What Other Kinds of Weight You Carry- Grief and Loss

by Lisa on October 10, 2012

grief and loss and overeating It’s very common with weight and body issues, that there is some unresolved grief and loss hanging around that is being carried. I always see weight, and struggles with food as going beyond issues of diet and exercise.

The weight you carry, the numbing out with food are.. bigger than what any diet or exercise plan can give you. You know that right? Deep down you do, even though you may keep returning to Weight Watchers or picking up the latest diet-guru’s book.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the weight you carry and how one common thread was about the heaviness of humiliation, you can reread it here.

Another area I ask clients about during our initial interviews are about how much loss they’ve had in their life. Deaths, breakups, any kind of abandonment and certainly any forms of trauma weigh heavily on us and unfortunately are not usually processed very well.

It’s rare that we know how to deal with intense emotion, or are given the support, time, or space to fully “metabolize” these experiences.

And so we carry them along. More emotional energy added to the pile. More memories and old triggers that we have to struggle to keep down, try to prevent from showing up in our relationships, protect ourselves from feeling too vulnerable in oh so many ways.

And the grief isn’t always from the “BIG” losses. It can be from the move your family made in the middle of the school year when you had to leave all your friends behind. Or of your favorite dog. Things that really really hurt but that you felt pressured to “get over” before you were really ready.

When things aren’t moved through in more organic ways that really address our pain or suffering.. we suffer more, and longer. Pushing things down requires a fair amount of emotional energy. It’s a way we unwittingly betray ourselves.. just writing this makes me sad. Who hasn’t experienced this? We all carry these experiences.. not just of grief, but of having to carry the remnants of unprocessed events because there was no good place to put them or share them or get what we needed at the time.

And so the weight. Or the eating.. or the obsessing about the weight and the eating.

Sometimes it helps to know what to look for.. I want to help you get the relief you deserve, the clarity that will make a difference. The freedom from crazy food plans and punishing exercise plans and self-loathing that you couldn’t possibly deserve on your most miserable day.

When you are stuck in cycles of overeating or body-hate, there is emotional and energetic work to be done. And it is best to do it with loving, focused support.

I want that for you.. One email or one request for a complimentary consult.. Lighten it all up and just ask. Or if you’re not ready, there are many ways to process pieces of this out in my Home Study Guide, Recovering Beauty

 

Love to you…

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Geigle October 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

What an interesting way to look at food issues. It’s almost if the “weight” becomes literal (added pounds on the body) when the emotions aren’t processed properly. Thanks for such insightful words.

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Lisa October 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Hey Julie.. yes.. i believe the weight is very much energetic lots of the time.. and that those of us who have struggled with weight are also sensitive/empaths, vulnerable to energy and the sense of being overstimulated by others’ emotions more than others..And needing to process in very conscious ways.. although grief and loss we all need to take care to metabolize well.. because they definitely stick around in our bodies/energy systems. Love to you.. Lisa

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Jessica October 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

I loved this whole article, but the part that really spoke to me today was about the burden of unprocessed feelings. I wonder if parents (moms in particular) struggle with this more than others. It’s an axiom in Parenting 101 that just having a baby will bring up all kinds of unresolved issues from your own childhood, so it seems to make sense to me…..

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Lisa October 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Jessica.. interesting take about the parents/moms..it’s true in my experience as a mother and as a therapist that pregnancy plus being a mother regurgitates all of the unprocessed earlier “stuff”, for various reasons. I think loss/grief/separation/abandonment.. all of these are pretty universally painful..maybe mothers just are more vulnerable around feeling them?
Love to you, Lisa

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Bri Saussy October 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm

This resonates so strongly with me Lisa and I think we can see it on a really practical level when we look at the customs surrounding grief-there is almost universally a push to fill the spaces created by grief with…FOOD! Even though the grieving are rarely hungry-even though it so often feels like not the right time-there is such a fear to let grief have a space. I wonder why that is?

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Lisa October 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Bri- so true around trying to soothe grief with food.. immediately. I think it’s partly trying to bring signs of life and aliveness into the mix.. and the common ways that we try to comfort ourselves and others via feeding/food..and the truth is often that people are STARVING after funerals.. from what I have seen.. people devour the food and have a desperate primal need to sustain themselves with eating.. and maybe to try to temporarily numb the sharp edges of the pain. But certainly in this culture there is such a small window allowed for grief.. we dont’ like it.. we are uncomfortable around it and we have no rituals to tolerate it for more than a few days or so. We try to rush people through it because we feel helpless amidst such raw exposed pain. I am always amazed at how incredibly awkward most people become around others’ sadness, grief, vulnerabilities.. We are a “fix it and move on” kind of culture. Bri.. as somebody who creates rituals, I wonder what you could do with this? I remember when my Dad died over 30 years ago, and the Rabbi told us that one old Jewish custom was to cover the mirrors.. so you wouldn’t have to worry about how you looked in your grief.. I always loved the wisdom of that. We are so lacking in ceremonies and rituals when we most need them.
Much love to you my friend.. Lisa

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Meg October 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Great point Lisa… I find also that the more sensitive and intuitive I become if I am not careful I gain weight as I start to absorb the issues of those around me. I have to be really diligent about grounding and cleansing. So many people don’t see this association of emotion and trauma and weight gain…so glad you are tuned in to that.

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Lisa October 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Meg.. yes.. definitely.. My work via IntuitiveBody believes this too.. that the sensitive/empaths/intuitives are vulnerable to weight and eating issues because they pick up others’ energies more easily and don’t know how to hold their center or ground usually. Trauma is a great big huge piece of struggles with weight.. and it doesn’t have to be a trauma like what we sometimes think of as “trauma”.. it can be everyday traumas that were painful events that just shut us down, overwhelmed us in some way..
Love to you, Lisa

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Chrisite October 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

Lisa – what really spoke to me is that grief doesn’t have to have been a big event in order to impact eating habits/weight. Wondering how much discounting little events as non-important can contribute to attitudes about weight. Do we not heal ourselves because we don’t think our grief is big enough?

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Lisa October 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

Christie.. I love this question/comment..I think we so often don’t take our feelings/needs seriously, talk about this all the time with our clients about not taking our pain seriously, giving it it’s due.. and then the overeating is the spillover for not having processed the real emotional needs. I think we aren’t even aware much of the time of our grief, or where it lives in our hearts and our bodies.. and the eating becomes this mindless disconnected thing that baffles us..
Loved your response.. love to you, Lisa

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Jacqueline Fairbrass October 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I love this Lisa. So simple and straightforward, yet plumbing the depths of what makes us tick.

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Sammi Johnson October 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I so agree with you, Lisa. When we try so hard to push the pain away, it makes us suffer more… and how you related it to weight and eating was just perfect. Love your post! xoxo

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Lisa October 15, 2012 at 7:39 am

Sammi.. totally true about trying to mask or push the painful things away..and when we do, if we struggle with weight or eating it will definitely have an impact.. Any addictive pattern pattern only function.. like overeating/binges etc ..is to mask painful thoughts and feelings.. When we begin to deal with them directly and let them “have their say”.. we don’t need to use substances in the same way.. Plus we deal directly with what really is happening in a compassionate way and are able to truly bring healing to our hearts.. Love to you.. Lisa

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