Many Americans will begin another year with a resolution to lose weight. Most will start out with a bang, but then fizzle out like New Year’s Eve fireworks.
The majority will lose weight, but only a small percentage will keep it off. Most will gain it all back, plus more. They will then jump again onto the merry-go-round of dieting, which always leads to the feeling of deprivation. This often causes a binge, which causes shame and despair. Then the cycle continues and the person hops back on the dieting bandwagon. The cycle continues until they understand the truth: Food and body image issues are as much about our hearts and our stories as calories and exercise. Granted, a calorie is a calorie, and exercise is pivotal (unless it becomes an addiction, which happens to many people). But food/body image issues (including eating disorders, although they are much more complex than this) are issues of the heart.
This trap of dieting, bingeing, dieting, and bingeing is a vicious cycle. Sometimes it includes purging and/or an exercising addiction. More recently, research has poured in showing a strong correlation between binge eating, purging, and binge drinking. The cycle of dieting, bingeing, dieting, bingeing repeatedly is hard on the body, mind, and soul. Considering less than 1% of the people who lose weight will keep it off, why not deal with the roots of the problem?
If you are a professional dieter, you probably know so much about dieting you could write a book on it. But the problem is you’ve missed the major piece of the puzzle. I know I’ve already said it, but I want to shout it from the Space Needle:
Food, weight, and body image issues are as much about our hearts and our stories as they are about calories, carbs, and exercise. If you continue to concentrate on the symptoms instead of the causes, it is like putting gas in a car that has a hole in the gas tank. You will be successful, but only for a while. This blog (and book, which is almost complete) addresses the underlying issues so you’ll have a greater chance of beating the Body Image Bandit. Make this the year to address the underlying issues of your heart and story so you can become the person you were meant to be.
My hope and prayer is that you continue on the journey of changing your heart, working on the causes of your food and body image issues instead of treating the symptoms only. After all, you’re worth it!