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Stop Resisting: Surrender to Your Body to Transform It and Your Life

Surrender

“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

About Michelle Hastie

Michelle Hastie is the author of “The Weight Loss Shift: Be More, Weigh Less” and has been featured in SHAPE magazine. She helps dieters surrender to their body to lose weight permanently using a blend of psychology and spirituality. Her background is in personal training, food psychology, NLP, and yoga. Visit her at http://totalbodyhealthsolutions.com.

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  • MarketingMichele

    Bravo. I understand and needed a good reminder about healing from that place of knowing and trusting. Thank you so much for your post.

  • michellehastie

    It’s my pleasure Michele! I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • I really enjoyed the article. Isn’t weight loss interesting? When I was younger I would do tons of cardio, and try to eat “better.” I never really lost any weight that way, and ended up just feeling worse about myself.

    It wasn’t until last year that I finally found worked for me. I lost a fluctuating 35-40 lbs simply by cutting out high fructose corn syrup, and sugary foods. That was really the only rule. The really awesome part was that after being away from high fructose for about a week, my appetite naturally decreased. Instead of focusing on the urgency for more, I was able to simply focus on being, and the projects / goals I laid out for myself.

    When we stop prioritizing physical change through limitation, we are able to realize that change is easier when it’s done with joy and pride. I was excited to work out, and stopped making food a comfort. My real tactic was to eat like I was in a 50’s household. Home cooked meals without prepackaged garbage. Lots of frozen veggies, whole grains, meats, and a smile.

    I don’t know if that will help anyone, but my point is that your post is very true. When you focus on negativity, it grows stronger. When you celebrate your strengths you’re able to refine them. I suck at cardio, and love lifting things. When I worked on that principle, I saw the best results. Diet + Exercise + Wellbeing = Personal Growth.

    I’ve gone on a little much, but great article Michelle. Cheers.

  • michellehastie

    That’s awesome Michael! Everyone has their own journey. That’s why it is so important about to not get stuck on what people are “doing” but instead who they are “being” when they release their weight. For you it was sugar, for someone else it could be different. It’s all a journey. Thank you for your comment!

  • Gary

    This valuable post traces the path toward poise–a state of consciousness which allows all of our powers to flow into the moment. Once we quit feeling sorry for ourselves, as Michelle says, we become poised–present, connected, grateful, creative, and light-hearted. Poised, we chose our path of love. Now we can make breakthroughs.

  • It’s true, but another big part of any goal is realizing that you need to be patient with that journey. Weight loss, self realization, becoming a better anything, takes time. The road to any of the big things in life isn’t short, and there are tons of speed bumps along the way.

    I guess that’s just being present right? Some of that might also be letting yourself be human, and knowing that your true self emerges when you’re ready to see it. That’s physical and mental.

    Thoughts?

  • michellehastie

    Love it thank you!!

  • michellehastie

    That’s absolutely right and the path of healing is not necessarily one we are patient with. We may be ready to be done and get to work but our body is not. Therefore we must stay present and honor where we are. There is no rush. That is being human as you said Michael. 🙂

  • Angela Williams-Dunford

    After counting calories for seven years off and on, I have finally stopped. I’m working with a brilliant friend who has real skill and expertise in culinary healing, and, honestly I have learned so much myself in the last seven years since I first decided to heal my digestive problems and lose weight. The amount of knowledge and compassion that I have supporting me is phenomenal. And seven years of counting has not worked for me. I’m fatter now than when I began, and not because I choose low calorie processed foods. So here I go. Yet I’m terrified that I’m going to love myself fat; just like you said! Thanks for pointing out what a fallacy that is. This is going to be a long journey. I’m very scared. I have Hashimoto’s and have never lost weight easily. I’m trying to do what you mention here and choose a weight loss path that doesn’t suck. After 7 years I deserve it.

  • michellehastie

    It’s not necessarily a long journey Angela, it can be fairly quick as our subconscious thoughts and patterns can change in an instance if we allow it. It is however a beautiful journey to connect to our true selves. And yes you deserve it. If you need additional support let me know how I can help.

  • Talya Price

    Resistance makes stronger. It’s all about acceptance. If we accept ourselves 100%, then we are on our well to self-love and happiness.

  • Angela Williams-Dunford

    Thank you. <3

  • Wow! If there ever was a day that I needed to read this article, today would be the day! I lost my job a few months ago and moved in with family and have since, gained weight. I ended up getting very frustrated with myself for eating one too many cookies and felt I had lost control but actually, this article has helped me view it from a completely different viewpoint. Thanks!

  • michellehastie

    Michelle, so happy you enjoyed it! No need to get frustrated with your bodies coping strategy. Remember it’s only temporary 🙂

  • michellehastie

    You got it Talya!

  • Carl Badgley

    this is ultimately very true. the only real changes or shifts i have ever experienced were the times that i practiced the habit of observation. simple, nonjudgmental observation that did not make plans or assessments.

    i am a perennial failure at this, but the point is not your success or failure. those are judgments not observations. simply let whatever it is you are focused on or reacting to: ‘be’. don’t categorize it, don’t analyze it, just let it sit there while you observe.

    then change will arise quite naturally out of that encounter.

  • Very inspirational. I myself have my own struggles with body image. Your story took it in a whole different perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  • This was a great day for me to read this as well. 🙂 I’ve been feeling very frustrated with my physical appearance, and trying to straighten it out in my head. I know I need to lose a few pounds (or 30) but worrying over it hasn’t gotten me anywhere.

    Thank you for sharing your story – it’s inspirational. 🙂

  • michellehastie

    Lindsey, you don’t NEED to lose anything, you may have the desire to but it’s always a choice. Let go of the need and allow yourself to choose what you really want. <3

  • michellehastie

    Body image can be tricky Mariel I totally get it. However when we can stop fighting with our bodies we have the opportunity to live in freedom and choice. Sheer bliss!

  • michellehastie

    Exactly! Beautifully said 🙂

  • Shelia Evans

    I hate being skinny.

  • kfoss

    I just wrote a whole thing but it doesn’t look like it posted…
    I am really struggling with this right now. I know that true love and acceptance of myself as I am is exactly what I need to move forward but I am so conditioned to hate my fat that I don’t know how. My baby nephew was visiting this weekend and what should have been wonderful turned bad when I saw how fat I looked in all of the pictures. It is so sad and frustrating that something that feels out of my control no matter what I do is dictating how I feel about everything. I want to truly love and accept myself – I know this is the key – but I don’t know how to love what I have hated for so long…any suggestions?

  • michellehastie

    I know it feels hard but I assure you with some guidance you can get there quicker than you think. The key is to connect to what is really true in life… the thoughts you are thinking about your body are not your absolute truth. You are SOOOOO much more than a body, it doesn’t define you. It’s time to connect to who you really are outside of a body and then connect to what is really true in life. Let me know how else I can help.

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    Also Michelle; if I might add…’Moving in with your family,’ is not the
    end of the world…In many Western Cultures that are so
    individualistically focused…society conditions one to think to that after you reach a certain age; living with your parents/grandparents & siblings means
    there must be something wrong with you & whatnot…For more than
    99.9% of human history, regardless of Culture/Society; we lived in
    ‘Extended Families,’ & if you go anything by what Anthropology has
    taught us…humans are generally more happy living in groups than alone
    to face our everyday challenges, whatever they might be!

  • Although I agree that it can be great for some people, it really depends on the situation. The family member I am living with is very emotionally and spiritually blocked, so it is difficult for me to live with such limited ideas and attitudes toward life. In fact, I feel that I grow more spiritually when I on my own. I’m generally more happier in groups of like-minded people but sometimes I think it is necessary to have time alone to reflect on life Thanks!

  • Thanks so much:-)

  • Natalia Melgar

    Story of my life. I loved it :’)

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    hey Michelle…yeah, like you said it all depends on the situation. I was speaking from an Indian perspective…since in our culture; we stay with our family for life, exclusion ofcourse is usually when you really have no choice but to move away because of studies/work…or when you actually don’t get along with family members & have an unhealthy relationship!

    Anyways; try not to be too hard on yourself & from personal experience, even doing a little bit of exercise everyday will help in your over-all being of physical, emotional & spiritual health! Let us know how things unravel with you with a blog, maybe…:-)

  • Thank you so much, you’re so sweet!!! I actually do have a blog but I don’t really get too much into family situations on it however, I do appreciate your kind words and want to thank you again!

  • michellehastie

    Thanks Natalia!

  • Enigma

    I cant help but think that this applies to all goals and dreams and not just weight loss……… Ive been fighting to achieve my dream and often ask myself why the dream is so important, why am i better off in that new place…. but then i think that living in/enjoying the present i am in now will prevent/distract me from my dream. how to i maintain focus on a future goal and also let go of the drive to get to that place in life and fully realise the dream

  • Felix

    Michelle, this opened my eyes to lots of things id never thought of before. Thank you do much. My problem is not that I need to loose weight per se but that I need to stop emotionally eating and I need to learn to love my body and stop fighting it and punishing it under the disguise of nourishing it. My problem is every few days I relapse into my bad habits and then promise to try again. I keep trying but I keep going nowhere, it’s one step forward two steps back. Any suggestions?

  • Dodie

    This translated in to other areas in my life that I have been struggling with for quite some time. Well-written and thank you for sharing your path and insights. Namaste.

  • michellehastie

    So happy to hear that Dodie!

  • michellehastie

    Felix this is common when changing our beliefs so don’t worry you are not alone. My suggestion is to surround yourself with as much information holding the truth as you can each day. Whether that is listening to audios, reading books, or just being around the people who think they way you’d like to think. You are constantly surrounded by what you already know hence the relapse, you want to surround yourself with as much of the new way of thinking as possible to help drown out what you don’t want anymore. I create Total Body Wellness for just this purpose, feel free to check it out on my website. 🙂

  • michellehastie

    So true, it flows into all areas of our life. I have found that living in the present takes me to my goals no matter what. An oftentimes the goals are different that what I had perceived but every bit as amazing.