, and her body responded well when it was given the chance, as will yours. Weight loss is rarely exclusively a function of eat less, exercise more, because the truth is if that worked no one who’s ever dieted would ever need to lose weight again.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s quite ridiculous how we keep trying the same standard-issued approaches over and over and over again, thinking they’ll work. I personally was stuck in this rut for years, up and down, up and down, always blaming myself for failing yet again when I was up.
It was torturous how I treated myself, or rather mistreated myself, with my words, my actions, and my behaviors. I was my own worst enemy, not needing anyone else to chastise me for losing and gaining the same 15 pounds at least every year.
Losing weight was the center of my Universe. Somehow I placed so much value on it that I devalued myself in the process. It was my obsession. Never did a moment go by that I didn’t think about how fat I felt, and when I looked in the mirror, the proof was obvious.
Or so I thought. Even when I was down, in my mind, I was still up, and well beyond reality. When I see photos of myself from back then, I was clearly not fat, but my mind was programmed to believe I was, even when I wasn’t.
Wow, I had it so backward, as so many women do. I will say that even though I didn’t look unhealthy, I still was, because internally, my entire endocrine system was off, my digestive tract was a mess, and my neurotransmitters were in serious need of repair, but the real crux of it all was a severe emotional imbalance that was responsible for all the rest.
Why do we make it so hard on ourselves to get to our goals and keep them? Who or what gets in the way? What throws us off track, thereby distracting us, ultimately taking our attention away from our bodies and preventing us from ever reaching the finish line for good?
It’s become evident to me that weight is a classic opportunity to self-sabotage. In other words, when you reach a certain weight (no matter how you get there), your mind interprets it as unsafe, for whatever reason, so you cascade back up until you’re back to your set point, the one where your body feels comfortable and safe.
So regardless of what you do to lose weight, until you reprogram your subconscious and change your beliefs about what it means to be your ideal weight, your weight will always fluctuate.
As in the case with Molly, she never even gave it a second thought. Losing weight meant nothing to her. She was too busy just being herself, so all it took was changing her diet; if only it were that easy for everyone else.
Your body will reach its right shape and size when you fully express who are at the deepest core of your being, not because you passed on a Big Mac and fries for lunch. It’s the ability to be who are and fully live out your purpose and passion that stokes your metabolism more than anything else.
Thanks to my dearly departed four-legged friend for teaching me that one.
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