“Will this help me lose weight.”
This is the question I get the most about any of my classes, Nia, mindful movement or dance and when I talk with other teachers, yoga or otherwise, they have the same observation. As if life became divided into two categories; the things that help us lose weight and the things that don’t. My answer to this question, which many find puzzling, is ” I don’t know.” I continue to say “I don’t know what else you do in your life to help you lose weight, but I know that no matter what any class can offer if that’s the only thing you do it’s probably won’t help you lose weight.”
Many people want one thing to do to lose weight, they want a quick fix, the proved result, and the person who tells them how to do it. I don’t blame them, because that’s what many professional fitness instructors, personal trainers, marketing messages, and external authority figures tell them.
I got my health coaching certification in 2012, and after four years of practicing I didn’t want to do it anymore or more accurately, I didn’t want to subscribe or suggest plans to lose weight. I didn’t want to sign clients who wish for quick results. I made that clear on my website and had to turn down potential clients who are looking for something I didn’t feel I can honestly offer. Check this for more about how I view coaching.
Let me clarify, I’m not saying professionals who offer meal plans or guarantee results are wrong. What I’m saying is that I can’t do that and still feel good or authentic about my offering. Numerous people suggested I promote Nia for weight loss to attract more people, and although taking Nia classes regularly AND a healthy lifestyle can lead to weight loss, but I can’t say “come to Nia class, and you will lose weight” The notion that weight loss is all that matters from going to any class, quite frankly irritates me!
Now I do understand that some people need to lose weight for health issues and it’s essential to maintain a healthy body, but it’s the obsession of how the body looks is the one I’m questioning.
Many might disagree with me, and that’s fine, but I see it differently.
I am body, mind, and soul as one and not separate from each other.
My body is not a thing to shape according to my mind’s belief of what it should look like.
A deeper understanding of who we are and our needs is fundamental to our holistic well-being.
My body is part of me and not mine.
Self-love and self-acceptance are essential to being happy and content.
I am more than how I look or what shape is my body.
Stress and pain are not sustainable, finding a pleasurable workout and lifestyle is the key to being and feeling healthy.
I don’t have all the answers.
I don’t claim to have the perfect body, or that I don’t think about losing weight, or I don’t have self-doubt or that I don’t wish there was a quick fix a pill that will shape my body into superfit yoga-toned and perfect shape. But I know there is no such thing. I learned to accept how I look and work on improving and staying healthy. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up and not caring.
Acceptance is appreciating how amazing my body is
how it enables me to do what I love
to walk, and dance;
to hug my kids;
to experience pleasure in eating an excellent piece of chocolate cheese or cookie;
how loving my body and genuinely honoring my needs leads to a higher quality of life far more than having a flat belly.
My body shape does not define who I am or how deserving I am of love and care. When I embrace my imperfect body and love it that is the gift.
Writing this I’m inspired to start the conversation of what it really means to lose weight, how do we lose weight and more importantly why do we want to lose weight. So leave your comments and thoughts below and if you’d like to continue this conversation let meet over coffee, in person or over Zoom in you are not in Dhahran/Khobar area.