The Nuances of Weight Loss

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There seems to be times of the year when the desire to lose weight is more alive for people. Maybe it’s the transition into the fall, with routines, structure, and the school year. Whatever the reason, weight loss has been a topic of discussion in our community lately. 

This week I thought I’d share a recording of a short talk we gave on our stance and approach to weight loss in our community. Our members loved this talk, and I hope you find something of value in it too. 

🎡 Free Audio: The Nuances of Weight Loss [12:11]

Click the link above to listen or download 

Conscious Eating is all about living in the nuance, and walking a middle path somewhere between rigid food rules and indulging every craving. That means expanding to hold both a desire for weight loss and loving acceptance of ourselves as we are, because there is wisdom and suffering at both ends of the spectrum.

Our community is a really interesting space because we’re not a weight loss program. We don’t give our members a food plan, or a system of eating, or tell them to track anything. We don’t care how our members eat. Some have weight loss goals, and some don’t. We’re all working on cultivating our own loving relationship with food and our bodies, and that looks different for everyone. 

But we’re also not an intuitive eating program or anti-diet program, and we take the stance that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, or with being on a weight loss path. But we pay very close attention to the reasons why we desire weight loss, and as a community we are generally striving toward not being β€œgraspy” in our lives. Not grasping at pleasure, at a number of pounds, at a body size, or whatever we think is going to make us happy.  

We welcome a desire for weight loss that’s coming from a desire to feel more vitality, to connect with our best life, and live in a way that feels in alignment with our values and our joy. 

We also work to see the size of our bodies as the downstream effect of how we’re living our lives. So if there’s a lot of excess weight on our bodies, instead of making that the problem, we try to focus on whatever behaviors or issues that the weight is the evidence of. Maybe it’s blerghy habit energy, an unfulfilling job, a stressful global pandemic, a difficult relationship, or another cycle of suffering that’s leading to emotional eating. In our experience, body size and weight are just not a very helpful thing to focus on.

Instead, we approach weight loss by making changes in our lives because we want to feel wonderful, not because we dislike our larger bodies or because we want to be a certain size or weigh a certain number of pounds. We ask ourselves β€œhow can I live in a way that I love?” and see if the weight issue takes care of itself. 

Another value we hold as a community is allowing ourselves to feel and work with discomfort as an opportunity for growth and healing. But we also don’t want to tolerate discomfort to the point of suffering. 

For those who do have an explicit weight loss focus, we acknowledge that there’s going to be inevitable moments of discomfort – a little more hunger, more fatigue, etc, and we teach mindfulness tools for working with that degree of discomfort with and infusing it with ease and equanimity. But the degree of discomfort matters. If being in a weight loss phase is miserable and we hate it, maybe that’s too much discomfort. 

On the flip side, if the size of our body is mildly uncomfortable to us, that’s also probably not an emergency, and we can practice self-compassion, equanimity, and acceptance. But if our weight is a huge piece of suffering for us, then that’s something we don’t want to ignore either. But how we hold a weight loss aspiration is key.  

We strive to welcome and work with discomfort on either end, but not to the point of feeding a cycle of suffering or making our world smaller. What that middle path looks like is different for everybody, and we’ve built a thriving, beautiful community to support each other in figuring that out.

If you’re interested in walking this path along with us, you can check out ourΒ free video series.

Wishing you the ability to be with whatever shows up this week with compassion, curiosity, and joy πŸ™πŸ’•

❀️ Katie

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