Do your feel protected by your extra weight? Do you feel safer when all eyes are NOT on you? Do you binge when you're asked to take a risk or put yourself out there in a way that makes you feel vulnerable? The next layer is called The Safety Layer. It deals with overeating that is triggered by feeling unsafe in one way or another.
Excerpt from Shrink Yourself Chapter 6: The Safety Layer: Using Food to Feel Safe
I'm guessing that food still feels enticing, in spite of all the knowledge about shrinking yourself that you have so far -- you just can't help yourself. Why? Because you're human - a complicated entity, full of contradictions. You say you want to lose weight and you have all the evidence to prove it -- the diet books, the exercise videos, the low-fat foods in the fridge. Unfortunately, you also have a part of yourself that wants to stay overweight.
This is different than what we've been discussing so far. Up until now we've been approaching this problem from the part of you that wants to lose weight but is having a hard time giving up the advantages of food as an over-the-counter tranquilizer. Now we want to look at a deeper layer, the part of you that actually wants to be fat. It's the part that is responsible for your regaining the weight after you've lost it, or the part of you that just digs in your heels and says, I just want to eat as much as I want, the hell with this diet stuff. We're introducing you to your Rebellious Self.
It speaks to the side of yourself that sabotages your efforts to diet, the part of you that wants you to stay fat â€" that actually uses your weight to prevent you from having the life you want. Most of this book has been dedicated to the rational side of yourself (The Sensible Self)-- the you that's fully committed to losing weight, that wants to have a healthy and attractive body, better relationships, and life fulfillment. But this other part of you, which I call the rebellious self, not only resists your efforts to diet: it's terrified of losing weight. It's almost as if you have two beings inside at odds with each other. There is the part of you that desperately wants to lose the weight, and there is a part of you that sabotages all of your efforts.
Your rebellious self has two main modes of operation: either it cowers in the corner like a frightened toddler, sucking ice cream in spite of knowing better, or it acts out like a bratty kid demanding ice cream. In the first case it wants you to stay overweight in order to provide you a place to hide (under your fat) using weight as an excuse for not growing up or for avoiding romance and adult responsibility. In the second instance it wants you to stay overweight to assert independence from expectations or to get back at controlling people.
Everything you've learned in previous chapters has prepared you for doing this deeper exploration into the Rebellious Self. Now that you've learned that there are many adult alternatives for dealing with your moods and legitimate desires, you have everything you need to live better without using food as a short circuit or tranquilizer. Unfortunately, you also have the rebellious self to contend with.
By bringing the reasons you honor the rebellious self into your full consciousness you can think through whether or not you want to continue hiding behind your weight. Somewhere along the line you made a DECISION to use fat to avoid dealing with psychological and developmental issues. It might have happened when you were ten, or 15, or 20, or even decades later. Now you have to make a new decision: do you still want to keep this protective layer of insulation, in spite of the cost to your health and happiness? Is it worth it?
If you notice that you have been using food or fat to keep you safe, you'll need to make a personal decision before any diet will work for you. The Shrink Yourself program can help you do this. You'll need to decide if you are willing to give up the illusion of safety that extra weight has been providing. In the Shrink Yourself program we help you get to the core of your safety issues, so that you ... Continue
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