Weight loss and why is it so difficult to lose weight in this day and age

It’s a beautiful Saturday and I find myself strolling in Ala Moana with a new yoga mat and a set of weights in my hand. Thinking about my next article I decide to stop at Barnes & Nobles because I know they have places to sit, a coffee shop and being surrounded by books usually motivates me to write more.

I walk in confidently only to find that the chairs are reserved only to customers. I know that I’m going to sit for a while so I order a Frappuccino café, the usual drink Alex and I get when we go to coffee shops. I can finally sit down but when I do and sip my coffee, I want to throw up from the sweetness of it. I didn’t expect it to be sweet and more than that I didn’t expect it to be that sweet. I kindly ask the barista if it would be possible at all to ask for the same drink without sugar even though it was my fault so I could be willing to pay extra for it.

“It’s impossible,” she says. “All of our drinks have plenty of sugar in them. It’s in the syrup. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Of course you can, I think to myself, but now I have no desire to drink anything else from Starbucks so I give up my drink and go back to my seat.

I wanted to write a completely different article but this episode let me flustered and it started to resonate with previous episodes about weight and weight loss. Why is it so frustrating to lose weight and keep it in this day and age?

Weight, my self-image and my attractiveness as a consequence have always been a sensitive topic for me. Growing up by my grandparents, food was never found lacking at our table. My grandmother grew up working in the fields, she was 4-foot-9, very thin, and struggled to raise her 7 children. Her village was so far removed from city life that they could only eat what they could harvest. After migrating to the city and discovering the joys of sugar and how sleepy it made us, small crying babies, she made sure to feed us sugar and water whenever we were hungry. My sister and I grew up in that environment and even though we weren’t obese, we were always borderline overweight.

Food has always been an important part of our culture. We looked forward to our birthdays to get the biggest cake with so many layers. We’d also get cake when our favorite soccer team would win and also when we got good grades in school or when it was a special day. There was always a reason to celebrate. We’d get food when someone got married, but also when someone died. Food was always there, ready for us, to comfort us, to celebrate with us, to grieve with us. Food was never there to just nourish us or provide us with health and energy, it was our friend, confident, emotional support. Food made us feel good. Food was the reward.

Thinking about how much I’ve struggled to lose weight over the years I realized that the biggest problem was that I didn’t want to give up food. It felt like too much to ask. Life was hard, or it had hard parts, death and breakups and failure and friends leaving and not getting that promotion and having a shitty boss and food was always there for me. An episode of my favorite show and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge ice cream and there you go; my day was a bit less shitty than before. I would miss my dad, but I could always go for a walk, get a blueberry vanilla ice cream, sit on a bench and watch the cars go by and it felt like he was still there with me. And vice versa, you did get that promotion, friends are visiting from out of town, you’re in a new relationship, you won a big project, first you do is go out and celebrate and what is celebration without alcohol and sweets and an all you can eat buffet? Giving up on food after having food linked to all those memories was like giving up a part of myself, a part of my identity, something I wasn’t ready to give up yet. But at what cost?

Going to therapy to understand my relationship with food I realized that some beliefs were also preventing me from reaching my ideal weight. The beliefs were different, and included:

  • If I don’t eat for a day I’ll die of starvation” (coming from a past life)
  • If I’m my ideal weight, I’ll be visible and can’t live my life in peace
  • I am what I eat and food is my identity
  • Skinny people are sad
  • If I’m at my perfect weight I have to be perfect in all other areas of my life as well and I’m not ready
  • It’s hard for me to lost weight, but it’s easy for other people and it’s not fair
  • I’ve tried too hard to lose weight and I’m tired
  • I don’t deserve to be pretty and attractive
  • I don’t deserve to be loved

As I went through these beliefs and clear them out one by one, as I lose the weight, other beliefs come up. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending task. But the same way that the weight wasn’t put on in one day, the beliefs weren’t put there in one moment. It took years and years, generations upon generations. And it’s even more difficult than it was for our ancestors because we don’t know what’s in the food, food has become highly addictive, and we have to pay extra attention in choosing our food carefully. Ugh, like the coffee that can’t be made without sugar. Not eating so often isn’t scarcity, it’s called taking care of myself.

I knew that my biggest hang up was a mental one. I am not a victim. I am not the slave of my food. Food doesn’t control me. I had to repeat these things over and over and over to myself. So, when I saw a program to lose weight, my first reaction was fear – “I can’t do it” I said to my husband. “I’m afraid. I’m afraid to take full responsibility for my life.”

I didn’t believe that I could really do it, in my will to succeed, to be the best version of me. But now I want to try, to really try and bet on myself. This is a large act of self-love I can do for me. This is something that’s important to me and if I don’t give it to myself, who will?

To make the first step to a Free class to start releasing your emotional weight, click here

Related Articles