“I’d like to lose ten pounds.”
Do you know how often I’ve heard this sentence? As a woman that grew up in the United States, where it seems that often looks are deemed ridiculously important, it’s a phrase I’ve heard at least a hundred times by the time I was ten years old.
It seemed that if you lost the last ten pounds, the world would suddenly get better. The sun would shine even brighter, your clothes would fit, or not fit, but float, around your waist, and every dream you ever dreamed of, would come true. It seemed a magical place to be. The I Lost the Last Ten Pounds Club.
And, I completely fell for this way of thinking. Hook, line, and sinker. So much so, that even though I’ve battled my own issues of with weight and value over the years, this year I fell into the old, “let’s lose ten pounds,” thought pattern once again.
I see why it popped up. It often does when I’m stressed, but don’t know where to put that stress or how to work through it. And, 2020 has had more than a few stressors, don’t you think?
So, I declared to my husband, Jeffrey, “I’d like to lose ten pounds.”
He didn’t say anything. Instead, he just let me go on my crazy way and work it out on my own. Though, I did notice he would always tell me what was available in the fridge for lunch, as he pushed through the door to the garage, leaving for school. That’s usually the way he deals with my eating disordered mind. He cooks our way through it.
And, guess what? I lost six pounds within the first three weeks. I wasn’t starving myself. I didn’t binge and purge. I just cut out some sugar and portioned down my food.
But, then Thanksgiving came and I dared not step back on the scale.
It was a week later, I caught sight of myself in the mirror in an off handed way. It was that kind of look where you don’t realize it’s you at first. And then, for a moment you really see yourself as someone else might view you. Have you ever experienced this before?
And, it was one of the greatest gifts I received from the Universe this year. Because, yes, by society’s standards I would look “amazing” if I dropped a few more pounds, I also would look kind of sick and not like myself. I’m skinny enough for someone in their early forties.
Plus, I do an extreme amount of yoga. I walk my dogs a minimum of four miles a day. I eat good food. I don’t need to de-value myself by walking around saying I need to lose ten pounds. Because that’s what it is – an internal put down that you are not good enough – yet.
So, if you’re battling the last ten pounds, I hope you take off your armor, put down your sword and sit with yourself a bit. What will your life be like if you lose this weight? Probably not any better than it will be with it.
Instead, take all of that energy you are putting into dropping an obscure amount of weight and go create something. Come up with a plan to make life so interesting and exciting you forget about wanting to lose ten pounds.
And, honestly if you do this, you probably will lose the ten pounds anyway, if that’s what your body needs to do.
You will be so wrapped up in new projects and talking to people that inspire you, and enjoying your yoga practice, that you won’t have time to focus on something so small.
Because ladies, we are so much more than our outside wrapper. The whole “let’s lose ten pounds” thing is a trap. It keeps you from reaching your full potential, feeling beautiful no matter what weight you are, and ties up your mind with seriously boring thoughts about outside appearances.
You aren’t better or worse than the people around you when you lose that ten pounds. You’re just skinnier.
So, let’s make a pact this week. Let’s just stop with the whole last ten pounds syndrome. Let’s not pass this on to the next generation of women. Instead, let’s show them that regardless of whether or not they are their perfect body weight (whatever the hell that is) that their lives matter. And, what they decide to contribute to the world matters the most.
Who’s with me?
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Tori Hicks-Glogowski is an online yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.