The Pain Is In The Gap

Someone recently posted the following comments on a video in my Critical Key to Sustainable Weight-Loss training series.

Interesting ideas, I have to be truthful here I am a tad leery since I have tried so many costly things to lose weight and the proof was not in the pudding. I am tired of trying and I believe I am at a point of giving up, not surrender, but really just not trying anymore…”

I understand her pain, frustration and skepticism and am delighted at the comments – her answers are in her own words. And they provide the perfect example to illustrate “the pain is in the gap” principle.

Let’s say you’re at point A and you want to get to point B. Cool! How do you get there? That’s where marketing comes in. You open your eyes to the possibility of B and suddenly you find all sorts of products and services that promise to get you from point A to point B.

Good marketers are trained to focus on describing the pain we are suffering from being at point A and the pleasure and joy we will feel when we arrive at point B. And then they use all sorts of emotional words and images that inspire us to purchase their product or service that promises to get us from point A to point B – and thus end our pain.

All good marketers use this strategy, regardless of their particular industry. But this underlying idea that our pain is in the gap between point A and point B is especially problematic when dealing with weight loss.

When it comes to weight loss, we have another cultural assumption at play. It is the underlying idea – perpetuated by marketing madness – that our body’s shape and size is simply a result of what we eat and what we do for exercise. We have been reduced to a math equation in which we have to pay a price to eat – this price being exercise or weight-gain. And this underlying cultural assumption suggests that the weight-loss process is hard and painful.

So we’ve got a bit of a conundrum here… If we are in pain because we are at point A and we want to lose weight and get to point B – but this process of diet and exercise to get to point B is painful – and it will be painful to maintain the diet and exercise program to stay at B – when does the pain end??

Is it less painful to just “give up” and forget about B – to stay at point A? Or is it less painful to keep looking for that “magic pill” or potion or program that will make the journey from A to B bearable?

The answers to those questions would be up to us to discover for ourselves – if those were indeed the correct questions to ask. The problem with this whole concept is that it is based on the assumption that we are in pain because we are at point A and that our pain will end when we are at point B. And anyone who’s played the weight-loss game for any length of time has discovered that these underlying assumptions are simply not true.

So what’s a girl (or boy) to do? We stop looking to point B to end our pain. We recognize that our true pain comes from an internal disparity among what we think we have to do, what we feel we have to do, and what we want to do. We then work to align our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions so that we are in a state of authentic harmony and congruency while we are still at point A. This produces a feeling of peace and happiness. And from a place of freedom, peace and joy we take a step forward. And in that next moment, we connect with our bodies and take actions that are congruent and harmonious with our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. This maintains our experience of peace and happiness in the new moment. We continue to move forward moment-by-moment, authentically and congruently, until we realize that are we are not only experiencing the joy of being at point B but that the journey was also a happy experience.