Note: This is Part 1 of a 10-Part Touchstone Training series. To read the entire series, click here.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
—Alice and the Cheshire Cat
* * * * *
Have you ever spent any time around a why-kid? You know the type— insatiably inquisitive and constantly asking why this and why that. The answers you give never seem to be enough. They want more. They want to understand a thing fully and completely before they let you off the hook.
This can be annoying for adults, but it’s actually a notable trait. (Too bad we become self-conscious about it as we age.) It’s called curiosity.
When it comes to how you approach getting healthy and losing weight, curiosity is essential.
If I were your personal coach, the first thing I would do is ask you a very important question.
Why do you want to lose weight?
Go ahead and think about that and write down your answer. (Yes, you can have more than one reason, so just write down whatever you would say to me if I were asking you the question in person.)
Once you’ve done that, keep reading.
When I ask clients this question, I generally get answers like:
- I want my clothes to fit better.
- I want to be more comfortable in regular chairs.
- I hate asking for seat-belt extenders on airplanes.
- I want to stop hating my body.
- I want to feel better about the way I look.
What was your reason? Look at what you wrote.
Now, here’s the fun part. Let’s bring curiosity into the mix. Channel your inner why-kid and ask, “But why?”
For example, if you said you want clothes to fit better, ask yourself, “But why?”
Once you’ve answered the But why, go ahead and ask it again… “But why?”
Keep going until you find the golden nuggets.
It might look something like this:
Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Can you see how feeling better about yourself is a world away from better-fitting clothes? Responses become truer the more you inquire.
As we embark on a healing journey (I’ll talk more about this in the next email) it’s imperative that we stop clinging to the superficial reasons for wanting to lose weight.
By the way, I’m not dismissing the joy of feeling good in your favorite clothes. All reasons are valid, but the key to sustainable weight loss is to get really clear on the deeper, underlying reasons you want to lose weight.
Your healing journey must start with the real destination in mind. That destination isn’t really about reaching a certain weight. It’s about something much deeper.
Your deeper why, the real reason you want to lose weight, is your journey’s destination.
A healing journey is not easy, or quick. That’s why you’ve got to be clear about where you want to go.
What is it you really want? Is losing weight the ultimate destination, or is it something else?
Once we peel away the superficial layers, we discover that we all want the same few things:
- We want to be healthy because everything is easier (and more fun) when your health isn’t compromised.
- We want to be happy. Genuine happiness, or joy (use whichever word resonates with you) is the most satisfying state of being. It’s also contagious. So, why not strive for more happiness?
- We want to be resilient. If you’re human (and I hope you are), you’re going to fall down and skin your knees. You’re going to get your heart broken and experience all kinds of emotional turmoil. You’re going to get lost, probably more than once. Resilience is that invisible energy that puts you upright and gets you back on your path after you’ve taken a tumble.
Here’s my advice: Point your compass in the direction of health, happiness, and resilience. Weight loss is the natural result of pursuing that path.
One last thing to consider. We all share a common desire— the ultimate destination, what we’re really seeking, is love.
Deep down, we want to be loved. Genuinely, unconditionally loved, just as we are.
That’s the real reason we want to lose weight, don’t you think?
PS. This email is the first of a 10-part series I’ll be sending you over the next several weeks. I call these emails “touchstone” trainings because each one will offer a small-but-mighty bit of wisdom.
PPS. Coming up later in February, I’ll be leading a workshop for anyone who wants help mapping their own weight loss journey. It won’t be expensive, and by the end of the workshop, you’ll have a personalized map for your own healing journey. I’ll share more info when we get closer to the date.