She is probably just like me and you. She is probably a woman that has struggled with negative self talk and a poor body image in the past, and she, through W.W. found a way to finally overcome her challenges with her weight. Wouldn’t it be great to feel like her…to finally be happy about your body and be proud to live in it because it looks good! Yes, yes it would! I guarantee that as a result of that commercial airing, membership at W.W. increased tenfold. We all WANT to succeed.
But I am going to challenge the message W.W. wanted you to hear, which I believe is, “Finally, you will love your body...when it looks good.”
The truth is, we only get one life and the body we were born into is remarkably designed to carry us through its entirety. It is entirely up to us to treat it right.
Do we take for granted that our body will love us unconditionally and carry us through, in spite of the abuse it takes, both physical and emotional? I think so, for the most part. Maybe it is time to celebrate our body just for the miracle it is, no matter what the shape or size. To feel joyous about every breath it takes, every time it beats our heart, and how it “magically” heals when we have cut or bruised it. Our body allows us to move through life in work and in play. It allows us to see the beauty around us; to feel the warmth of a spring breeze on our skin; to smell fresh cut grass; to hear our loved ones laughter; and to taste the fresh, sweet flavour of a summer peach.
It allows us to feel all kinds of pleasure…and reminds us to take care of it when we feel pain. Pain is an instant reminder from our body that, while it is strong and remarkably resilient…it has limitations. Pain immediately makes us stop and take notice. It is our body’s way of telling us to be careful! Our body will do exactly what it needs to do to ensure self-preservation.
Our body also sends us gentle reminders all the time and it is up to us to recognize and acknowledge them. One of those signals is our weight fluctuation. It is a physical message to us that we are not fuelling our body with the proper food it needs to sustain us through a long and healthy life. If we did not gain or lose weight, we would be oblivious to the damage we are doing to our body. We would continue to be negligent without knowing. Ultimately, we would perish. But we do receive those signals. Our body DOES tell us when something is just not right.
If we are completely honest with ourselves, we DO see and feel the messages our body sends us. It is up to us to make a choice. It is then that we have to rely on our mind. If our head is not in the right place or space, or if it is filled with negative thoughts and self-talk, fear, or doubt…it will hold us back. This is the challenge that many of us face; understanding that it is not our weight that has to change…it is our mind. Our body will respond appropriately, every single time. This is why it is so important to honestly reflect on what thought patterns and limiting beliefs created the state we are in, so that we can recognize what needs to change moving forward; and to overcome barriers that will allow that change to be permanent and on-going.
If nothing changes—then nothing changes.
So, that leads me back to the W.W. commercial. I guess what bothers me the most about it was when she said “I can’t believe…”
It tells me she has not yet changed her mind. It is the most important part of the process.
You can’t skip that part.