The Mind Body-Fat Connection
The Mind Body-Fat Connection “How Tensing Up Is Making You Fat!” by Sara Lauritzen Negative thoughts, symbolic protection, being who we really are . we’re definitely getting closer. It does come from within, we believe that much. But how? How do we connect a de-railed inner state of mind to real life obesity without the hocus pocus element? We find the biological link.
We find out where those resistive thoughts and feelings are going and what damage they are managing to do along the way. Or at least that is what I did! The first time I heard that being fat was all in the mind, I was intrigued. “How exactly would that work”, I found myself asking. A friend and I were casually chatting about being fat when he mentioned that he’d heard of a book describing weight gain as being a symbol of protection. Negative mental thought patterns were apparently responsible for making us all fat! I wondered whether he was talking about psychologically symbolic or a real biological connection that affected our metabolism.
I was searching for something deeper at the time because I had lost faith in the traditional concepts of obesity. The medical, sports and scientific worlds promoted concepts that seemed too broad and genetically unfair to apply to all of us here on earth. It seemed that every new diet plan and book held a new and revolutionary theory about how and why we all gain weight Yet no one theory covered all situations and circumstances, like why we lose weight when we fall in love. Intrigued that thoughts and feelings could be responsible for my weight, I threw myself into this belief. I practiced affirmations and searched deep within my mind for the mental triggers that could be influencing my body weight. Although I celebrated this new concept and still do, I became disappointed and frustrated when I couldn’t pin point, precisely, which of my thoughts and feelings made my weight go up and down. I could see my weight going up and down from one week to the next but I needed to know exactly how it was all made possible. “Where was the connection?” I asked myself, “How could a feeling influence fat?” I couldn’t hold any exact thought or feeling responsible, which meant that I could not intimately control it, as I so desired to do. I went on wondering and speculating for two whole years before I fell happily pregnant. During the early months I started losing weight around my thighs, an area that had previously refused to budge no matter how strict a diet I went on or exercise program I took part in.
I knew that I was changing on an inner level but once again, I could not pin point precisely which thoughts or feelings corresponded with my thighs. After the birth of my child, I didn’t do what most new mothers do and accept to nurture the tender moments alone with their baby. I stood up, tired and exhausted and pushed myself back into my old life at the same time as juggling the demands of motherhood. A change of scene occurred with a move to a foreign country both culturally and fluently removed from my own which led me to start questioning who I really was. My weight, having not recovered fully from childbirth started slowly creeping upwards despite what I ate. A good strict diet curbed it for a moment but failed me the moment I hopped off it. In the approaching winter of 1997, I stood still one day and took a minute to stare out the window. I was alone in the company of myself. My senses caught my attention because although I was standing completely still, my muscles felt like they were trying to stop me from going somewhere. They were busy working against me even though I was not moving.
I was “tensing up” for seemingly no reason at all. Not too long after that moment of introspection, it dawned on me that the body fat I had slowly gained was only showing up in the areas where my muscles were tensing up. “Could there be a connection?” I wondered. I proceeded to watch this strange occurrence in the weeks that came and went. It didn’t take long to realise that my very own thoughts and feelings were responsible for setting my muscles off. I was desperate to lose the weight I was gaining and saw this observation as a saviour sent from heaven. I immediately set about soothing my thoughts and feelings. I was eager to find out if this situation could be reversed. Could it be possible to lose weight by relaxing? About a month later, it was obvious that my weight had gone down. I was over the moon.
I hadn’t eaten differently and I hadn’t done any exercise. I wasn’t stressed and I wasn’t on any medication. The only obvious change was that I had begun to relax and let go, mentally. “Explain that!”, I thought to myself. It was incredible. I had observed that my body fat could come and go depending on how much my muscles tensed up or relaxed. My body fat would accumulate or disappear in the precise same areas where my muscles tensed up or relaxed, regardless of food intake or level of exertion. However, along with the elation came confusion. I was confused because I’d never heard of such a thing before and wondered whether my mind was playing tricks on me.
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