If Your Weight Could Talk…By: Louisa Latela, MSW, LCSW
It is my belief that we are all wonderful magnificent bundles of energetic love. That is our true or authentic essence. We know this when we are born, but somewhere along the way we disconnect from our authentic self; and in the process we learn to speak the language of harsh self judgment and negativity. One of the ways to tell if you are “disconnected’ is that you approach the task of losing weight from a place grounded in hatred and contempt for your overweight body and perceived lack of willpower. Your self talk may sound something like this: “I hate my body, I can’t wait to lose weight, I can’t go to that party looking like this, I can’t believe I ate that, I am so mad at myself, I know better, I should do better”.
If that sounds like you, and you would like to re-connect with your authentic self, I suggest that you take a different approach to losing weight. Honor the role that compulsive eating and excess weight have played in your life. Be kind and gentle with you. If what you want more than anything is to have a slender healthy body and you do something to sabotage that, that ‘s the time you need an emotional HUG, not a beating.
Know this: whenever anyone is acting in a way does not honor their highest good they are disconnected from their truth. They are just trying to feel better.
Overeating is often an attempt to self nurture. I suggest that you try releasing your excess weight and the behavior of compulsive eating from a place grounded in the energy of Self Love and Compassion, not self degradation and frustration.
Many people describe food as their best friend; something they can count on that is unconditional and consistent. They use the behavior of compulsive eating to soothe a broken heart, calm an anxious mind, let go of a crazy day at the office, lift their spirits, reward themselves, or connect with family and friends. I’ve even had people tell me they don’t know if they’d be alive if they didn’t have food to turn to in particularly dark times for if they didn’t have food to numb their feelings they fear they would have turned to alcohol, drugs, or even suicide.
Can you relate to any of these concepts? If so can you see that you were/are using food to try to feel better, not because you are a bad or weak person?
In terms of excess weight, people have told me it made them feel grounded and strong. It was their identity. Others have said that it has protected them from the anxiety associated with dating and intimacy. I’ve had people tell me their weight gave them an excuse to not really “go for it” in their lives. If they didn’t get the job they wanted or didn’t have a date, they blamed it on their weight.
Below is an excerpt from my e-workbook “Live Your Highest Good Make Peace With Your Body and Food” that may lead you to greater insights as to why you carry with you excess weight.
So think about this: What role has your excess weight played in your life? If your weight could talk, what would it say?
As you answer the following questions be aware of any significant or uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, impulses or sensations in your body. Notice if you are able to stay focused or if your attention wanders.
1.Close your eyes and picture the people who raised you standing in front of you. Imagine that you are at your heaviest weight. If your weight could talk, what would it say to them?
2.What would your heaviest weight say to your siblings or other relatives?
3.What would your heaviest weight say to any other significant people from your past?
4.What would your heaviest weight say to significant people in your life today (partner, spouse, coworkers, friends.). Take some time and really think about this.
Your Healthy Weight Voice
Now imagine yourself at your ideal healthy weight. And imagine those same people standing before you. How do you feel now being with them without your excess weight? Do you feel strong and empowered, or do you feel somewhat scared and vulnerable?
What would your healthy weight voice say to: The people who raised you? Your siblings or other relatives? Other significant people from your past? Significant people in your life today?
What have you learned through this exercise about the role excess weight has played in your life? Who would you be without your weight?
Try this exercise the next time you take a shower:
As you wash each part of your body bless it and send it love. Speak to your body as if you were speaking to a child or friend whom you love unconditionally.
Thank your body for being there for you. Remember that no matter how much you stuffed it, starved it, exercised it or not, it keeps getting up and showing up for you every day.
Bless and love your head, your eyes, your ears, your nose, your mouth, your chin, your neck, your shoulders, your arms, and your hands. Bless and love your back, your chest, your abdomen, your hips, your genitals, your thighs, your calves, your ankles and your feet.
If you have excess fat on your body love it and bless it. Thank it for having been there for you. Know that you created it to serve as a protective shield for you to keep you centered, grounded, and safe.
Now visualize yourself standing before a gateway on a beautiful hill or on the crest of a wave. Your entire life lies behind you and below you. See that every experience of your past is tied to you by silver and golden threads. Pause and review these experiences… all the joys and all the sorrows… all the adventures it took to bring you to this point… remember all your struggles with your body and your weight. Observe it all, bless it all, thank it all…especially the struggles.
Now untie the threads attaching you to the past, and with all the love you can muster, let your excess weight know that it is safe for it to go now.
Tell it that you are releasing it with love and gratitude, and you are now ready to learn new ways to love and nurture yourself. Release it all and bless it all.
In releasing your attachment to the past, you claim your power in the present.
WOW!!! How did that feel???? Take time to write any reflections, thoughts or feelings that surfaced while doing the shower exercise.
You may even want to write a love letter to your body!!
Have a beautiful day!
Live in Love,