Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Are you miserable because you’re fat or fat because you’re miserable? This question comes up time and time again and has been a recurring theme in both my own personal struggle with weight loss in the past and in my coaching practice. There is a huge amount of misunderstanding around being overweight. Many of my clients aren’t overweight because they eat too much. It is not always overeating that leads to fatness. Depression, anxiety and lack of motivation are just as much to blame as food is. Inactivity is a serious contender in the world of fat. When we are miserable it can be impossible to make ourselves do almost anything and so it is very hard to achieve or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
One of the problems with thinking we are miserable because we are overweight is that it opens the door to blame almost everything wrong in our lives on our physical appearance. It also leads us to not do anything about fixable situations in our life because we are waiting to be thin until our lives change. Some of the most common thoughts we have surround this issue include:
“I didn’t get promoted because I’m fat”
“I’ll start going to the gym when I lose a little weight first”
“I’ll join X group when I have lost the weight”
“I’ll be a better parent when I lost weight”
“I’ll be happy when I lose weight”
“I’ll have more friends when I lose weight”
Another problem I see all the time is people settling for ‘less than’ because they think they don’t deserve better as they are. People stay in negative relationships, friendships and life situations because they think that they won’t or can’t do better. It dents our confidence and we allow it to because ‘hey I’m fat! ‘ We try to blend into the shadows and hide in social situations or put up with people treating us with less respect because deep down we don’t believe we deserve it. Does this sound like you? Do you feel like you have to apologise for everything all the time?
The truth is, while our weight can be responsible for encouraging us to behave in certain ways, we can start to take more control of our lives when we stop attributing every single thing in our lives to our weight! Think about how much power that gives it? No wonder it becomes so hard to battle such a force! We give it power over every part of our lives, let it choose our friends, bully us and hold us back from achieving our careers and dreams!
The good news is that you can erase the miserable BEFORE you get rid of the fat! You don’t have to put losing weight first on your agenda. You can begin to piece your life back together as you are! It really doesn’t matter which came first the fat or the miserable! The fact is, if you are miserable AND fat then you can do something about it NOW. And it doesn’t have to start with losing weight. Amazingly when we stop waiting to drop the 5-50lbs before we start living then the fat has less power over us. When we stop letting our weight kill our joy and prevent us from living, it tends to drop off anyway! That is the most amazing part. It doesn’t matter which came first, it matters which YOU put first NOW!
You can still focus on losing weight and that part of your mission, and I know as well as anyone how interconnected our weight becomes with every part of our lives, but I also know what happens when you start to change the things you can and not letting the weight dictate when and how you live your life. It can be difficult to separate which parts of your life you are miserable with and identify which you can change NOW! Maybe you decide to go for that promotion anyway? Maybe you decide to get out of a bad relationship? Perhaps it’s time to study for that career you always wanted or even stop taking crap from family and so called friends? Whatever situations are making you miserable, ask yourself what you can start to do to now, today, in order to make yourself happier?
Whatever has caused your weight gain or where you are now emotionally, its time to start to look outside of the weight shield we create in order to find the answers. The less power you give to your weight, the easier you will find it to lose it! It’s time to take your power back! What can you do today to change your life apart from losing weight?
As always I love to hear from you about your struggles. Please comment below and let me know what your challenges are!
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