Why You Are Resisting Accepting Your Body As It Is

“I’m willing to love and accept my body just as it is”.

This is the mantra I suggested for my coaching client, let’s call her Susie.

The silence on the other end of the phone is thick, from objections not yet spoken. I know Susie is not buying this and wants to ignore my suggestion. She would end our call right now if I gave her the option.

Susie shares with me what she’s thinking.   

It’s not true. I don’t like the way my body looks. I have a fat ass and my arms are flabby. I’m tired of not fitting into my skinny jeans. I need to lose weight.

I’ve had similar versions of the these thoughts myself. This old voice still whispers in my ear on occasion. When I catch a sideways glimpse of my belly. When a workout feels crazy hard. Or, when life doesn’t seem to be going my way and I wonder if life would be easier if I was thinner.

A few weeks earlier, Susie was so busy throughout her day that she didn’t have time to eat. Her stomach was growling and uncomfortable, but she put her deadlines first. When the early evening came, Susie was beyond hungry. She felt so panicked that she was driven to eat whatever she could get her hands on. Crackers. Cheese. Chips. Pasta and meatballs. And then a huge bowl of ice cream. Susie ate until she felt sick. When bedtime came around, Susie felt horrible. I’m disgusting, she thought.

This is what hating on our bodies looks like. And feels like.

These body hating thoughts have a big impact because they turn into action. When we don’t love our bodies, we ignore, punish, abuse, blame, judge and criticize.

As our coaching session continued, I hear Susie quietly share I’ll love my body when I’m thin.

Her body needs to earn her love. In Susie’s mind, an overweight body can’t be loved. The love of her body is conditional.

Susie flashes back to scenes growing up with her younger sister. Her thin younger sister that always got praise and attention for being so lean. Susie may have been smart and driven, but her body wasn’t as slim as her sisters. She saw the positive attention and heard the casual compliments her sister received from family, friends and boyfriends. Along the way, Susie created her own truth. She needed to be skinny to be loved and accepted.

Hating our bodies for it’s size and shape isn’t just about having poor body image, it’s also about having poor self image. The act of criticizing and judging our bodies is an act of self loathing. We hate our bodies because we don’t believe we are acceptable just as we are.

Our resistance in accepting our bodies isn’t about the claimed 5, 10 or 50 extra pounds of weight. It’s our own resistance in acknowledging our own worth. The weight is just an illusion, an excuse if you will, to understand why we feel unlovable and at times, disgusting.

After all, 5 years ago, Susie finally reached her lowest weight. She didn’t wake up each morning feeling more loved. She didn’t put her skinny jeans on feeling like she could take on the world. She felt the same dreaded feelings about herself. She wondered if all of the diet sacrifices were worth it. Her self esteem hadn’t gone go up when the number on the scale went down.

Stop chasing the fairy tale ending that you’ll love and accept yourself when you lose weight. Each time you buy into it, you are buying into the idea that your own heart and soul isn’t worthy of love.

You have a beautiful light to share with the world.  Go out and share it, with your body and your gorgeous self, just as it is.

Two Words to Say to Yourself to Put Yourself In Charge of Your Health and Stop Overeating

On the coffee table were dozens and dozens of empty candy wrappers. A shameful reminder of just how much she ate. Her belly felt so uncomfortable. She even tried eating more, to numb away how sick she felt. If only that worked. Instead, Mary felt worse. She curled up in bed, hating herself for how bad she felt and filled with worry about the consequences. Her mind was racing.

This is a catastrophe. What I did was wrong. I’m going to gain weight. I need to fix this.

Fueled with fear, Mary would respond to such a binge like a project. The very next day she promised herself, she would have a plan, goals, checklists and ways to hold herself accountable.

I’ll be better. I’ll be more in control. I won’t binge again. After all, I’m working on my new weight loss project.

This was serious work.  It needed a lot of her attention and energy. Because in her mind, Mary did something wrong and lost control, this was her way of getting it back.

Nothing else mattered.  

All because of 30 Hershey Kisses.


Those Kisses took on a story of their own. By eating them, she was going to gain weight, get really fat, look pathetic and feel disgusting. (Her sick, bloated belly confirmed this story.) Worse, the consumption of those 30 Kisses made her worthless and unlovable.

For Mary, a made up summation of many of my coaching clients,  binge eating and overeating become a call to action. Bugles sounding, war flags waving overhead, they ready themselves for a grisly battle. “It’s time to make a change,” they proclaim. “I can’t take this any longer.”

But instead of regaining a sense of control, instead of getting back on the wagon, they find themselves continually binging. Hopelessness and raw fatigue set in when they realize that they’ll never, ever, EVER win the war.  The rigid dieting and restrictions they worked so hard to enforce have only backfired.  

What if.

What if, after overeating or binging, you didn’t beat yourself up?

What if you didn’t believe the story that the sleeve of Oreos you ate made you pathetic and worthless?

What if you didn’t feel the need to jump on the next cleanse to punish yourself for your sins?

What if you said, instead, “So what?”

What if you welcomed in some lightness around the whole experience?

Oh, I know what you’re thinking.

If you’re not beating yourself up, then you must be giving yourself permission to overeat.

If you aren’t punishing yourself, then you must be okay with treating yourself this way.

If you aren’t more disciplined, then you will never lose the weight you want to lose and worse, you will even gain weight.

This is a big leap. Beating the crap out of yourself is all you may know.  But beating yourself up never creates positive action or results. Deep down, you know this to be true.

“So what” is a step toward forgiveness. “So what” is also a powerful step toward taking responsibility.

When you say, “So what,” you aren’t saying, “I don’t care.” In fact, when you say, “So what,” you care more than ever. Because you know that to move yourself forward, you need to let go of the meaning you have been making from your binge. “So what” is part of your recipe for positive momentum, and a way to pivot into something new.

Trust in love and compassion. Try it on and see if it fits. The only thing you have to lose is what is holding you back from loving yourself and your life.