Last week I caught up with my amazingly wonderful friend who I have known for 20 years. She is about 40 kgs overweight and has been all the time I have known her. It has concerned her a little bit, but as she was young and fit it didn’t really stop her from doing anything she wanted. She is turning 50 this year and her body is complaining about the extra weight.
As she was talking about her weight and her need to lose it, I commented that she didn’t really want to lose it. (She is a good friend and likes straight talking)
She disagreed but told me all the reasons why it was so hard. Things like she has a sedentary job, that her knees hurt if she wants to run or walk fast etc. But she also admitted that she had been going to the gym at her work, and just stopped and she didn’t really know why.
Her parents live with her, and they encourage her to lose weight, and then encourage her to eat a piece of cake, and she takes it.
The problem is not her body’s ability to lose weight or her lack of knowledge of what to do.
I suggested to her that her problem is that she actually doesn’t want to lose weight.
She of course disagreed with me. She assured me that she really did want to lose weight, and I am sure that she does want to. But does she want to enough to commit, to do what it takes, to put in the effort and to say no when someone offers her a piece of cake.
That all sounds like hard work, and who want to do hard work – Right?
What is going on is that she would like to lose weight – of course why wouldn’t she????? But her subconscious brain does not want her to lose the weight. It is trying to protect her and look after her.
There is more going on than just a desire to lose weight.
I asked her a group of questions that together can get to the bottom of why she doesn’t lose weight.
I asked: “Why would you like to lose weight?”
Easy. To feel better, to look better, for the knees and back and hips to stop hurting. Lots of good reasons to lose weight. And then the long term benefits of reducing the likihood of diabetes, heart attack and cancer. The list of good reasons is long and compelling, but not compelling enough for most people.
The second question to ask is, “Why would you not want to lose weight?”
Crazy question, but very valuable question.
There are always reasons why we don’t do something that seems so obviously good for us.
I asked her to go home and think about it, and then email me the answers.
Here are some of her answers:
- It will take too much effort
- I am not sure I can any way
- I would miss out on cake and yummy things
- I can’t say no
- And these I am sure are part of the answer, but then she went another layer deeper
- People will see me
- People will have expectations of me, that I am not sure I want
- Who will I be
- I’m scared
Now we are getting to the real reasons, the why we do things we actually don’t want to do, or don’t do things that we do want to do. (They are different questions – really)
To finish the assignment completely I then asked her to write:
“Why would you want to stay fat?”
It who I have been my whole life
People like me as I am
I like “bad” foods
“And, Why would you NOT want to lose the excess weight?”
I will feel vulnerable
People will look at me
I like being lazy
What would I do if someone asked me on a date????
Now she was on a roll and realized that it was about how she felt about herself, how she saw herself, and who would she be without the weight. How would she feel about herself?
Then what does that say about the past 30 years when she has stayed overweight and although put in some effort to change, she kept stopping. If she achieves it now, then there is the understanding that she could have done it all along. All those people who have helped her, and supported her, will know that she could have/should have done this ages ago. Maybe even her kids will be angry that they have not had an active healthy Mum.
There are so many ramifications.
The first step is for her to forgive herself. “We do better when we know better”. No point in being upset at what we could have/should have done.
Then we look at the next highest emotional issue.
In this case, it is being seen. Having more expected of her.
This is what we will start tapping on. I will ask questions like, “What would happen if you were seen?” “When has this been an issue for you and what happened?”
Some possible answers will be around male attention, unwanted male advances and not able to handle, having people think you can do something just because you are pretty, or wanting something from you.
This is why tapping needs to be individualized as the early experiences and decisions made will be different for everyone. Some it could be child sexual abuse; others could be teenage boys with too many hands. Or parents expecting more from one child because ….. (Many possible reasons)
Finding the underlying thoughts and beliefs and then tapping away the negative decisions will change the present day behaviors. This then leads to losing weight with ease. There is no struggle, because your body does not need to keep the excess weight, so it happily lets it go. You no longer feel the need to eat everything in sight.
It really is that simple and that hard. Once your body sees that it does not need the excess weight for protection it will want to let it go, your hunger hormones will change, and they weight will start to fall off.
If you are interested in finding out what your hidden patterns are then ask yourself these four questions:
- “Why do I want to change?”
- “Why do I want to stay the same?”
- “Why wouldn’t I want to change?”
- “Why wouldn’t I NOT want to change?”
If you would like further help, then contact me for a 1 on 1 session and I will help you discover the joys of EFT