[5/9/22] Mind-Body Monday: The Mental, Emotional, and Energetic Components of Being Over a Healthy Weight Part 1
When I thought about what to talk about today I decided to speak on something that several women recently asked me about during their personal breakthrough sessions following my recent Mind-Body Transformation Masterclass.
This was their struggle with being over their healthiest weight.
Now, I want to make it clear that I am not a nutritionist, and I am not here to tell you what diet will work best for you, and I have not been able to easily find the diet that works best for me. I have vacillated between 100-200lbs over the past 40 years. But I can tell you, that understanding your body type can be a huge help, and if you haven’t spoken to a dietician or nutritionist, you really should look into it, as well as making sure there is no medical condition that is working against you.
I am also not a hormone therapist, but I can tell you that getting your hormones balanced if you are over the age of 40, whether you are male or female can really help, as an excess or insufficiency in hormonal balance can keep you from being successful despite other things that you are doing.
While I am not going to talk about the physical issues of being over one’s healthiest weight, I am going to talk about the mental, emotional, and energetic components of this. Which, I think I am well-versed on. In my 22 years of practice in mind-body medicine, I have worked on a lot of people, to help them uncover and overcome the unconscious motivations behind many experiences that make them unhappy and feel in pain. Being overweight can feel no different than other forms of mental, emotional, and physical dis-eases of the mind and body.
In my own personal experience, I have been “on a diet” or weight-conscious for most of my life. By the age of 14 I was anorexic, and since I recovered from that (which is a different talk), I went the opposite way and started gaining weight. I have fluctuated between fasting, calorie counting, powdered foods, powdered shakes, being vegan, vegetarian, doing cleanses, and diets like Keto, Paleo, SCD, Atkins, South beach etc.. I have also used intense cardio, dancing, 7 day a week weight training, and more… You name it, and at some point, I have probably tried it.
What I am going to talk about today, is what I have found to be the mental, emotional, and energetic
connections to struggling with losing excess weight. Many of these examples will be focused more on women, because well, I am a woman, and I have worked mostly with women, but many of these examples
apply to men,
as well people who do not relate to a specific gender expectation or expression.
I know weight can be a trigger subject for many, so if delving into the mind-body connection around this feels threatening to you in any way, please feel free to ask any questions you may have, or simply leave the Live at any time, and join me for a different topic. I love you.
So, let’s begin. The most common questions I have received over the years are:
1. Why do I carry extra weight.
2. Why can’t I seem to lose weight.
3. Why do I put weight back on?
I am going to separate this into the mental and emotional underlying issues and the energetic imbalances, which depending on time and comments from you all, might take more than one live.
My hope for today is that I might give you some aha moments, that will help you look deeper into some unconscious motivations that are keeping you heavier than you want to be. If you would like help you can always book a free session with me as my gift to you. If it feels like a good fit to work together more, then I would be delighted to assist you.
So, In my experience, these are some of the most common mental and emotional reasons that people (especially women) carry extra weight:
1.A desire to keep others away from them in some way…
2.Take up more physical space in the world…
3.Be defined by other than their sexualized bodies…
Let me explain how this shows up.
Sometimes it is a trauma response from physical or sexual abuse.
In the case of physical abuse, a person puts on weight unconsciously in order to “be bigger”, be less likely to be a push over, seem larger or more threatening, be harder to hit, be able to take a harder hit without breaking. Fight back easier when threatened. Or simply seem to better able to “stand their ground”, and “push their weight around” and this is a mental/emotional response.
In the case of sexual abuse or childhood over sexualizing, weight acts like a deterrent, both in the previous examples, and because society has led us to believe that a heavier person is a less sexualized person. We feel that it will limit or lessen the amount of unwanted attention we might get that make us feel uncomfortable, and that we don’t know how to say no to - in a way that will be listened to or respected, so we let our bodies say it for us.
When we look at models and actors on movies, tv or advertisements that are overtly sexualized, they are generally, thin even if they have enlarged chests/breasts and/or buttocks. And of course the porn industry or strippers, escorts etc., also most commonly employ men and women that have very little body fat, especially around the abdomen.
Women, especially those with large breasts or other sexualized visual stimuli, who are in jobs or positions in life where they do not want to be seen as “just a woman” or have sexual jokes made about them and their bodies, also put on weight because based on the societal expectations I just described, it makes them feel more “weighty” in terms of the positions they hold, and they are less likely to be accused of sleeping their way to the top, or “using” their sexuality to get the position.
Young women who struggle with social anxiety can also gain weight because they don’t want to be seen as competition by other women for their husbands, or boyfriends, and being heavier makes them seem “safer” to them. They are less of threat, more likely to be a good friend, the co-star in someone else’s leading role romance.
People also put on weight when they are comfortable in a relationship because they want to show society that they are “off the market,” and thus feel like they don’t have to tell other people that they are not interested, or taken, or already in a relationship. Especially if they struggle with setting boundaries or with people pleasing. They hope that weighing more will speak for them visually.
Women who have children often keep the weight they gained, or put on further weight, because it helps people see them as a mother, not as “just a woman.” It also redirects the energy in their lives from procreation to caretaking. It is a way of visually telling their spouses, Hey I am focusing on being a warm squishy lap, a full bosom, and a safe place to snuggle. My energy is not on making more babies right now.
People also put on weight in a relationship for other reasons, Like unhappiness. It is a way to unconsciously say, I don’t want you to touch me. It can be a way they push their partner away if they feel disappointed, let down, or hurt. Perhaps they can’t find the words, so they use their bodies as the messenger.
So, the mental and emotional triggers for being “over-weight” most commonly relate to a desire to seem larger in the world, a desire to push others away, and/or a desire to transcend their sexualized appearance and be seen for the value their personhood brings.