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Stress, Negative Emotions & Your Weight

Stress, negative emotions & your weight

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the link between negative emotions, stress and weight.

First a quick update:

“Accepting the unacceptable”
Read my article about how to overcome the greatest challenge we all face around The Holidays, and possibly the greatest challenge in life – accepting the unacceptable.

“Spirituality versus religion”
 A recent survey by Lifeway Christian Resources found that 72% of “millennials” (people age 18-29) consider themselves “spiritual” but not “religious” (they do not pray, read the bible or worship.) Watch the TV interview I gave to Nathalia Ortiz of the Catholic Channel where Tim Reidy from America magazine and I debate “spirituality versus religion.”

Now, let’s talk about the link between stress, negative emotions and weight.

This week a TV producer contacted me asking me to share insights with her about the psychological causes of weight and obesity.

I explained to her that most people claim that the reason a person is overweight is because ‘you’re eating too much and you’re not burning enough calories.’ In other words, too many calories in, not enough calories burned out. However, clients have said to me, ‘Look, I’m eating really well; I’ve been to a nutritionist. I’m following the program. I’m on a really strict diet. I’m eating healthy food and I’m exercising daily – doing cardio, focusing on strength, stamina, endurance, and I’m even using weights. So by now, many months later, I should have lost a lot of weight, but I’ve barely lost a few pounds.’ 

Thus, there is something beyond the equation of eat less = lose more.

So based on years of working with clients, I have realized that there are two causes to being overweight. Obviously if you’re eating poorly – lots of fried food and fatty foods, lots of sugar and carbohydrates, then yes, you’ll become overweight or even obese (particularly if you’re not engaging in any exercise and you’re living a sedentary lifestyle – you’re basically sitting down most of the time.) However, the average person who’s not living at that extreme still tends to be overweight because of other emotional reasons.

Ultimately, all issues relating to weight break down to one cause – negative emotions and stress. Of course, the two are tied together. Stress will lead to negative emotions, negative emotions will lead to stress and then that has a physical impact on your body – affecting your metabolism, glandular system and the entire functioning of the human body which then can lead to obesity and a range of other illnesses and diseases.

We don’t deliberately put on weight, but we do subconsciously put on weight for a reason. That means that everything that we do has some added benefit, it has some added bonus. There’s a reason we’re doing that even though we consciously say, ‘Hey, all this extra weight is not healthy for me. I don’t feel good about myself, I don’t have energy, I can’t fit into my clothes, I feel embarrassed etcetera.

So aside from stress, that weight is serving you – in a positive way – at a subconscious level.

I first discovered this many years ago when I was doing stage hypnosis and two women from Houston, Texas asked me to hypnotize them and tell them just to do what they asked – eat less, exercise more.

A couple of months later they invited me to Dallas to do a stage hypnosis show – a private hypnosis show in one of their mansions. One of the ladies picked me up at the airport and I didn’t recognize her; she had really completely shifted, transformed and lost so much weight. And I said to her, ‘Hey Anna; how’s Cathy?’  She said, ‘Well, what do you mean?’  I said, ‘How is she?’  ‘Oh, she hasn’t lost a pound.’  I said, ‘What?  How is that possible?  You look like a different person and she hasn’t lost a pound?’  She said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘But she was there. I know she was hypnotized.’  She says, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what happened.’

Later, when I got together with Cathy I was able to uncover – and this was only the first of many such cases – that there were deeper emotional reasons, deeper emotional motivations for her not wanting to lose the weight.

Robin came to me also wanting to lose weight and we uncovered that she first put on the weight 12 years prior when she and her husband had all sorts of problems in the marriage. Robin had an affair, became pregnant and gave birth.

Her husband who was alcoholic at the time had since forgiven her, but Robin hadn’t forgiven herself, and at a subconscious level she revealed: ‘I don’t want to be attractive again. I don’t want to be tempted.’ So she was using the wall of weight as a wall to keep people away. Robin had also been abused at another time in her life, so she subconsciously believed that every time she was attractive the result would be bad.

And yet another client of mine Alana wanted to punish her husband saying, “He’s being such a bad husband he shouldn’t enjoy my body.”

Of course, that’s not a logical response but we’re not logical creatures – we’re emotional creatures. We are driven by our emotions. Some clients revealed through our work together that they were overcome with guilt and were actually punishing themselves or were afraid of being intimate because they would become vulnerable – emotionally naked – and thus they might get rejected.

So negative emotions are one major cause of weight, and the other is stress. In my three-CD set, ‘Secrets to Losing Weight, Being Thin and Loving Your Body,’ I reveal in detail what stress is and how it impacts your body.

For example, mental stress (worries, obsessive thoughts and over-thinking lead to digestive problems, ulcers and poor absorption.) Stress in the form of despair, hopelessness and helplessness affects your metabolism. Physical and emotional stress drains your adrenal system leaving you fatigued and again affecting your metabolism and thyroid – adrenal exhaustion. In turn, your energy levels drop, you feel tired in the afternoon and you start to put on weight. You lose your appetite, you feel tired in the afternoon, you can’t digest food, you feel sad, teary & depressed, and you can’t get up in the morning. Stress also translates into food cravings.

It’s critical to reduce stress in its every form – physical, mental, emotional and nutritional. (Read also my newsletter from May 2009 about how to reduce the four types of stress )

Meditation is also a powerful way to reduce stress. My hypnosis CD is simply a visualization exercise, relaxing and calming you and helping you to perceive your life differently; it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond to what happens to you that determines your result.

Many of us make horrible subconscious conclusions in response to things that happened to us or things we did or didn’t do. Some clients have said to me ‘I don’t deserve to be thin.’ Notice I used the word ‘deserve’ because that ties into ‘The Law of Deservedness:  You get only what you subconsciously believe you deserve and you know if you get more you tend to sabotage it or push it away.’

Listen to the interview I gave explaining the Law of Deservedness

Some of my clients revealed that they feel they should be punished, they’ve done something wrong or they don’t feel that they deserve to be happy or to be healthy or to have a thin body. Or they feel that they don’t deserve to have all that attention: “Maybe I am physically attractive, but I’m not a good person underneath.” Or, as I mentioned above, they’re afraid of rejection and use the weight as a way to keep people away and avoid a relationship.

Look in your own heart and ask yourself “How do I feel about myself?”  Not just how do you feel if you’re overweight. Not just how do you feel when you look in the mirror if you’re overweight, but how do you really feel about who you are underneath the weight?  If you ripped off this shell, this layer of fat, this wall around you – would you feel confident about letting people get close to you?  Would you feel safe to trust again?

Also look at your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state now because that tells you how your body and health will be in five years. For how many years have you been carrying around resentment, frustration, anger, bitterness, guilt, punishment, vindictiveness, a sense of revenge, a lack of forgiveness?  All of those emotions combined have an effect on your mind, your spirit, your consciousness, your psyche – and they’ll lead to illness. They’ll lead to cravings. And if you don’t feel that you’re lovable, then you’ll try to fill up that inner emptiness by reaching for something that makes you feel lovable for a couple of minutes – like ice cream and chocolate.

If you are ready to transform, to reduce stress and release negative emotions, click here.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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