I want to share with you a little about why at the end of last summer, I decided to shift gears in the premise of my work away from a more food first weight loss focus with a heaping side of mindset to a love first focus.
The work I do is personal to me. I choose to work with women like me. Women who are successful in many areas of their lives but don’t feel like they can find success in their weight and health goals.
Women who have tried everything realized that there is more to this equation than food, points, calories, and carbs.
Women who feel they are fundamentally flawed, that their bodies are wrong and that their inability to fix their bodies is evidence of how broken they are.
Women who can’t look in the mirror or at a picture without cringing. Who would never say out loud to anyone the words they say to themselves in their heads.
It’s personal to me because it was me.
People say to me all of the time, you’re in my head. You seem to know exactly what I think and how I feel, and that’s because I do. I’m not you, but I know you.
We are all similar
Here’s the other beautiful thing I’ve learned through working with hundreds of women: we all think we are the only one who thinks these crazy, silly, ridiculous, weird, embarrassing things. Still, we are not the only ones – not even close.
We all feel things similarly. We worry about similar things. Our struggles are similar.
None of us are the same, but we are all humans, and we have all been sold a bill of goods, especially women, about our value – where it comes from, our bodies, and how they look that is false and damaging and oppressive. So, our suffering has similar roots too.
Can you accept yourself while still losing weight?
I spent all of 2021 struggling with a particular conundrum: how can we accept ourselves and still want to lose weight?
It felt like a contradiction.
On the one hand, the view of bodies has changed since I was a teenager. There are women in some ads and on shows and running companies now who reflect a more realistic picture of what women look like.
I walked by Athleta yesterday in the mall. There was a curvy real-sized mannequin in the window modeling workout clothes. That was not even in the realm of possibility or discussion when I was growing up. I love it. I love that we are moving toward this more inclusive, more accepting, more welcoming, more realistic view of women’s bodies.
In that camp, though, there’s a lot of shame being thrown at the weight loss industry. People are saying that you won’t want to lose weight if you really love yourself. You’ll be happy with your body no matter what.
On the other hand, weight-related health issues are real, and there are women who want to address them. They want to prioritize and improve their health, knowing that losing weight is part of that.
So, it’s this seesaw that so many women are on.
Can I both love and accept myself and lose weight?
Love First Weight Loss
I felt like there was this space in the middle that was empty and available that contained the answer to that question, which is absolutely YES!
So, I set out to create a program to fills that gap.
Understanding your body’s true value
I wanted to address this very important part of the work to love ourselves fully, which is to understand that the reason why we have placed so much of our value and worth on our bodies’ appearance is because we’ve been told and shown that’s where worth and value comes from.
Understanding the role of food
I also wanted to help my clients address how they regard food and the role that it plays in their lives. I want to shed light on all of the jobs we’ve assigned food, outside of physical hunger, and how to fire it from all of those other roles to better connect with our bodies and what they want, need, and feel.
I wanted to help my clients develop emotional intelligence and resilience because this is what drives so much of our eating, our emotions, or, more specifically, our inability to feel or our unwillingness to tolerate uncomfortable emotions.
Using food to help as a tool to help us cope with or avoid or numb or escape emotions does that job temporarily. It distracts us for a moment.
But, to find peace around food and to allow food to take its rightful place in our lives as a solution to physical hunger and a means to survival, we have to build the skill of allowing our emotions to flow through us, of recognizing and being willing to ride the waves of emotion.
It takes practice, an understanding, and consciousness. Still, once we become proficient, we can show up for and handle anything that comes our way without turning to food.
Changing the conversation about weight loss
I wanted my clients to see that it’s possible to change the conversation about their bodies, to change the conversation in their heads about themselves, to heal their relationship with food, to eat and live their lives with connection to their values, to start to take charge of their perception of the world by learning how to become a compassionate observer of their minds.
I felt compelled to create a container to facilitate this very special, very important work. That is the work we’re doing in my Love First Weight Loss Program.
It’s a place where we accept ourselves and change our bodies with love, learn how to put on the lens of love, and walk through this process, seeing things in a whole new way. As a result, my clients are shaking up their view of themselves.
They are slowing down and learning to be present and connect to themselves. They’re facing fears, obstacles, and beliefs that they have held for decades that have driven their lives. They’re starting to see them differently and beginning to let them go.
It’s not easy work. It’s not perfect. But it’s amazing mind-bending and body-altering work. I am honored to facilitate it for my clients. It is everything I wanted and envisioned for them.
I had a client comment about our group calls. She doesn’t like it because it’s fun and easy, but she loves it because it’s the kind of work that feeds your soul.
Connecting to yourself and being willing to open up and share and be vulnerable with others is soul work. That is what we are engaged in.
If this appeals to you if this is speaking to you, if this sounds like you, if you want to occupy that space in between and learning to love yourself and losing weight, come apply and schedule a call with me.
This is an invitation for you to come to do this work in your life that you have desired to do, to do this work in your life that you have been a little afraid to do, to do this work in your life that you know it’s time to do.
Head to itbeginswithathought.com/apply, and I’ll see you soon.