Question: I’ve gained weight the past year or so, and I’m ashamed of how I look. How can I lose the weight?
The way you feel about your creation is reflecting how you feel about parts of yourself. Your body is showing you how you feel about yourself. There are parts of yourself that you are shamed of, and that brings up pain. You create this pattern of eating so that you may experience this shame. You feel shame for not being in control, you feel shame for the result of you not being in control, the way your body looks, and you feel ashamed that you seem to be unable to change it. This is pointing you towards your feelings of shame for who you are. There are parts that you refuse to accept, parts you see as wrong, and try to hide even from yourself. This resistance and non-acceptance of self creates an unbearable inner pressure, which you then relieve by eating.
When you eat more than the body needs, it is a way of self harm, self punishment. You give love to yourself through food, but you also create pain for yourself. You reinforce that love hurts and that you deserve to be punished for being this way, so the act of giving yourself nourishment also becomes a way to create pain and shame, both through physical discomfort and through emotional discomfort. If you want to stop gaining weight, you have to stop using food to hurt yourself. The weight is making you feel shame, because you see the weight as proof of how you are bad and wrong. If this weight was your natural state, you would not feel shame but only feel at home. Your shame is not really connected to your body, but to your sense of not being in control, to shame for you giving in to your need for love, and shame for others seeing your perceived weakness. If you didn’t gain weight, would your eating pattern be a problem? No, because the shame is around others seeing what you perceive to be a shameful part of you, the shame is in the visibility of your sins.
You believe giving to yourself so abundantly is wrong, that you do not deserve the food/love that you give, and so your body manifests a clear proof of your perceived greed. You feel shame that others see your greed, your great need for love, and how you give to yourself that love. But the problem is that the love you give is never enough, you keep craving more love (food). Food is never going to satisfy you, because food is not the kind of love you desire. What you desire is your complete acceptance of self, of all parts of yourself, including the need for love. Until you can choose to love all parts of yourself, you will continue to crave the love that you are keeping yourself apart from. You crave your own love, and instead of love you give food. You then feel shamed for giving the substitute/food, because you don’t feel you deserve that love/food, and so your internal shame creates an external expression for you to be ashamed of yourself: added body fat. Through the eating process you are giving yourself a substitute for what you want, and at the same time punishing yourself for your needs. You are telling yourself you are wrong for wanting what you want, wrong for asking for all this love. Every time you receive, you shame yourself.
If you want to stop feeding your wound, you have to start feeding yourself with absolute and complete acceptance of self. You need to nourish yourself with the acceptance and love for all parts of yourself, so that you are not starving for love. One part of this acceptance and love is to respect the body that is gaining weight. This body is still deserving of love and acceptance. Another part is to love and respect the one that eats. Rather than saying those needs are wrong and bad, and trying to suppress those needs, start listening to what you truly need, and feed yourself this instead. You desire attention, to be seen and heard. You desire appreciation, to be loved and valued. You desire to be accepted in all your totality, both what you perceive to be right and what you perceive to be wrong. There are no parts that deserve the shame, not your body, not the one who eats too much, and not the one who craves food and love. It is not shameful to desire and want, it is not shameful to give to yourself, and it is not shameful to receive from yourself. You are your own source of nourishment and you are supposed to give to yourself.
When you want to eat more than you know you need, ask yourself what you truly want. Do you want to be comforted? Do you want to feel loved? Do you want to feel appreciated? Then give to yourself those things without using food as a substitute. Give yourself exactly what you want instead, straight from the source. Embrace who you are, and allow yourself to love all parts of yourself. If you see something as wrong, it is your perspective that is wrong, not that part of yourself. You need to include all parts in your love for self, so that you may create inner harmony between all parts of yourself. When you resist certain parts and shame yourself for being in this way, you reject parts of yourself through rejecting your needs. Needing love is not wrong. Withholding love is what is wrong. You withholding love and acceptance from yourself is what creates this intense need, and it can never be satisfied by food or any other outside substance. Don’t reject your needs, rather fill them from your own supply of love. Give to yourself what you truly desire, without shame, so that you may experience the fulfillment of being nourished by your own love.
The weight is a symptom of you hurting. The need to eat more than your body needs, is a need for inner nourishment and love. If you can start satisfying your needs with love, you will no longer need the substitute. If you can stop shaming yourself for your needs, and stop shaming yourself for your attempts to fill those needs, and stop shaming yourself for how your body looks, you can create a silence within. In that silence, ask yourself why you are so ashamed of your need for love? Why are you ashamed for wanting love? You are worthy of that love, there is no need for shame. And through choosing to let go of the shame when you eat, through slowly letting go of the shame for how your body manifests your inner pain, through letting go of shame for having a need for love, you can listen to the need and understand that it is simply pointing you towards an area where you have been left unfulfilled. Fill that need by loving and accepting yourself, and the need for food will slowly go away. Through this process you get to practice unconditional love for self: for the one who needs, for the one who eats, and for the body who reveals your needs to the world. There is no part of you that is deserving of shame. Shame is self harm. Work towards self love instead.