Guilt and shame. Two heavy emotions that really weigh us down and prevent us from living our best life. They are also two emotions that I am very familiar with. Especially when it comes to gaining weight.
Like the many women I work with, I started worrying about my body and my weight at a very young age. Even though I was a thin child, my parents and family members would remind me that I had “bad genes” and that I’d always have to worry about my weight. This was to “scare” me away from getting fat. Unfortunately, it started a cycle of dieting and worrying about my weight from a very young age. I can first remember being insecure about my body when I was in fourth grade (age 9) and counting calories in seventh grade (age 12). Because of this, guilt and shame are two emotions that I’ve struggled with around my body and gaining weight for most of my life.
Around the age of 17, I began gaining weight. And the more weight that I gained, the more scared I became. I’d try to control my food and exercise plan even more, but instead would end up feeling like I completely lacked willpower and self-control. The more I obsessed about my weight gain, the more my binge-eating disorder seemed to take over my life. I felt so ashamed and guilty. By 21, I had gained 90 pounds. Many times when I’d see people I hadn’t seen in years, they couldn’t even recognize me. More guilt and shame would ensue after these humiliating experiences.
Eventually, I got on a healthy living site and began to deal with a lot of the emotional and mental reasons I was gaining weight. I realized that the physical weight was just an external representation of something deeper that was going on within me. This empowered me to take a look at what those things were, and I began releasing the weight and my eating disorder. Then, I experienced weight gain on a smaller scale (40 pounds) from 2014-2016 when I was stressed and sick from adrenal fatigue. It took me a long while to release the shame and guilt around gaining weight both times. Here are three steps I took to empower myself to release the guilt and shame around my body so I could finally release the weight:
Step 1: Recap.
If you’re struggling with guilt and shame around gaining weight, I suggest starting with recapping all the things you experienced that were positive about the experience. This extracts your soul’s lessons and energetically frees you to move forward and release the weight. Without seeing the higher purpose of your weight gain, it’s much easier to stay stuck in a shame and guilt spiral. For me, gaining weight is the best thing that ever happened to me (no joke). Not only has it empowered me to be a more compassionate and loving human being, I also realized that how you feel about yourself and your body is a mindset. My body image issues made me hate my body…it didn’t matter if I was 115 pounds or 215 (and I’ve been both). By having the experience I did, it has been much easier to love my body and not be impacted by the unrealistic expectations that are placed on women by society. On top of those lessons, it has helped me help thousands of people get in touch with their spirituality and reach their goals. By recapping these beautiful things that have happened in my life because of my weight gain, I’m able to take the good from the situation and more easily release the bad. It isn’t until we do this (consciously or unconsciously) that we are free to get on with our lives and let go of the weight.
Step 2: Forgive.
It’s time to forgive. Forgive yourself for letting it get this bad (you were doing the best you could). Forgive your family members for making you feel like your body was defective at a young age (they were doing the best they could). Forgive your hurtful ex-boyfriend who made you feel unlovable unless you lost weight. Forgive the elementary school bully that called you fat in front of the whole class. Unconsciously, we can be holding onto a lot of resentment energy towards ourselves and others because of our struggle with our weight. Until we do the work to release that energy, we’re going to be stuck. Even if we make a bit of progress, we’ll eventually hit a plateau on our weight loss journey until we address this negative energy. I know this is not easy and I’m always here to help you through it. Know that forgiveness work is something you’ll make progress on for the rest of your life…so don’t beat yourself up if some days you find it easier to forgive yourself than others. This is completely natural! Just stick with it, especially on those days that forgiveness feels hard.
Step 3: Begin.
In order to release weight, we have to start where we are with what we have. While it’s easy to berate ourselves for “letting it get this bad”, it doesn’t change the fact that we are still here. It’s a spiritual truth that we can’t leave where we are currently at until we accept it, and I have definitely found that to be true. While it’s hardest to accept our circumstances before any real change has occurred, it’s really important for us to own where we currently are. Sometimes it means looking at a recent picture of you that made you cringe when you first saw it and letting yourself know that it’s OK…that you’re not going to be here forever. Sometimes it’s going to look like doing steps one (recap) and two (forgive). Sometimes it’s going to look like giving yourself a break when you want to beat yourself up. Sometimes it’s going to look like setting small, manageable goals that set you up for success and empower you to steadily reach your overall goal of losing weight. Just start where you are with what you have and I promise…you’ll be moving away from this place in no time.
If you want a framework to follow and to get assistance on your weight loss journey, I highly recommend my 5-week group course, Losing Your First 10 Pounds. Over the five weeks, we discuss how to overcome diet procrastination, why you can’t lose weight, how to create weight loss confidence, how to create your perfect plan, and how to set your permanent weight loss success foundation. I’d love to support you along this process! Find out more here.