Every year it happens. Right before Christmas and the first month of the new year. If we aren't careful, we can begin to believe the hype about ourselves. It's time to "finally" lose the weight. Or, as some of us like to hear it, "You aren't good enough yet," or "You can't do _____ until you lose the weight." It's an Unhealthy Voice that gets old as it repeats itself every year. This time it's exacerbated by Oprah and her Weight Watchers charge.
I just watched the ad of why she joined. Good ad. She's inspiring. But the message I think has a tone of shame to it - which so many of us need to shake. It says to me, "You've got to lose the weight to be who you are." My question is - why can't you be who you are and embrace who you are no matter what your weight in this very moment?
I read a quote from Oprah the other day on this whole thing. "Weight Watchers gave me the tools to begin to make the lasting shift that I and so many of us who are struggling with weight have longed for." Now, I'm not hating on WW. It helped me and countless others lose the weight many times. But did it make me keep the weight off for life? No. Unlike Oprah, I never found what I "longed for" in a weight-loss program or tools. I found it in my relationship with God because there is one thing that always stands. There is nothing, absolutely nothing outside of us that can feel the depth of fulfillment we long for to fill that God-shaped hole in our hearts. No diet. No weight-loss. No nothing. It's meant for one thing and that's God. If I'm attaching my longing to a diet, then I'm in trouble. That's putting a lot of pressure on a program and my own self-will to reach a goal and pushing God out of the equation.
I don't just say this because I've struggled with my weight my whole life or because I've done Weight Watchers. Lord knows a lot of us could write about this. I say it also because I've been on the other side of that corporate machine behind the weight-loss industry.
I worked at the senior level as a consultant for one of the major lifestyle brands to help them build a behavior modification program. I have seen up close and personal that when it comes down to it - the weight-loss industry is still big business. It's still about the bottom line.
I brought an approach to this company that involved the inner journey and the spiritual aspects, because their leader was FOR it - which is why I said yes. Members loved it. Soon after the program kicked off though the company got bought out, and so went the message that it wasn't just about weight loss, workouts and food. It broke my heart. But it also helped me realize that God had a different plan. I tell you this because I got to see up close an impact on many women that no matter how appealing something looks and how much weight-loss you are promised, YOU have to look out for yourself. YOU have to remember that corporate America is always going to try and sell you - whether it's diets, clothes, alcohol, or cigarettes. You have to claim your own health by your own choices. Be careful of letting the bottom line of a major corporation trying to stay relevant have an influence on your approach to health.
For those of you who have struggled and came into recovery of your battle with diets, I know these ads are a huge trigger. They are for me! Finally you are getting a place of making peace with yourself and your body. It's been a long journey but maybe you are starting to let go of thinking a diet will fix everything. Then this happens. WW comes out with guns blazing and Oprah of all people to tell you, "Nope, it's still about your weight." Man, it reminds me of when I went to treatment.
The trigger was seeing myself in an article in our local paper and I heard the Unhealthy Voice loudly say, "It's your weight dummy. You are still NOT good enough." I can imagine that's there for many of you hearing this message. The force is strong.
This is where the rubber meets the road. We either dive in and give our power away to an industry that says we aren't good enough or we step back and realize that it's not our deal anymore. That is okay if that's you. You aren't alone. I'm right there with you.
Oprah is indeed inspiring but we have to do what's right for ourselves in the battle with our weight. If you've finally tamed that beast that tells you you aren't good enough until you lose the weight, don't let it scare you. You can still accept and love yourself right where you are. Even better - you can STILL get healthy and make good choices. You just don't have to give it all away (including your money) to a diet. You know what to do already. Trust what you know. And if you've ever been addicted to food, to the rush of diets or overexercise, you get me as I say all this. You know it's not healthy to jump on the weight loss train. You know it's like a long black train coming for you and I'm here to tell you that you CAN choose the light.
There is light. There is hope. Watch my video below to hear more...
Here are the POWER VERSES from the video I wanted to reference:
Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
2 Corinthians 12:7-10, " Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
Here are a few articles that might help you that I've seen lately:
"I Will Not Diet in 2016" by Rhonda Burrows
"Oprah's Weight Watchers rescue requires more than will power", Tara Lachapelle from Crain's Chicago Business (Interesting info and her commercial of "Why")
"How to Break the Cycle of Weight-Loss Defeat", by Braxton Cosby, D.P.T.
"Spiritual Warfare in Weight Loss: Stolen Peace", By Kimberly Taylor, C.W.C.
"Understanding your Hunger Hormones", Susan B. Dopart, MS, RD, CDE