A Few Words About Resistance

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Graffiti in San Francisco

Do you ever wonder if you’re normal, or worry that you’re not?

Does it ever feel like everyone else has uncovered a crucial piece of the Puzzle of Life, but that somehow, this piece will never be made known to you, because you are inherently and fatally flawed in some way?

Luckily, there is a simple, totally objective way to determine how normal you really are:

Step #1: Read this post and take note of the journaling exercise it suggests.

Step #2: React to the prescribed activity in one of the following ways:

a) With violent, full-body resistance! Examples of this reaction include declaring with force that this exercise, in no way, applies to you whatsoever and/or dismissing the author as a total lunatic. (Bonus points for both.)

b) With coolness, mild curiosity, and a vague, fleeting “I should do this… someday” thought. (Note: this is also resistance). Examples of this reaction include ‘getting it!’ on a purely intellectual level, seeing the value of the journaling exercise in an abstract concept kind of way, and even feeling really excited about the exercise but then… not writing down a solitary word.

If these steps apply to you in any way,

Congratulate yourself for being normal. Resistance = Totally Natural. I love it! Then:

Step #3: Read the follow-up post and let some of the core concepts sink in.

Step #4: React to the follow-up post in one of the following ways:

a) Listing 1,001 logical, bulletproof reasons about why these posts supremely, superly-duperly do not apply to you. At all. Whatsoever. Bonus points for scoffing in disgust and/or swiftly hitting the “delete” button in your inbox. Bam!

b) Hedging: Accepting the possibility that these posts might have something valuable or insightful to offer, but then lamenting that you are currently too busy, too stressed, too out of paper and pens, too wanting to buy the perfect journal before you write anything down, and too preoccupied with planning the menu for next year’s Christmas dinner to actually do the writing exercise now. So sorry– my hands are tied! Ahem.

c) Deciding that you are too overweight and too far gone for a stupid journal entry to make a difference, anyway.

d) Confirming internally that you’re not overweight enough to merit worrying about your weight or doing some silly journaling exercise in the first place.  “This is for people who are morbidly obese. That’s totally not me.”

e) Realizing with triumph that the author of these posts is not at her all-time thinnest, and therefore dismissing her ideas as crap. If that journaling exercise worked so well, then why does she still weigh more than 100lbs? AM I RIGHT??! Huh??!

f) Discovering with bitterness that the author of these posts might, in fact, already weigh less than you could even dream about weighing yourself… and therefore dismissing her ideas as crap. Why does *she* care about her weight, anyway? God, I would kill to look like her! We obviously have nothing in common. She can’t help me.

If any of the above scenarios resonate with you, even in the slightest,

Congratulate yourself wholeheartedly for being completely and utterly normal. Hello, Resistance! What a relief!

Resistance is a tricky beast, my dear– one that continually eludes capture and avoids being slain. In contrast to issues that truly have no relevance or personal connection to you, Resistance can easily be identified by the telltale energetic charge it carries within your psyche. Denying something takes energy: that’s a charge. Likewise, suppressing something takes energy. Ignoring something takes energy. Justifying something takes energy. Rationalizing or explaining something away takes energy. Pretending that something doesn’t apply to you (when it does) takes energy. Projecting onto other people takes energy. (In contrast, things that really, honestly, cross-your-heart don’t relate to you simply don’t relate, without you having to push, pull, or otherwise expend energy to fashion them into a desired shape. You simply report on these things, like a meteorologist reports on today’s weather. “Is it raining outside?” “Yup.” No charge of resistance, see?)  

You might have experienced some Resistance when reading my two previous posts (which are here and here, in case you resisted clicking on the links I inserted earlier in this post. Heh.) This Resistance might have been directed outward– wondering why I’m posting these sorts of essays now and longing for the amusing, easily digestible tales I used to post. (I just want to read about cats and rainbows, OK? Is that too much to ask?) Or, this Resistance might have been directed inward, my words landing close to home and more than a little too close for comfort. Yikes, I don’t even want to go there. That’s okay, too.

Resistance seems to make so much darn sense most of the time, especially when it comes to exploring intimate and personal topics such as our bodies and what they weigh. Gulp. Resistance cautions us: Wait. Why would we put ourselves out there? Why would we risk being hurt? How can we know for sure that this Dana girl knows what she’s talking about? How can we guarantee that this journaling exercise even works? We’ve all been burned before– over-trusting, over-sharing, over-laying-our-hearts-on-the-line and over-having-them-crushed-by-people-we-thought-would-never-hurt-us. We’ve tried so many things. We’ve been disappointed so many times. And why should this so-called “journaling exercise” be any different?

I get it.

Listen. If a part of you connects with what I’ve been saying about weight (even a small, timid part of you), but another (BIG) part of you feels resistant, worried, overwhelmed, or even scared about moving in the direction of a more intuitive, self-exploratory, non-dieting approach to your body, please be gentle with yourself. There is no need to make yourself wrong for feeling a totally normal emotion, and that’s all Resistance is. First of all, you’re not the only person who feels this way or has ever felt this way. You’re normal, remember? Hooray! And secondly, it might be helpful to know that I had my own experiences feeling eleventeen hundred shades of resistance when I started this conscious weight loss journey, too. (You can read about my “Oh sh*t!” moment here.)

Anyway. As promised, we will start exploring some simple ways to re-train and re-program our core (but limiting) beliefs about weight loss in the next post. I just wanted to take the time to reassure you in the off-chance that you were maybe experiencing some Resistance. (Totally normal!) In the meantime, gently and lovingly check in with your intuition and ask yourself with the utmost kindness,

  • Am I experiencing resistance to these concepts, or is there genuinely no energetic charge for me around my weight or body? (Note: Either option is totally fine– just don’t go forcing issues upon yourself if you don’t already have them, please.)
  • If I am feeling resistant, can I accept and forgive myself for feeling this way?
  • If I am feeling resistant, where in my body does the resistance reside? Can I describe its location, shape, color, temperature, smell, relative weight, or other properties?
  • Can I become curious about my resistance?
  • Can I open myself up… perhaps… to a different perspective?
  • What would support me in exploring a different perspective? How can I open myself up?

Until next time, xo. 🙂

Dana profile

3 responses

  1. Pingback: Weight Loss - Weight Loss Advice

  2. See how long it took me to get to this post? I should take up the Vogon battle-cry: “Resistance is useless!” (Nerd tendencies coming out — that’s from Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”) I like your suggestion about using curiosity to explore resistance. 🙂

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