If you have struggled for a very long time with your weight, then there is a part of me that knows a part of you very well. We are both desperate for the truth about weight loss, but we must be willing to look at some of the illusions first. This is the first of an 8 part series on weight loss that will help us to discern between the truths and non-truths.

Being thin was the magic that was supposed to heal the damage at the core of us, wasn’t it? Isn’t that what we have believed for most of our lives? Of all the familiar comforts in our lives, isn’t being thin the one that remains constant? If we were to get thin, we could attract the right soul mate or the relationship we already have would definitely get better. If we were to get thin, we could go on all those vacations we have dreamed of and sport a swimsuit or shorts with pride. If we were to get thin, we could get a better job. So many things in our lives are on hold until we get thin. And yet, for some of us, we did get thin and then put the weight right back on again. What’s that about? Don’t we want the magic?

And how do we know what size we are suppose to be? Are those charts with height and bone structure correct? Should we weigh what we did in college? Should we weigh what we did before we had babies? Or could it be that perhaps there is no size? Perhaps what is important is not the size or the weight but the life we are living as we get there. If we are living a life of integrity and passion, why would being thin matter so much? Isn’t that the reason we want to be thin—because we believe that being thin and living life fully are the same? Isn’t that what our culture says in every magazine we pick up? The whole culture seems to believe that being thin makes us worthy and being fat makes us failures.

For me, the truth is that being thin has given me what size can give me: a lighter body, greater ease of movement, smaller clothes and community acknowledgement. That’s all. And meantime, I keep walking and uncovering my beliefs about being thin. I continue to be willing to enter into the emotions that arise when life happens rather than eating to suppress those emotions.

I choose to no longer answer my need for sweetness in my life with food. I remain in the present more of the time. I now allow myself sweetness in other places in my life. My journey is less about weight loss and more about health and balance.

By Dr. Patti Felici