Our last article in the emotional root cause series is on a much asked about topic: weight loss resistance.
If you are overweight and have consistently struggled to lose weight even if you’re doing everything “right,” it might be time to look at the emotional root causes of a difficulty losing weight.
Overall, the emotional root cause of being overweight and struggling to lose weight has to do with a sense of trying to protect oneself. The area of the body where weight is being held is the specific area where you might feel weak or insecure.
The reason the body packs on fat is to insulate yourself from a threat. That threat could be from from any of the 4 sources we dive into below: feelings of abandonment, isolation, refugee, or existence.
Overweight ties to feelings of abandonment. In the wild, for a baby animal abandonment equals death because the baby will no longer receive nourishment from its mother. This is why the body goes into fat storage mode to preserve itself as long as possible.
For example, a child could experience feelings of abandonment when given up for adoption, when a parent leaves the home, or a feeling of not fitting in at school, etc. The younger the child, the less understanding there is of what is happening and why it is happening. In an adult, the sudden loss of a loved one, divorce, or when an elderly person is left in a nursing home, could cause feelings of abandonment to occur.
Isolation as a root cause is similar to abandonment. We are social by nature and need our “pack” to thrive! We long for connection, and when that need is unfulfilled, it can have major negative consequences. You might feel lonely, unsupported, and secluded.
It’s easy for this to happen in the mobile society we are living in. If there’s a lot of movement in your life with no ties to family, if you’re hospitalized for a long period with no close access to loved ones, or even if a child is bullied and isolated at school.
Fat retention can also be triggered for survival due to losing one’s home. Imagine a fish out of water. The fish will retain water so it can stay alive until it can get back to safety — the same is for someone with an emotional root cause of survival.
One might have an emotional root cause of struggling for survival if there are stories in their genealogy of cold/freezing, drowning or near drowning (fat floats), migration and the family moving.
Resistance to weight loss can also be a conflict of fighting and facing one’s threat to existence. Think of a chicken that puffs up its feathers to look bigger. They take up more space to protect.
This could be caused by a sudden or shocking life-threatening diagnosis, a threat to the livelihood such as a job loss or bankruptcy, or sudden loss of your home.
Beginning to Resolve Your Conflict
Something else we have to address when it comes to fat loss resistance is how the threat your body is protecting itself from can come from within.
Oftentimes when you gain weight in an area of your body, you begin to have negative thoughts like self-disgust or self-hatred toward that area of your body. This creates a cycle of weight gain because your body senses that it needs to protect itself from YOU, and packs on more fat in the area where your negative self image is directed.
To start resolving this conflict of negative self image, I would encourage you to begin to find ways to create feelings of love and appreciation for you body so it no longer feels under attack. The more love and happiness in your life, the less threatened your body feels, the less it feels the need to protect and insulate with fat.
Begin to notice when negative thoughts toward yourself arise. Create awareness in this area so you can nip those thoughts in the bud when they start. A good exercise to do is to imagine you are speaking to your dearest friend when you’re thinking about yourself and your body. What would you say to them? I hope you would say loving and uplifting things to your friend.
There are many nuances to each disease, and this is just a start to help you understand the core conflict(s) behind your weight loss resistance, or any other illness. Since these are nuanced to each individual, I would recommend reaching out to me if you’ve decided to explore your emotional root causes. I can help you first identify which root causes are present in your life, then we can work together to resolve the underlying conflict.