Maintaining certain patterns of behavior is something that
is common, not only for patterns of eating and weight gain, but also for all
the rest of how we function in our daily lives. Once established, these
patterns of behavior seem to run themselves.
What can you say about a pattern of eating behavior that is
weight gaining and overweight maintaining? Is a person who eats too much food
or eats too many calorie-rich foods living something out? If you are an
overweight woman, have you ever thought about your weight this way? Many women
are psychologically minded liked this. For instance, a woman might say she eats
foods that were forbidden for her to eat as a child. This is a common pattern
that is lived out: doing something as an adult that you were restricted from doing when you were
a child. Another common example is a woman for whom looks were everything when
she was a child. As an adult, she gains a lot of weight and is then constantly
urged by her family to lose weight to regain her looks. What is she living out?
Is she trying to disappoint her family because she felt too guilty to
disappoint them as a child?
There are lots of ways that someone can live out an
emotional pattern through her eating and weight gaining behavior. There is, for
instance, the pattern of identifying with others in the ways they manage their
feelings. If a parent managed her feelings through overeating or by consuming
fattening food, the child might manage her feelings the same way. In fact,
there might even have been parental approval and encouragement for this kind of
feeling management. It is pretty commonplace when a child, especially a young
child, is upset and carrying on, to think or indeed say, “Give her something to
shut her up.” Give her the pacifier or the binky or the bottle or a cookie.
Food has been used like this forever and ever.
If you have been overeating, gaining weight, and maintaining
that weight, can you be psychologically minded and see what it is you are
living out? You might already know the answer and have been unable to do
something about changing this pattern. If so, look further and see what else
you might be living out. Often these patterns of living out what you went
through earlier in life are more complicated and have more than one or two
strands to pick up on and sort through.