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Overeat as protection

When you see someone who is overweight does your heart hurt for this person because you can understand and relate his or her struggle? Most all of us struggle with weight issues. When I cross paths with an obese person, I often wonder what pain he or she is trying to smother with food. Many people who are overweight may not know why they are emotionally eating or they may not understand the toxicity of this comfort food.

Why do I feel so bad?
winter scene

I recently learned in my Adult Intervention class that many times if a person has suffered early trauma (often it is sexual), this individual might subconsciously overeat as a way of self-protection. By putting on the extra pounds, this self-sabotaging pattern can be an attempt to make one look unattractive to others in order to avoid a relationship that might trigger more pain. This person may not have been able to control what had happened to him or her in the past but he or she may feel that this unhealthy eating pattern is a way to control a future without having to deal with intimacy or some other concern of the past.

Deepak Chopra communicated this insight, “Our body is our most reliable guide to happiness. Whereas the mind lives in the past and the future, the body resides in the now and never doubts itself. It knows the truth and will guide you toward the most evolutionary choices. As modern dance pioneer Martha Graham once said, “The body never lies . . . it says what words cannot.’”

If you are disgusted with your own weight the hope is by understanding that this layered heaviness is a symptom of suffering, perhaps you can figure out what your body is saying in the here and now especially if your mind is living in the past or future. Whether it is for you or your loved one, have compassion and be patient. It is essential you come from a place of love; be kind.

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