The Weight You Really Need To Lose
Living in peace with food and your body
What do you believe to be the weight you need to lose to really feel confident about yourself and your body?
For most of us, I’m sure the first thought is something like “those last 5–10 pounds.”
And this is no surprise. We have been deeply conditioned to believe that our worth and well-being is somehow linked to our appearance. So, to change the way we want to feel (better about ourselves), we need to change what we see in the mirror.
We believe these glorious feelings of confidence and self-love will come to us (like a freebie on a purchase) once we reach some “ideal weight.”
“Here it is, go enjoy that amazing feeling!”
But… that’s just not how it works.
Because the real weight that needs to be lost is not in your body, but in a burden that you carry.
What extra weight do you carry?
Have you ever thought about the burdens that might be holding you back?
I recently learned an interesting exercise to help you take a symbolic but powerful step to overcome these burdens. The exercise is called “Drop Your Stone.”
This exercise can be done in many ways, but it is especially powerful when you are with a group of people. For this activity, each participant receives a stone and a basket is placed in the center of the room. One at a time, the members walk to the basket saying, “I’m letting go of…” and drop the stone into the basket. Participants can either say it out loud or to themselves.
Many of the things that people want to release are not really “things” but beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are not serving them well.
Fear. Anguish. Perfectionism. Resentment. Self-criticism.
And so on…
My additional weight
The exercise made me ponder how some beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that keep us hooked on dysfunctional eating patterns, body dissatisfaction, weight, and appearance concerns, are like heavy stones… big, heavy stones that we carry every day.
They overwhelm us, undermine our energy, limit our freedom, and keep us from living the life we really want.
When I was having problems with my eating and my body, my personal stones included, among others:
Heavy Beliefs: My value as a human being was dependent on the appearance of my body. I needed to maintain an excessively strict diet and exercise routine to prevent weight gain. When I gained weight it meant that I had failed and was worse than the others.
Heavy Thoughts: If I ate more than X calories one day, I needed to compensate with exercise and restrain the next. I could not eat “random forbidden food” as I would inevitably lose control.
Heavy Feelings: Fear. Guilt. Anxiety. Anguish.
Heavy Behaviors: Obsession with healthy food. Overexercising to “avoid weight gain” or to pay penance for “bad” food choices.
As I reflected on my transformation to a happier existence, free from the struggle against food and my body, I realize that it happened because I let go of those stones that kept me trapped.
Over time, one by one, I was able to objectively observe my stones, recognize how heavy they were and throw them into the basket.
Like any major and significant transformation, my journey to freedom did not happen quickly or all at once. It took practice, patience, and determination to keep doing the internal work.
Certainly, there were times when, as a result of fear, habit, or unconsciousness, I returned to the basket and picked up a stone that I had previously thrown there.
But when I did, I carried that old stone for less time and eventually dropped it back in the basket with more conviction… until one day, I realized that I no longer need that particular stone — or any one of my old stones.
Which stone can you throw in the basket?
Can you identify a specific belief, thought, feeling, or behavior that is holding you back?
Here are some stone suggestions for you to drop:
- The weight of believing that these feelings only exist in a certain size of jeans.
- The weight of the old, heavy narratives you carry about the “ideal” that doesn’t even belong to you.
- The weight of all the fears, opinions, and beliefs that others project on you.
If you were to experience what it would be like to live without it, which stone would you like to drop today?
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. In addition, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their own bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.