The deeper meaning behind weight issues

Getting to the root of why we overeat and then resolving that issue is what will stop the vicious cycle of dieting.

by Kathy Balland — 

When it comes to managing our weight, it is important to look beyond what we see on the outside. Although it is easy to see the physical aspect of our bodies, it is what is on the inside that truly matters. To discover the deeper meaning of why we over- or undereat is to find the answer to more effective weight management.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, it is not ultimately about the food. In fact, if we focus on food and tell ourselves not to eat, our subconscious mind (which is where our habits and emotions live) will take over. As a result, we will eat anyway, especially if we keep reaffirming to ourselves that we must stop eating. This is because the subconscious mind does not respond to negative thoughts.

If we tell ourselves that we want to lose weight, our subconscious will not respond because the mind does not want to be a “loser.” In the same way, if we say that we want to “quit” smoking, the mind will respond to that with the notion: “I’m no quitter.” So we must think and feel positive if we want results. A more positive thought is to “release” the weight (and any associated negative emotions, such as anger or loneliness, which can lead to overeating); for smoking we can say that we are “smoke-free.”

Getting to the root of why we overeat and then resolving that issue is what will stop the vicious cycle of dieting. After all, diet is a four-letter word, and deprivation never works. If we deprive ourselves, we can end up binge eating or yoyo dieting, which are harder on our health than simply being overweight.

If there are particular times during the day when we overindulge in food, we can ask ourselves: How do I feel right now? Am I feeling lonely and comforting myself with food? Do I feel tired, and am I simply trying to get energy from food (possibly sweets)?

To stop, think and understand why we are eating can help us discover the true meaning of our weight imbalances. When the root cause is determined, an alternative to eating can be used instead.

Should we enjoy eating the foods we love? Yes, we should. Part of enjoying life is enjoying our food. But our love of food must accompany the love of ourselves (with the help of positive thoughts and emotions). So rather than focusing on the external issue of weight, we must take care of ourselves on the inside. Once we do this, the outside will take care of itself.


Kathy Balland is an author/speaker and weight management coach, who facilitates weight support groups and playshops at Unity Church, through her tele-support groups for weight and with her CDs. 480-688-3924 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 1, February/March 2008.


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