A few years ago, a very attractive, stylish woman in her young 50s stood up at a conference we were both attending and talked about her lifelong struggle with weight.
I will never forget how moved I was as she spoke about spending her entire life obsessing over losing 10-20 pounds, desperately running from one diet and exercise program to the next in hopes that she would finally find the perfect formula for achieving the perfect body and ultimately, the perfect life.
She tearfully shared her fear that she would still be dieting on her deathbed and that her only legacy would be one of a chronic dieter.
I admired her courage to share her story with the audience. I think of her often when others courageously share with me their own weight-loss journeys, and their frustration with the amount of time and energy they spend loathing their bodies and striving to change them.
Naturally, we all want to feel good in our bodies. However, what we really need to lose is not weight, but the belief that we are not lovable, worthy and enough just as we are.
The conference woman spent decades in self-imposed imprisonment. For years, she put her life on hold as she clung to the belief that until she reached her ideal body, she would never be good enough.
She admitted she was at the event in hopes that it would provide the magic solution she'd spent more than 40 years searching for. And, in all actuality, it did. For what she discovered was that the acceptance and love she longed for was already within her and accessible at that very moment--and it had absolutely nothing to do with a number on a scale.
"Nothing less than freedom comes when you can let go of being somebody who needs to be different in order to be okay." -Mary O'Malley, Author