Whether it’s a wedding, a work event, a reunion, or some other special occasion, there’s this idea we can have when we aren’t 100% happy with our bodies: we think we need to lose weight for an upcoming event.
There’s a certain seduction to losing weight or getting thinner…
We imagine a scenario in our heads where we’ll be the head turner, where others are envious of how amazing we look, where our partner will be proud to have us on their arm, where we’ll feel like the sexiest version of ourselves if we just lost a pound or twenty before the event!
I have a gala coming up on Sunday, and I hadn’t thought much about what I was going to wear until this week.
I borrowed some dresses from a friend a few days ago (who I didn’t realize is actually much smaller than me) and my first thought while looking in the mirror was:
“Oooh, if I ate clean for a week, I would totally fit into this dress and look so much better.”
(In the Normal Eaters Club, we talk about our “default tapes” that comes up when we want a quick solution. Mine is always “eat clean”).
A few other thoughts went through my head (“you could look skinnier if you cut out carbs this week” and “don’t you want to have your stomach look smaller in that dress?”) before my alarm bell went off.
I’m usually pretty quick to catch old tapes that I no longer listen to and I caught myself before I went down the rabbit hole.
My thoughts quickly turned to:
“C’mon, Jenn, you know you’d rather be forced to climb a mountain in the blistering sun than cut out carbs for a week.”
“Why do I STILL have an “old tape” there that if I was smaller I would be hotter/sexier/more acceptable/enough?!”
(I was kind of annoyed at myself for still having that belief in me…)
But the point is that the idea of ever cutting out carbs, going on a diet, or monitoring my food in any capacity sounds like TORTURE to me. (10 years ago it would have sounded like just the solution I needed).
As I was reflecting on this episode (and realizing that by sharing all of my internal mental conversations with you, it makes me sound like a crazy person…but that’s okay, we’re all crazy in some way, right?!), I knew it was something that many women struggle with, so I wanted to share in the hopes it would benefit you.
When you catch yourself thinking you should lose weight, go on a diet, eat clean, or do something to prep for an upcoming event, here are the 3 things I want you to remember:
1. It is bound to backfire.
If you “do” anything to lose a few pounds (aka “saving up for” the feast you’ll have by cutting out carbs, exercising more to look better in your dress, or planning a quick cleanse to make you look less bloated), it’s never sustainable.
No matter what you “do”, you typically won’t be able to keep doing it, so at some point, you’ll either overeat, stop the exercise regimen, or feel like you’ve “blown it” and then get back in the start over tomorrow cycle.
And then you’ll end up feeling that old familiar feeling of being a failure (and I want to stop that in its tracks!)
2. It’s reinforcing the belief that smaller is better.
Do we really need to change and “fix” our body for an event? Where is that belief stemming from?
We’ve been conditioned to think that we’ve got to change, whittle, sculpt and tone ourselves into a certain shape. But what if you found a dress you loved, rocked your curves, and showed up just as you are? (Sound terrifying? It can be at first! Baby steps 🙂 )
Smaller is not better. Thinner is not better. Nothing is better or worse than anything else. We are all unique and all have different shapes. Let’s start to embrace it and not resist it!
3. Your energy is much better spent focusing on self-acceptance 🙂
Instead of putting your energy towards cutting out carbs or doing a 3-day diet of some sort, put that same effort towards showing yourself that you are enough right now.
You can show up as you are RIGHT NOW to the wedding, reunion, or event and feel awesome in a dress that fits you exactly the size you’re in now. Not 10/20/100 pounds from now.
This feeling of confidence, comfort, and ease in your body has nothing to do with the outside. It has everything to do with the inside 🙂
You don’t need to be smaller for an upcoming event (or if it’s not an event but a visit with friends or family you haven’t seen in a while). You are enough exactly as you are now. Can you find that within you where you are?
See where you can shift your focus from appearance to experience.
Instead of being consumed by how you look, can you experience the beauty of the event, the taste of the food, the conversations with new people, the amazing decorations, and beautiful venue?