There are a huge number of people on planet Earth who have tried just about everything they can to lose weight, only to either hit a wall and see no change, or to actually lose some weight but gain it back soon after their dieting is over. Weight loss isn’t easy. There are all kinds of reasons why people GAIN weight, and just as many reasons why they cannot LOSE weight.
So let’s take a look at some of the very surprising and most commonly overlooked reasons why we can’t lose weight. If you’ve been feeling frustrated around weight loss, one of these factors just might give you the answers you’ve been searching for.
1. You Don’t NEED to Lose Weight
Most people don’t see this one coming. We assume that if WE believe we should lose 5 pounds, 15 pounds, or whatever the number is, then by all means, we should lose it. But says who? What wisdom or scientific knowledge exists to back up your certainty about how much weight you think you should lose? If you’re not losing weight, there’s a real possibility that you simply don’t need to. Your mind might think so, but the wisdom of life and the science of the body clearly say otherwise.
Where your weight is at might just be fine. Stop trying to force it to a place where it just doesn’t want or need to go. If you are pushing your body into a weight that you think will make you more acceptable, it’s time to start looking at what makes you think you’re not acceptable in the first place.
And perhaps your time is better spent on learning to accept and love your body.
In fact, take a few months and let go of all dieting and weight loss efforts. Pretend the body you have right now is the body you’ll have forever, and simply see what happens. You just might find that this time off from weight loss efforts will give you some insights that can help you feel more light and more free.
2. You NEED Extra Weight
Another overlooked reason why we can’t lose weight is that we actually need to have a little more weight. This is obviously not true for everyone, but it does apply to a certain segment of people who are actually too thin, and yet they believe they need to lose more weight. It comes from the kind of mentality that sees thinner and thinner as better and better.
Sometimes, the human body simply wants more weight. It could be for emotional protection. It could be to create a sense of grounding and stability. It could be that it’s winter and you are genetically predisposed to gaining weight in the winter, as so many mammals are.
Stop trying to outsmart genetics. We don’t always logically understand the wisdom of the body. Your body may be doing you a great service by hanging on to the weight you’re trying so hard to get rid of. If your friends are telling you that you’re too thin, then chances are, they are right.
Dynamic Eating Psychology teaches us that when you can thank your body for doing its job, you can look at your body in a new light. You can have gratitude for your body, just as it is, and for the intelligence it has. So tell your body “thank you” and give it a break.
3. The Wisdom of Life Doesn’t Want You to Lose Weight
Sometimes, our extra weight is teaching us a deeper lesson that we need to learn. It’s not always about nutrition or lifestyle. If you’re working hard to lose weight but not having success, there may be a larger life lesson that you need to learn, such as humility, patience, or unconditional self-love. The body can be such a great spiritual teacher. It’s up to each one of us to listen, and to hear what lessons we are being taught.
This is one of the cornerstones of our teaching here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Your body can be a mirror for your greatest life lessons. How you relate with your body is a mirror for how you treat yourself. Do you yell and punish yourself when things don’t go your way, or do you take a deep breath, acknowledge that you may not be getting what you wanted, and move toward accepting what is?
Having a body that doesn’t match your ideal may be teaching us to let go, and to mature beyond our perfectionism and our demands. Life can be a difficult classroom sometimes. But when we learn the lessons that the wisdom of life is teaching us, there’s a magic that takes over and a whole new beginning unfolds before us…
So instead of waiting for life to start when you’re “thin enough,” start living and let your body respond to the life you’re living now. You just might notice that you’re living the life you want, after all.
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