Weight Loss to Feel Better?

Who doesn't want to feel better? Isn't that why we monitor our food and manipulate our weight? How many times have I heard a client say they they don't like themselves and will be happy when they reach that certain weight. And truth be told, there was over a decade of my life when I was saying the same thing to myself. 

In wanting to be thin, or lean or in shape, we want to feel good about ourselves. We want to feel happy and confident. And that is exactly what weight loss programs sell you - happiness, confidence, contentment. And all that usually is harbored in one number. When a client says, "I need to be 120 again. I felt good about myself when I weighed that, and that is my goal", I might say, "What about 121?" Responses usually are some version of, "Well, maybe."

"What about 122?"

"I don't know."

"What about 123?"

"No, definitely NOT. I could never be happy at 123!"

Of course the Happy Number is different for each person. And some people have a Happy Number Range. But most people live by the belief that the difference between a lifetime of contentment and a lifetime of misery boils down to a difference of 3 or 4 pounds.

I've learned, though, that what we ultimately want is to feel good in our bodies.

But, in all my many years of experience, I have not found that weight loss can facilitate that. Instead, what we need to feel good is to feel connected to ourselves. When we feel connected, we aren't obsessed about this alien creature we call a body. We don't feel like we need to crawl out of our skin. When we feel connected, our focus shifts to simply being in the world because this body we call home feels good.

When was the last time you recall being full immersed in what you were doing to the point nothing else matters? For me, this can happen when I'm reading a good book on the couch, or sitting on the bow of a boat feeling the wind in my face, or cranking my muscles while mountain biking. Or while sewing. I never ceased to be amazed at what I can create with a sewing machine. These are moments I transend my body and am one with it at the same time. This are the times I feel the best.

And guess what? My weight did not change!

About the Author

Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LDN, SEP can help you escape food and body angst and learn to manage your eating and weight naturally. Visit www.EatingWisdom.com for free handouts, online courses and more tips on mindful, intuitive eating and healing disordered eating.