Someone once shared that this is what someone said to her after she had lost a lot of weight, prior to meeting me. Almost the exact moment these words were spoken to her, she began to regain all the weight -about 100 pounds. Why would this happen? Don’t many of us think that if we just lost all the weight that of course we would keep it off because we would feel so happy and healthy that would be enough to keep it off?
What does it feel like if you believe you are disappearing? To this woman, it felt really scary. She didn’t want to disappear. But, there was an event which was a comment made by another person. First, there was the event, which was a comment made by another person, then there were the woman’s thoughts about the comment. “If I disappear there will be nothing left of me, no one will see me, who will I be?” And then there were the emotions that followed: fear, anger, sadness among them. She overate again to numb the pain of those feelings, to block out those thoughts and of course, to avoid disappearing!
To avoid regaining weight, Awareness is crucial -the ability to be Present and see clearly events, thoughts, emotions and actions. Believing that we aren’t our weight is a good start. If you love to paint when your body weighs 300 pounds, that doesn’t change when your body weighs 200 pounds. If you love to watch your child play a sport, that doesn’t change either. If you love to think of other people, brighten their day, surprise them with kindness, that quality is unaltered if you lose 500 pounds!
Having the Awareness that you are not your weight, you can see clearly that people are “just doin’ their thing” when they make comments. You can QTIP (Quit Taking It Personally). You can be Present for your initial thoughts (“Oh No! I don’t want to disappear!”) and your initial emotions (anger, fear, sadness). You don’t have to react unaware, gaining the weight back in reaction to comments, thoughts and emotions.
Instead we have the responseability ~ the ability to respond. “Since I am not my weight, I am not actually disappearing. This person didn’t know what else to say and didn’t mean anything by it, maybe they are jealous or threatened which isn’t about me.” The anger, fear and sadness will decrease. We are then free to live in a body that is a healthy-for-us weight. Most importantly we are free to live life instead of bouncing from gaining to losing weight. In fact, we do the opposite of disappearing. We are able to really show up in our life as more than just our weight.