Overweight and MiserableBy Dr. Margaret Paul
October 29, 2012
Are you tired of being overweight and food addicted? There is a way to heal.
Pamela writes this question for my webinar on food addiction:
"I am a 22-yr old female weighing 220 lbs with a height of 5.9". I am very much over-weight and I know this. However the motivation to get fit is not there. I usually tell myself that I will get up early in the morning and work out but that never seems to work out. I see most of my friends modeling and doing things that I would feel too ashamed to do at my size but want to. I really want to get back down to size but don't know where to start. Can you help me please?"
Pamela, here is what you need to ask yourself: "What is more important to me than getting back down to size?"
Is it more important to you to use food to avoid your painful feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness or heartache? Eating addictively is a form of self-abandonment. You are using food to fill the emptiness within that can only be filled with love – love for yourself. Until you want to learn to love yourself, you will not be motivated to get fit.
When you write that you tell yourself "I will get up early in the morning and work out," what part of you is telling yourself this? It sounds to me like it is your wounded self who wants to control your weight, rather than your loving Adult self who truly wants to learn about what is loving to you. Then another part goes into resistance to being controlled, so it "never seems to work out." As long as you are trying to have control over food and exercise, you will likely trigger this resistance.
Instead, you need to compassionately open to learning about how you are abandoning yourself that is creating the inner emptiness and resistance. You cannot force yourself to get fit. When you learn to love and value who you are in your essence, then you will be motivated to take loving care of your body.
Angie writes this question for the same webinar:
"I am addicted to food and I know it's for comfort and fills a hole/emptiness. But I equate food with Mother Love as my Mum could never be there for us emotionally but boy did she feed you instead. Trouble is I eat when I'm bored, sad, fed up - any blooming reason. I don't even give myself time to stop and think before I put something in my mouth and it's usually biscuits etc. - sweet stuff. I'm fifty and I REALLY want to break this pattern - any advice would be much appreciated. It's almost as if food is my friend - isn't that terrible!"
Angie, first let's take the judgment off food being your friend. Your little girl inside needs food as her friend as long as you are treating yourself the way your mother treated you. Your mother was not there for you emotionally, and you have learned to abandon yourself emotionally as well. Food is love because you are not loving yourself. You are using food to comfort your little girl's feelings that often result from you judging yourself and ignoring your feelings. You are using food to fill the emptiness created by your self-abandonment, rather than learning to fill the emptiness and aloneness with love from your higher self.
The other issue may be that the gut flora in your digestive system is out of balance. This leads to craving sweet things, which feeds the bad flora and creates the very problem that leads to craving sweets and starchy foods. I suggest that you read, "Gut and Psychology Syndrome," (GAPS) by Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D. to understand how to heal this. What goes on in your gut affects your brain, so it might be very difficult for you to access the love that is here for you unless you also heal your body.
Food addiction is a symptom of deeper issues of both emotional and physical self-abandonment. Practicing Inner Bonding will help you to develop your loving Adult self so that you can love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself.
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Perfectionism is a form of control. "If I am perfect, then I can have control over how others feel about me and treat me." Life becomes much easier and more fun when we let go of having to be perfect and allow ourselves to be human.
By Dr. Margaret Paul