If you’ve ever thought, “I’ll be happy and confident when I’m at my ideal weight,” then you may need to hear this:
Safety, happiness and self-worth often set the stage for weight loss — not the other way around.
I’m not saying this is true for everyone.
But after a decade of this work, I’ve observed some trends.
A common one that baffles people: they’re eating clean whole foods, working out (often too little and too much, respectively), even taking supplements, and feel completely frustrated that they still can’t lose weight.
Then they go on vacation — and despite eating more freely, and perhaps exercising less, they often end up coming home feeling lighter.
Of course there could be several different reasons for this — if the trip was overseas, the quality of the food may be better. Perhaps there’s something in the air/water at home that’s creating toxicity that your body finally got a break from. But so often, it’s that person’s nervous system is finally being able to relax and feel safe, and that has an almost magical, transformative effect on the metabolism.
I see so many people, especially women, driving themselves crazy trying to figure out what they’re missing or doing wrong when they want to lose weight and it won’t budge. These are often the missing pieces to the puzzle:
People often, knowingly or unknowingly, use food to distract them from feeling their feelings. Especially at night, after a day of work, a day of soaking up adrenaline and cortisol because #modernlife, once you’re home and able to relax, your brain is going to look for the easiest way to soothe itself. We learn so early on that food is that thing.
There’s a fascinating theory called the Cell Danger Response, in which our mitochondria — the parts of our cells that not only control energy production but also how well every organ, gland, muscle etc. in our body functions, including the thyroid and metabolism — can basically shut down if they sense a threat — including physical toxins like infections, mold, parasites etc., but also emotional stress (“fight-or-flight”). So imagine the impact that simply getting out of fight-or-flight, and into the rest-and-relax (parasympathetic) state has on every system in your body.
But it's about more than just about taking vacations — if there is something causing constant emotional stress, whether it’s obvious and current (work, family, relationships) or from the past (the environment you were raised in, unresolved traumas, grudges, past hurts), conscious or subconscious — addressing and resolving these, so you’re no longer carrying them around or feeling under siege, and having tools to deal with new stresses that arise, can literally help your body transform and heal.
Flow state — Finding something you love to do and could do for hours (ideally not on a screen) — reading, painting, writing, coloring, knitting, dancing — is truly better for your health than any food or supplement out there. Studies have shown that flow experiences create positive emotions in the short term, and those who experienced more flow over the long term were happier overall. I can’t stress this enough: find that thing you love to do, even if you don’t think you’re good at it. If you don’t know what it is, what did you like to do as a child? Getting out in nature more is a great default if you’re still exploring this area.
When you spend more time doing things you enjoy, it’s not just that you’re distracting yourself from emotional eating — you’re literally nourishing yourself — your soul — in a way that food just can’t.
Energetically and literally, the body holds onto weight as a protective mechanism — fat cells are cold storage for toxins, and I believe those toxins can be physical, emotional, and energetic.
Have you ever wondered or worried whether you’re good enough? Smart enough, successful enough, you name it — I’d say most of us have. Think back to where that might have come from — parents? Siblings? Teachers? Friends? Partners? Ex-partners? If hurtful words about your value as a person are still with you, there is gold to be mined in going in and creating feelings of safety and self-love around those memories.
That’s why the classic EFT Tapping phrase ends in “…I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” It re-builds self-worth. It’s self-worth rehab. Emotion and Body Code, and other techniques like reiki, hypnosis and so many others can go in and help to heal old or subconscious wounds to the spirit. Addressing this aspect is absolutely critical to health.
A few closing thoughts
Weight is complex, and I’m not intending to oversimplify it. Of course food, exercise, sleep, internal and environmental toxins and much more play a role. And it should be said that weight changes are natural as we move through different seasons of life. And societal weight expectations are bogus. But you know your body — and if you’re finding that you’re running up against a wall in your overall health, including a struggle to lose weight, you might try exploring some of the above concepts. It’s also what I focus on in my practice, and I’d love to help you in that process.
Schedule a free discovery call so we can discuss your goals and a plan to reach them.