Many people put on weight as a kind of defense mechanism. It isn’t just the comfort of eating to escape and ease emotional pain. The barrier of an unattractive body and bloated face can ward off unwanted attention. A classic example is someone that has been assaulted or abused physically. I have read about examples of people who have escaped an abusive relationship and put on weight. The same thing can happen in childhood.
The phenomena aren’t just related to women, or to physical abuse. If you have been told as a child that you are ugly or stupid, you will start to believe it to some extent.
Your outer body will start to display your inner belief
Apart from weight gain, a person that has been tremendously hurt and hasn’t been able to resolve the feelings can also ‘let themselves go’. Besides weight gain, other addictions such as cigarette, alcohol or drug abuse will cause physical and personality issues that push people away. Lack of personal grooming or deliberately ugly choices of clothes are other manifestations.
I am not a Psychologist, but I think these types of issues are extremely common. After all who HASN’T been hurt? By a partner, friend or family member? Who hasn’t been hurt many times?
Whether the answer lies in psychology, spirituality or just by the realization of reality is not for me to say. One thing is for sure, if you have subconsciously made yourself fat to repel people and to avoid being hurt again, then all your weight loss efforts will fail.
If your conscious mind wants to succeed on a weight loss plan but your subconscious mind isn’t ready to love again and thinks that it is safer to be fat…Then your diet efforts will be like driving a car with the hand brake on!
This post may not be relevant to you. I still encourage you to finish it and spend a little time on introspection. It is possible that it is at least a little bit relevant to you.
As much as we are all unique and individual, we are also very similar in the way that our bodies and minds work. We have all felt rejection or hurt many times in our life. It will be hard to determine how much an effect this has had on our weight. Any hurt has been also clouded by denial, soothing words from others or an internal resolve to carry on without fixing the problem.
These kinds of problems aren’t necessarily solved easily. Sometimes they are. Just the cold light of reality on an old issue can see it melt away. Just a level of understanding of the issue can bring it into the open and the process of recovery can start.
Losing weight, buying new clothes and taking more care in personal grooming could be the cure!
Having a low self-esteem, then not taking care of your health and diet causes a lower self-esteem. It is circular, a self-fulfilling rut that gets deeper unless you realize that you are in it!
This is the kind of reason why you are fat. It is not the calories or the last diet that didn’t work. It is not the diet pills or exercise video. It is not because you can’t afford to go to a health farm on holiday.
The reasons for you being fat are all in the mind. The justifications, rationalizations, self-limiting beliefs, self-fulfilling prophecies, addictions, unresolved personal pain, gluttonous peer pressure groups…. These things are psychological. Unless you start to work through these mental reasons then you will not lose weight. (Unless you take other more drastic measures.)
The topic of personal pain may be a very minor part of the reason for your weight problem. It may be the main reason. Whether you had a child where you had to put up with abuses, or just had your heart broken as a teenager by someone … Explore the possibility that this is part of the problem.
Do you think that you use your weight as a defense mechanism? To push people away? Do you think it will be too painful to fall completely in love again? Are you happy not to get unwanted sexual attention from strangers? Do relationships feel easier if the question of intimacy and sex are excluded?
Maybe you are using your weight as a source of self-punishment, self-flagellation? Maybe your morbid obesity is a tool of self-destruction? You know what morbid means don’t you? Being morbidly obese can be a form of slow-motion suicide in a similar way to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes can be. Do you want to give up on life?
Some of these topics are difficult to think about or discuss. I am not a Psychologist or a Holy man. I am someone who understands.
Did this post move you in any way? Did you get upset or annoyed at all? No? Then CONGRATULATIONS!
Maybe this topic of residual emotional pain is NOT related to your weight. You can perhaps cross this off your list and focus on the other possibilities. I still advise you to complete this chapter, just to make sure. Also consider the possibility that residual emotional pain could be a factor in your weight but it might have been caused by other triggers such as professional or social insecurity.
Did you get upset at some point on this chapter? Maybe you felt a bit confused or sick? Did you stop reading and then come back to the page?
Maybe you stopped reading and went to get some junk food… CONGRATULATIONS!
You have uncovered part of a real problem. You have identified a better view of reality. You can’t fight an enemy that you can’t see. You can’t battle an enemy that doesn’t show itself. Facing a problem and framing it is the first step in overcoming it.
I am not experienced or qualified in the areas of psychology or counseling. From my own personal experience of these types of issues, identifying the real reason or problem is the hardest thing.
There is often more than one reason for a problem
Framing the problem is the hardest and most difficult step.
The next step for me is understanding. I spend time researching, reading books by different experts. Every problem that you have has been experienced by others, the same problems occur for people all over the world for thousands of years. Some of these people that have overcome the problems have written books. Some of these books are inspirational and energizing.
Whatever problem you have, you can gain support from some of the most exceptional people that ever lived! You just have to start searching.
“Seek and ye shall find.”
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
You probably don’t need expensive and never-ending therapy sessions with a person who doesn’t understand. You probably don’t need to take prescription medicine that will cause even more imbalances in your body and mind. You probably just need to make some effort to read books by people that have felt just as you have. People that have overcome the same problems. People that will be an inspiration and the spark of personal growth.
- Identify the problem.
- Understand the problem.
- Seek sources of knowledge.
- Shine the light of truth on your shadows.
Seems too easy? It probably will be very easy. These four steps contain the essence of how anyone has ever solved any problem! At any time in history.
So go ahead, think about this post and how it relates to you. I think that you have pushed people away or punished yourself enough… Don’t you?
No matter who or what is responsible, YOU are RESPONSE-ABLE
You can choose your response to what has happened.
If you have suffered for 1 week, 1 year or 1 decade, that is enough. You deserve move on, you can identify, understand, research and solve your problem. It is up to you.
P.S. If you have no idea where to start in your journey of reading and finding sources of knowledge there is a recommended reading list at the end of these posts on weight problem. These books will lead you to other books. You will find yourself “drawn” to the books you need. If you buy a book that seems like a mistake, put it on your shelf and you will probably find that it will be the perfect book for you at a later stage when exploring a different timely topic.