Why can’t I lose weight?
Wow, that is a big question and one I have asked so many times.
I started gaining weight in my 40’s. When I was a child, I was solid (as it was called) and so many of my peers were scrawny. My parents thought they were doing the right thing because I was looking fit and healthy, and they were probably right. They had grown up in the depression so solid-looking children were wonderful.
The problem was that I thought I was fat.
I looked around and made that decision. I was not called fat by anyone, and I was not teased or bullied, but I managed to do this to myself. And that belief stayed with me all my life. I lost my puppy fat when I turned 12 and grew and was actually a very good-looking, healthy teenage weight. And even when I started having children, I maintained this good weight. But I still saw myself as fat. The belief system stayed, no matter what the mirror said.
I started dieting. I dreamed of losing another 3kgs and went on all sorts of strange diets usually brought to work by a coworker who had read an article or a book.
The first diet I remember was the cabbage soup diet. You make up a big pot of soup with cabbage and other vegetables as the main ingredients. Then each day you eat one specific food as well as the soup. Of course, it works. You can only eat so many bananas in a day, or tomatoes. And the soup is nutritious but low calorie. The problem comes that you haven’t learned anything about healthy eating, or how to control your food cravings. You go on this diet for a week or two and then back to your normal behavior and the weight comes back.
Every diet I went on made things worse. I became fatter and fatter. It was so frustrating and so upsetting and I became more confused about what to eat, when to eat, how to eat. I lost all ability to know if I was even hungry.
And then a few life events happened that were very stressful, and I gained even more weight.
A year after my husband’s death I weighed more than I ever had, and I was now 25 kgs overweight. My knees and back were starting to complain, and I had no energy. It added to the depression.
I had already decided that dieting doesn’t work and had studied EFT thinking this would be the key, but even though it worked for so many parts of my life and helped me make some radical changes, it still wasn’t working for weight loss.
In the past year I have been looking into this and have made some amazing discoveries. Weight is so multi-layered and we have always been looking at it as one-dimensional.
We might be of the camp of calories in, calories out. Eat less, exercise more. Of course, that makes sense. How can you gain weight if you are eating less energy than you are expending? It turns out you can. In fact, there are studies showing that you can gain weight just by looking at a chocolate cake.
There is much more going on than just basic chemistry. We are a soup of hormones, minerals, and bugs. All these things are playing their part.
And then we have the subconscious brain – the control center of all the interactions that are happening, which is why you can gain weight by just looking at a chocolate cake, or just thinking about something.
If your body does not want you to lose weight, then it will do all in its power to make that happen.
You might crave more food or need to sleep more. Your cortisol levels will rise, and these make you hungry and store fat. You can have hormone imbalances that mean that you store weight easier. You can have digestive issues which means that you do not digest foods well and can add inflammation to the system.
Our subconscious brain is the most powerful part of the whole system. Until that part is on your side you will lose the battle.
There are at least 7 weight loss blockers that can cause the subconscious brain to not want to lose weight.
The 7 Weight Loss Blockers
1. Your Feelings are Stuck in the Food
If there’s a food (or twenty) that you just can’t say no to, pick one and think back to your first memory of eating that food. Maybe every Sunday dad would take you for ice cream, or mom would bake if you got a good report card in school. This popular weight loss blocker comes from a positive memory you have with someone you love. When you feel stressed, your subconscious mind will revert to that time and create an association between the loving experience and that specific food. It’s not the food that’s actually giving you those feelings, it’s the memory of that person! All you have to do to remove this blocker is to give your brain information that the good feelings are from the memory, not the food. But it doesn’t take the food away from you! This will allow you to have a few squares of chocolate without needing to polish off the whole bar.
2. I Don’t Want to Make Them Feel Bad
If you have this weight loss blocker, your subconscious mind has made a connection between having success with your weight loss and making someone else feel bad. Perhaps you have a close group of girlfriends and together you’re always trying the latest diet or complaining about your weight. If you no longer struggle with this, how will you connect with these women? Or maybe you’re afraid that if you overcome your weight issues and your significant other or family member stays the same, they will really feel insecure and bad about themselves.
3. What Happened Last Time
This weight loss blocker comes from traumas or wounds from the past. It could be a relocation, divorce, or physical or verbal abuse. Your mind catalogues a list of negative experiences. Something will trigger you, causing you to run for the biscuits. Your subconscious is remembering a similarity between what you’re experiencing now and that traumatic experience from the past. We store our memories as feelings and once we feel that same type of worry, fear or panic our brain recalls all the past times something similar happened. We are going into the flight or fight response, triggering the release of cortisol and the body stores fat.
4. Clean Your Plate
Did your parents tell you growing up that you needed to eat all the food on your plate? Did they make you sit at the table until you finished? Perhaps they scolded you about wasting money, because they worked so hard to put food on the table. Did they threaten you about all the starving children in the world? If you have this weight loss blocker, your brain is wired to eat past your natural hunger cue. We know we need to stop, but we can’t waste food, even if we are full.
5. I’m Too Sexy
This is the NUMBER ONE subconscious block when it comes to extra weight. If you have this weight loss blocker, you must resolve it first, before any of the others. It comes from receiving negative sexual attention in your life. 80-90% of my clients have had this experience. It can be as little as someone looking at you funny – causing you to feel violated – to actual sexual abuse. If someone has ever made you feel sexually uncomfortable in your body, that is sexual abuse. When you have this weight loss blocker, you tend to hold onto extra weight because it adds protection, makes you feel unattractive, and adds a cushion so you don’t get as much sexual attention.
6. You Can’t Make Me
Have you ever told yourself that you are absolutely not going eat after 5 pm, or eat that cookie, or have that 3rd glass of wine? This weight loss blocker is directly related to your willpower, your ability to say no. Your willpower comes from your relationship with your childhood authority figure. What were they like? Were they controlling? Manipulative? Judgmental? How did you respond? Were you a pleaser or a rebel? Now, what happens when you go on a diet? Do you follow and then rebel? To overcome this weight loss blocker, you will need to work out any unresolved feelings about this relationship.
7. But My Tummy’s Not Full
This weight loss blocker stems from when you were 0-2 years old, when you couldn’t communicate your needs to your parents. If you had needs that your caregiver could not interpret and they went unmet, it creates wiring in your mind that carries on for a lifetime. Do you get anxious when you skip a meal? Do you feel overwhelmed? What happens when you go to bed without dinner? If you get anxious when you are just a little hungry you probably have this weight loss blocker.