[Personal Post] An Update on Month 18 of “Accelerate Your Natural Weight:” Documenting This Amazing, Self-Experimental Journey

18 month update on "gentle weight loss" — did i sell my soul or did i set myself free?

Whenever I slip back into binge eating, I like to write about it. Not only does it help me overcome any lingering feelings of imposter syndrome or shame (because shame cannot stand being spoken — a lesson from the wonderful Brene Brown) but it also helps me be super transparent and illustrate situations where my tools become inaccessible or difficult to use.

This, however, is not the case today. Instead of sharing how I messed up (if you want some of that relatable flavor, see this and this), I’d like to share how I’m thriving 18 months into my journey with Accelerate Your Natural Weight (formerly Gentle Weight Loss). I plan to teach this method this winter because 1) I will have lived through two years of testing it on myself by then and 2) in the winter, weight loss is the last thing on our minds, so it feels appropriate because those that join me will hopefully be doing it for all the right reasons (i.e. no “beach body” “get skinny” schemes).

Anyways, here’s a recap of the last few months since my 15 month update.

This Shit Works

There’s no humble way to say it. I feel really good about what Accelerate Your Natural Weight (AYNW) is. And I think what makes AYNW possible is my intensive experience with the Stop, Drop, & Feel and studying/analyzing the psycho-spiritual reasons for overeating. I mean, I’ve written about the psychological blocks to weight loss just as much as the spiritual root of weight gain.

The intersection of psychology and spirituality is where it’s at. (Thus, Psycho-Spiritual Wellness.)

At month 18, I am wearing my smallest jeans and I feel mentally and physically thriving. But ohhhhhh it was not a linear process. And today, for the sake of personally documenting my journey if not for you, oh curious reader, but for myself, I’m outlining exactly what has happened.

During Year 1

During the first year, my weight was pretty stable and I was a size 6 through most of the year. I remember going to Italy and feeling really good about not only how I fit in my clothes, but how I could put GWL aside and still eat normally (i.e. eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full) and still immensely enjoy my food. (ITALIAN FOOD!!!!) This, to me, was the ultimate proof that GWL was not some backwards kind of diet.

I am someone that has tried every single diet in the book and always binged as a result and gained back any weight I ever lost — usually within weeks, if not a month maximum. I have never ever been someone that could lose weight on a diet, keep it off for some time, but then eventually gain it back. My ‘rebound window’ was always extremely short.

In a way, this was helpful during my experiments with GWL. When I dropped a pant size after the first few weeks — something that I had never ever done before; I had never even pulled a size 6 off the shelves before — I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t talk about it with anyone, because I honestly wasn’t sure if it would stick. And after about 6 months remaining at the same size, I felt confident that I was onto something big.

During Month 15

As I wrote about in my 15 month update, I had a “setback” (ughhhh how that wreaks of diet culture — something I try to avoid but alas, I am human, and sometimes my brain just goes there) where I struggled with a bout of overeating while I was uprooting myself from a job that I had for 8 years.

It was a tough time, and very stressful. And yes, I turned to food to cope with my stress. The intensity of my emotion was too much, and my emotional tolerance was spent. Although I was using my tools (like the SDF) I was also overeating and being really kind to myself in the process. That last part is huge for me.

After I quit that job, I found another one, because I wasn’t confident enough in myself to take Psycho-Spiritual Wellness on full-time yet. Low and behold: that job sucked even more. I couldn’t stand it, and after 2.5 months, I quit.

So, I quit not one, but TWO full-time jobs in Q1 of 2023. It was A LOT.

During my time at that second job, my weight did not move. I still had some extra protection hanging around, and I was aware of it. I was pleasantly surprised, actually, that I wasn’t berating myself or feeling bad about it. My weight increased a bit because I was super stressed when leaving my last job, totally understandable, and my weight hadn’t gone back down because the next job was even worse. This was also incredibly understandable to me, so I was able to cut myself loads of slack.

Wow… this level of self-compassion was once SO FOREGIN to me. And it means SO MUCH to me to be able to extend compassion and kindness to myself when I am struggling these days. It is a hard-won skill.

Fast forward to mid-May, where I quit the even-worse job and took the plunge into working for myself full-time. Hallelujah! It has been so amazing!!! (Side note, because this blog post is personal right? I always thought that I would feel insecure or paralyzed, even, by the insecurity of not having a steady paycheck, and I am really surprised that I have not only not felt insecure (for the most part, I’ve had my moments) but I’ve also felt like I’m thriving. Even though I took an enormous step down in pay, it is beyond worth it to chase my dreams.

Month 18: A New Set Point Feels Official

I never used the principles of GWL to “get back to my normal weight” once I quit my job. I was just focused on getting fully into the groove of things and also giving myself a BREAK from the emotional drainage that it took to quit two jobs in one year before it was even June.

During that time, as the stress slowly left my body, it seemed that my body shape was changing too. Of course, like anyone that has a history of struggling with weight loss, I was hopeful that my weight was going to shift, but I wasn’t holding my breath.

Now, I’m happy to report that my smallest jeans fit like butter again. It makes me happy. And while part of me is afraid that someone will judge me for being “shallow” for caring about clothes, I don’t care! I know in my heart that what I am doing is far removed from diet culture because diet culture only makes you feel like poo, especially when you “fall off the wagon” — but here I am, having been through highs and lows, and being really nice to myself through all of it. That is a testament to how freaking well this ish works.

What I find particularly interesting is that I didn’t use any measures other than the Psycho-Spiritual Wellness eating guidelines for my weight to wiggle back down this time around. It wasn’t another few weeks of GWL that got me back to where I was in 2022. It was just normal eating that got me there.

This leads me to believe that my body has perhaps established a new set point. If this is where my body naturally went, all on its own, when I listened to my hunger and fullness cues, this is my new normal.

Holy guacamole.

Relax, And Let Your Weight Regulate Itself

I want you, my dear reader, to know that GWL is optional. I firmly believe that the Psycho-Spiritual Wellness eating guidelines can get you to your natural weight all on their own. GWL will simply provide a way to gently and subtly speed up the process.

It is not a quick fix. It is almost frustratingly the opposite of a quick fix (just as the eating guidelines are) and GWL is only possible when you have a firm foundation of emotional tolerance and Stop-Drop-&-Feeling under your belt.

This is why I’ve created enormous resources for you to draw upon, like the Stop, Drop, & Feel Masterclass and my beefy online course, Food Normal, which contains everything you need to master the psycho-spiritual approach to stopping compulsive eating. I would LOVE to offer GWL to graduates of either course early, and that is probably what I will do. I hope to see you inside.

Thanks for reading this rambly and personal post. It wasn’t supposed to be brilliant nor amazing. It was just my own attempt at documenting this incredible journey, being as open as I possibly can, and creating my own trail of crumbs. This way, I know exactly what I went through when I am hopefully teaching anyone that is interested in learning how to walk this brave path too — with lots and lots of loyalty to the bread & butter: the Stop, Drop, & Feel®️.

[This is part of a series of updates about my self-experimentation with Accelerate Your Natural Weight (formerly Gentle Weight Loss). See the 12 month update & 15 month update that precede this one.]

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