In October, I attended the premiere for The Inner Weigh, a film about a spiritual approach to weight loss, which is up for sale today. (I’m one of 20 teachers in the movie, including Victoria Moran, Gay Hendricks, Mary Morrissey, and Bronwyn Marmo, pictured with me at left.)
It got me thinking: what does the inner weigh mean to me?
So many of us punish our way to change – we think that hating ourselves (whether it’s our fat, overweight bodies, or overeating or any of the “character flaws” that we use to define ourselves) is how we find success. We think that if we loved ourselves as we are, that we’ll stay stuck, overweight, and miserable – that our compassion will give us permission to indulge in painful behaviors.
Self-hatred only feeds self-hatred, and its cousins shame, blame, and guilt. By contrast, self-love feeds self-love. To paraphrase Carl Rogers, when we accept ourselves as we are, we can change.
We’ve all tried diets, willpower, strict regimens – and they don’t work. (Here’s why.) The way we go about changing the intention that feeds our behaviors can cause harm or peace. Instead of punishing ourselves to change with diets (which cause harm), we accept ourselves as we are to change (which leads to peace – and yes, weight loss.) By softening judgment, we can listen deeply and see whats there with fresh eyes.
We learn about ourselves and why we’re turning to food in the first place. We uncover the ways we’re unkind to ourselves. As we replace unkind behaviors with kindness, our bodies (and our lives) reflect this shift.
Its how we find the new habits, the accountability, the desire to eat and care for our bodies differently. We don’t force it. It arises naturally on its own – because you have everything you need to heal inside. Goodness, love and care aren’t anything you have to manufacture. You “remove the barriers to love,” as the poet Rumi wrote, and you allow that love to unfold, to guide you forward, step by step, into new ways of living and being.
Kindness, not punishment, is the doorway to right action – to living out your deepest intentions; to shifting painful habits like overeating, to caring for your body out of reverence, love and respect, versus control, fear, or anxiety.
Yes, Dorothy, the answers are inside. And kindness, dear one, is the path to weight loss.