I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend. Jonathan and I hosted an amazing Seder on Saturday night and then went to church and brunch the next day to celebrate Easter. It was a festive few days indeed.
I spent some time reflecting on the Easter story and sitting with this idea of coming out of a time of darkness into new beginnings. It seems that being low is part of the process of rising up, but it got me thinking about the things that weigh us down and keep us in the dark for too long.
In the next few weeks I’m going to be telling you about my Live More Weigh Less program. Something that’s really important to me about this program 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 if 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? 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?
I can’t wait to connect with you again on Tuesday with an extra special treat;).
Simple actions to take your life back, know your worth & feel alive no matter how drained, overwhelmed and far gone you feel.