“I’ve gained ten pounds in the past six months. The worst part is that I hide it from everybody. I never talk about it. I hide it with my clothes. I eat when nobody is looking, including my partner. I talk about nutrition, but I’m a big hypocrite and sneak food, and I’m ashamed about what I’m doing. I’ve gained and lost this ten pounds at least twenty times, by the way.”
We could talk about how you might lose this ten pounds forever, and it wouldn’t make any difference. What matters is your SHAME about the ten pounds. You feel as though you’re not an acceptable human being when you’re heavier. Actually, you feel like you’re not an acceptable human being with any number of flaws you have, and THAT is the problem. You didn’t come up with that notion on your own. The people closest to you—parents, grandparents, teachers, whoever—TOLD you from the time you were a small child that you were less acceptable when you screwed up, and, naturally, you BELIEVED them. Why wouldn’t you? You were a kid. It’s not like you were about to argue with them. The problem is, you STILL believe them. You believe that you have to look a certain way and behave a certain way and BE a certain way in order to be acceptable to them, in order to DESERVE their love—in order to deserve the love of everybody on the planet. And that is a TERRIBLE way to live. It’s the way almost all of us live.
So it’s not about the weight. It’s about your fear of not being acceptable. You really need to understand that. So for now, do not focus on losing weight, or on not sneaking food. Sneak all the food you want, if you feel like it. Whatever. The point is, you need to feel acceptable, and how do you accomplish that? Remember, you didn’t ACQUIRE your notion that you’re not acceptable by yourself, so you won’t LOSE that notion by yourself. You’ll need help. You’ll need other people.
What could that look like? You talk to people who are familiar with Real Love—people who have read the Real Love book, people in a Real Love group, people on teleconference calls on the website, wherever—and simply tell the truth about your behavior. Tell people that you’re sneaking food, for example, and gaining weight. But keep going. Tell them you’re ashamed of how you look. Tell them you’re judgmental of how other people look when they’re overweight. But it’s not just about weight, is it? Tell people about the other characteristics of yourself that you find unacceptable. Tell them about your other fears and flaws. You know what they are. Talk about your anger. Talk about your weaknesses, your tendency to criticize people and control them. Let people see who you really are.
As you do that, you’ll be creating the life-giving opportunities for people to accept and love you UNCONDITIONALLY, and THAT is what you’ve really been looking for all your life. The more loved you feel, the less you will believe that you are UNacceptable when you are ten pounds heavier or weak or stupid or flawed or whatever. You’ll finally be genuinely happy. SECONDARILY, you’ll probably notice that you’ll have a tendency to eat less. We do eat more when we feel empty and unacceptable and unloved. But you’ll figure out what you want to eat and what you want to weigh over time. That’s FAR less important than feeling loved and happy.