When I work with women struggling with food addiction, weight, binge-eating, overeating or anything to do with body image, there are a lot of things I look for. What they are or are not eating is not the first thing on my list, although it’s often what they want to discuss.
What I find helpful to explore is what kind of weight are you carrying? Where’s the heaviness, where are you being weighed down and what have you been lugging around.. unmetabolized.. that is now translating as all of these weight-related pieces.
Trust me.. it matters.
Although I was originally trained very clinically and old-school, it’s not the way I practice, and I do not spend years making my clients revisit their pasts. Never. We stay in present- time and see what’s in your body and energy fields.. right now, where is the emotional, energetic “residue” expressing in ways that aren’t working for you.
So one of the biggest, weightiest most charged places in all of our lives, weight issues or not, relate to experiences of having been humiliated. Caroline Myss (if you’ve read my writing you know I study with her as much as I can and adore her and her work) says that we fear humiliation more than any other experience and craft our lives based on the avoidance of being humiliated. It’s a powerful claim but if you consider it, you may agree.
In my work with clients, their experiences of having been humiliated are the ones they carry, the ones that are hardest to neutralize, the ones that continue to bump up against their sense of themselves. The tides eroding their shore.
Think back to times you were rejected, betrayed, left for no reason, made fun of in class, bullied, made to feel less-than for too many reasons to list here, but you will each know for yourself the ones that are stuck in your emotional craw. The ones that you may not realize are costing you.
Here’s how to tell if any of these past incidents are weighing you down…When you pull up the memory, it will still have an emotional charge to it, you’ll be able to feel it in some way. That’s your clue that the experience isn’t properly “metabolized”.. it’s still alive and having an impact on you and the choices you make.
Excavating the places where we’ve felt humiliated is deep, dark territory and w best done with support in my opinion. It was painful then, and dredging it up will be painful now. You deserve a loving witness capable of holding a space of non-judgment. But if you want to address some of this on your own, writing can be a part of the cure.
You may want to take some time and create a quiet meditative space, sit with a journal and let yourself “float back” holding the intention to pull up and name your 10 most painful memories of this type. Capping the number is a good way to start. List each one, maybe adding how old you were, who was involved, what happened, and what specifically about the incident caused you to feel humiliated.
It’s also helpful to name the negative belief that you’re still holding about yourself when revisiting that memory. For example: “I was weak, I let them take advantage of me”..or whatever the most essential part was that you notice you’re holding onto.
I want you to especially notice where you are holding this experience in your body. Give yourself a moment to close your eyes and feel for it. Where is the charge of energy or emotion, the tightness or discomfort, the heaviness in your body now? You don’t have to do anything.. just notice and breathe through it.
Going back to your journal, try reflecting with writing about what it is about each incident that has been “burning you alive”. Although most of the time, you won’t choose to confront or work through this with the individuals involved, you can do it with writing in ways that may help. What do you wish you had said or done differently? Getting it onto the paper helps get it out of your body..you’re moving the emotional energy to a different “container”. What else do you need to acknowledge to yourself about this particular memory to lessen it’s hold on you.. to clear some of the weight? Keep writing.
Let all of the feelings have their say. Let all of the unspoken words express, you’ve been holding them a long time and they have held pieces of you hostage.
When you feel like you have written through enough that you feel a shift.. something feels lighter, there is less emotional charge, you can feel that you’ve processed a piece of this, stop.
With this kind of writing I strongly recommend “putting it through the fire“.. fire transmutes energy. Take the pages and find a ceramic planter or cooking pot outdoors and light up the pages until they are ash. You might also want to say a little prayer that this incident now be neutralized or taken from your body or your heart, whatever words feel right. This can be as ceremonial as you are moved to make it.
Now this is how you lose weight…when you address these pieces properly and ideally with support and a mix of other techniques, information, insights..any changes you choose to make around what you eat or how you move your body become very powerful.. and very permanent.
PS– I love to get you started on the road to lightening up whatever’s been weighing you down. Let’s set up an Illumination Round or just email me with whatever questions you have about this work.
Love from my heart to yours-