First, let me start by saying that my brother Matt is one of my favorite people on the planet. He is kind, funny, emotionally intelligent; and watching him play endlessly with his one-year old daughter is enough to make my heart explode. But that is all beside the point. The reason I mention Matt here on my weight loss blog, is because he is thin naturally.
I mean he has the body many of us want- just add boobs. He has a six-pack. He is tan. He is thin.
I watch him eat as a sport. I ask him endless questions about food and what he likes and what it’s like to never worry about getting fat. I am fascinated when he pays more attention to the conversation than to his plate. I watch how carefully he orders exactly what he wants. I study him as he orders dessert (or not) based on how much time we have for the meal. (As if that is relevant.)
Matt is what I am trying to teach my clients. Matt is the gold standard for eating when you are hungry and truly enjoying a joy eat. Matt does not feel guilty when he dips his pizza in mayonnaise (he ran out of ranch one day and found something he liked even better.) Matt would never consider beating himself up over a bowl of his favorite coffee ice cream.
So many of my clients believe that if they had what Matt has-carefree thinness- then they would be happy. Is it true? When I compare in my mind my client who weighs 270 and Matt on the happiness scale I can’t decide who wins. My client has so much in her life and so does Matt. Does the fact that my client is heavy make her less happy than thin Matt?
I don’t think so.
They are both very happy in many ways and both still struggle in many ways. Matt worries about being good enough in his life and she worries about being good enough in hers. Who of us doesn’t? The fact that Matt doesn’t worry about his weight or food doesn’t automatically give him more joy than someone who does.
It’s not that we are overeating. It is what is causing us to overeat. And what causes us to eat may cause someone like Matt to smoke (he recently quit.) We manifest it differently, but we all have negative beliefs and insecurities that cause us to run and hide from ourselves.
So although I often look at Matt and dream about what it would be like to eat anything I want all day long and not gain one pound, I do not wish I could change places with him. I know that he has his work just as I have mine. The only thing I might envy in him is that he doesn’t believe losing weight is the secret to his happiness.