“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Most people don’t realize that your relationship with your body affects your entire life. Why? Because if you are fighting with your body, you are fighting with yourself. And if you are fighting with yourself, you are resisting what you truly desire in life.
I know too well what it feels like to fight with your body. I had the same fear as most people…
If I love my body as it is today, it will get worse. I will gain more weight. If I keep my constant attention on it, remind myself hourly how much I don’t like it, it will transform.
Sure sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Has anyone ever “hated themselves skinny” and had healthy, long lasting results? Or how about the opposite? Has anyone ever “loved themselves fat”? And I am not talking about the love you think you are giving yourself by eating a package of Oreo cookies. I am talking true, authentic love causing the body to gain massive amounts of weight.
And yet this is our fear: that if we were to love ourselves, love our bodies as they are in this moment, we would get worse. But remember, what you fight you strengthen.
The more I fought with my body for gaining weight, the more weight I gained.
Then, one sunny day as I was driving, singing along to my favorite tunes, thinking about what new clothes I wanted to purchase at the mall, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.
Before I could comprehend what this thing was, everything went black. To this day, I can’t be fully sure whether everything went black because my eyes were closed or because my airbag deployed, but either way I knew that I was no longer on my path to the mall.
In what felt like the most extreme game of bumper cars, I finally came to a stop as my Chevy truck flipped on to the side with me on the freeway and my passenger door above me.
Turns out I was hit by five cars, one car for each lane on the freeway. And although I was able to safely exit my vehicle the next morning, I quickly learned that I was not able to lift my own head and, therefore, couldn’t move freely on my own.
As I lay on the couch each day, unable to lift my own head, I no longer had the strength to fight against my body and, therefore, my body finally had the ability to let go. And after thirty days of only moving with help to get to and from the bathroom, my body released ten pounds.
It is safe to say that some people would have gained weight injured on the couch. There are very specific reasons that my body didn’t, one of which was my ability to simply be okay with where I was.
I wasn’t angry that I couldn't move. I wasn’t upset that I could no longer work out. I certainly wasn’t fighting with the idea of a much-needed vacation from working. And I decided to treat it as just that—a vacation from my everyday life. The life that I had set up for myself that was so stressful and impossible to maintain.
I relaxed and enjoyed not needing to do anything but heal.
I realized that there are more important things in life then losing weight, like being able to lift my head again.
I allowed my body to rest and stopped punishing it for being the way it was.
And I finally allowed my body and myself a much-needed break from the stress of trying to lose weight.
I highly recommend surrendering to your body without being hit by five cars. Here are three tips to get you started:
1. Become present where you are.
The first step is to be honest with yourself and admit where you are to establish a starting point for your growth. Otherwise, this would be like trying to drive to New York without knowing if you are in California, Florida, or Mississippi.
It also follows along with the theme that what you fight, you strengthen. The longer you ignore where you are or pretend you are not where you are, the longer you’ll stay there.
When you let yourself be in your body without needing to have a different one, you release the resistance and have the ability to move forward toward a life you truly desire.
When you are desperately clinging to a different body with all your might, convinced that this is what will bring you all the happiness, contentment, and love in the world, you will find that an alternate physical appearance simply doesn’t create the internal feelings you are after.
Therefore, even if you achieve this physical body that you desire, it will come with a sense of emptiness, as you still must learn how to simply be where you are with full presence and love, no matter what.
2. Feel your feelings.
In order for me to find acceptance for myself, I had to feel. I had gone so many months feeling completely numb to everything and then wondering, “Why can’t I just love myself?”
In order for me to love myself, I had to first admit that I wasn’t happy. In fact, I was out right pissed off. And after a celebratory pity party, followed by many tears, I could finally move forward.
When we ignore what we feel, we think we can make it go away. However, just the opposite is true. Not feeling our feelings isn’t a way to make sure we never have sadness; it’s a way to start an inner battle for however long it takes you to finally feel sad.
The minute you admit that you are in fact pissed off, frustrated, and down right suspicious of your body, you will release the resistance, call off the fight, and move toward an overall feeling of lightness.
3. Find peace and calm.
It’s no secret that a stressful environment is not conducive for lasting results in your life, yet so many people live each day in a stressed out body, wondering why they can’t release their weight and feel lighter.
Then to make matters worse, they obsess over their food and spend hours at the gym without even taking a moment to breathe.
In order to find acceptance for your body and release your weight, you first want to create the most peaceful environment in your body as you possibly can.
This doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself in a room with your Pure Zen CD for a month; it means you begin to find places in your life where you can introduce more peace and calm easily—for example, your own thoughts and beliefs. Why not zen those puppies out?
Instead of believing that weight loss is hard and your appetite is too big, why not believe that in the past weight loss has been challenging and now you are open and ready to receive an approach that feels easy and effortless? And your appetite isn’t too big, but maybe you need to learn how to better connect to your body and hear your hunger and fullness cues.
We tend to take on very stressful thoughts and beliefs about weight that will inhibit our bodies’ ability to release the weight easily and effortlessly. If you believe weight loss is hard, painful, and full of restriction, then it will be. If you believe that weight loss is intuitive, insightful, and transformative, then it will be.
You get to choose what your weight loss journey looks like. I suggest you choose a path that feels calm and peaceful in order to enjoy each step of the way without being so dependent on the end result to fill you up.
When you become present with exactly where you are, feel all your feelings, and find your peace and calm, you now have the ability to stop fighting. The battle that you have been facing with your body and weight will finally be done as you wave your white flag and admit that you are tired of the fight.
This doesn’t mean you aren’t giving up on your true desires. You are deeply aligning with them.
You are admitting that this whole weight loss thing isn’t something that you want to control anymore. That maybe there is a better way to release your weight that doesn’t suck. And you’re reminding yourself that when you desire something, the ability to have it has to be present.
Therefore, you have no reason to focus so intently on losing weight anymore. Instead, you get to focus on living your best life in this moment, wherever you are.
Remember this, you’re not weak or pathetic for surrendering. You are smart and powerful.
You have the ability to say that you have so much love for yourself that you are willing to do whatever it takes to feel good now, regardless of where you are. And this is the most powerful move you can make for lasting results in your body and your life.
Photo by Scott