Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Body And Weight Release Goals

In my SHIFT-IT and Graphic Coaching work I help clients identify what they really, really want and help them get it. One area that commonly comes up is desired changes to their physical body, weight and physique. In working with different clients, male and female, here is some 'food for thought' about the issues and complexities connected to this interesting area.
Who Are You Doing It For, Really? Have you set out a body-related goal for yourself? Reaching a certain goal weight or looking a certain way? Only to be stalled out after an enthusiastic start? If so, are you really doing this for yourself? You might find that in digging a little deeper you have set about this goal to please another person. Perhaps a mate, partner or parent. Or to meet socially dictated standards that you think you 'should' (who dictates what is 'excess' weight anyways!). But, underneath you resent and rebel against these outside judges. Chafing at what others want you to be as opposed to who you are.
When creating a body-related goal, get clear about why and for whom you want this goal. You can reach your goal being driven by outside factors, however, your conflicting energy and resentment will probably get you in the end --- Its best to focus your Personal Vision goals on areas that you really, truly want for yourself for your own best interest. Finding healthy beliefs and motivations that are aligned with your goal will help you achieve it, and faster.
How Might Your Weight Be Serving You? Releasing weight, at one level, is a very simple process. It is math -a matter of input versus output (unless there is something wrong with your physical system --- it should go without saying to always consult your physician to rule out any medical issues). However, releasing weight can be a tricky thing, if your weight is somehow performing other functions and roles for you.
What are some ways that your weight can be serving you? It might be performing a protective or 'insulation' function for you. Keeping you 'safe' in some way or getting you out of things that you really don't want to do or be bothered with -like certain kinds of physical and social activities.
People in stressful situations or from problematic backgrounds sometimes unconsciously put on weight as a buffer -to keep other people away, to hide and disappear, and to literally put something between them and what is perceived to be dangerous. Its very common for people uncomfortable with sexual attention to do this as well as people who had or have safety as a primary issue for them in some way. When these situations are identified it can be very helpful to work with a trained therapist to help you deal with the deeper reasons that you might be carrying protective weight. To determine if and how you want to release it.
Interesting Belief Glitches: I find clients encountering obstacles in their weight goals to be really interesting. It's the 'Nancy Drew' part of me --- always intrigued by the mystery of what is really going on. One of the biggest premises that I hold to in my own life and in my coaching work is the concept that 'we create our own reality'. Our inner beliefs, thoughts and attitudes shape how our outer world manifests. So if a client is having a stubborn weight issue, I know there is something going on at the belief level that might be tangled up or programmed in a funky or cross-purpose way.
Some interesting examples of ways people wire up their weight with other issues in their lives, and once those issues are addressed, the weight starts releasing:
- Heavier men and women who freely mingle and associate but when they are lighter receive a different reaction from both members of their own gender and the opposite gender (are suddenly viewed as having sexual interests and being a competitor --- are uncomfortable with that role so unconsciously put the weight back on to avoid it)
- Previously competitive athletes or performers who say they want to lose weight but at the deeper level are rebelling against the discipline and deprivation that they once endured -intense pressure from coaches, teachers and stage parents.
- Individuals who espouse they want to date and develop relationships but actually are apprehensive about rejections and being chosen for how they look as opposed to who they are -so retain weight to keep themselves out of the game, limit intimacy or to make it a test of the potential partner's character.
- People in deteriorating or defunct partnerships who are still holding onto the other person. When they come to terms with and process their loss, they release and let go --- the weight metaphorically coming off as the energetic connection to the other person is finally released. Weight transfers like this can also be linked to children. Weight releasing as children leave the nest and launch into their own lives.
- Individuals with ailing, fragile loved ones (partners, parents, siblings, children) - unconsciously thinking that by retaining weight and fullness on their own body they are doing for their loved one what they can't do for themselves (valiantly trying to save them, that if they release their own weight, they will somehow also lose their loved one in the process).
Do Your Inner Work In Order to Impact Outer Changes: As you can now see, there can be deeper issues connected to weight that need to be addressed until typical weight release strategies like nutrition, portion control, exercise and life style shifts can begin to flow more easily -and result in the body-oriented goals that many people seek. Some of these issues can be appropriately addressed with a good coach, and others can benefit from con-current work with other helping professionals: therapists, hypnotherapists, body and energy workers and the like. Once the inner click occurs, the outer results will rapidly follow.

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