Today I want you to take a moment to think about your kids. If you don’t have kids, think of a parent or a partner, a pet, best friend, whatever.
Each of them has value or worth in your eyes just because they exist. Not based on anything they have done or not done. Just because they are who they are in your life.
If our value was dependent on our actions
Now, imagine each of them came to earth with a block of value. The same size and shape and color. And each time my son said, “Mom, I love you,” I added a little to his block. And every time my middle child spilled her drink, I took a little away.
Someone brushes their teeth without being asked, value added. Someone brings home straight A’s, value added. Someone talks back or knocks something over and breaks it or tells a lie, value taken away.
Seems a little ridiculous and arbitrary, doesn’t it? Me just deciding that some things add value and some things take it away?
And yet, this is how most of us view our own value. Wholly dependent on our actions, our appearance, our weight number, our accomplishments.
But what if we are wrong about that?
This is one of my favorite questions to ask to challenge my brain and turn it upside down.
What if the thing I currently believe is not true, and something else, even the opposite is instead what’s true?
What determines if we are enough?
If we can see that our children’s value is not increased or decreased by what they do or what they look like, could it also be true that our own value is not affected by those things either?
We are constantly questioning and doubting our value and saying we are not enough. Not good enough, thin enough, strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough, whatever. But what determines if we are enough of something? How do we know when we are enough? What does enough really even mean?
It’s a measurement most of us can’t define. And if we can’t define it, we can’t ever know when we’ve reached it, and therefore, we’ll never get there.
It’s a moving target. We think this trying to be enough, this striving to reach enough is helping us become something else, something more. But it’s really keeping us stuck where we are.
What we feel when we think “I’m not enough”
When we think, “I’m not enough,” we feel shame, discouragement, despair. And from these emotions, we typically don’t see forward motion. We hide, we eat and gain weight, we’re in a mode of constantly seeking and never just being.
We are living life at a perpetual deficit. We spend so much of our lives trying to fill up our buckets for a feeling. Whether it’s happy, fulfilled, worthy, peaceful, we are eating and accomplishing and buying and learning and drinking, just putting more and more in, in order to feel what we want so desperately to feel.
But when we believe the thought, “I’m not enough,” the bucket that we’re trying to fill is actually a sieve, and everything is constantly draining out the bottom and we never fill it — or feel it.
Does your value go down as the number on the scale goes up?
So much of our weight loss issue typically stems back to our belief that our value as a human is dependent on and diminished by our weight. That our value goes down as the scale goes up.
But I want you to question this hard:
Why do we believe our value is dependent on the number on the scale or the way that we look?
How do we make the decisions about what adds and what takes value away?
Who decided this?
Where did it come from?
When you think, “I’m not enough,” ask yourself why and answer the question. Maybe your answer is, “Because I’m overweight.” Why does that mean you’re not enough? Not enough what?
We choose to believe that our struggle with our weight makes us a little more broken and a little less valuable than someone else.
I spent most of my own life feeling this way, that my weight was an outward manifestation of my inner flaws. That I was lazy, that I lacked willpower, I wasn’t disciplined enough, and was therefore not good enough. I believed hard that if I could just lose the weight, I would finally be and feel whole and complete. I would finally be enough.
But what if that isn’t true?
A lump of clay
My grandpa was an artist, not by profession, but he spent leisure time painting and drawing and sculpting, and even teaching himself how to play the piano. One of his charcoal drawings of a ballerina hangs in my home, and I see it every time I walk to my room. I love it so much.
And much of his art still lives around the city of Heber, Utah, including a sculpture he designed for the 2002 Olympic games. I have really strong childhood memories of the art studio in his home. In the center of the room, there was this small table that turned, and on it always lived a large lump of charcoal grey clay.
It was rarely just a lump though. Every time I visited, it seemed to have taken on some new form. A horse in full gallop with its mane blowing in the wind, or two football players in mid-tackle on the way to the ground. I was always so excited to see what the lump had become while I was gone.
That same amount of clay was transformed into an entirely new creation in my grandpa’s hands.
We often think that we lack value, that we aren’t enough, or we don’t have enough willpower, discipline, belief, strength, whatever. That we need to be different so we can be acceptable to ourselves.
And as I was thinking about my weight loss journey and the struggle we all have with believing we are enough, I remembered this lump of clay, and I started to imagine myself as this lump of clay. Whole and complete and enough, with the potential to become so many amazing things.
There are goals and achievements and new roles I can take on and excel at and weight I can lose or whatever, but they are all formed with that same clay.
You are already whole, complete, enough
When I can imagine myself as whole and complete, my value not flaking away with mistakes or weight gain, not being chipped off when I fall short of my expectations and eat off my protocol, just continually moldable and changeable and ME, I feel peaceful. I feel free.
There is beauty and goodness in all of my forms. When I imagine my wholeness and completeness, it becomes up to me to decide where I want to go, with no fear that I will ever be less than the perfect amount of clay I’m made of. This is what I want for you. To release “enough” from your vocabulary. Just banish it altogether.
And to know for certain, that you are the perfect amount of clay, and that it’s up to you what you become. You have everything that you need within you right now.
This kind of thought work is invaluable on your journey to losing weight for life. If you’re ready to get started, watch my free video on how to lose the first five pounds — and keep going.