If you’ve ever experienced abuse, neglect or trauma you developed an unconscious belief that you weren’t safe in your body and the world was a dangerous place. Your body rushed to your defense and did what it could to protect you from being vulnerable. If you’re like many abuse survivors, there’s a good chance that you have been carrying around excess weight.
Think about where your fat is on your body. Is it on your face, neck, across your arms, back, chest, legs, or evenly distributed making you heavier all over? Is it concentrated in one area, maybe on your thighs making you a pear shape? Or does it manifest in your stomach and abdomen area where the rolls of fat cover your genitals? Where is your excess weight?
Where do you carry your armor? Yes. Let’s think for a moment of your extra fat as being like a suit of armor. In her bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life™, beloved author and speaker Louise Hay explains there are really just two mental patterns that create disease in our body; anger and fear.
The armor of extra weight you’ve been building up in your body has been an unconscious effort of yours to deal with your anger and your fears.
According to Hay, where you carry your weight speaks volumes about the type of emotional pain you’re holding in your heart. She goes on to describe a variety of correlations between body parts and illnesses that in turn correspond to various emotional blocks within the body. She calls these probable causes, and offers new thought patterns to release the blocks.
Your Body Gives You All The Answers You Need
The heart, as part of your body, is electromagnetically charged and carries impulses to your brain and throughout your body. It communicates and offers vast stores of information that often go unnoticed or disregarded.
According to the science and technology known as, “Heart Math, you can reduce your levels of stress and anxiety by learning how to tap into your intuition.
Our bodies know what is best for us. Whenever something feels right or is true for you, you feel it first in your heart. Some people call this intuition or inner guidance. To my way of thinking, it’s all a way of accessing your soul’s higher intelligence. God, Buddha, Higher Power—no matter what you call it, it’s yours, and when you quiet the mental chatter in your thoughts, you can tap into that internal communication and wisdom anytime.
Try It! Finding Your Truth
Place a hand over your heart and slowly read aloud the following quote by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D. Repeat it several times.
“Every extra pound I carry on my body equals a pound of emotional pain I’m carrying in my heart.”
Keeping your hand on your heart, take some time to think about the words and what they mean to you. Notice what images or memories come to mind. What words or thoughts do you hear when you think aobut it? What feelings arise when you read those words? Now, with that new information, keep your hand over your heart and ask yourself, “Does this feel true to me?”
Now I want you to think about this. What has your body armor been protecting you from? If Dr. Virtue’s statement felt true for you, what would the emotional pain be that you carry on your body and in your heart?
If your body could talk, what would it say? If your thighs could ask for something, what would it be? What would your arms want to tell you? What message does your stomach have to share? Sounds stupid, I know, but your body has been trying to tell you something every time you ate when you knew you weren’t hungry. Isn’t it time that you listened?
Forgive yourself whenever you overeat and…
To begin the process of melting away your excess weight, you must recognize that your emotional eating is your body’s way of reacting to feeling threatened and unsafe. In order to reverse that powerful stress reaction, you need to nurture yourself and create feelings of safety and peace in your life. Whenever you overeat, be kind and compassionate with yourself. If you have a tendency to be critical and speak to yourself with hurtful words, be curious and kind as you question yourself each time you overeat. By taking a gentle non-judgmental approach, you will learn more about the situations and people that make you feel anxious and overwhelmed.
And there’s a little bit more to it. You also have to develop habits around nurturing yourself in other ways besides food. Some examples I teach my clients and use myself are getting comfortable with being more self-expressive. Asking for what you want, and making requests of others to support you goes a long way to taking some of the daily burdens off of your back. I also swear by my practice of daily meditation. It calms me down in minutes and restores my ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique is another go-to stress-relief method that I use daily and teach others.
It’s undeniable that change is the biggest constant in all of our lives. You do yourself a great kindness by taking time out of every day and doing whatever you can to learn how to be more resilient. By taking back your power and building a firm foundation of confidence you’ll be able to stand and face the hurricanes in your life and bounce back each time you fall. You may have been convinced that losing weight gives you confidence. While that may be true for the short term, the real formula for gaining confidence is pushing out of your comfort zone and doing things that you did not believe you could do. You will gain self-confidence with every small action you take. One of the most important things to do as a kindness to yourself is to let go of the pain from your past. As long as you are not in imminent danger, you can remind yourself that you are safe now and you can start to peel away those many layers of excess weight that has worked for you by giving you a sense of safety when you felt vulnerable.
Forgiveness is the greatest gift that you can ever give yourself. I urge you to practice this each and every time you overeat in order to create a new empowering habit of self-love and gentleness.
If you’re tired of feeling shameful about your binging, desperate and hating your body, I can help you develop new habits of self-nurturing and kindness. I invite you to join my free coaching group, “30 Days to Lovin’ the Skin You’re In”.