I had an epiphany a couple weeks back. I was ruminating over my years in business school and few years after graduation. When I started business school, I had glorious dreams of where I wanted my life and career to go. Those were soon shattered after Lehmann brothers collapsed in the Fall of 2008 and the economy came crashing down. It became impossible to find a job as an international student. Job hunting was a big fat failure for me. It was one rejection after another. One bad performance after another. My self confidence hit all time lows. I wouldn’t realize until 4 years later how woefully low my self esteem had gotten when I started picking back up the pieces of my devastated career after a series of bad decisions and partnerships. As I was solemnly contemplating the twist of fate, the hopeless circumstance and the series of failures I faced, I realized one big mistake I’d made was that I kept beating my head against the same wall. I kept doing the same thing over and over again - and getting the same (negative) result each time.
That didn’t work and I’ve since honed my skills in job hunting through trial and error so much that I don’t think I will ever be jobless again. I’ve seen and survived the worst - a bad recession, a failed startup, unfortunate immigration issues, a godawful job and a firing. I learnt all these lessons because I tried different things, learnt my lessons and quickly moved on to the next thing.
And yet I was unable to apply this hard earned knowledge to overcome another challenge I have been facing - weight loss. I’ve always been unhappy with my weight but these last 3 years of gaining and keeping pregnancy weight have been specially hard. I am constantly trying new diet plans, beating myself up, feeling ugly eating most meals with a side serving of guilt.
So I was sitting around thinking about job hunting and weight loss challenges when it suddenly hit me - If I keep doing the same thing, I will keep getting the same result.
With job hunting, I learnt how to hustle and stand out. With weight loss, I’ve been unable to find that switch. Something needs to change - I can’t keep trying new diet plans and continue to beat myself up - if I want to see different results.
It didn’t immediately occur to me what I should change in my weight loss strategy. I just knew something had to change and it couldn’t be yet another diet plan. That’s when i came across this article that suggested that diets never work. Your body has a normal weight range and it will do everything it can to stay in that range. Even if dieting helps you lose weight temporarily, your body will put the lost weight back on in due course. That’s why dieting is never a long term weight loss solution.
Hmmm…maybe I needed to stop focusing so much on the weight loss. Maybe I was getting too wrapped up in a number. My goal with weight loss was to look and feel good anyway and so maybe all I needed to do was switch the way i was thinking about it. I should probably give myself a break from being obsessed with my weight.
So that’s exactly what I have been doing these past few weeks. I’m still making healthy choices but I’m giving in to deep cravings, not beating myself up and exercising my limited will power where I need it most. Today I actually saw a tangible result of this deliberate practice - and it felt awesome.
I went shopping today. Shopping has been a stressful experience ever since I started gaining weight 3 years back. Fitting rooms with their large mirrors and bright lighting have been chambers of hell for me. And every time I’ve picked up a garment to try, I’ve looked at the size that will fit me and cringed a little. Not today. I loved every piece of clothing I tried, I felt good in them and I didn’t fret over how wide, curvy and round my bottom half is. it is what it is and it looks great if I choose it.
It’s all in your head. Just switching how you look at it makes a world of difference.