Old patterns like needing to have lots of calorie-rich food,
overeating and stuffing, eating to soothe, and eating to maintain or lift your
mood are there in you not because they are simply there waiting to burst forth.
They are there and are dominant because you’ve used them repeatedly over the
years, and you are probably still using them as part of your daily routine.
Take Gretchen, who on the surface functions like any other
woman with a job and family. She goes to work and takes care of her family. Her
friends see her as kind and caring and going out of her way to do lots of
things for others. One reason that her friends especially like Gretchen is that
she is such an agreeable person. She is not one to argue or get angry or talk
behind anyone’s back.
As for Gretchen herself, she had been too heavy for most of
her adult life. She doesn’t really like the way she looks or feels, but she has
been putting up with her excess weight for so long that it seems like a part of
her. She is at least 60 pounds overweight, but her weight isn’t a priority. Her
family, job, and friends are Gretchen’s top priorities.
What people don’t see, and what Gretchen suffers from
without knowing it, is a lack of self-confidence, and from anxieties about
being left alone with no one to care for her. That’s why she is so invested in
family and friends. If everyone looked closer, they would see that Gretchen
solicits lots of advice and reassurance from others because she is so unsure of
herself, but she does it so endearingly that no one seems to notice.
As far as Gretchen, her family, and friends are concerned
Gretchen’s weight is her weight, nothing more. This is just their too heavy
friend, mother, wife, co-worker. No one sees the connection between Gretchen
being so overweight and her diminished sense of self.