“It Isn’t Fair”: Frustrations In Food, Body Image And Exercise

A few months ago, psychologist Dr. Lisa Lewis and I were speaking on my podcast. She was referencing Tara Brach’s popular book “Radical Acceptance” when it comes to how we view the food we eat as it relates to our goals.

While simplified, Dr. Lisa remarked that radical acceptance is the ability to say “It isn’t fair” as well as “It is what it is”.

I have thought a lot about those words since that conversation and I wanted to draw out a list of some of the most common things I hear with regard to the unfairness of the foods we eat and the circumstances under which they affect us.

It’s my hope for you that you’ll take a cue from this lesson of radical acceptance to change how you view food and exercise.

-It isn’t fair that I only have 1300 calories to eat just to be able to lose weight.

-It isn’t fair that my husband can cut out beer for a week and can lose 6 pounds when I have to cut out wine for a month to see the same results.

-It isn’t fair that the diet that worked for me in my 20s no longer works for me in my 50s.

-It isn’t fair that I have to work out 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week to see changes in my body.

-It isn’t fair that my diabetes forces me to eat differently.

-It isn’t fair that my injuries take longer to recover from.

-It isn’t fair that my hormones affect my cravings.

-It isn’t fair that menopause affects my sleep, my mood and my ability to stick with a diet.

-It isn’t fair that my neighbor lost 30 pounds on the keto diet and I only lost 8.

-It isn’t fair that I have to take medication for my cholesterol/high blood pressure.

-It isn’t fair that my thyroid isn’t normal.

-It isn’t fair that I have so much loose skin under my arm.

-It isn’t fair that I have love handles.

-It isn’t fair that my spouse brings home cookies and chips and I can’t have them because I’m trying to watch my weight.

-It isn’t fair that my genetics make it harder for me to lose weight.

-It isn’t fair that I have PCOS/IBS/Hashimoto’s/Crohn’s Disease

-It isn’t fair that foods which used to agree with my body now make me sick.

I could make the list longer, but chances are, you’ve said some of these things to yourself and to others before.

When you take Brach’s perspective (as translated through Dr. Lisa), you can look at any of these concerns and add…but it is what it is…

There are many avenues with which to take your training and your diet that can benefit your life and often, the biggest obstacle is simply accepting your realities and understanding what you can change versus what you can’t.

Accept the areas that are less than ideal for you as it relates to your goals. Take any of these statements in this list to reframe with the words “it is what it is” and see how your behavior changes as a result.

Your life is not static, it is dynamic and your individual circumstances change on a daily, and weekly, and monthly, and yearly basis.

Focus carefully and attentively to what you can change and start shifting your energy there.

This path is yours alone.

And that might be not fair…but it is what it is.