What does being overweight represent? Or one’s inability to keep the perfect waistline or figure? For many it has become an obsession to stay in shape, but obesity is on the rise, and many things are to blame, from bad diets, fast foods, cravings, lack of self-control, and many other reasons. What are your reasons?
We can blame the frantic pace of life and not enough time to prepare a proper meal, but beyond all that, excess weight serves as a perfect strategy for a person to protect oneself. Biologically our bodies were designed to store any extra food as fat, in order for our bodies to have a reserve when we could not find food to eat. Now many of us live in a society where food is abundant and there is not a lack of food, but rather excess. So why do most diets fail, and even exercising all the time, not keep the weight off?
This is where each individual’s body has different reasons for holding onto excess weight. One reason is weight insulates us from any uncomfortable energies, emotions, or situations that we have to face on a day-to-day basis. It could be an uncomfortable work situation, a difficult relationship or family relations, and just being unhappy with our life’s circumstances. What I have seen over the past 15 years is that most people who tend to hold their weight are usually very sensitive and overly caring, many to their own detriment. Hence they use the weight as a way to protect and insulate themselves from all the emotional experiences they have encountered.
Many will cite that they lack self-control, give into the cravings, and eat their comfort foods. How many times have we been stressed and started to eat a bag of chips and in 10 minutes, voila, the bag is empty? Or the chips could be in the form of chocolates as most chocoholics can attest to. Many times we use comfort foods as a way to satisfy a part of ourselves that we feel is empty, but after we consume our comfort foods, why do we end up beating ourselves more than celebrating? I have discovered if you crave your comfort foods, to enjoy it as much as possible, and do your best to refrain from mentally berating yourself for having no control. By not judging your desire to eat comfort foods, you free yourself from guilt and can keep your mental state more balanced. One day, after starting to eat your comfort foods, you will find that is not what you really wanted and will stop.
Here’s where the example of Constance comes to mind. Constance discovered upon many years of trying different diets and cleanses, that the damn weight never stayed off and would exponentially compound over time. She viewed herself as being lazy, having an inferiority complex, and lacking self-discipline. However, as we worked together, Constance learned to trust herself and as she began to gain greater clarity of her life and what she truly “wanted,” one day she had an epiphany. It began when her husband was constantly calling her names and putting her down for being fat. Constance learned to value herself, and understood what her values were. When her husband asked point blank, “How do you see yourself?” Constance felt something shift inside her being and stated, “I am the most beautiful woman and have the biggest heart of anyone I know. I don’t deserve to get all this s#%t from you. I cannot change what you think of me and if you cannot see that, then you don’t know me, and I want to know why we are together.”
Constance shared further that self-acceptance is key when she looks in the mirror now. She has learned to know that inside, it’s still her. It’s up to her husband to see that. Constance had lost 35 pounds a long time ago, due to the urgings of her husband after the birth of their second child. Upon which other people, especially men began to notice her. Constance felt physically beautiful at the time and was flattered by all the extra attention. But the moment she did, her husband became extremely jealous and possessive. Since family and security was highest on Constance’s values, there was no way she would entertain any of the male suitors. However, once she began to put back on the weight, people stopped paying attention and her husband calmed down. Realizing this, Constance saw that keeping the weight wasn’t due to her being insecure, it was a strategy to keep her marriage, family, and security intact. Now Constance knows it is her choice to change this strategy if she wants and doesn’t need the weight to keep her husband or family intact.
By reflecting and taking a look at how your extra weight is currently serving you, like Constance, you can discover the reason your body has created this strategy of keeping the extra curves. Begin by asking yourself,“ How do my love handles benefit me?” Is it the story I tell others, or more importantly, what do I get from being on the “heavy” side? Once you discover your answer, that’s the first step towards you shifting your weight from the plus to a more balanced state of being.