Why you think it’s about the weight
Before I talk about why you think it’s about the weight, let’s define what ‘it’ means.
‘It’ is your dissatisfaction with your body.
‘It’ is the heavy feeling you drag around every day.
‘It’ is your unhappiness; your disquiet; your sense that ‘something’s wrong,’
You think it’s about the weight because you’re carrying weight on your body that you’ve been told is wrong and that shouldn’t be there. You’ve spent a large part of your life thinking about it, trying to get rid of it, planning how you’ll do so, and then attempting to execute your plan. Or perhaps you have managed to suppress your weight and you’re terrified you’ll regain it, so you work your butt off to control what you eat and how much exercise you do to sustain it.
You think it’s about the weight because you don’t know why else you could be so miserable.
You think it’s about the weight because you believe the cultural myth that thin = happy, acceptable and lovable. And you don’t feel happy, you don’t believe you’re acceptable or lovable as you are so, therefore, you can’t be thin enough.
You think it’s about the weight because perhaps you have health issues and you keep being told left, right and centre that if you just lost weight, your health problems would resolve.
I’m here to tell you that…
It’s not about the weight
It’s not about the weight because the weight itself is not the problem.
The problem is mainly out there – in the culture. Fatphobia is the problem. Conflating weight with health is the problem. Bias towards thinness is the problem. The capitalist marketing machine, that profits off our insecurities, is the problem.
Your body is NOT the problem.
The problem is also inside YOU.
Mainly because you’ve internalised fatphobia. This isn’t your fault. Still, there it is. Because of this internalised fatphobia, a whole cascade of other problems has arisen:
- You’ve disconnected from your own body’s signals of hunger, fullness and satisfaction. Again, this isn’t your fault. You did it because you were trying to solve the problem of your body which turns out to not have been the problem all along.
- You may also have disconnected from your needs because you had to over-ride them to solve the non-problem of your body!
- And perhaps you’ve learned to eat to soothe the emotional pain of being in the body you have – not realising that the only reason you feel pain about it, is because the culture around you has not given your body full, unbridled permission to exist.
- You’ve been so focused on solving the problem of your body, that you’ve lost touch with what lights you up – your life has become subsumed by the project of fixing it.
- Perhaps because you’ve internalised this belief that your body isn’t worthy (therefore believing YOU are unworthy, since you exist inside your body), you’ve not had the courage to speak up, set boundaries, give yourself permission to rest; do things that bring you pleasure and joy, things that give you a sense of being a part of something bigger than yourself.
- Perhaps you’ve been so focused on not feeding yourself, that you’ve forgotten how to do it: how to fill yourself up – not just with food – but also how to feed yourself with love, acceptance, understanding and kindness.
And maybe, it is about the weight…
And yes, if you’re at the extreme ends of the weight spectrum, to the point where you’re experiencing physical consequences, like being unable to walk, being unable to participate in events, holidays, excursions with your friends and family; if you’re experiencing problems with your organs – then yes, it may well be about the weight to that degree.
But going on another diet will not solve that problem. If it could have, it would have by now, don’t you think? In fact, dieting tends to raise one’s weight set point. So ironically, it’ll be adding to the issues you already have.
Healing your relationship with food, your body and yourself is your best bet.
I don’t know what will happen with your weight, but I do know that you will feel happier, more peaceful (with yourself and food) and you’re likely to be physically, mentally and spiritually healthier too.
If you want to explore this more and get support from other people who know exactly how this all feels, you’re very welcome to join my free and private Facebook group – It’s Not About The Weight.