I was wrong about weight-loss
At least partially. If you’ve followed me long enough, you have seen me claim that everybody can be healthy, fit and lean if only they eat according to their Metabolic Type and get rid of individual food sensitivities. When I say “eating according to their Metabolic Type”, I basically mean adjusting one’s macronutrient balance (the proportions of carbs, fat and protein) to one’s metabolic requirements. In practice this means that some people need relatively more high quality (slow) carbohydrates, while others need high amounts of clean proteins and healthy fat. Since the classical food pyramid is quite carb-intense, adjusting the macronutrient balance especially of a protein and a mixed type towards more fat + protein does indeed oftentimes result in weight loss – just like including more healthy carbohydrates does in a carbohydrate type who has tried to follow a low carb or paleo diet. The same is true when food sensitivities are identified and those foods are (temporarily) eliminated from the diet. Oftentimes, but not always.
In fact, macronutrient balance and food sensitivities are indeed two major areas to address when it comes to health and weight, because they help balance blood sugar and lower inflammation. However, while I did have some successes working with them (and also food quality, eating rhythm, exercise, and even some “work on self”, using visualization and affirmation exercises), I also experienced cases where all of this didn’t deliver the desired result. At least when it comes to the kilos of weight lost. (Yes, I used to emphasize already back then that for me the main goal was health and that weight loss only the side effect of balancing the metabolism, but still success was measured mainly in weight). The clients were frustrated and I felt like a bad coach because I couldn’t get them where I had promised to take them. I couldn’t “fix” their problem.
However, making the goal to lose X amount of weight AND being so convinced that all that needed to happen were some dietary shifts and maybe some affirmations, is where I set myself (and my clients) up for disappointment. Weight issues are hardly ever just about weight or food. In fact, they are usually a doorway to healing underlying issues in the emotional and spiritual realm. This is probably the reason why over 95% of people who lose weight on a weight loss diet gain it back over the next years (and often more). They are not able to maintain the outer shift because they didn’t accompany it with the inner shift. I always assumed that the inner shift would automatically follow the outer shift, when in fact it usually works the other way round. Yes, if you start eating according to your metabolic needs (e.g. more protein and more fat), this will lead to changes in your body that will make it more likely for certain mental or emotional shifts to follow, yet this is not something that just happens automatically. If on top you got rid of your extra weight through intense dieting, restrictions, skipping meals and extreme exercising, or accompanied your healthy food shifts with a toxic attitude of fear, force or hate (as opposed to nourishment and love), those unsustainable behaviors will decrease metabolism and increase the so-called stress response, which signals your body to store fat (by increasing the two hormones cortisol and insulin), not build muscle (muscles burn more calories than fat), decrease calorie burning and decrease digestive capacity. In such a metabolic reality internal shifts (and as such lasting external shifts) are less likely to occur.
Even those that are able to maintain the weight oftentimes simply exchange the anxiety of having to lose the weight with the anxiety of having to keep it off. So the happiness and bliss they expected to feel when they finally lose the weight usually never comes. This is because hating yourself into weight loss can never result in a loving relationship with your body. The road you take informs the destination. This is what we call a “false positive” in Eating Psychology: someone with a “good” body, but whose life is still ruled by stress and fear around food and weight – which makes it very likely for you to eventually gain back the weight or develop other unwanted health symptoms.
Defining weight loss as a criterion for success is as shallow and deemed to failure as reducing weight loss to mere physical factors. In fact, I was quite presumptuous to pretend to know what anybody should weigh! Everybody will have their own individual optimal weight at which they can best learn the lessons they are here to learn and to fulfill the purpose they are here to fulfill. Pretending we are all going to be lean and slender if only we follow a certain dietary approach, even if it is such a flexible and holistic dietary approach as Metabolic Typing, doesn’t pay tribute to the higher wisdom that created all beings on this planet. Even science does not seem to be able to prove that weight and health are indeed negatively correlated - at least not as clearly as we tend to think!
So the truth is, that I don’t know what you are supposed to weigh, how much weight you have to lose and what you need to learn before your body can finally let go of any extra weight you might indeed have! Nor am I responsible for you not losing the weight. What I DO know is that there is a good reason for every symptom, incl. your extra weight. Your body is trying to achieve balance and wholeness. It might be a distorted attempt, but it does have its logic to it.
There are many possible lessons hidden in the extra weight of a person. Here are some of them:
- Purpose: Weight is literally stored energy. So sometimes the journey becomes releasing this stored energy into creativity and action. How could you use all that energy trying to lose weight for more important projects - projects that really matter to you?
- Owning the weight: Sometimes it is about owning the weight first, before you can finally lose it. Owning the weight means fully accepting it as your reality right here and now. You can only lose, what you owned at some point.
- Embodiment: Sometimes it is about getting out of your head back into your body. Feel it, sense it, enjoy it, play with it. If you want to take your car somewhere, you first need to get into it.
- Lightening up: Sometimes it’s about becoming lighter in other areas of your life first, so that the body can follow. It’s about communication, forgiveness, more pleasure and fun...
- Slow down: Sometimes it’s about learning to slow down, so that you can indeed feel the body and its needs again, and that your body can finally get out of the constant stress response, which only inhibits weight loss.
- Patience: Sometimes it’s about learning patience and that we are not the ones determining when or how things are supposed to happen.
- Unconditional love: Just like you would never tell your child that you only love him when he loses X amount of weight, it might be about learning to love yourself just as unconditionally. In Eating Psychology we call that: “losing the need to lose the weight” and “learning to love what is”. Paradoxically, this then makes it much more likely for you to actually lose the weight. Just that you don't care so much anymore.
- Relaxation: One way or the other it usually is about finding out what is causing you to be in a constant low level stress response (which creates the very chemistry that prevents you from losing the weight) and then learn how to relax into it.
Can you start to see how much deeper, meaningful, interesting and FUN those lessons are compared to “losing X amount of weight”?? And how smart the body is to call our attention to them every day by means of some unmissable extra weight (or fatigue, or painful knees… whatever your weak point is).
This is why I am now first and foremost committed to helping and guiding you find out what your “soul lessons” are and where you need to grow and shift as a person, in order to express your true self. While working with macronutrient balance, food sensitivities, food quality and other food-related factors, such as eating speed or eating rhythm is still very important and often necessary, I also look at factors that at first sight have little to do with food, such as family, work or relationships. My Eating Psychology Coach Training provides me with an extensive toolbox to help you in those key areas of life. Don’t get me wrong: I still want to help you get where you want to go in terms of weight, energy or release of any other symptom, however, I do no longer define my or your success by that means. I completely dropped the need to “fix” you because I finally understood that at most I can create the conditions for you to heal, but the healing will happen when YOU make an inner shift, when YOU learn something you are supposed to learn.
So please don’t come to me looking for a quick fix. If all you want is someone to tell you what and how much to eat, another “diet”, someone to weigh you every other week, a drill sergeant, a magic supplement or a promise of any kind, I am NOT your coach. Come to me ONLY if you are ready to do your part of the work, to look into what is REALLY going on, to go on a journey with an unknown destination and a path yet to unfold. A journey that might not always be pleasant or easy, but that will definitely be worth it – whether you lose the weight – or not.
If all of that resonates with you, please contact me.