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If you find yourself losing weight, then gaining it all back, you probably have a plate crowded with events and experiences from the past that continue to interfere with how you feel about yourself today.á Loss that you may not even have recognized can give birth to feelings that do not go away without special attention.

Those core feelings continue to churn beneath the surface, and when activated today by something that triggers the feeling, you experience a double-whammy. The flooding of feelings is intense because you are reacting not just to what is happening today, but re-experiencing the feelings of your original loss. Over the years, it has become an automatic response to get out of that painful feeling as soon as possible -- thus setting up food as a way to medicate, numb out, express anger, get power or comfort.


Acknowledging and grieving the loss, as well as examining how it has affected you will help you break the cycle of dieting and, if you have an eating disorder, it will help sustain long term recovery. While some of the losses are more obvious, others may have been discounted.á However, when you review the partial list below taken from Body Sense, consider your age and experiences at the time the situations occurred. Look through the eyes of the child, or the adult in a vulnerable time.


Here's a few losses that may continue to sabotage

1. Death, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, trauma

2. Suicide

3. Miscarriage

4. Abandonment

5. Loss of a dream

6. Financial loss

7. Loss of a normal, healthy childhood because you grew up in a home with a parent who was a substance abuser, was emotionally unstable or unavailable to you because of work or abandonment.

8. Illness or accident

9. Attention Deficit Disorder, Learning Disabilities, etc.

10. Living in a fishbowl, where you felt extremely high expectations were upon you because of your parent's community position (pastors, therapists, politicians, actors, doctors, etc.)

11. Infertility

12. Adoption

13. Being bullied, teased

14. Perceiving yourself as being ugly or unacceptable because of your weight

*The above list is an excerpt from Body Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions.

What other losses have you had that you may not have considered linked to your food use before? If you don't think you can relate to any of the above losses, yet soon begin feel a need to have food, think again. This could be very important to you, not only as it relate to food but also to your sense of joy and freedom in life.á

*For a complete list, along with techniques to let go of past pain, see Chapter 7, Owning Your Hidden Losses in Body Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions. And don't forget our online course to finally, let go of your past pain.

Brenda Crawford-Clark, LMHC, LMFT, NCC

Author: Body Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions 

ęCopyright 2001 Brenda Crawford-Clark