09
Jan 2014

What’s weighing you down?

Back in November I asked my peeps on Facebook and Instagram (if you’re not following me yet, WTF? get on it here and here) about what they wanted to know.  Many of the questions they asked I realized I’ve actually written about before.  Now, a lot of people in this community are new and have missed some gem articles, if I do say so myself.  So once a month I’m going to be doing “Throwback Thursday” where I resurrect my best stuff from the past 3 years.  All of this stuff is foundational concepts in how to Live More and Weigh Less so I know you are going to love it.

This month I’m going to be focusing on the basics of emotional eating and how to lose weight without dieting, counting calories or spending hours on the treadmill.  I know that if you follow my action steps carefully, that you are going to feel amazing by February.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is all about the sneaky thing that’s keeping us overweight that no one ever thinks about.

throwbackthursday

Something that’s really important to me about my signature program, Live More Weigh Less Mastery, is that it’s more about weighing less emotionally than physically.  Sure, most of the women come out feeling slimmer, but fitting into smaller jeans means nothing if we’ve got all sorts of emotional issues weighing us down. Tweet it.

I asked some of the women in my life what weighs them down and I was overwhelmed by their vulnerable and thoughtful answers, this is what they said…

  • All the “shoulds”. I should want kids, I should want a house with a yard, I should do this in my business because it’s industry standard

  • Always making other people’s stuff my responsibility, like it’s my problem to fix

  • Feeling like I should be somewhere further along than I am

  • The cultural imperative to be smarter, better, faster, more perfect than men (than white people) to be considered half as good. These are messages that helped my ancestors survive, but I’m dropping it.

  • My fear of rejection

  • I’ve carried around ideas of how I “should”…look, dress, speak (what does “smart” sound like?), have babies right now, giddy up and get re-married

  • Being abundant and loving your life is for “rich people” or people born with money

  • I’m letting go of the idea that I have to be perfect, act perfect and look perfect to be able to coach others on their health, wellness and living style.

  • I am trying to let go of censoring myself for fear of people not liking me. There is a deep fear of offending someone, if I say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I am letting go of stopping myself from being me.

  • The feeling of needing to fit in a box, act a certain way, sit up straight, don’t talk too much, don’t laugh too loud and above all, get an A+ on everything.  As an Indian woman in particular, I was always looked at as “the weird one” because I didn’t make sense to pretty much every other Indian I knew.

  • I’ve carried around the weight of having to do it all on my own. I could not ask for help, could not receive, had to look like I always had it all together, and wore this mask of extreme independence. It weighed on me, my relationships, and my business.

  • I carried around this idea that I was always late to the party.  I would always shamefully claim to be a late bloomer because I felt like I did everything so much later than everyone else.  Comparing myself against others, especially based on age, was a quick way for me to feel like I wasn’t doing something right and certainly not at the right time.

  • Having a successful career = being a work-a-holic

  • I think as a woman, there is often a need to maintain friendships and be nice to everyone even if you don’t feel connected or supported by those people. When you discover there are people in your life who don’t fully understand or support you, it can be quite painful and easy to get into the internal conversation that ‘something must be wrong with me.’

  • Coming to grips with the gamble I made in my relationship (letting ‘the nicest guy in the world’ go in hopes of having a chance at a nice + exciting man).  

  • I used to carry around the belief that I need to live my life for others: lose weight because my parents wanted me to, be in a relationship because most people my age have at this point, take medications for my health issues because thats what the doctors say, drink because all my friends were doing it.

  • Because I’ve never been in a relationship before, I am somehow less than. Less beautiful, less sexy, less worthy, less love-able. The weight of carrying that around has been huge and has prevented me from opening up around men.

  • The concern for how other people view me, expect my life to be or what society says it should be.

  • That relationships are supposed to be HARD and include suffering

  • Being an adult means being serious and giving up enjoying life

  • Other people’s opinions of you are more important than your own desires

For me, it’s been the pressure to be thin and perfect in order to be taken seriously.  As you can imagine, every slight fluctuation in weight sent me into this fear that my whole career was going to fall apart.  What’s crazy is that I barely noticed that this weight was running the show.  A lot of times the things that weigh us down are practically invisible.

Why was it that I was holding myself to a completely different standard than all the other women in my life?  It’s important to realize that these beliefs have a benefit (a wha?).

They keep us connected to the people we love, provide a pressure to nurture or keep us on a short leash of health.  But even though we developed these beliefs for a benefit, it doesn’t mean they’re serving us.  In my case, it was giving me daily anxiety and making me feel heavy as hell –  emotionally and physically.

So I’m wondering, what’s your emotional weight? Is it around family? Expectations? Money? Weight? Love?

Once you identify it, I want you to consider how that belief is serving you and the consequences of carrying it around.

I need you to understand that as long as you are carrying around this emotional weight, you’re never going to feel the freedom that life has to offer.  You have to drop it like it’s hot.

And the way to do this is to take a stand about what you’re going to believe in going forward.  Many of the admissions of the emotional weight my friends were carrying around ended with phrases like this…

  • My intention at yoga lately has been connecting to the things that serve me and letting go of everything that doesn’t, especially things that aren’t even mine!

  • This is stupid useless shit! I’m dropping it.

  • Raking myself over the coals of perfectionism is for surviving. For thriving, it’s all about being me, loving me, sharing me (and inviting everyone along for the ride in full expectation that they want to come!) It’s about writing my story and living that like I’ve got everything to gain and my showing up matters. I’m in no way perfect at this, but I’ve set my compass. This is the direction.

  • I am hopelessly flawed, working on myself daily to become the best version of me possible, seeking to become what I came here to be, to share what I came here to share, and to get out of the way so my message can come through.

  • I can be bold and loving and have it land the way I want with people. I also can offend them and that is all okay. My intention is to never hurt and that is enough. I can’t control how people are going to take what I say. I just need to speak from my heart.

  • Finally, I feel I am embracing life and living it from a place of being uber-present and experience life as light and freeing.  

  • Ditching that mask allowed for a lightness and playfulness I hadn’t felt in years.

  • I’ve let that all go and instead say, “This is exactly what I should be doing right now.  This is the right time for me.”  Thank god for Julia Child who inspired me with her story of not even knowing how to cook at the age of 34.  She got married late compared to her peers – she was considered a spinster.  Yet, she fully blossomed in her 40s and beyond and was larger than life until the day she died at 93.  My new mantra: Let’s get this party started!

  • All of this ain’t the truth and I know it! I am just as worthy, just as loveable, and just as hot.

  • Other’s vision is not MY vision. It’s about time we all started blazing a new trail.

  • I am letting go of the idea that I am anything but whole and complete and I release the need to maintain relationships out of fear of not having ‘enough’.

All radical releases and battle cries for what we are going to stand for.  For ourselves and for others.

When I decided to drop the weight of physical perfection my battle cry was loud and clear: Life is not about the constant drive to be thin.  Life is about loving ourselves, having fun, taking care of our bodies and being happy.  This is perfection.  This is what it means to weigh less.

In the comments below I want to know, what is the biggest weight you’ve been carrying around, and what are you now going to stand for?

Love,

Sarah

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  • Great article! What’s weighting me down is my fear to “rock the boat”, upset others, make others feel uncomfortable by asking for what I want.

  • 2013 was a rough year for me, but led to alot of breakthroughs. Something that is a big focus for me in 2014 is releasing alot of old patterns & old relationships that aren’t even really relationships anymore. Some are friends, some are family, some are about business. I’m getting rid of this whole idea that if I have enough or do enough or be enough, it will somehow be the thing that changes my life. Why I’ve thought this, I have no clue. It’s not like you can ever be the thing that changes others. So I am changing myself. Standing up for myself more, no longer willing to lay down and be someone’s doormat, no longer taking on problems that aren’t mine to fix, and no longer holding space for people & situations who don’t support me the way I support them. 2014 is going to be a great year. 🙂

  • This is so, so good! I have been so weighed down with maintaining big weight loss, even though I wasn’t healthiest at my lowest weight. What would people think if I didn’t maintain my lowest weight? How would I explain to them that I was doing what was best for my health? Would they still turn to me for healthy culinary coaching? And then LMWL affirmed it for me… Grateful for you, Sarah!

  • Great post! This is so helpful. I’ve definitely been holding on to the belief that if I were good enough I’d be able to do everything I want to do. I would be thinner, I would be disciplined enough to workout daily, I’d have advanced further in my career, I’d be better off financially, I wouldn’t have dishes piled up in my sink. You name it. So then, when I inevitably am not perfect at all those things, it sinks me into a shame spiral and it gets worse and worse. Thanks for the inspiration today to let go of those things. I need to start forgiving myself and giving myself grace for my failures.

  • Michelle

    Thank you for this post!! I’m being weighed down my numbers. The number on the scale, on the tag of my jeans, on my midterm exam, on my birthday cake, in my checking account, on my performance review. I’m so sick of letting my life be dictated by numbers–and thanks to this post, I’m going to let them go.

  • Love this Sarah!

    It’s so heart-warming to see and feel what we all go through as women. Makes the journey much less lonely and confusing! A huge part of being a healthy happy woman is that community that many of our ancestors were used to as women – daily support from womenfolk to get out of their heads… Today we are so much more isolated so I so appreciate a space like this were we can share and relate.

    I also LOVE how identifying our ‘crazy stories’ and choosing to rewrite them into something that empowers each of us is something we can all do every day to change the course of our lives..

    What’s been weighing me down, personally?

    My internal pressure to be perfect – in my body, in the idea I have of how to project myself out into the world! Now, I am getting closer and closer to being totally comfortable in my uniqueness – NOT the ‘perfect’ image I’ve killed myself trying to live up to.

    The time is NOW to let that shit go. I have work to do! I want to be of service to women, to help them shine their own light and get out of their own way so they can do the work they’re called to do while having a blast.. I recognise my challenges are there to teach me to help others move through theirs gracefully too.

    Thank you for holding this incredible space for us to weigh less and live more! You are Wonderful with a capital W and your being in the world puts a huuge smile on my face. 😀

    Love! xox

    Heba

  • Maddie

    I’ve been feeling weighed down by my belief that I’m not good enough and I’m not where I should be at this point in my life. I think it will take some time to release this belief but I’m over it and I don’t want it in my life anymore. I’ve been doing a lot of work with this recently and I am trying to convince myself that I am where I am for a reason and I need to find out what that is. LMWL was just the start and I’m so thankful for finding you Sarah!

  • Jenna

    holy shit did I need this post! it’s fantastic, thank you Sarah & LMWL community!

    THIS made me cry because it is a mindset/thought I fight every day: “Because I’ve never been in a relationship before, I am somehow less than. Less beautiful, less sexy, less worthy, less love-able. The weight of carrying that around has been huge and has prevented me from opening up around men.”

    I’m ready to release that, to lose THAT weight that makes me heavy emotionally.

    Thank you for the reminder of what perfection really is. I’m saving this to re-read whenever I need to be reminded again.
    xo

  • Sarah

    I feel like I am weighed down by my whole entire life: my relationship, my job, and my family and I realize I am so overwhelmed and blocked off. I’ve made some progress on eating habits and feeling better and beautiful, however I am going to continue trying to stand up for myself and what makes me happier. I am finally realizing I need to be the priority of my life. I am a little scared but hopeful.

  • I think my biggest emotional weight is fear. Fear of what other people will think. Fear of not living up to expectations. Fear of not being loved. <— Oooo, that's a big one, and intimately connected with food. Because chocolate cake always loves you, right? (Or, not…) I'm actually not sure where that one comes from, but it's a really big one to meditate on I think!

  • Success, I should be further along; I’m impatient.

    Time, I feel that time is against me. I have this belief: In order to have balance I need more time. Time is the enemy.

    Life is about accomplishing. Getting things done. Making more money etc.

    –I’m terrible with time management and prioritizing {or at least I believe that I am}. I think the worst thing that suffer from it is food. I don’t cook, It’s a huge challenge for me.

    Thank you Sarah!!

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