The F-word we love to hate; I’m not talking about the 9 calorie-per-gram macronutrient of fat, rather the layer of tissue that many of us wish would melt off our midsection, thighs, arms, face, and hips. Fat is loose connective tissue that stores energy, protects, and produces hormones. Everyone has different primary and secondary primary storage sites, giving us our unique physical makeup. Just like everything else, we must maintain a healthy balance of how much body fat we carry around. Too much and we increase our risk for disease and a hindered lifestyle; too little and another slew of issues will present, such as organ failure and amenorrhea (lack of menstrual cycle).
The science behind fat storage and the interplay of hormones is vast and very important. That’s not what I want to address. I’m going to talk about the why of fat.
*DISCLAIMER* The fat I’m talking about is excess fat that is unnecessary for us to store. We NEED body fat to live. There is an ideal range for everyone and I am not simply pointing fingers at one group. This article can be applied to other areas in life, not just that of fat loss.
Why do we gain extra fat? Why can’t we lose it? Why is the process so seemingly difficult?
I could get into the nitty-gritty about where it all started and how some extra junk food binging, alcohol, less activity, food addictions, or hormone imbalances are to blame for fat… but I’m not. Yes, they all play a role in how extra pounds are packed on and not lost. They are real issues that need to be addressed and fixed; let’s not undermine that. I’m going to dig a little further and peel back a layer that might be hard to think of and might turn some people off. That’s okay… just give it a thought.
Fat is an emotional attachment that we have with ourself.
Wait… what? Why would anyone want to stay attached to their (extra) fat? This goes back to our emotional tendencies, self-view, and feelings of self-worth.
We are living in a society where social media reigns. Thousands of pictures flood your news feed with models, top-notch athletes, new ways to get skinny/more muscular, magic fixes, and unrealistic approaches to health. How can we NOT compare ourselves to what we are seeing? I have done my share of body shaming and it’s definitely a process to attack; learning to treat ourselves as a priority with positivity is not easy.
As I said above, fat is used as a protective layer, covering our organs and storing energy to burn when we need it. Bad eating habits (whether eating too much, too little, binging, overdoing alcohol…) stem from an emotional imbalance. If we felt GREAT all the time, why would we feel the need to punish/reward ourselves with food?
Over-thinking and worrying energetically injure our spleen (according to Chinese Medicine), which is a key factor in making sure our food is assimilated to properly digest and be used as fuel. When the spleen is out of balance, we crave sweet foods (the spleen’s preferred flavor).
Let’s change views a little and connect some dots.
When we give into the craving instead of sitting with a feeling, we temporarily numb that feeling. When we numb feelings, we build a wall, brick by brick, until it’s stuffed so far inside we may not even know where it started. Think of the brick wall as fat. The wall protects us and builds a barrier around that which we do not want to face. What triggers those feelings and emotions in you?
Your boss who reminds you of a parent that didn’t give you what you needed as a child?
Your spouse who doesn’t respect you like you know you should be?
The stress of carrying your family’s problems and trying to fix them all?
Your perception about what you feel others think and see of you?
No matter where your trigger lies (and whether or not you recognize it), there is some sort of emotional imbalance that is keeping us from releasing and dealing with a situation that we stuffed down in the past.
Holding onto fat is like holding onto the past. If we learn that we can let it go and be comfortable with where we are now, we can begin to reveal our truth. And revealing our truth can be scary because we become vulnerable. How can we face this uncomfortable situation and not dig ourselves deeper into a hole?
Build you own self-worth.
YOU ARE JUST AS WORTHY AS ANYONE ELSE.
No matter your past or where you are now, there is a reason you are here. This isn’t a fluffy self-talk post (well, it could be), but it’s a message so you can start to turn your journey inward and see how powerful YOU are. Society shapes us and tells us things to keep us in line with this view of ‘normalcy’ when there really is no such thing as ‘normal’. We were not put here to be robots; we will leave that up to scientists.
When you find comfort in yourself and are able to sit with your feelings, you won’t have the urge to cover them up and stuff them down. If we continue to hide behind them, it becomes harder to be our true self. Do you know yourself? What is your passion? What would you do if you weren’t tied down by society?
It’s time to lift your veil and feel a sense of confidence.
Confidence in yourself means you won’t have to build a wall to protect yourself from the perception of others. Confidence in yourself means that you will be so full on the inside that it will leave no room for others to impede your view of yourself. Their opinion is not your truth. How can you start to build self-confidence and tear down the protective layer (fat) that you’ve been hiding behind?
- Align your thoughts with what you want to feel. There is power in the words we think! If we are filled with negative playbacks of the past of what-ifs, it gives no room for growth, change, and positivity. Replace “not”, “no”, “never”, “don’t” with “am”, “yes”, “capable”, and “do”. Consciously changing the words that scroll through your head gives your mind a chance to relax and leave the stress behind. Focus on what you want instead of living in a place of stagnant bad thoughts.
- Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment. Picking apart ourselves is easy and done WAY too much. Accept your self-compliment and put your vision of yourself in a higher place of respect. You work hard to be here… give yourself some credit! Want to take it a step further? Get completely naked, look yourself in the eye, and say “I love you and accept you just the way you are” every day until you believe it. This might be one of the hardest things to do. It might make you cry. It might make you mad. Feel those feelings and let your boundaries begin to change. LET. GO.
- Surround yourself with people who make you feel good no matter what. Let them lift you up, not just when you’re down or in need. Harness that energy and believe it! If you don’t have people that make you feel good, change your circle of people – they may be sandbags holding you down from reaching your higher self. Check out Kristen’s latest podcast about some tips on keeping your circle full:
- Express gratitude. It’s easy to take things for granted, especially when we can have it replaced and delivered to us within hours. If we are living in a state of ungratefulness, we are blocking feeling of wealth and peace. Ungratefulness puts us in a place of depression or anxiety, which correspond to the past and the future. How can we take care of NOW if we are never grateful for what got us here?
If you have read this far, thank you for hanging with me. It’s a deep topic that has many variables, but the bottom line is this: If you are ready to let go of old stuffed-down feelings/situations, then set yourself up to change your view of yourself. The world doesn’t see you like you see you. Claim your self-worth. You don’t need to build protective layers to hide behind when you can blossom into yourself and feel comfortable.
Sometimes all it takes is a step inward to say hello to your true self. When we connect with it, the emotions become clean and our system will begin to work in harmony, crowding out the extra baggage and toxins we have been carrying.