#41: Searching for Freedom from Yo-Yo Dieting?

It’s all in your head.

I’ve been thinking about my face lately. I can’t seem to avoid doing so, since I read an article about face transplants in The New Yorker and then literally a day later read a chapter in Women Food and God in which the face issue reappeared. Who am I without my face? If my face were to suffer a terrible allergic reaction and be covered with boils, would I be the same person? To myself, surely—my soul is my soul. But to others? Would my words be as convincing?

What if you were a different size? Do you feel like you are who you arebecause you’re a size 12? Would people take you more seriously if you were a size 8? Do you think they would? I guess I’m hung up on the topic of digging to the root of your overweight issues because I think it’s that important. If you identify yourself with your yo-yoing weight or your diet of the moment, I truly fear you won’t ever succeed in keeping the weight off. You’re just too connected to yourself as “person on a quest for a new and better body.” Will that new body, when finally achieved, bring you all the happiness and bliss you imagine? Not a chance. Not if you don’t address the issues that made you fat in the first place.

Reaching for a new “goal weight” is a distraction you create for yourself so you don’t have to “go there” with the issues that really matter. I talked before about being present—taking a mental note of who you are and how you feel right now—and maybe it’s hard for some people to understand, but checking in with how you feel right now and really allowing yourself to feel it is very difficult or even impossible for some people. They believe the pain of how they truly feel—lonely, ashamed, abandoned—would be too much to explore, so they ignore it. All the time. The quest for the “new life” a new body will bring helps manage the pain, whatever it is. But the quest becomes the person, and the real person, with real feelings, is never allowed to see the light of day.

So I put this question to you: If you were to have a different face tomorrow, would people know who you truly are underneath? Are you one with the deep-down feelings you have in your heart? Or do you hide behind a constant search for something better? This is important stuff here. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to pair personal training sessions with therapy sessions. It takes a lot of work to change your body—and trust me, it can be done. But it’s a journey. And if you don’t get your mind right, you might never arrive.