When you’ve tried every diet program out there, why is it still so hard to lose weight? You know you want to be slimmer yet the scale doesn’t budge. And in those rare moments it does, those pounds keep coming back.
If you’re not creating a slimmer body even when you’re “doing all the right things,” it’s time to dig deeper and discover what’s holding you back.
Your Conscious vs. Subconscious Beliefs
When there’s something you desire but can’t seem to make it happen, chances are that your subconscious, hidden beliefs and fears are preventing you from having what you want.
Let’s use an iceberg analogy. Your conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg. It’s visible and obvious. From this place your goal is clear. For example, “I want to lose 50 pounds.”
Your subconscious mind is the mass of ice below, hidden and lurking beneath the surface. It is much more powerful than your conscious mind. When something is hidden, you don’t know the impact it can have until you bump up against it.
To release weight more easily—and permanently—your conscious and subconscious minds must agree.
If your subconscious mind says, “I’m ready to lose weight and feel safe to do so,” you most likely will lose weight. But when your subconscious mind holds fear and doubt, chances are you’ll have a harder time and may sabotage yourself despite your best intentions.
How to Shift Your Subconscious Blocks
To move beyond subconscious blocks that exist within you, you must discover what they are. Be gentle with yourself. It’s not your fault you’re having a hard time releasing weight if you don’t even know what hidden obstacles are blocking you.
If you experienced trauma as a child—abandonment; loss; physical, sexual or emotional abuse—chances are your subconscious mind may still hold the energy of low self-worth, guilt, shame, and lack of trust in yourself and the world.
Perhaps you’re wondering, “But what does this old pain have to do with losing weight today?” Let me explain…
Adverse experiences in childhood take a toll on your self-worth. When you feel unlovable as a child, you carry this belief into adulthood and it influences all the choices you make. Especially around taking good care of yourself. Until you’ve healed from these early wounds, deep inside you may not feel worthy to create the life—or body—that you want.
Subconscious negative images of yourself affect you in ways you may not even notice. For example, you know that portion control at mealtime is necessary to lose weight. But even when you’re physically full, you keep eating. Your determination to lose weight doesn’t stop you from adding more food to your plate. That’s because food can never satisfy emotional hunger.
Sometimes it’s obvious when you’re using food to soothe yourself—those days you feel sad, lonely, or frustrated and head straight to the fridge. Other times, you may not recognize that a deeper hunger lies within. But when you eat that second—or third—helping, time and time again, it’s a sign that something deeper is getting in your way.
The Limiting Beliefs That Keep You Heavy
Here are five common limiting beliefs and fears that I’ve heard from clients over the years. Some clients knew the beliefs that got in their way but didn’t know how to change them. For others, it wasn’t until they dug deeper in our work together that they discovered the hidden fears that were holding them back. Can you relate to any of these?
“I’m afraid to lose weight because if I’m thin men will find me attractive and hurt me sexually.” (This is commonly experienced by sexual abuse survivors.)
“I’m afraid to lose weight because if I’m thin and still don’t meet anyone, then I’ll really feel like a failure.”
“If I lose weight, people will expect more from me. I’m not ready to be more engaged in the world.”
“If I’m thin I won’t be like everyone else in my family. I don’t want to be disloyal and separate from them.”
“If I lose weight, then who am I? I don’t know who I am if I’m not a fat person.”
When you acknowledge that hidden, fear-based beliefs like these exist within you, you’re taking an important first step to overcome self-sabotage. While insight alone isn’t necessarily enough to eliminate them completely, old beliefs lose strength once revealed.
Massaging the Heart
This is one of my favorite techniques to use when working with limiting and fear-based beliefs. This simple energy psychology technique uses your heart energy to help transform fear into self-love and acceptance.
1. Get yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Put your hand over your heart. Feel it beating as you connect with its loving Divine energy. Breathe.
2. Move your hand gently in a circular motion as if massaging your heart and say to yourself or out loud:
“Even though deep down I’m afraid and having a hard time releasing weight, I totally and completely love and accept myself.”
3. Repeat this phrase three times, or more.
Another variation is to mention the specific fear you’re working on. For example, “Even though I’m afraid of failing and having a hard time releasing weight, I totally and completely love and accept myself.”
Keeping the phrase general guides your Divine heart energy to all fears (conscious and subconscious), so either phrasing is fine.
When you use the Massaging the Heart technique daily, your subconscious mind absorbs feelings of love and acceptance and strengthens your self-worth. It then becomes easier to overcome self-sabotage.
Releasing fears and limiting beliefs take time. The quick fix is not the path to permanent weight loss; going deeper is. So be patient and have faith in yourself.
You’ll get there.
What fears are holding you back from losing weight?