Tuesday, April 4, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds by discovering willpower in powerlessness

 Hello friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. Today, as part of my Spring into Weight Loss challenge, I'm exploring how I lost 100 pounds by discovering willpower in powerlessness. A few days ago I wrote about the paradox of how being powerless is actually empowering. I didn't know then how it works and I still don't, but I have some ideas, as it relates to weight loss. 

What do I mean by "powerless"? Does it equate with helpless and if so, isn't that a further contradiction? That we who are struggling with obesity should just lie down and accept it? Well, yes and no. So Alanon teaches in the 12 steps that the first step is recognizing that we are powerless over people, places and things. And Fr. Richard Rohr extends this to say that only when we find our own powerlessness that we are able to grow closer to God. 

When I was very overweight, I had a moment of complete breakdown where I literally beat myself and cursed my obesity and laziness to lose weight. It was not my best moment. But it was necessary to get to the point where I stopped making excuses, blaming everything else and started looking honestly at how fat I'd become.  I know, we're not supposed to say the word fat. But I was. And I had to accept that and that I didn't like it. 

I had to accept that I was powerless to change others at all and myself only with the assistance of my Higher Power whom I call God. Or, actually, I am the assistant. Alanon doesn't call it a Higher Power for nothing. The strength to change (lose weight, quit drinking, or overcome any addiction) lies there and when I can accept that, and rely on it, I can begin to change myself. 

When I can give up thinking I run the show, when I can stop expecting others to change to suit me, when I can start living the Serenity Prayer, 

"God grant me the courage to change the things I can, accept the things I can't and the wisdom to know the difference." 

My Higher Power is able to work thru me and in me to guide me to do what I need to do. This is the only way. Sheer willpower alone won't do it. I had to want to lose weight and embrace calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet whole-heartedly. As long as I allow roadblocks (self-pity, denial of responsibility, making excuses, blame shame, etc.) I won't really apply myself to calorie restricting. 

We see this played out on "My 600-lb Life" in which gastric bypass hopefuls work to lose weight. While "My 600-lb Life" patients continue to deny personal responsibility, blame everyone else, blame shame themselves, pity themselves, lie, make excuses, they continue to avoid calorie restricting. So long as they retain an attitude of helplessness and refusal to accept the help given by "My 600-lb Life" support staff, they do not lose weight. Even gastric bypass can't make it happen. 

But miraculously, when they accept help and work to change, they overcome obesity. That's how I lost 100 pounds. I found willpower in powerlessness. I still don't understand completely how it works and that okay. I don't have to. That's my Higher Power's job. I just trust that He does and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. And that's a lovely Easter blessing! 


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