Do you want a different approach to losing weight? Counselling can really help you to understand yourself and through that support you to lose weight. It may not be a direct way, but it can help you find the motivation to care for yourself in a deeper way. Click here for downloadable leaflet
The struggle to change
If you are feel stuck and trapped with your wish to lose weight and can’t seem to achieve it, no matter how much you try, then this might be of interest to you. It is not a quick fix approach and requires a degree of commitment that can only come from a deep wish to live in a different way.
It is a creative and developmental approach that focuses on self-knowledge and self-repair. So, even if you don’t lose any weight, you will still have gained something really valuable.
Our problems often arise from how we approach change. One part of us (our head) attempts to take control, “I will be disciplined about my eating!” Then there’s lots of struggle before another part of us just takes over and does what it wants, usually it’s a conspiracy between our feelings and body. We then beat ourselves up for failing yet again, for being weak and useless.
How come we are like this?
Why is it that we are split into parts that don’t talk or listen to each other? This is the result of our survival strategy in the face of trauma. Trauma arises when life is too much to bear and we become overwhelmed by its difficulties. It can be from specific events, or more often, from circumstances where we were over criticised, punished, not loved enough, abandoned, etc.
The result is that we desensitised ourselves in order to survive. This involved splitting some of the connections between our head, heart and body, which meant we stopped knowing what we feel, our thinking became confused and our bodies are full of tension or lethargy. This is part of all our stories to some extent!
The other result is that we ended up believing deep down that we are ‘not good enough’ in some way. This explains why we can be so self-destructive, a part of us believes that we are “not worth caring about”, so we might as well carry on destroying ourselves. The lack of self-esteem can be felt as an emptiness we try and fill will food.
We got so accustomed to living with these ‘splits’ and repressed ‘trauma’ that we think it is ‘normal’. We resist looking too deeply at ourselves because at some level we know there is hurt / pain behind it all, which we have not yet faced.
So, what to do?
Taking responsibility for ourselves, becoming more aware and understanding ourselves can be a tough process at times. So the wish to change needs to have sunk in deeply. If this is where you are, then counselling of some form might really help. None of us can do this work of deepening our self-awareness and self-understanding, alone.
How do we become more aware?
With support we can look more closely at what we are feeling, thinking and how our bodies are. This is all about attending to our here and now experience and how these three parts of ourselves interact and influenced each other.
As we begin to see and understand more about our feelings, as we become more aware of our sensation and tensions, as we understand ourselves and our story better, it supports us to increasingly face the reality of ourselves. As this new awareness is integrated and understood we become a little stronger. This in turn supports us to see more of our insecurity, our experience starts to make sense, we start to understand the logic behind our behaviour. Connecting up our past to our present, helps us to forgive ourselves and try anew from a more self-compassionate place, that is able to accept our woundedness.
Often we want life to be different from how it is and blame the world or someone for our troubles. This is the place of being a victim which, again, we all have to some extent. As we see deeper below the surface, we start to understand the hurt, anger, distress, etc. of this ‘victim place’. It’s by attending to this place as deeply as possible that we repair ourselves. This is about taking responsibility for ourselves as well as understanding the deeper reality of ourselves.
We can’t ‘do’ Change
Our experience confirms that we can’t change by using our head alone. Change needs the whole of us to be involved. Heart, head, body, with our whole self’s intention, working together with the deep innate developmental wisdom of our subconscious. Through this work of slowly reconciling our inner conflicts we notice afterwards that change has happened.
This is about living more in the present and less in fantasy and victim modes. Life becomes more satisfying, our will more consistent, we are more able to choose, and so lose weight.
Individual or Group?
Groups can be wonderful supportive as well as challenging places and can be a powerful force for change. They can also be great fun!
But working on a one to one basis is often helpful to start with, learning how to become deeply self-reflective takes time. There is no problem in moving from one to the other.