Who Wears the Pants?
Once we kick the concept of diets to the curb, say goodbye to calorie counting, and stop restricting… there’s a period of bliss. The chains are gone. Our wings start growing back. We’re free. We’re FREE.
We start enjoying things we had scribbled on the “bad” list for years. Our taste buds become entranced by the textures and flavors of foods that had long been missed – but never forgotten.
We get back into the swing of listening to our bodies and accepting ourselves just a little bit more every day. Everything is awesome! (As The Lego® Movie so eloquently puts it.)
There Are Hiccups In Weight Management Success
But unfortunately, real life isn’t just made up of one deep, fluid breath – there are hiccups. And all of a sudden – BAM! We’re caught off guard and our beliefs are thrown into a tailspin.
You try on that pair of pants…
The ones that, for so long, you’ve used as a measure of your success. If they fit: you’re on track, in the zone, doin’ alright. But this time – it takes a little too much effort to slip the button into its proper place.
“We think to ourselves, “I’ve been eating mindfully. I’ve been practicing self-compassion. I’m in tune with my body. Daily weigh-ins are a thing of the past. I feel FREE. I’m flying! I’m high on life! But wait… is my body growing just as big as my wingspan?”
When the honeymoon phase starts to fade away – there can be a moment of “Oh sh*t” smashed right in between how we feel in our bodies and how we feel in our clothes.
Does the freedom of not obsessing about food and weight come at a price? Do I get to have “a number I like but a life ruled by restriction?” or “a number I hate but a life of freedom?”
Is it true? Does it have to be one or the other?
I vote “no” on this one. It just might take a little time before we can have our cake and eat it, too. (Yeah, that’s right – we can have, eat, AND enjoy the damn cake!)
But, first things first…
Stop Blaming Your Body
Stop blaming your body. It’s been doing the best it can – diet after diet, year after year. If you’ve been traveling down a path similar to the one that I’ve been stumbling and tripping down for almost a decade, remember one thing: you’ve been giving your body “the finger” for a long time.
Read This Related Article:
Guest Post: Learning to Listen to My Body
It never asked to be starved or overstuffed. Unless you have allergies or sensitivities, your body never told you that foods with any fat content were the enemy. It never forced you to sign a “weekend only” visiting schedule with carbohydrates.
But this mentality we’ve acquired isn’t our fault. Our bodies aren’t to blame… and neither are we! We didn’t do anything “wrong.” We’ve been trying so hard to meet standards that aren’t even close to standard. Society conjured up these ideas, the media delivered them in a most believable fashion, and somewhere along the way our feelings started ruling over stomachs.
So hey, cut your body some slack. It’s going to take a while for it to re-learn what your natural, healthy weight might be. As your stomach, taste buds, and emotions start collaborating for the first time (in a long time), changes will come, slowly but surely. Your metabolism is working on it… give it a second!
Trust The Process
If things aren’t going “perfectly” right out of the gate and you start thinking that this new approach isn’t right for you, remember… if your pants start to feel a little tight– this isn’t a sign that your body is betraying you. It’s trying to figure out what you’re up to.
Read This Related Article:
Stop Obsessing: Keeping the Peace through the Holiday and Beyond
Your inner pendulum has swung right past the middle from one extreme (binging or emotionally overeating) to the other (restricting) for so long that the “in-between zone” is foreign territory at the moment. It’s going to take some exploration before we’re completely comfortable in this new space.
Your body has been patient with you, now it’s time to be patient with it and kind to it. But, even if you’re not seeing the results you want right away, are you feeling them? That freedom!?
Or is fear getting in the way of your journey? If you’re ready, it might be time to ask yourself…
What Are You Afraid Of?
If you bought your favorite pair of jeans one size bigger – what would happen? Would you suddenly be worse at your job? Would any of your real friends stop loving you? Would your jokes no longer make people laugh? The number on that tag does NOT make you any less intelligent, beautiful, funny, or deserving.
Even if your clothes don’t fit the same way at the moment – it may not be because you’ve lost control, but because you’re working hard at gaining a different type of control. You’re letting your body do the talking for the first time.
“Ask yourself this: When those jeans did fit perfectly – how was the rest of your life compared to now? Were you happy? Were you FREE?”
Your natural, healthy weight might not be your “ideal” weight that you’ve been striving to achieve your entire adult life. But as a girl who’s been on both ends of the spectrum – I can tell you that I was just as miserable at 127 pounds as I was at 240. It wasn’t until I started learning, understanding, and mending my relationship with food and my body that I started putting on pounds of happiness.
You might be scared that you’re going to feel similarly to how you felt in the past. Last time you “wore” or “weighed” “this” or “that”, you weren’t happy. You’re associating memories of yesteryear with your reality in this moment. But who you were then and who you are now – are not the same. Today, you’re reading this blog. Today you’re giving your body an opportunity to be part of the decision-making. Today…
YOU Wear The Pants
If that shirt, skirt, bra, or even a pair of undies don’t feel good when you move, sit, or stand – stop torturing yourself. Put them away. Get them out of your closet. Shut them up! We have got to stop letting articles of clothing dictate our moods and frame the outcome of our days.
I don’t know about you – but wearing something that cuts off my circulation distracts me from every other part of my day. And I end up missing parts of my life…
“I didn’t pay attention to that $13 movie because my pants felt too tight. I couldn’t enjoy girls-night-out because my pants felt too tight. I couldn’t sit comfortably on the couch with my partner because my pants felt too tight.”
Why did we start giving the pants all the power?
Take it back. Right now! Show your body some compassion and yourself some love by starting to dress for your body right now instead of mourning yesterday or worrying about tomorrow. Remember – repeatedly kicking yourself in the butt won’t help you kick butt on your journey. It will only slow you down.
If we treat ourselves with respect and give our bodies some time to recalibrate, I wholeheartedly believe that it is possible to have a life of freedom and a life of comfort. It doesn’t have to be one or the other… as soon as you start believing that YOU wear the pants in your relationship with yourself.
An incredible woman I recently had the pleasure of meeting, said it to perfection… “I am more than my pants!”
Until next time,
Did this blog strike a chord with you? Please feel safe and welcomed to comment below. The more we share, the more we inspire.
Tips from Green Mountain’s Clinical Director and Binge Eating Specialist Kari Anderson, DBH CEDS:
- As you’re eating mindfully, experiment by stopping at different times during your meal and checking in with yourself. How is your body feeling?
- Write letters to your body to become aware of your inner beliefs and biases. Start empathizing with your body. Is this my body turning against me or is my body confused and afraid?
Learn More about Our Binge Eating Treatment Program