When you feel that you are lacking something, whether it is money, love, attention or whatever, it’s easy for food to become your substitution.
It’s very common for things to have happened in our childhoods that play a role our eating habits. How many of us had “Eat up, there are children starving in the world!” said to us? You felt guilty if you ate your food, and guilty if you didn’t! It’s only when we let go of the guilt, fear, or hurt, that we felt as children or young adults, that we can start eating with a healthy, self-preserving attitude and drop the pounds.
So much of what lies behind our problems with weight take place on the subconscious level. Working with a professional to go deeper and really dig up “what’s eating you,” will reveal the information you need to move forward. I’ve worked with people in my psychotherapy practice who suffered great trauma as children and translated it to a weight issue. Sometimes people have used extra pounds gained to test people in their lives, to keep themselves from intimacy, run away from painful memories, or to act out self-destructive tendencies.
Your subconscious is so powerful, and because it is hidden, you tend to neglect the influence it can exercise over you. When you start to unravel the subconscious, remarkable, life-shifting wisdom is revealed. Working with a therapist, or joining a group of people with the same goals, acts as a mirror or a sounding board that you can bounce your thoughts, experiences and beliefs off of. Your perspective – guided by the subconscious – is not always tied to the truth. With the help of people who can give you feedback, you can hear and process information objectively. A clear, new dynamic between weight and consciousness is created in your mind that allows you to transform your life.
When an event happens in your life that has some uncertainty or discomfort around it, you may tend to tag that event as negative. As soon as you do so, that’s exactly what it becomes. The best approach is to say “hang on, the reason why this is happening in my life is because I’m not giving attention to something that needs my consideration and care.” If you want to lose weight, gain weight, stop smoking or change any pattern, the first step is to practice taking the negative voice out of your thought process. Those defeating messages may be extremely ingrained in your subconscious, yet there is no reason you cannot start chipping away at them.
Are you relinquishing your own power over your life to your subconscious? Are you using food to conceal the issues that you struggle with? Though it may be a difficult concept to accept and to put into practice, you are your own creator. You are producing your own reality, by how you think. No matter what we have endured or suffered in the past, the effects of which lie in our subconscious, we all begin each day with a clean slate of possibility. Your life’s story and circumstances might lead you to feel defeated and unlucky. Well, the time to use words like “luck” is over. Change takes hard work and the harder you work, the luckier you get. Believing in sheer chance, and using it to make excuses, is disempowering. Every conscious thought you are having now is creating your next thought.
All the past actions that you ever experienced, even some that you have no awareness of, reside in the subconscious. You can call it Karma, or whatever feels appropriate to you. Those subconscious thoughts and feelings can burden and paralyze you. You must balance the books on them, so to speak, and sort out their meaning. Self-awareness is a journey, and you have the authority over your mind to be the person who can heal themselves, with help and support, but ultimately, by your own power. Your critical mind will always keep trying to stand in your way. If you consciously know what causes you to do something it vanishes. Once you have become conscious of the root cause of a behavior, it has to disappear.
During my time hosting the radio show ‘The Way‘ on VoiceAmerica, here are some ideas I offered to listeners to combat the patterns of weight gain and the inability to let that weight go:
• Set goals
• Make realistic plan
• Take action (goals and plans are not enough!)
• Keep in mind that eating food can be like eating emotions – Be mindful of how you are feeling when you eat.
• Change the way you eat – Break habits and patterns and replace with new associations.
Weight: What’s Eating You?
Part of the Get A Grip Series
Gain insights on the real issues behind excess weight, and the emotional relationships to food.