Most people who are trying to lose some extra weight don’t care about how it got there — they just want it gone, and preferably yesterday. But 99% of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back within a year, often because they haven’t fully addressed the underlying reasons why the excess weight appeared in the first place. Weight can be a powerful teacher, and it tends to show up when there’s something we need to learn. If we try to bypass or ignore the lessons, weight has a funny way of hanging around until we actually listen to what it’s trying to tell us. In this illuminating new podcast episode, Emily Rosen, Director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, explores several of the messages that excess weight can have for us. If you’ve struggled to lose weight, or if you’ve lost weight and regained it, tune in and see if one of these messages might be for you.
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Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Lately I’ve been inspired to get more real and truthful about the subject of weight loss. Here’s what I mean: If you’re trying to lose weight simply because you want to lose a bunch of weight, then you’re going to find it extremely difficult to lose weight.
Most people who have extra pounds attack their body fat as if it was a hostile invader. We honestly believe that this excess weight is “not me.” So, we do our best get rid of this unwanted substance that seems to be ruining our ability to have a good time. And it all makes sense. But here’s the rub – weight loss strategies don’t work. This isn’t headline news. Any study that has any scientific scruples bears this out in the long term. If there was a weight loss diet or pill or program that truly worked, we’d all know about it.
The number one reason why we don’t lose weight is this: our reasons for wanting to do so are all a bit misguided, which leads us to invent weight loss methods that are guaranteed to fail us.
Most people want to lose weight simply to get the weight off.
The problem is, the weight is there for a reason. It has a deeper purpose. Dynamic Eating Psychology teaches us that the wisdom of life, of the cosmos, of the grand design of all that is, speaks through the human body in the form of symptoms. Excess weight is a messenger from a higher source. If you kill the messenger – that is, if you actually do lose the weight but don’t get the wisdom it’s trying to impart – the messenger returns. 99% of people who lose weight on a weight loss diet gain it back. There’s no moral failure here. It’s not about eating less calories or switching to skim milk instead of half and half. We just didn’t listen deeply enough.
Excess weight is a symptom that points to something else, a deeper cause.
To simply get rid of it for the sake of getting rid of it goes against universal law. The billion-dollar question, then, is “What does YOUR excess weight point to?” There is an infinite variety of possible answers. Here are just a few common and compelling ones. Excess weight can point to:
- Our poor food choices
- Emotional hunger
- Unmet needs
- Repressed feelings
- Confusion around self identity
- A call for love and help
- Self hatred
- Our disconnection from the body
- Past history of sexual abuse
- Being wounded by love
- Financial worries
- Repressed creativity
- Being someone we are not
- The need to forgive and move on
- The need to learn how to truly nourish and care for oneself
- Fear of sensuality
- Too much stress
- Separation from one’s spiritual source
- Too many foreign chemicals and toxins in our world that directly or indirectly lead to
weight gain– fluoride, mercury, bovine growth hormones, xeno-estrogens, and many more
- The sickness in our manufacturing world that invents
and sells junk foods in the first place
- A nation that values excess and over-consumption
- A culture that values speed, disembodiment, and lack of awareness
- A world that is filled with fear, anxiety, and mistrust
- The need to free ourselves from the misguided weight hate of the world
- Someone else’s belief that we need to lose weight
- An obsessive need to lose weight where no weight actually needs to be lost
We can’t just avoid these life lessons or exercise and diet them off. We’ve got to question, self examine, look, listen, feel, get real, be truthful, and grow into a more mature way of listening to the body and honoring its wisdom, even when the body isn’t conforming to our humble demands that it be beautiful and skinny. Of course, this isn’t easy. That’s why we look for the quick fix. We don’t want to be uncomfortable as we face the tougher questions, so we’re easily seduced by the next diet gimmick, but it never works.
It’s time to own that our challenges with weight require a whole new approach. No more quick fix. It’s time for the slow fix.
Can we be brave enough to listen? Can we be courageous enough to be patient? If we can open up to lessons life is waiting to teach us, we’ll be astounded at what that excess weight has to say.
I hope this was helpful.