Our minds are a lot stronger than our bodies. The mind needs to feel safe, and to do that it will force the body into doing things it doesn’t want to. No matter how much we hate the weight we have, while our mind views it as having a positive effect on our lives, it will cause us to take action that keeps it there. It does this through thoughts that create emotions, which then cause the action of eating to remove that emotion. To be able to let go of the weight we must show the mind that it is no longer needed. This will become clearer as I take you through the four reasons we hang onto weight.
This weight presents itself as restlessness, even excited, ready to be used as soon as you find out what you are supposed to do with it. Storing energy like this is an indication of not living the life you want to live, or that you are meant to live. It could be that your job is wrong, or the place you live, the relationship you are in or all of the above. You could be forcing yourself to live in the wrong personality, sexuality, or religion, all stopping you being your true, happy self. Weight keeps all that energy buried deep. We can easily use food and weight to bury dreams, desires and needs. We might feel our true desires are embarrassing, would let other people down, would cause trouble, would hurt or disappoint. Weight like this can only ever leave for good when we start living like our true self.
The weight of memories, past pain, regret and guilt can literally drag us down, like carrying round heavy bags in both hands. Weight like this is there to keep us still, to anchor us to the same place and memories, in order to stop us from moving forward. Thoughts become heavy and constant, all connecting to the past, raising old pain, and reviving the bad times instead of the good. Reliving people, places, events that we can’t reconcile or let go of. The weight is there as a reminder, dragging us back each time. We keep the memories because we use them, we believe they serve as a warning not to make the mistake again, as a reminder of who we are, as a reminder of how others made us feel. We keep these memories because we fear the future will be like the past, so we must keep hold of all we have learnt so we know what to do when we get there. This weight will never disappear until we let go of those memories and decide to let the future be different.
Imagine one hundred tiny pillows tied to your body, covering every inch of skin with a soft, thick layer making you feel safe and protected. That’s what protection weight is, a barrier to everything and everyone that has or might hurt us. It makes a cosy, thick wall between ourselves and the world, keeping us hidden and protected from any pain. Pain from your past, physical, emotional or mental, can create a permanent fear and expectation that it will happen again. Without the confidence or faith in your own strength, we give up the fight, we expect the worst and we try to protect ourselves the best way we can. This weight can be protection from something physical like abuse or something in our mind like fear of change or of loss. Until the fear of the world and the future is removed and change finally welcomed in, the weight will remain a barrier.
Bubbles are a bit like protection with one big difference; there is no emotion. This weight never moves, even with dieting, it just sticks there, never changing, like a fixed point. There is no strong emotion felt about anything, no hatred or joy, just a numbness that turns living into existing. People who live in a bubble are fearful of any change. They have no real desires anymore, nothing that makes them jump out of bed, not even food. There is often a build-up of traumas that cause a bubble, a series of events that disrupt and change life dramatically. The mind and body shut down, they say ‘no more’ and both are locked away, safe from anything else that may happen. This state of freeze can only lift when the person is ready to live again, when they can find something to strive for and bring some emotion back into their lives.
Your body is the physical manifestation of your state of mind. It makes visible all your thoughts and emotions. When our mind is unhappy we walk slouched and slow, when we feel excited we speed up and walk tall. Our body responds to our mind and our mind responds to our life, in particular, how we feel about it. Weight is not the cause of your unhappiness, it is a symptom of how you have learned to deal with it. Listen to what your body telling you, it has all the answers.
Extract from “Still Overweight? The 6-week course that changes your weight and relationship to food forever”.