If you asked almost any overweight person, “Do you really want to lose weight?” the answer is likely, “Yes, I would love to lose weight.”
If most overweight and obese people would so love to lose weight that they spend billions a year on trying to lose weight, why is our country growing fatter? Why aren’t people losing weight when they say that this is what they want to do?
Because, as much as they say the want to lose weight, there is something they want even more than losing weight: they want to fill their emptiness and avoid their painful feelings.
The problem is that food works so well to fill up inner emptiness and cover over painful feelings of loneliness, aloneness, heartbreak, sadness, grief, hurt, frustration, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and so on. If you don’t know how to stop creating your own emptiness and aloneness, and how to manage and learn from your painful feelings, you have to find some way of getting filled and avoiding pain. Food is an available and easy way of doing this, but it is really no different than any addiction. All addictions are ways of trying to fill the inner emptiness and avoid painful feelings – when you don’t know how fill your emptiness and lovingly manage your painful feelings.
While some people manage to force themselves to lose weight through rigid dieting, most gain it back. Unless you learn to deal with the issues underlying food addiction, you will likely not be able to keep off the weight.
What creates the inner emptiness and many of the painful feelings that lead to food addiction?
Most people have learned to abandon themselves in a number of ways:
- You judge yourself, telling yourself that you are not good enough, and that you “should have…” or “shouldn’t have…”, and so on. Instead of valuing yourself and taking loving care of yourself, you treat yourself badly on the inner level, and may allow others to treat you badly on the outer level. Instead of learning about how to take loving care of yourself, you try to control yourself with your self-judgment.
- You then ignore the painful feelings caused by your self-judgment and lack of self-care. Instead of choosing to be aware that your thoughts and actions are causing you to feel badly, and that others’ actions might be unloving to you, you avoid responsibility for your feelings by staying in your mind instead of being present inside your body with your feelings.
- You are now feeling alone and empty inside, and since you have not done the inner work to develop a loving adult self who cares about and takes responsibility for your feelings, your wounded inner self turns to various addictions. You might make others responsible for your feelings through different forms of manipulative behavior, such as anger, blame, neediness, resistance, or giving yourself up. You might numb your feelings with substance addictions, such as food, alcohol, drugs, or nicotine. You might further numb with process addictions such a TV, computer games, work, and so on.
This becomes a vicious negative circle, with self-abandonment causing pain causing more self-abandonment. No matter how hard you try to lose weight, as long as this negative inner system is operating, you will not be able to sustain weight loss.
The way out of this is to do the necessary inner work to develop a powerful loving inner adult self who learns to treat you with love rather than to try to control you with self-judgment. Here is where the Inner Bonding process comes in. If you were to devote yourself to learning and practicing the 6-Steps of Inner Bonding, you would be able to finally take loving care of yourself and not need food to fill emptiness and avoid pain.
I had a weight issue for years before I started to practice Inner Bonding, and have not had a weight issue since.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Heal your food addiction and lose weight now! Click here for a FREE weight loss CD/DVD , and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!