Why Weight? How to Embrace Your Greatness and Enjoy Life Right Now

by Stacey Curnow on · 6 comments

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The photo above was taken of me in 1995 — 25 pounds heav­ier than I am now-and still happy.

I was 8 years old the first time I remem­ber being called fat. I started suck­ing in my stom­ach in pho­tos from that moment on. I started exer­cis­ing with the inten­tion of los­ing weight when I was 10. I started my first seri­ous diet (only eat­ing tiny por­tions of what­ever my mom served) when I was 11.

By the time I got to col­lege I had been watch­ing and burn­ing calo­ries for almost a decade, and I was exhausted.

Luck­ily I went to a very pro­gres­sive col­lege, one which had set up an “ExCo” –short for “Exper­i­men­tal College”-where stu­dents got to teach their own classes on a diverse range of topics.

You could take courses on every­thing from Beginner’s Sex to Advanced Klin­gon. As a fresh­man I imme­di­ately signed up for the course Women and Body Image. After I took it for a semes­ter, I taught it for my remain­ing years in college.

That class taught me that when all per­sonal motives for los­ing weight are stripped away — the desire to be attrac­tive, to be loved, to be suc­cess­ful — what unites the women who seek to reduce their weight is the fact that they’re look­ing for an answer to life’s prob­lems in the con­trol of their bod­ies and appetites.

In other words, these women, hav­ing dis­cov­ered that they couldn’t con­trol the world around them, chose to exert a destruc­tive con­trol over them­selves. When I made that con­nec­tion, that was it for me. I decided I was no longer going to allow this spe­cious, almost super­sti­tious rea­son­ing to deter­mine how I felt about myself.

Fast for­ward 5 years and I was a full-time stu­dent with a part-time job and I ate on the go a lot. I also ate a lot at night just to give me energy to stay up late and work or study. And I gained and main­tained 25 “extra” pounds.

Through it all I learned to love myself in spite of my weight, and I con­sider that one of the great­est achieve­ments of my twen­ties. And then I met the love of my life — now my hus­band — and when he loved me back, even though I didn’t fit into a model’s size, I knew he was a keeper.

Shortly after my hus­band and I mar­ried we acquired a puppy, a very high-spirited Golden Retriever, and I learned that if she was going to be happy she would need to run at least once day.

So I started to run with her. I’m still not sure if it was her enthu­si­asm for the activ­ity or if it was because I, like my retriever (and Bruce Spring­steen), was born to run, but I loved it from the first time we set out on a trail.

And while I had exercised-sometimes to excess-throughout my teens, and always with the aim to lose weight, this time I never thought of run­ning as a means to burn calories.

As a new health care provider, I also con­sid­ered it my respon­si­bil­ity to inform my patients of prac­tices in nutri­tion and exer­cise that were based in sci­ence, not the lat­est fad.

It was then, in my early thir­ties, that I lost those 25 extra pounds and I’ve never gained them back.

From work­ing with many women who strug­gle with food and weight, I real­ize that fig­ur­ing out how to escape that is really not about how smart you are or how much dis­ci­pline you have (look at my bril­liant physi­cian friend!).

I’ve even come to believe that intel­li­gence and willpower are irrel­e­vant. The key is to believe that you can achieve a healthy weight. It’s just as impor­tant as fol­low­ing science-based guide­lines for eat­ing and exercising.

Now in my early for­ties, I no longer run long dis­tances, but I still do 20 min­utes of heart-raising car­dio every day. I do this because I feel so much bet­ter when I do. In much the same way, I eat when I’m hun­gry and with pleasure.

And so, after over 20 years of research, study, prac­tice, and, well, liv­ing, I have come to one sim­ple, non-earth-shattering con­clu­sion: the way we eat is sim­ply a part of how we live.

Obsess­ing over our food and focus­ing on our weight keeps us from find­ing the joy that is avail­able to us right here and now. But chances are good that if eat­ing is doing that to us, then the way we approach other parts of our life is doing the same.

For­tu­nately, though, the same skills that help us to release stress­ful thoughts and bad feel­ings, those essen­tial skills of stay­ing present, valu­ing our­selves, tun­ing in to our bod­ies and emo­tions, ask­ing for what we need, and keep­ing our­selves open to receiv­ing what we need-all those things that enable us to live full and happy lives-will also help us as we strug­gle with issues related to food.

What I learned in the jour­ney to self-acceptance and self-love made a huge dif­fer­ence in my life, and has helped me in so many ways. I believe it can in yours, too.


by Stacey Curnow

Stacey is a pur­pose and suc­cess coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your pur­pose and pas­sion, check out her FREE eBook, The Pur­pose and Pas­sion Guide­book.
Stacey Curnow
View all posts by Stacey Curnow

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jean sampson February 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

Great post! A good way to start off my Sunday morning! Thanks Stacey.

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Stacey February 10, 2013 at 11:30 am

Thanks so much, Jean! You just made my day!

I hope you have a GREAT rest of the weekend!

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Kyndl February 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

The control point you made was so great. Many people have lost control of who they really are and become unrooted from themselves. What the world says is beautiful cuts deep and stands between them and their happiness. I enjoyed this. Thanks.

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Stacey February 16, 2013 at 5:53 am

Hi Kyndl!

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I love how you elaborated on the control point and likened it to being unrooted.

It’s so true: when we look for something to control it’s because we’ve become unrooted from our Source Energy — and all of our happiness and success really does lie with that connection.

Luckily we can “re-root” ourselves pretty easily with a little focus and determination.
Stacey´s Last Fabulous Post ..Want to know the #1 weight loss mistake? (And the REAL solution inside!)My Profile

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JJ Wong February 13, 2013 at 11:28 am

Self-acceptance and self-love, very true.

We must first love ourself, before asking somebody to love & care about us. Same goes to our way towards people around us, first self love, then love people around us.

It’s the connection between the inner part of ourself.
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Stacey February 16, 2013 at 5:55 am

HI JJ!

Thanks so much for your kind comment! I’m so glad you were to expand on the self-love piece! Everything really does flow from that inner connection, doesn’t it?
Stacey´s Last Fabulous Post ..Want to know the #1 weight loss mistake? (And the REAL solution inside!)My Profile

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