Healing your beliefs around body image

I want to lose weight!

9 times out of 10 my clients and others that I talk to in my field of expertise want help with losing weight. My question to them is, “What has been stopping you from losing the weight so far and WHY do you want to lose weight.” The answers I get are very similar and not surprisingly, I have been in this place  SO many times before that I have lost count. So the typical answer is: “I don’t know why I can’t stick to anything. I have no will power. I always seem to self-sabotage.”

As soon as you focus on how much you desperately want and need to lose weight and then put in place all of these regimented routines in an attempt to achieve this, it feels like you are constantly fighting against something… mainly yourself. You then end up binge eating, most of the time on purpose because you are ultimately saying ‘screw you’ to the diet police (which is you by the way!)

There is a way to overcome this, let me explain… Most people think that the ‘problem’ here is their body weight, whereas the actual real ‘problem’ is what they THINK about their body weight. We need to heal our beliefs about our bodies BEFORE we can actually lose the excess weight we have gained from constant yo-yo dieting and emotional/binge eating. What I desperately want for you is for you to be in a position where your weight doesn’t even matter! I am at this stage and let me tell you, It is soooo free and amazing!

How to start to heal your relationship with YOU

Ok, so I am going to start off by saying how important it is to not hate yourself…May sound obvious but how many times do you feel that towards yourself? Most often than not when someone goes on a diet or starts counting calories etc, when they fail they will feel huge amounts of guilt, shame and frustration towards themselves because they didn’t have enough willpower to stick to it. When I ask the question ‘why’ do you so desperately want to lose weight, the answer is usually because they think they will be more accepted in society and have more opportunity, they think they will be more liked by their boyfriend or their friends, they think that by becoming smaller physically, they will become more valued as a person.

What tends to happen is, when they have reached their goal weight, they will put all the weight and more, back on again. This is because they thought that when they reached their goal weight then everything in life would just fall into place and they would be magically happy in every life area. But weight loss is only weight loss, it doesn’t magically change your life or change who you are inside, in fact, it keeps you playing small in life because you are so wrapped up in changing your body and putting things on hold until you’ve reached your body goals. So this empty feeling often leads you to turn to food because that’s what you’ve always done AND you have restricted for so long to get to your weight loss goal that you go mental and consume the whole of isle 5.

So in order for you to lose the excess weight that your body doesn’t want to hold onto, it first starts with your beliefs and what you think is possible for you. You need to learn how to stop hating on yourself because change cannot come from a place of self-hate. Hate does not create progress. It keeps you stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage. You need to get to a place where it’s not about the weight anymore, it’s about how you feel about yourself. When you reach this (because you will if you are coachable and you want this), you free yourself from your old chains. You give yourself permission to accept yourself the way you are and from that magical things happen. The weight you were so desperately wanting to lose, just comes off without you even trying.

Beliefs are everything!

What are beliefs? Beliefs are thoughts that you have had about yourself over and over again. Sometimes external experiences or other people contribute to these beliefs or even give you these beliefs because of something that they said to you when you were a child. Until we are 8 years old our brain is in the same energy frequency as it is when we meditate. This means that in this state we absorb everything that we see, hear and feel into our subconscious mind without the ability to challenge or question them. As adults, most of our beliefs ome from childhood experiences. The beliefs you have about yourself are your invisible force behind your actions.

If you wonder, “why do I always self-sabotage or why do I always fall for the wrong guy?” It is because you have these beliefs about what you are not worthy of, what you are worthy of and what you find attractive. Then you attract these things into your life. There is no question about this. It is the law of the attraction, just like the law of gravity.

Your beliefs are the glass ceiling of your potential.

If you don’t think that you’re not capable of achieving something, you won’t! You will only go as far as your beliefs allow you to go! If you have this inner wound about the weight that you gained after you previously lost it all due to extreme dieting and you feel shame around this, then the shame will stop you from moving forward. Even if you don’t WANT to feel shameful or you don’t WANT to binge eat, until you learn to release these feelings and beliefs, then you will stay stuck.

First, we have to become aware of what’s going on inside us, then heal these wounds before we can move on and write a new story for ourselves. Because just to remind you beautiful, YOU are the author of your own story. Until you grasp that, you will always be blaming other people, experiences or circumstances for why you are stuck. It’s up to you, are you the main character in your story or are you a background actor…?

Who do you want to be and who are you now?

With my clients (and myself) we work on who they are now and who do they want to become. We then bridge the gap between the two by creating new beliefs and taking action to make this happen. So like I said, you are only going to get as far as you think you can. So how do we actually do it?! Get out your journal and do the following…

My 3 step process for moving past your beliefs.

Write down the ART of healing and then write ART in bullet points:

Acknowledge. First, we need to acknowledge your feelings and why you got hurt and what happened.

We cannot argue with reality and we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. 

If you have not been acknowledging the fact that you have been following super restrictive diets and instead you have chosen to be mean to yourself because you didn’t have any control over food when the diet was over, then you’re not going to get better. You are fighting with reality. The reality is that what you did was not sustainable. All these diets you have done, they have been unsustainable which is why you are in the position that you’re in now. So by acknowledging this, you are taking responsibility which means you are in the position to change and move forward. So, validate your feelings, validate yourself. So many of us look for external validation for permission to feel a certain way. In reality, we should be giving validation to ourselves. So to recap write down:

  1. What happened.
  2. How this made you feel
  3. Acknowledge this and tell yourself, ‘It is ok and perfectly reasonable to feel this way.’

Reframe. When we reframe, we are giving ourselves a new way to look at the situation from a different perspective. This is what ‘mindset’ is. It is so powerful! This is how we grow and change and move from the place where we are stuck. We need to look at our situation from a positive perspective. If you really can’t be positive about it then at least be neutral about it. So if this was someone else telling you that you looked fat (and btw, fat is a descriptive word like blonde or brown, or short or tall, we only take it fat as an insult because of society’s fatphobia, it’s ridiculous) whether this happened when you were a child or as an adult or both, how can you reframe that and put it into a different perspective? For example, the person that said this to you could have been jealous of you or insecure themselves so felt the need to put you down in order for them to feel better. You see, what other people say about you is not really about you, it’s about them. Which leads me on to …

Tell a new story. Now it’s time to write a new story for yourself. Let’s take the above example, someone called you ‘fat’ when you were a child. We can start with the answers from your reframing such as; The person that said that to me was just trying to say something mean because THEY felt bad about themselves. And we can continue to tell our own new story such as; There were and are many people with bodies bigger than mine and smaller than mine. Everyone is different and this is amazing. My body does not determine my worth as a human, it allows me to experience life and express myself and it works like magic to keep me alive every second of the day. What other people think about me is none of my business and it has everything to do with them. I am worthy, I am loved and I am perfect just the way I am.

You are the creator of your reality!

Why not choose a reality that brings you happiness and joy? The truth about anything is what YOU chose to believe. How amazing is that?! Who decides if something is good or bad or exciting or boring, YOU do! Based on what you chose to believe about a thing.

So take responsibility, the past is the past, the present is all we have but we can create our future with our thoughts TODAY. 

The true prize for having a healthy relationship with food, your body and yourself is that you are able to be 100% yourself. You start to realise what truly matters to you in terms of values and you find that your body weight does not come into that. If your best friend put on 20lbs you’re not gonna say, ‘sorry I can’t be your friend anymore, you’ve put 20lbs on!’ How silly does that even sound…?! Well, why would you speak to yourself like that…? You deserve to treat yourself with the same kindness as you do your friends.

Eventually, you will lose the extra weight that you are carrying once you learn how to create a strong foundation of trust, belief and self-love for yourself. It cannot be the other way round! You can’t tell me, ‘Victoria, but I will love myself when I’ve lost 20lbs I promise”… Because it is the other way round. First, you learn to love yourself and then the weight doesn’t even matter to you anymore and then you will eventually lose it. But you won’t really care so much if you lose it or not. It’s an amazing place to be beautiful. You can be your best self without having to track your macros or count calories or worry about what your body looks like. And the funny thing is, when you get to this stage you become the healthiest you have ever been because your choices come from a place of love and not hate. And that my friend is life-changing.

If you need any help to reach this beautiful place I can help you.

With love and gratitude

Victoria x


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