How To Lose Weight With Love: An MD’s Thoughts On Owning Your Health

How To Lose Weight With Love: An MD’s Thoughts On Owning Your Health

Lissa Rankin's picture

By Lissa Rankin, Owning Pink

Standing at the airport looking at magazine headlines, I found myself, once again, nauseated by all the headlines about weight loss.

How To Lose 100 pounds Without Trying.  The Biggest Loser Loses More.  Jane Superstar Magically Gets Her Body Back After Baby. Oh No! Gorgeous Supermodel Has A Muffin Top! It’s enough to make a girl want to puke.

Yes, maintaining a healthy weight is part of OWNING your health. Yes, obesity is endemic in this country. So I get it. Lots of people would benefit from losing weight.

But it guts me to see how much pressure people are under to get skinny. Frankly, I’ve never had a problem staying a normal weight. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for those who struggle. If you’re one of those people who has been fighting your weight your whole life, my heart goes out to you. I know it’s not easy.

But I believe it doesn’t have to be so hard. As a doctor, the responsibility to help people achieve a healthy weight often lands on my shoulders. But we doctors often don’t have the tools we need to effectively help others.

According to a survey of 290 primary-care physicians by Harris Interactive:

  • 89% of doctors believe it’s their responsibility to help patients lose weight.
  • 72% say no one in their office has been trained to deal with weight problems.
  • 87% weigh patients at every office visit.
  • 45% say they regularly discuss weight with their patients.

So why aren’t we helping people more?

A Holistic Approach to Battling Obesity

I believe that you will never achieve and maintain a healthy weight until you learn to love yourself, fat and all. If your weight loss is fueled by negative mind chatter and self-hatred, weight loss becomes punishment. You know what I’m talking about. The scenario goes something like this.

Something’s missing your life, so you go to the fridge and pull out a carton of ice cream. Maybe this will fill you up. You take one bite, but then you remember about Jenny Craig (or Weight Watchers or The Zone Diet or the South Beach Diet- or whatever).

While the ice cream melts in your mouth, you start berating yourself. “You’re such a loser. You have no willpower. I can’t believe you just took that bite of ice cream. That’s your whole fat allocation for the day.

You can’t do anything right. And if you can’t follow this diet, you’ll be fat and ugly for the rest of your life and nobody will ever love you. You suck. I hate you.”  You feel so awful that you dig your spoon in and finish the whole crate of Ben and Jerry’s.

Jeez. No wonder you’re having trouble losing weight.

I believe you must start with loving acceptance for the divine, radiant being that you are. Every one of us was created as a perfect, whole being who is weightless. With you lies that beautiful, perfect spirit, regardless of what the world sees on the outside. You must reclaim, honor, and love that part of yourself to begin your journey to a healthy weight.

As long as you punish yourself into trying to lose weight, it simply won’t work.  Even if you lose 100 pounds because you’ve limited yourself to 500 measly fat-free, sugar free calories per day, you will likely discover that you are 100 pounds skinnier and you still hate yourself.

And one day, when the evil voice in your heads says, “See. You’re skinny and you still suck,” you will pick that Ben and Jerry’s container back up and dig in. And in time, you will likely wind up fat again.

So how are you supposed to lose weight?

10 Tips For Reclaiming a Healthy Body With Love

  1. Practice radical self-love. Honor yourself. Nurture yourself. Take time to be in your body. Apply scented body lotions to your naked figure. Luxuriate in bubble baths. Walk around the house without clothes on.
  2. Make friends with the person in the mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “You are perfect and beautiful just the way you are.”
  3. Do a Body Blessing every day.
  4. Honor the perfect spirit within you with beautiful foods. Choose colorful raw veggies, succulent fruits, beautiful fresh foods. Shop on the outer aisles of the grocery store. The Goddess within you doesn’t need junk. She desires to be fed strawberries, slowly and luxuriously. She deserves healthy, nourishing, organic produce, lean, hormone-free meats, and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
  5. Make food an offering to your divine self. You wouldn’t feed the Divine Cheetos or Coca-Cola. You would pick fresh produce from your garden, create a beautiful salad, squeeze fresh juices, and luxuriate in the sensuous pleasure of color, crunch, and the bounty of the earth. Feed yourself with love.
  6. Add green juice to your diet. Consider starting with a green juice detox cleanse to flush your system of toxins and stabilize your blood sugar. Drinking 3-4 servings of green juice per day helps eliminate unhealthy cravings.
  7. Only eat when you’re hungry. Listen to your body. Eat slowly, with reverence. When you no longer feel truly hungry, stop eating.
  8. Be mindful about what you put in your mouth. Remember, your body is your temple. Your spirit is divine.
  9. Avoid emotional eating. If you feel something you don’t wish to feel, be brave enough to be with that feeling. Name the feeling. (“I feel pissed off at my boss.” “I feel sad that my father abused me when I was little.” “I feel bored and I hate my life.”) Honor your feelings. Give yourself permission to feel them. Instead of running to the kitchen, grab your journal. Write it down. You deserve to FEEL.
  10. Move your beautiful body. Even if you can only manage a slow 20-minute walk per day, do it. You deserve it. Use the time as a meditation. Repeat affirmations to yourself such as “I am whole. I am lovable. I am perfect just the way I am.”

I’ve seen this work time and time again with my patients. And when it does, it’s sustainable. Believe in yourself. Love yourself. Be whole. You know you already are.

Loving you just as you are,
Dr. Lissa

p.s. Check out Mojo Mentor Laura Fenamore’s community,, for information and support on releasing weight from a place of self-love.

This post is copyright of and reprinted with permission from

How To Lose Weight With Love: An MD’s Thoughts On Owning Your Health

The Secret to Being Happy

These last 2 years have been ones of complete upheaval and change. I have failed, succeeded, conquered, lost, gained and

Pink happy

learned a lifetime’s worth in 24 short months. Throughout it all, the one thing that remained constant was my burning desire to be happy.

My whole life, I chased being happy. Always looking for that one thing or someone that will make everything better. I was convinced that if I could just find “the one” I would be okay. I went from relationship to relationship, even in my friendships. And all that pursuit got me was a whole heap of misery.

Because I was chasing the wrong relationship.

I spent all of my time trying to find the one person who would accept and love me for me, yet I wasn’t even willing to give that to myself. It was only when I stopped searching for anything outside of myself that I began to understand what it takes to be happy. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t need anyone else, humans are social creatures and we need friends and mates, however, my folly lay in needing someone else to make me happy.

That’s impossible.

As fallible beings, it is not possible for one person, or even a handful, to make you happy all of the time.  We fail one another, sometimes even in times of greatest need. We make mistakes and we have a very bad tendency to inadvertently hurt one another. So by seeking fulfillment in others, all I was doing was setting myself up for failure.

I wanted someone to accept me for me all while refusing to do just that for myself.

Imagine that you have a friend, and every time you see her, she criticizes your appearance. It starts off small like “You should do something different with your hair” or “You really need a pedicure.” As time goes on, it escalates into “Wow, you really need to lose weight!” or “You never seem to have a good hair day, you know that?” Next thing you know, your friend is pointing out every skin blemish, even the tiniest roll or dimple of fat, how your clothes don’t fit you just right, how those lines around your eyes are getting more noticeable, and how no one in their right mind would want to see you naked let alone love you after such a sight.

You wouldn’t remain her friend, would you?

No, of course not. You’d stop returning her calls. Stop hanging out with her and tell all your other friends what a bitch she is. You would be downright pissed at her, and you’d have every right to be. Yet, every day, we say all of those things to ourselves when we look in the mirror. How can you expect to be happy when you are in an abusive relationship with yourself?

I had to stop seeing myself how I thought others saw me. Learning to stand in front of the mirror and admire myself was one of the biggest steps for me. I’d been taught to hate my reflection from early on in life, and it took a lot for me to learn to love the mirror. I started small, by focusing on the good things, and pretty soon, it was difficult for me to see how any of my flaws really made that much of a difference.

I accepted myself. More importantly, I loved myself.

I finally realized that I am worth being happy. I deserve to be happy. And I will continue to make the choices necessary to remain happy. Which means, if there are unhealthy things and/or people around me, I will choose to remove them from my life. I will not grant another person the power to decide whether or not I’m happy.

Which is exactly what I was doing by searching for a relationship to give me my happiness.

I see it everywhere I look; people desperate to find “the one”. I understand, because I’ve been there. I’ve fallen in love too quickly before, simply because I was desperate to have what I thought was missing. I regret giving up so many years of peace because I was too stubborn to take a good, long look at myself.

It’s easy to treat yourself badly. How often do you eat junk food to feel better, or stay up too late because you’re trying to conquer some of that To Do list, or look at yourself with disgust every time you pass a mirror? Do you know the difference between your needs and your desires? How many times have you settled while dating because you’re so lonely and you “need” someone?

Decide that you are no longer going to let your deficiencies define your worth. Look in the mirror and stop the running commentary in your head of how much you hate your body. Replace it with something you like about yourself and add to that list daily. Stop looking for the next relationship to change things and fix the one you’re in with yourself. Attitude and behavior are choices, which means the power to change them lies completely within you. No one else has the power to make your life worth living, so stop giving it to them.

If you want to be happy, then be happy.

*Reprinted with permission from
*Visit TheAlphaPussy at Owning Pink.

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