One of the things that really bugged me when I was overweight was the assumption that I was lazy. I wasn't lazy, I was OVERWHELMED. You look at that number on the scale, and it's like: now what??? Then you spend 10 hours looking up diet plans and exercise routines and thinking about grocery lists and recipes and restrictions and then you start getting panicky and then that OVERWHELM sets in and you reach for the chocolate chips because well, you did all this hard work today and I guess you can start tomorrow... and then tomorrow comes and it's so overwhelming the cycle starts all over again.
Orrrrr maybe that's just me?
Overweight is NOT a symptom of laziness. Yeah right. In my experience, overweight people tend to be WAY more proactive about their health than "naturally thin" people. They think about it more, stress about it more, worry about it more... that is not laziness. Not even close. They try more solutions for their problem than "natural skinnies" do. They work SO HARD for answers but when the answers don't come it is so easy to be overcome with despair.
The problem with assuming that overweight people are lazy is that this assumption overlooks a major aspect of biological reality: WE DO NOT CONSCIOUSLY CONTROL OUR APPETITES. Consciously, we just do not. It is as simple as that.
Do we consciously control how hungry we get? No. Do we consciously control what foods we crave? No. Just like we do not consciously control how much stomach acid is being used to digest our food and just like we do not consciously control what percentage of our caloric intake is converted into fat.
This is obvious because if we all could control those things with our conscious minds, we would choose not to get hungry very often, and when we were hungry we'd all crave kale or whatever health food of the day that would help us lose weight.
No one WANTS to crave crappy food. It's not like we all just wake up in the morning and think: "how can I fill up today on empty calories that will make me look and feel terrible?" Yeah right.
Our appetites and cravings are governed by the unconscious mind, the part of our brain that is in charge of the really difficult job of keeping our body functioning and SAFE. Safety is a huge, huge goal of the unconscious mind... really THE most important goal.
So one real question we need to be asking is:
- Why does my unconscious mind feel like I will be safer if I eat high quantities of low-quality food? Why does my unconscious mind feel I am safer if I am fat?
The biological answer is that on a cellular level, stress is stress. In the olden days, the primary stressors were things like predators and famine--things that required fat stores to get you through. In the modern day, our primary stressors are things like feeling judged; unresolved abuse from childhood or general life; money stress; toxic relationships; etc. But our body doesn't have a thing in there for you to explain--
"Hey body, I'm not stressed from an impending Ice Age, I'm stressed from my toxic relationship with my father/my job that I hate/feeling like a failure every day."
There's just not a checkbox for that. Instead, the body just realizes: hey, Sally's in a state of stress--guess that means she needs more fat to keep her safe! Stress is stress, right?
Fat keeps us safe in lots of ways. It is a storage we can use to nourish ourselves in times of famine (are you going through famine--perhaps an emotional famine? An emotional famine of happiness and feelings of purpose and accomplishment?).
It provides a physical barrier against external threats: it can be easy for someone to attack a 110-lb adult, but make that same woman 300 lbs and the chances of an assault are probably less likely. Are there toxic people or unresolved traumatic situations that might lead your body to believe that bigger is better or safer when it comes to weight?
It provides insulation to the internal organs in the case of cold--are there major sources of physical or emotional cold in your life? Do you feel unloved? Might your body interpret that stress as a need to insulate your physical heart and other organs? Do you need to insulate yourself from others around you?
On top of it all, fat is a toxic sinkhole: when we inject ourselves with heavy metals and obesigenic chemicals like MSG, an ingredient in many commercial injections, often these things get stored in our fat in order to protect our internal organs. But many people agree to commercial injections with ingredients they don't even realize trigger obesity, out of fear. What are you afraid of? Are you living your life from a place of fear and an unconscious craving to be protected from everything?
Fat is a PROTECTOR. So why does your subconscious mind feel like you need to be protected? What are your unresolved traumas and fears?
Addressing THESE issues at the unconscious root is what allows for easy, effortless, sustainable weight release. Why? Because this approach goes straight to the SOURCE of our cravings and appetites: the unconscious mind.
As soon as the unconscious mind feels it is safer to be thin than it is to be fat, weight drops off. It does not require fighting your body on what to eat or when to exercise. Your body naturally shifts cravings and hunger cycles. Some people find themselves naturally wanting to move more. Once I figured this all out, and resolved my own unconscious reasons for holding onto excess fat, I dropped 50+ pounds with no diet and no exercise.
Pregnancy is obviously a potent trigger for accumulation of fat--but these days I'm 19 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby and currently weighing 134 lbs (at 5'4). I've gained about 9 lbs so far--on the low end of currently recommended weight gain for this stage of pregnancy, but absolutely within the safe range. And it feels AWESOME to be almost halfway through and not feel like I will need to worry about "getting my body back" after having my baby. It's not from morning sickness or avoiding delicious foods--I had bacon pasta for dinner two nights ago, garlic bread last night, and this morning I'll admit I just had a bunch of chocolate mint M&Ms left over from Christmas. Yum. But when your body feels it is safest to be thin, when you eat foods that otherwise might trigger obesity, your body is just not motivated to turn those calories into fat.
In other words: It is all about getting your UNCONSCIOUS mind on board with your conscious mind when it comes to weight loss.
As soon as you do that, everything changes.
Being overweight is NOT about laziness. No, no, no way. And if you've ever felt like people have judged you that way--I so seriously understand. There is totally a way out of the cycle.