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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

What Would Love Do?

Ask anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight and kept if off whether or not that have had an episode of weight re-gain somewhere along the way and they will usually answer yes. Even the famous Diet Girl Shauna had to lose some of her total weight loss more than once. It seems like it is part of the journey that we must all embrace.

How we deal with this weight gain is what is important. As always, it is a matter of perspective.

Between Nov 2005 and March 2006 I gained back almost 10 kgs. There were reasons that had something to do with working overseas, working ridiculous hours and feeling depressed and alone. Each day I would start out with a healthy breakfast and exercise but by 11.30pm I was at home in my hotel room eating cinnamon buns and chocolate.

Was this bad? Was I a failure? Was I a different person to who I was when I was 57kg?

When I think back to this time with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that I was probably doing what I needed to do to get through that time in my life. I needed to feel comforted and nurtured more than I needed to feel thin. I wasn't being bad or weak willed, I was just that my desire to remain at that certain magic number on the scales was surpassed by a different set of needs.

Of course there were other ways that I could have dealt with my exhaustion and loneliness, but I used the method that had worked before. Eating carbs/sugar is a quick and cheap way to dull emotional pain so that is what I did.

When I returned to my home, my usual job and my husband, I lost most of the weight again quite easily. My need to be thin and fit once again was stronger than any desire to numb my feelings with food.

If I had been a blogger during this time I am fairly certain I would have stopped posting. After all, how could I spout forth my opinions on life and leaness while stuffing my face and piling on the kilos? I was a weight loss failure at that point, so my opinions would have been worthless.

Let's step away from being on the inside of this for just a moment at look at it from a different point of view. Imagine that it was your best friend who was going through lifes hills and valleys and as a result made eating choices that resulted in weight gain. Would you see them as a failure? Would you stop cheering them on just because they failed to lose 500g this week, or worse yet gained some weight? Would you disregard their unique and inspirational outlook on life just because they weren't losing weight anymore?

Gaining weight is not failure - it happens to everyone. Gaining weight is feedback. It tells you the choices you made have given you a result - that there is cause and effect. That is all. It is not bad or good, it just is.

Our purpose in life is to be the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be and to always act with love. When you act, speak, and think ask yourself, is this the best choice for me right now that demonstrates love for myself? What would love do?

If you were underweight and anorexic then choosing to eat food that will make you gain weight might be what love would do. If your body fat % is so low that you have stopped having your period then gaining weight might be what love would do. If you felt that you were simply too thin then reducing the amount of exercise you did might be what love would do. If you were so overwhelmed with giving of yourself to your family, or fighting an illness, eating cheesecake might be what love would do too.

But if you want to lose weight because your body is tired from carrying around the extra kilos and your spirit feels more alive when you nourish it with healthy exercise then love would do what was needed to lose weight.

Losing weight is not inherently good and does not make you a success. Loving yourself in every moment is what makes you happy and turns you into the best you can be.

People, real or virtual won't make judgements on your scale weight. It is not a competition - with yourself or with anyone else.

Live consciously by examining the results of all your actions. Use the feedback as a constructive tool. Go for a walk to have some quiet time even though you don't want to "exercise" and see if you feel better than not doing anything at all. Track your food and see if it helps you determine what the cause and effect of your eating is. Keep posting in your blog without making a value judgement based on the scale and see if it helps you find out what it is that you really need right at this moment.

If what you are doing is not making you happy then try something else. You won't have failed, you will just get a different result by doing something different.

The world is not black and white, the shades of grey are relative to your unique experience. All you have to do is the best for you. What would love do?


  1. Those words are so insightful and wise Katie... and just what I needed to read right now. I have tears in my eyes. Thank you so much xxx

  2. Katie thats a really fantastic post. I enjoyed every word of that. And on that note, I think I'll go back to blogging again.

    Thanks for the inspiration.



  3. What an insightful post!!! Reading this had a profound impact on me. You should write a book....You have such fantastic thoughts and ideas and you put them "down on paper" so eloquently.

    Miss Pinky

  4. Great post! Enjoy the seminar this weekend.

  5. "gaining weight is feedback"... i like that one :) as someone who ran away from her blog while regaining, i totally relate! (and thank you for the link!)

  6. fabulous post miss katie

  7. Oh wow Katie - what an amazing post! I've just been totally blown away reading this. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts so eloquently :)

    Thank you also for your comment on my blog yesterday - it definitely made me smile :) :) :)