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How To Stop Wishing You Were Thinner All The Time

I spent probably 20 years of my life wishing I was thinner. But no matter how much weight I lost or gained, I still never thought my body looked “right”. I always wanted to change it or “fix” it, so that I would look different than how I was.

So much of my mental energy and thoughts  over the years have been consumed with thinking about my body and wanting to be thinner.

how to stop wishing you were thinner

It’s like we fantasize about when we will be thinner. It becomes the promise of a new life…

When I’m thinner, I’ll start dating.

When I lose weight, I’ll stop avoiding social outings and go out with friends more.

When I get back to where I was last year, I’ll rock this new dress I bought. 

When I’m a different size, I’ll sign up for that dance class I’ve always wanted to take. 

But when/if we do lose the weight and actually get to the size we want to be…then what?

It may bring a moment of elation: we fit into that dress, we look great in a pair of jeans, or we don’t mind being naked as much.

But then…?

We still have to deal with life. We still want to stress eat when we get angry at our partner. The tub of ice cream is still our go-to coping mechanism. And we still hear the call of the cookies when conflict arises and we don’t want to deal with it. 

We lose the weight, but we are still us. With the same habits, behaviors and reactions.

This desperate “wishing to be thinner” only derails the journey; the real work is about going inside and looking at WHY we do what we do with food. (But that’s for another blog post!)

So when you find yourself desperately wishing you were thinner, remember these two things:

  1. Find “enoughness”.

We are all born knowing we are enough. Little kids don’t ever question whether or not they are enough.  They simply know. They show up exactly as they are in this world and never for a second wonder if they “aren’t good enough”.

Being “not enough” or thinking we aren’t acceptable until…(we are thinner, have a nicer car, get a better job, etc) is a learned behavior.

We’ve learned that we “aren’t enough” until we are smaller, more toned, prettier or more perfect. We’ve grown up learning that in order to be acceptable, we’ve got to look or be different than we are.

But I’m calling BS on all of it. Who ever said that a size 16 is “less than” a size 4? Who actually determined that this shape is better than that body type?

It’s all begins with how we perceive ourselves.

And it starts with finding enoughness. The deep belief that you are acceptable enough just as you are. 

So, where and how do you find this? (I hear you asking all the way over from your computer 😉 )

You find it inside of YOU.

If you can’t find it, don’t know what it feels like or are confusing being enough with needing to change…make this your mission. Fervently explore how to “find” the feeling of enough.

I found it through meditation, journaling, connection inside, and a deep knowing that innately, I AM enough.

You may find it through any of this or something else: religion, spiritual work, writing, a passion, affirmations, etc.

If you need permission to believe it, here is that permission. Permission to be exactly who are you in this world: enough just by being you.

This isn’t something you find once and are done. It’s a life long process of remembering and forgetting.

How do you believe you are enough?

Because you just are.

Whether you are 3 pounds overweight or 300 hundred pounds overweight, you are still you. You are still YOU with or without the extra weight. There is no one as beautifully unique, with exactly your qualities, look, quirks, personality, and way of being in this world. Accept that. Embrace it.

Enoughness isn’t something you “get”. It’s something you discover that was there all along…a deep whisper in your soul that beckons and calls and waits for you to connect with it.

  1. What Do You Really Want?

What else do you want besides being thinner or having a different body? Go deeper here. What do you deeply, truly, desire for more than anything?

Comfort in your skin?

To look better in clothes?

Confidence?

To look good naked?

These are all just scratching the surface.

What ELSE do you really want?

For me when I desperately struggled with food and my weight, I asked myself this question.

It took some prodding to go deeper and “hear” the answer, because for so long, I stuffed it down and ignored it.

What was it that I deeply longed for?

I wanted to travel and explore the world.

I wanted to do something big with my life.

I wanted to explore my passion of writing.

I wanted to find deep connection in an intimate relationship.

I wanted to end a relationship that I was in.

I wanted freedom to explore who I was without the expectations of others.

But wanting to be thinner was easier. I knew how to “fix” that problem. Diet, exercise, restrict, control my food. Boom, problem solved.

Except you all know how that cycle goes…(cue binge, overeating and then promising to start over again).

You see, I wanted to travel, but felt terrified of quitting my job.

I wanted to do something big and bold with my life, but was afraid I never would.

I wanted to explore my passion for writing, but was scared of what otheres would think.

I wanted to be more intimate, but was horrified at the thought of baring my soul to someone.

I wanted to end a relationship, but was scared at the thought of being alone.

I wanted so much MORE…but change, uncertainty and failure terrified me.

Focusing on controlling my food, “fixing” my body, and changing the number on the scale was a much more familiar issue. It made it possible to avoid facing my biggest desires. It was an easy, familiar problem that I knew how to fix.

So, my dear, what is it that you deeply want? If you don’t know, ask the question anyway. See if anything comes up. Begin to open the conversation with the deeper part of you; she’s always speaking to you…it’s learning how to listen 🙂

It’s your turn now. When you find yourself wanting to be thinner, how can you use these two things to bring yourself back to your journey?

I’d love to hear your take on “enoughness” or any answers to the “what is it that you truly want” question 🙂 Share in the comments below. 

 

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9 comments

  • Like so many people, I have struggled with this forever. I wonder what I would be like, or who I would be, without my exercise compulsion, constant panic over what I eat and planning meals. And I never have felt thin enough, but am afraid to stop my routine bc I feel it is all I have. I have never felt enough of anything -pretty, successful in work or life, etc. I am exhausted, but when I think about changing, it frightens me and I stay where I am – constantly worried about money, loved ones, my career. I never live in the moment. I am always focusing on what else I have to do. I would like to just “be” and enjoy my life once in a while. I crave freedom, but at the same time, am frightened.

    Thank you Jenn. I always appreciate all you do to help others.

  • Very important to focus on the real “you’s”. Here I s my issue more than anything. I eat right. Actually like a bird. No sugar few good carbs blah blah blah for YEARS most of my life. I don’t crave junk and don’t eat it. I am emotionally stable….I have metabolic resistance as a thyroid pt. My dose is right I hv energy….I and healthy….labs good!

    If I diet I DO NOT LOSE. MY METAB JUST SHUTS DOWN. This is my hell. I am a so 16 and 5’8. All my weight is in the butt…I want to lose because that weight center causes back pain and I thoroughly dislike butt weight. The best I can do,is stay healthy and keep eating nutritionally. I am almost 70 so can’t cut out anymore food for survival. I think the hardest thing is the hopelessness cause there is no answer ex pet healing that doesn’t seem to come. I know the real me…I wNt for right reasons to lose…even 5 pounds would be a miracle…I can’t lose 1. I am maybe 15-20 overweight. That’s it. I envy people who can lose 50 and that is a mirage in this physical condition.

  • Oooh what great insights. It is natural to be afraid of leaving our comfort zone, even if we know it isn’t serving us! We all struggle with that, even if we can’t verbalize it. That’s why this journey is small steps “out of the nest” so that we get more comfortable as we move forward 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing! Your first sentence stands out to me because so much of this IS about focusing on the “real you”. Weight loss for health reasons doesn’t have to be ignored, but the understanding that we focus on eating for nourishment AND doing the deeper inner work is where the lasting changes happen!

  • This one really hit home for me. I’ve been doing this my whole life. What I’ll be able to do once I am thin enough. I’ve been doing this since I was about 8 years old. My parents started telling me I was damaged, worthless, ugly, and fat when I was 4 yes old. My mom would tell me if I was skinny that my dad would be able to love me, and she could really love me if I stuck to my diet and lost weight because I caused her so much stress with my dad. She put me on an 800 calorie a day diet when I was 9. I wasn’t even overweight then, I was in the normal range for my height. But that was when the cycle began. I have no idea how to be enough for myself, I don’t even know how to even like myself. Where do you begin when you’ve been trained to feel ashamed?

  • right now I just want to get and stay a healthy weight. I am ok now but I’m busy all the time and I walk everywhere I go unless I have to leave town for something. I can feel the extra pounds in my knees and back. I am looking at a knee replacement right away I don’t want to gain what I have lost already. I’m not going back to that weight it is not a good look. If it means I have to pay attention to how I feel about food for the rest of my life I am committed to doing it.

  • Paying attention to how you feel about food IS taking care of yourself! It’s looking at it as being aware (not obsessed…). There is a subtle difference between the food battle and food thoughts. One feels like a struggle and the other can feel like a “tuning in” to ourselves 🙂

  • Lisa, you begin exactly where you are 🙂 It is a re-learning of the feeling of being enough and the beginning IS asking the question. Starting the conversation with yourself and reminding yourself 1,000 times a day if need be that you ARE still you, without or without extra weight 🙂

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