"If I Could Just Lose 5 Pounds"

Most women I talk to say to me, "If I could just lose 5 pounds, then _______." Fill in the blank with anything from "finally wear what I want" to "talk to that guy I like". Of all of the diet anxiety I see out there, it seems to me like 5 pounds is the most tormenting. It's so close, but so far away. Girl wants to lose 5 pounds What's the hype about 5 pounds, anyway? It's not a big enough number to encourage someone to completely overhall their diet. At the same time, making small changes can easily be forgotten since their importance doesn't seem to carry a big significance in the mind of a dieter.

I can see how 5 pounds can make a huge difference to a model on camera or an Olympic athelete trying to improve their performance, but I wonder...what does a 5 pound difference make, to you?

5 pounds! Gosh, it certainly knows how to play with our minds.

Here's my take on what those last 5 pounds really means, from my experience:

1) Bloating and/or Constipation

I don't know about you, but when I used to feel bloated or constipated, I felt like I suddenly turned into a cow and anyone looking at me could notice my pot belly. "Are they looking at my stomach that's hanging out!?", I would worry to myself. It was so easy to stumble over the fact that something I had eaten was not agreeing with me---my immediate reaction to the discomfort was not "oh, maybe the dairy from the ice cream I ate doesn't work for me." Instead, I would immediately think, "oh no! I am so fat and suck at life because I can't make a diet work."

Take a step back and ask yourself if something you ate might not be agreeing with you. It could be even simpler than that: ask yourself if you ate calmly and chewed thoroughly.

2) Stress or Big Changes

Usually when I am going through a rough time, be it short work deadlines or disagreements, to even bigger things like moving or traveling, I'm bound to feel heavier. But that's just it---feel heavier, not be heavier. Sometimes when you feel like things in your life are weighing you down, you literally can feel like you need to lose weight---and you do! but not from your body: from your environment. For me, sometimes just knowing that I am going through something stressful is enough for me to take my mind off of my body. I know that once the situation passes, so will the feeling of being heavy.

3)  Room Clutter

The cleanliness of our room is a direct reflection of our inner thoughts. When I see that my room is a bit messy or that I just don't seem to have energy to put things back where they belong, then I know that there must be something else going on in my life that I need to slow down and reflect on. Usually, when I am stressed out with work or relationships or even positive things like moving or starting something new, the stress associated with the difficulty can easily make me feel weighed down.

Next time you say to yourself "I just want to lose 5 pounds!", ask yourself what could really be weighing you down in your life and see how relieving that improves your self image before looking into another diet.

What about you? Why do you want to lose 5 pounds (or more)? Leave a comment!