How to lose weight: Look for more instead.
The last time I went to a gym and sought out a personal trainer was, well, the last time. That’s because right away he told me I needed to lose weight. This is how it went:
Me: “I need a little encouragement to exercise, and I want to be stronger.”
PT: “You need to lose weight.”
Me: “Really? I just want to be stronger.”
PT: “You need to lose weight. Especially around the middle.”
So, I don’t have a personal trainer. I also haven’t lost any weight, or gotten much stronger, but I am very clear on one thing: If you are a young dude DO NOT tell a woman she needs to lose weight.
Furthermore, if you want to make a change, I believe that it’s not about losing anything. It’s about finding more. In fact, I wrote a book about it called (you only get one guess) “Finding More!”
The New Year is a time when many of us up our commitment to losing something, whether it’s weight or a habit of lying around, and I’m here to tell you forggedaboudit.
At the start of my yoga journey I weighed 45 pounds more than I do now. This was very exciting to an editor in New York, and to a certain very large publishing house, which wanted to make my yoga memoir all about weight loss.
Editor: “Weight loss really sells.”
Me: “My book is not about loss.”
Editor: “Great, let’s make it about weight loss.”
Because that is how it is to work with a New York editor.
Meanwhile, this may have been one of the more ill-advised observations of my life. It’s up there with the internet will never amount to anything and putting our college fund into Ariba. What? You’ve never heard of Ariba? Right, my point exactly.
What’s more, you may not have heard of my book because instead of being carried along in a sea of literature and celebrities telling you how to lose something – weight, habits or a narcissistic lover – it’s a little lone voice that if you think you deserve a better life then it’s waiting for you. My life was waiting for me on a yoga mat.
But first, you have to believe it. Right? We are happy to cling to the idea that we don’t deserve any better. Or we shouldn’t want to feel stronger or wiser because we are supposed to put every single thing ahead of our own needs including our children.
Well, I put my children ahead of myself for many years and guess what? They didn’t appreciate it! And now that I’m treating myself as a person with needs, guess what? Well, truthfully they probably haven’t noticed.
But at least when I was practicing yoga I was much happier, and when you are happier you are more likely to believe you deserve better.
Through yoga, I learned about dharma and destiny and living up to my potential. I realized not only did I want a better life, but that I deserved a better life. That is when real and lasting change can happen, not when you want less, but when you realize you are worthy of more. I came to the yoga mat to heal my back, but in the process I healed my heart and lost 45 pounds.
January is when we are inundated with articles and advertising about losing weight and making a change. Resolutions abound. If you want to lose something that does not serve you, please do so. But you might also consider what you will gain.
As I told that editor, it’s not about loss. It’s about more. I hope you find it, as I did, because a better life starts with you believing it. However, you may not sell a lot of books unless everyone else starts believing in it as well.
Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is the author of “Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga,” and “Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga.” She is a Columnist for Elephant Journal and Origin Magazine, and a contributor to Teachasana and My Yoga Online. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches Hatha Yoga in Denver, Co. You can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.