It would be easy to assume that excess weight is simply a result of eating too much and moving too little. It would be quite simple: eat a little less, move a little more, lose a little weight. But we aren’t simple, are we? We are complex human beings. We have feelings and emotions. We have stressors and fears. We have doubts and unknowns. Our bodies process all of these things, and for some of us, it shows up as weight gain.

In the book, “Heal Your Body,” we learn that excess weight is caused by “Oversensitivity. Often represents fear and shows a need for protection. Fear may be a cover for hidden anger and a resistance to forgive” (Hay, 1988). Notice there is no mention of food or exercise, because food and exercise are a distraction from focusing on what really matters when you want to lose weight, which is stepping into your personal power.

My definition of personal power is to live the most authentic and vibrant version of myself. While most of this is mental, emotional, and spiritual, some of it may be physical as well. When I wanted to lose weight, I was very much aware that the body I was living in was not my truest expression of myself. And I understood that I had to step into that true version of myself in order to require my body to change. Ask these questions: What would it feel like to live the most authentic and vibrant version of yourself? What would be required of you to accomplish that? How would your thoughts need to change … or your beliefs? And most important, what comes first?

Weight is symbolic. It’s not telling you that you lack willpower and that you’re lazy, it’s smarter than that. It’s telling you that you can have and deserve to have exactly the life you desire. The dream life. The one where you speak up, stand for what you want, and feel incredible joy.

Your weight is not holding you back from having everything you could possibly desire; your belief that weight is the solution is holding you back from everything you desire.

Your weight is symbolic. Let it motivate you to live an incredibly joyous life right now, and then let that joy fill you up so your body has no choice but to transform. Eliminate the need to hide, and step into the world you have been gifted, excess weight and all. Face your fear of being seen, and notice that you are truly unstoppable right now. And most of all forgive yourself for any unmet expectations. You are not a failure because your body is not thin. You simply have failed at losing weight in a way that isn’t authentic to you. And thank goodness for that.

Michelle Hastie is a weight loss coach with a background in personal training, food psychology, neuro-linguistic programming, and yoga. She has been blessed with the gift of transforming lives, one body at a time, through Total Body Health Solutions.  Hastie also helps people learn about and love their bodies through her Absolute Love Publishing books, “The Weight Loss Shift: Be More, Weigh Less” and “The Chakra Secret: What Your Body Is Telling You.” In addition, she is a contributor to “Women Will Save the World.”