Sounds so simple.
But if you’re like most people, you’ve probably discovered that it’s not.
Because releasing weight permanently isn’t about what you “do.” It’s about how you feel. And how you feel in your conscious mind isn’t necessarily how you feel in your subconscious mind. And it’s your subconscious mind that counts.
Your Conscious Thoughts Won’t Get You Slim
Your conscious mind guides many of your choices but your subconscious mind influences the outcome of everything. That’s why some people can know all the health risks of obesity and unhealthy foods and not change their behavior. The thing is, despite how desperately someone wants to be slim, on a subconscious level they’re receiving some kind of benefit by staying overweight.
Benefit? Yes… the fear of being thin sometimes feels stronger than the fear of staying overweight. So you may actually benefit in some way by not releasing the weight.
Here are five common benefits to staying heavy that I’ve heard from clients over the years. Perhaps you can relate to some of these stories:
1) I Keep My Identity
Overweight since childhood, Danielle felt excited–and also unsettled–whenever she went down a dress size. She knew who she was as the “fat” girl and so did everyone else. She couldn’t relate to becoming the slim girl. It felt easier to stay with what felt familiar.
2) I Protect Myself from Unwanted Sexual Attention
Mary experienced panic attacks when she started releasing weight. As she became slimmer, she covered her body with the same oversized clothes she wore when heavy. Sexually abused by her father during her childhood, Mary felt uncomfortable when men looked at her. It felt easier to stay safe and unseen in a heavy body.
3) I Stay Connected to My Family
Teri’s parents and siblings were obese. They didn’t understand why Teri joined a gym and began buying organic foods. She felt sad that the family she loved wasn’t interested in living a healthier lifestyle. The slimmer she got, the more distant she felt from them. It felt easier to stay heavy and feel close to her family.
4) I Don’t Want To be Seen as a Failure.
Gloria yo-yo dieted for years. Even though her family and friends supported her each time, she cringed at their encouragement. She hated that her failures were on public display. She wanted to release the weight but the thought of everyone witnessing her fail again kept her stuck. It felt easier to stay heavy and not try at all.
5) I Can Hold on to My Comfort Foods
Since childhood, Betty used food to soothe her feelings. Huddled in her bedroom closet while her parents’ fought, chocolate donuts distracted her from hearing their screams. Food was the only way she calmed, numbed and rewarded herself. The thought of what she had to give up to release the weight terrified her. It felt easier to stay soothed by her sugary comfort foods.
Do any of these stories sound familiar?
Sometimes the benefits of staying overweight seem clear to you. And sometimes they lie within your subconscious mind, waiting for you to uncover them. Either way, when you find the courage to dig deep and be honest with yourself, you open the door to letting them go.
Reflect on this question:
How do you think the extra weight on your body benefits you?
Please feel free to share below.