Your Feelings Matter
Sticks or stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. I’m sure you said that at least once before you had completed elementary school. But it’s not true. Words can be extremely damaging. And your feelings can have affect your body in a way that literally hurts.
Anxiety, sadness and depression are something that most of us experience these at some point in our lives. And unfortunately for some, the negative feeling can be long-lasting. Depending on the level of depression, sadness or anxiety you experience, you may be able to put on a happy face and pretend like everything is OK. But your body knows what’s really going on and it feels your pain.
A change in my home environment preceded my weight gain in high school. I came home each day to a much more explosive environment. I didn’t have a ton of social support because I lived apart from any extended family. I was an only child so I didn’t have any sibling support. And I switched schools three times in high school, meaning I rarely had a stable group of friends. I was very lonely and sad and it showed in my body.
Negative Feelings Can Make You Fat
When you think of feelings making you fat, your first thought probably goes to emotional eating. And it is true that self-soothing is easily done with food. But that’s not what I’m talking about today. What I’m talking about is how your feelings can directly lead to extra pounds of fat.
Negative feelings do a couple of things to the body. They cause a stress response which releases hormones into the bloodstream. The body can easily bounce back from this when the stress is temporary. But what happens when the stress is prolonged? This results in a hormonal imbalance. And the effects of this imbalance on your body are wide spread.
A hormonal imbalance can have a ripple effect that directly translates to weight gain. It can cause the over-production of hormones that slow metabolism. It can cause also create an over-production of the hormone that will put the body into fat storing mode. And it will cause body-wide inflammation which also helps the body to store fat.
Your body isn’t doing this to spite you. It is trying to help you. This reaction can be life saving during life or death stress. When your life is in danger, you want to conserve energy in case you need to fight over an extended period. But in a case of depression or anxiety which can be long-lasting, weight gain becomes a big problem.
A Special Note About Clinical Depression
If you suffer from clinical depression, you may have an additional obstacle with your weight. Many of the medications used for treatment can cause weight gain. However, this can be worth it if you gain back freedom and health in other areas of your life.
If you think you’re suffering from depression, please speak to a therapist or psychologist. The right counselor can help you work through your problems. Just talking to a trained professional might be exactly what you need
Heal Your Hurt
But for everyone else going through an extended difficult time, know that you need to soothe your negative emotions to heal your waistline. And when you get angry at yourself or stressed or ashamed because of your weight, the problem magnifies. It is important to take time to get in touch with your emotions.
Many times you might not even understand the root of your unhappiness. You just know that you feel blue or stressed. So take the time to understand your feelings. You might want to journal, meditate or take a long walk and think. Spend some quality time with yourself. Get to the bottom of what you’re feeling so you can start to heal. It is crucial that you not miss this step or your diet will be hindered.
The next step is to work on self-care. The more you address your feelings and find ways to self-soothe, the more hormonal balance you’ll create. And not only will you feel better emotionally, your body will be more in balance as well.
And what does that mean? You’ll feel better, lighter, more energetic. And as some of the negative emotions release, so will some of the pounds. I’m not pretending this is easy. This part of weight loss deserves as much time and energy as your diet. And the path to understanding and soothing your feelings may be different for each individual. But just understanding the power of your feelings can open up possibilities in your life.
Be Brave and Go Forward
So take the time to really get to know yourself. Understand how you’re feeling and explore the origins of any negativity. And take time to soothe and heal emotionally. Make your feelings a priority. Your diet’s success depends on this.
You probably take time for everyone else in your life. Now what about you?