Every overeater has heard them a million times: the admonishments of weight loss. You’ve got to stick to your diet, commit to the process, stay with it no matter what, discipline yourself to "just do it," and so forth. Yet such admonishments only add to your anxiety; if you were able to consistently be there for yourself, you wouldn’t be an overeater to begin with!
While overeating would be seen by some as an indulgence of self, it is in fact a profound rejection of self. It is a moment of self-betrayal and self-punishment, and anything but a commitment to one’s own well-being. Why would you be able to commit to a diet if you’re not consistently committed to yourself?

Your relationship to food is but a reflection of your relationship to yourself, as is everything in your life. There’s no reason to think that you’ll be capable of loyalty to a diet until you address your basic disloyalty toward yourself. Until your fundamental relationship with yourself is healed, then your relationship to food is doomed to be neurotic.

As committed as you might be to the process of weight loss, there will always come those moments when your self-hatred rises up like an oceanic force from the bottom of your subconscious mind, demanding to assert itself. That’s what makes addiction and compulsion so cruel: you could be committed to your diet for 23 hours and 45 minutes during a day, then ruin all your efforts in 15 minutes. What is not self-love carries within it the seeds of self-hate, no matter how small; wherever the mind is not filled with love, it has a propensity for insanity. And just a tiny bit of insanity is enough to do it—in about as long as it takes to open up a bag of cookies, you find a way to destroy your most cherished dream.

This lesson addresses your basic lack of commitment and compassion toward yourself, your lack of self-care that leads you time and again to punish and betray yourself. Only when you learn to commit to yourself will you stop your self-sabotaging behavior. It’s not enough to just tell yourself what not to do; you must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.

Next: What does your past have to do with your weight?
Taken from A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons For Surrendering Your Weight Forever, by Marianne Williamson (Hay House 2010).


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