So what is the value of being overweight? That was a question for which I only recently found the answer. Like so many of you, I have struggled to see my body as beautiful. I only recently stopped cringing when those bathing suit magazines come in the mail showing men and women with their firm, shapely smooth bodies. I finally let go of the need to scan the pages in search of cottage cheese thighs as a way to make myself feel better. But still, every time I look in the mirror and see the mounds of fat that have accumulated around my ankles, elbows, knees, hips and in front of my abdomen, I have to consciously remember the value of this protective padding.
I don’t completely love my love handles and dimpled bottom yet. And I have numerous lapses into negative judgment that leave me feeling totally depressed and worthless. Yet even with the lack of complete love and lapses into judgment and depression, I still know how to see the value in them, thereby restoring my sense of personal value and self-worth. That process is what I want to share with you.
Step 1: Accept my inner child’s/Ego’s right to physical and emotional protection
(I refer to the inner child as the Ego)
As I look in the mirror at myself, I consciously remind myself that my inner child put this padding on my body because it could not trust me, the Self, to protect it by holding my personal boundaries and then creating agreements to hold those boundaries. I have learned that personal boundaries protect the inner child, and agreements make it possible to hold personal boundaries. Once I understood this I was able to see a purpose for the fat.
Step 2: Find the purpose for the fat
Just like we put on clothes to protect us, our inner child will put extra fat on the body to protect itself. Fat is the same as clothing to the inner child. The more frightened, vulnerable and distrusting of us it feels, the more fat (clothes) it puts on. So what I am saying here is that when our inner child cannot trust us to protect it, that child will find a way to protect itself and that way is by putting on fat.
Step 3: Find the value of the fat
You have heard me many times say that everything has a value, but when it came to being overweight, that value eluded me for a long time. It wasn’t enough to stand in front of the mirror naked and say to my body, I love you, you are beautiful, because I could never really believe what I was saying. In fact, I was down right lying to myself. I no more loved my lumps than the man in the moon. If I were truly honest with myself, I would say that seeing those mounds of dimply flesh revolted me. Only by finding the value and purpose of my extra pounds can I truly honor it and respect its right to exist on my body, and my body is our body.
So the value of the fat was the protection that it gave my inner child, and it is the least harmful way to gain that protection. I knew that she had many options to choose from and by choosing the fat, she chose the least harmful one. My Ego could have chosen muscular dystrophy or fragmented herself into multiple personalities, but instead, she chose the least harmful way to protect herself. And personally, I would rather deal with fat than multiple personalities or a disease that stops me from being free and active.
There is another piece to this process, which has to do with the Soul, the Ego, and me, the Self. That piece is knowing that each time I don’t hold a boundary, my inner child gets wounded. I liken it to her being stabbed in the heart with a knife. The wound, of course, is an emotional wound. They say that words don’t hurt, but that is not true, they are more deadly than physical wounds, leaving scars and pain we carry for a lifetime. Back to the wounding of the inner child, guess who is holding the knife the majority of the time? I am! Each time I don’t hold a boundary, don’t speak my truth, don’t express my emotions, I am driving that dagger into the heart of my inner child. No wonder she has put this padding on.
Step 4: Make agreements around the extra fat
So now that I understand this, what have I done about it? How have I handled it? Well, for starters I have entered into an agreement with my Ego. This agreement states that I will accept and allow her to keep the fat on our body until she feels safe enough to release it. I understand that for her to feel safe she must be able to trust me to hold my personal boundaries to protect us. I agree that I will need to earn this trust through my actions. I do not ask her just to take my word on this. I agree to earn this trust through holding my boundaries when boundary violations occur. This means speaking my truth in the moment, confronting and openly expressing my emotions.
In return, she has agreed to release the protective fat from our body as she trusts and feels safe enough to do so. It is understood that this will be a gradual process and not all at once. So there is no expectation on my part of waking up one morning and seeing the fat all gone at once.
I also agree that each time I get into feeling negative about the fat, that I will consciously reaffirm my agreement with her to keep the fat until she no longer needs it.
So there you have it, the value of being overweight. The value lies in the inner child’s ability to make his/herself feel safe. It is your inner child’s or Ego’s way of protecting your physical vehicle, and it will come off once you can hold your boundaries in the areas where your inner child still feels unprotected, exposed and vulnerable. Remember that the Ego or inner child’s purpose for existing is to protect your physical vehicle and keep you in the body, so that you may continue your incarnation and achieve the spiritual growth that the other part of you, your Soul, desires. After all, isn’t that why you are here?
Written December 1999
Note: For more information on working with the Soul and Ego see both the Soul/Ego/Self Partnership, the 3rd Multidimensional Key of Compassion, and The Open Door Key, the 4th Multidimensional Key of Compassion.
“What an inspiring article this was to read – obviously I am one that has a overweight problem. Your article has reinforced to me that I am an OK person – that my ME has chosen the overweight as you have said as a protection aid until I am ready to allow the real me out. The constant striving I have done over the last years to be what I thought others expected me to be – what I thought I was supposed to be for others – will soon be gone for good. I have often thought – why am I doing this – when I am ready I will lose my weight – like aging gracefully. Know I can put my efforts into finding ME and allowing the inner glow – growth through self healing, astral travel and spiritual development. Your site will be visited frequently over the coming months. In Peace and Harmony.” Phil
“We all have the some of the same challenges … your gift is to help us realize we are not alone. Thank you for doing that. I have just recently found that I had been carrying ET’s with me for lifetimes. Many of these have left, but I believe I may still have more hanging around, due to a continuing depression. I just read your article about carrying weight to protect the inner child. It really hit home. I want to rid myself of this extra weight now to show a better example to my daughter and to show more love to my husband. Thank you for giving me the tool. You are so blessed and are blessing all that read and learn from you web site. Thank you for everything positive. Love and Light.” Lynda