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Weight Issues Can Eat Away At Our Relationships

By Cheryl Wasserman, MA, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor

Do you fear intimacy with another person due to the possibility of rejection? Do you find it safer to be intimate with a hot fudge sundae than a person? After all, it won’t reject or leave you. It won’t say, “No”. It’s always there for you when you want it. It doesn’t talk back. It can feel like safe, warm hugs and kisses. It can give you a layer of insulation (fat) to keep others away and thus, protect you. However, if you use food in this way, you will not be likely to have a meaningful relationship with a person since food is already meeting many of your needs!

You might not take the risk of expressing your true feelings in a relationship. Instead, you “stuff them down with food.” You do this because you feel your anger is unacceptable or because you think you should be “nice”. This denial of feelings often leads to depression and/or anxiety.

Overeating can help us to escape painful realities. An eating binge can numb uncomfortable feelings. If we have problems in the relationship, it’s easier to binge than to face the feelings. Our focus changes from “My marriage is out of control” to “My eating is out of control”.

If a woman has a fear of her sexuality, thinks she might be unfaithful to her husband and unable to say “No” to another man, she might gain weight and allow her body to say “No” for her.

In your relationship with your child, your preoccupation with his body and what he is eating might drive a wedge between you and him emotionally. In addition, he might use his body to rebel against your attempts at controlling him by gaining weight.

How can these issues be resolved?

Confront your fears of intimacy and learn to take the risk of connecting with humans rather than food; learn to “speak your truth” in a way that can be heard by others; let yourself feel your feelings — they are giving you important information; learn to say “No”; become comfortable with your body –until you accept it as it is right now, it will be very difficult to make long term changes to it; accept your children’s bodies as they are; do not make your body the scapegoat for other problems in your life.

For more information call 314-991-6730 or visit online at www.mindfuleatingforlife.com.

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