Are you stuck in a lose weight-gain weight cycle? If so, maybe you can relate to Jasmine – she's lost the same thirty pounds over and over again. She starts a diet, shows impressive dedication and willpower, sticks to the meal plan, exercises like an Olympic athlete, and loses 30 pounds.
The minute she hits her goal weight, she celebrates with ice cream and dinners out, and brunches, and pizza, and the celebration continues until she gains back all the weight – and then she starts all over again.
When she began treatment, her intention was to stop sabotaging herself and start having better willpower.
Clearly, the problem wasn’t willpower. She proved her impressive willpower every time she went on a diet.
The problem was her fear of reaching her goal weight.
When I made this observation, Jasmine looked at me as if I were crazy. She was certain that she would be happier, healthier, would wear her skinny clothes and life would be great.
I asked her, “If your mind was not occupied by dieting, what would you be thinking about?”
After much thought, she blurted, “If I were thin, I’m afraid I’ll leave my husband.”
Jasmine was stuck in a difficult and contentious marriage. As long as her weight remained the main problem in her life, she did not focus on her marital issues. When she recognized and addressed the problems in her relationship, she finally lost weight for good.
The takeaway for today is that fear of being impulsive or of recognizing something painful may be keeping you stuck on the cycle of dieting, losing weight, gaining weight, dieting.
Weight issues are a “symptom” of the problem, not the real problem.
When Jasmine addressed the actual problem (the problems in the marriage), she no longer needed constant dieting and obsessing over her weight as a distraction from those marital problems.
Food For Thought:
- What would you be focused on if you were not thinking about your weight or food
- If you were not disappointed or upset with yourself for your weight, towards who or what would you direct those feelings?
- What are you afraid will happen if you acknowledge those feelings?
When you focus on why you’re eating, not what you’re eating, you’ll have the opportunity to resolve the actual problem and not turn to food as a distraction.
And that’s how you win the diet war!