Focus on weight loss inherently conflicts with mindfulness

Many people wonder if they can practice meditation, mindfulness, and mindful eating and still want to lose weight. While there are absolutely no thoughts, feelings, or desires that are off limits, it’s also important to know that a focus on weight loss is inherently in conflict with mindfulness practices.
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Weight, as we know, is an outcome and while behaviors are all about process. As an outcome, “weight loss” resides in the unknown future and is out of our control. Placing our attention on a point in the unknown future removes us from the present moment – it is literally impossible to be thinking about the future and to inhabit our bodies in the now. (Note: Mindful eating that is promoted as a weight loss approach is inherently flawed, misleading, and is based on a misinterpretation of the practices of mindfulness.)
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Behaviors, on the other hand, allow us to focus on process – the thoughts we think, the words we speak, and the actions we take moment to moment. This process effects an outcome, but often not in the ways we might imagine.
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Bottom line: mindfulness practice supports us to stay in the present moment and focus on what we can do right now.
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Whenever we notice ourselves desiring weight loss, we can bring this thought to the mindfulness path by acknowledging where that desire comes from (longstanding cultural programming and a deep, human desire to feel safe), come back to our present-moment bodies, and ask ourselves what is truly needed in this moment.
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With love,

Jenna