Losing weight is not always an easy task. Just thinking about being on a diet can be distressing for some people. The possibility of putting back the pounds we lost is high if we won’t work on the emotional reasons that prevent us from achieving our goal. EFT is the best technique for this job.
Before starting this work, it is necessary to rule out medical reasons contributing to weight gain or loss. A visit to a doctor and blood tests are essential before you start any diet. The food we eat and the times we eat more than usual are very personal matter as each person has their connections to food. What applies to one person does not necessarily apply to another. So read this article and try to see what applies to you personally.
Let’s start by checking when you put on the extra weight. Was it at a young age or older? We also need to explore any frequent weight fluctuations. When do they happen? If a person is overweight from a young age then we need to look at the family dynamics. The way parents used food as a way of rewarding, entertaining and avoiding their children.
See below expressions your parents may have told you either about the food or about life in general. Try to see the symbolism through these sentences.
A large portion of food
- Always have enough on your plate. Eat all your food so you become strong and powerful, not sick and weak.
- No one respects the small and weak. Overweight people are respected.
- The extra pounds are a sign of a good health and wealth.
- Eat it all or you won’t have that again.
A small amount of food
- If you are overweight (different) they will make fun of you.
- Being overweight is a disease.
- It is not good to have a lot of weight on you (responsibilities, worries).
- Being slim is how you should be (not to need more than what you have).
- Men/women prefer slim people.
These were just examples of how the anxieties, fears, expectations of parents are passed on to children through food indirectly. As the child gets older, he/she internalizes what he/she has heard from his/her family about food and unconsciously follows these rules. Some of these expressions have nothing to do with food, it’s the way the person unconsciously chooses to interpret them. The small amount of food triggers feelings of deprivation and a large portion, panic.
Many children may put on or lose weight during adolescence as a sign of rebellion against the family. Adolescence is usually the age when a child begins to rebel against the way and ideas he grew up with and claims his independence, sometimes indirectly with his weight.
Weight at an older age
If an adult put on weight suddenly then we look at what happened when he started eating differently. Has there been a substantial change in his life, such as a new job, living with a partner, moving to another city/country, etc.?
Many people use food as a means of relieving stress. Why; When we are stressed, we feel it as a strange sensation in our stomach. Our reaction is to eat something to stop the contractions in our stomach. If we feel anxious and are hyperactive we eat in an unconscious reaction to feel heavier and stop being so active. Also, food makes us lethargic as we want to sleep after eating. Sleeping and eating is another way to control the stress we feel.
Many of us have difficulty expressing our feelings about a situation. These feelings do not go away therefore, we must find another way to express them indirectly and symbolically. We can do this by ‘eating’ our anger, resentment, shame, sadness, etc. The expression ‘I swallowed my anger’ expresses just that. You may be eating crunchy foods such as chips, sunseeds, chewing gum to express anger and impatience. We can be angry about ourselves for something we would like to do but we can’t or don’t do or anger for an external factor.
Eating is like increasing the pressure from within for something we don’t say or don’t express, especially n we feel out of control or when we are in a situation we cannot escape.
Other times we may be using our body as a shield when we enter a new or toxic condition, such as:
- Protection: The more pounds I have the stronger I am.
- Avoidance: I have a good excuse to avoid something I don’t want such as attention, responsibility, pressure, activity.
Food as a means of remembrance and entertainment
The hours we eat are important. Is it morning, noon, evening? Most people eat more at night. Let’s look at why.
You are alone while during the day you were busy. The evening was also the time when your family gathered at home and you were all together. So eating at night is an unconscious attempt to recreate feelings of security and warmth. For example, cooking food for your mother who passed away, will be like trying to feel her presence again, creating a part of the scene with her. You use food as a way to feel loved, cared and safe.
You may be eating more eat when it rains because you have associated clouds with sadness. You use food to change the feeling.
Foods you may be eating specifically when you are not feeling well could be:
- Ice cream in white, pink or light blue colour as it symbolizes the innocence of childhood when you had no responsibilities and worries.
- Creams and soups are also a symbol of infancy and childhood.
- Milk chocolate.
- Condensed milk
- Pizza, especially if your parents made it or you were eating it infrequently. Pizza places are places where teenagers go without their parents so pizza can be a symbol of fun and freedom.
- Vegetables are associated with summer.
- Meat is a symbol of strength that we may want to eat in times when we feel weak or are in situations where we need to look strong and confident.
After collecting information about our food associations, we are ready to put these sentences on the EFT set up and reminder phrases.
EFT can help us make connections and understand what we are trying to achieve either by eating large or small amounts of specific foods and why. Once we discover the reasons then the process of dieting becomes easier.