Advice from A Lexis

On learning to work with your body


Dear Lexis,

I’ve been working toward weight loss all my life but I don’t seem to get anywhere. I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. Now I’m at the point where I find it difficult just to keep going with the effort. I’ve had minor successes, but nothing seems to stick.

Do you have any advice for me, either on how to actually accomplish this goal, or how to accept myself where I am right now?


          ~ Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

I can certainly relate to your struggle. It's one that I share and have been dealing with my whole life as well. It’s challenging to stay motivated when your body just doesn’t want to respond. And while I don’t have a silver bullet or ideal answer for you, I’ve come to the conclusion that weight loss is, at least in some part, a mental game.

Why is it a mental game?

I say it’s a mental game because when I was working as a semi-truck driver I wound up losing a ton of weight. Everyone in my family commented and complimented me -- but I was completely confused. Even while knowing I have gluten intolerance, I’d been eating primarily chicken nuggets from McDonalds the entire time I was away. Not exactly food you would consider weight-loss friendly. Now the weight loss could potentially be attributed to the fact that I primarily ate Smart popcorn and rice crackers with Laughing Cow cheese the other half of the time, or possibly the vibration of the truck, but my guess is that the weight loss occurred because I genuinely wasn’t thinking about it for the first time in my life. People say that you will gain weight as a semi-truck driver and I’d just accepted that fact so, when the opposite occurred, I was genuinely surprised.

Now, there are some lifestyle changes that I have found improve my health and, assuming I can stick with them long term, slowly reduce my excess weight, but it’s possible that these methods work because I’m tricking my brain. But, as I work to recover from giving birth and the preeclampsia that preceded the birth, I’m reminded that weight loss should always be the secondary concern. Focus on mitigating, or improving, the overall health of your body for your own sake and then worry about weight loss second.

More fruits, more veggies

A simple change that I’ve made recently, in response to advice about lowering blood pressure, is to consume 4 servings of fruit per day and 6 servings of vegetables. I’ve always known that eating fruits and vegetables is important, but I’d never really worried about it until now. And while I haven’t noticed much difference yet, mentally speaking I do feel more in control and settled than before.

Keto eating is also a big help for me when I can get myself to take the time to put so much effort into making food. As a gluten-intolerant, avoiding wheat is the biggest factor, but when I eat a low-carb diet I notice a difference in my waistline over time.

A new daily practice

But the number one suggestion I have for you is to meditate. Prime you brain to help you create your ideal life and body. As you build your meditative practice, you’ll start to notice subtle changes in your behavior as time goes on.

There are millions of diet plans out there for us heavy people to play with, but no one can give you better advice about what your body needs than your actual body. Through meditation, you will start to recognize the specific desires of your body, the specific needs it has, and you will start to unconsciously accommodate them. And as you listen to your body, it will start to respond better to you and, quite possibly, start to shape itself to match your ideal.

A shift in how I view my body

In some ways, I view my body as I would a pet. It’s a gift that I received at birth and now need to care for. It has rules that I don’t really understand, but when I take the time to listen and understand its needs, it does more of what I want.

By looking at my body in this way, I find that I treat it with more respect and appreciation than I did when I saw it as some kind of physical shell I was stuck with. And while I may not be at my ideal weight yet, my body does serve me quite well and maintains a high level of health that I doubt I could have achieved otherwise.

So, while I can’t tell you why some bodies hold onto weight while others don’t, I can tell you that appreciation for your body and a shift in mindset toward health, both physical and mental, is the way to go.  Look for things that you like about your body, meditate, and shift your focus to wellness and I’m sure you will find your way either to acceptance or the body of your dreams.

Best of luck,

          ~ Lexis

Lexis is Alexis Rae Baker, who writes from her home in Olympia.  What would you like to ask her to comment about?  Write to her at 


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