From a purely physiological perspective (which is focuses on matter and not subtle energy), being overweight is a symptom of consuming more calories (units of energy) than one is utilizing. This means you are literally carrying more than you need for your healthy weight range. Those excess units of energy/calories get stored in the body as fat. For many people that struggle with their weight, the physical formula of “eat less, burn more,” isn’t enough to remedy this chronic issue. This is not medical or psychological advice and I am not a medical professional so the theory I offer today proposes a holistic, instinctual, and energetic explanation for being chronically overweight.
From this perspective, we can understand that having an excess of fat (meaning beyond a healthy weight range), means that the person is symbolically and literally carrying more than they need. The excess fat symbolizes and demonstrates that they are carrying so much extra energy, problems, beliefs, experiences and/or stuff, that they literally cannot process it all and use it for fuel or nourishment for their life or personal growth. Instead it weighs on them. It weighs them down. It is a literal weight on their body.
In Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life, she offers emotional/mental probable causes for various physical ailments along with the positive thought patterns to replace it. Her probable causes for being overweight are: “Fear, need for protection. Running away from feelings. Insecurity, self-rejection. Seeking fulfillment.” On the individual level, obviously the exact causes of chronic excess weight will be more specific and personal.
We can easily understand how excess weight accomplishes some level or sense of protection. If you have an extra layer of 50 or 100 pounds, you have a literal and energetic insulation from the world. The weight can become a type of energetic or symbolic armor or buffer by creating a physical barrier between the real you and the world. As an example, if a woman feels vulnerable to the sexual predation of men, she may unconsciously maintain a higher than necessary body weight to create some protection and buffer. This also works as a way to hide one’s true self behind the fat, which we will touch on later. Or if a man was abused for being a small child, a larger body weight may give him a sense of comfort or protection later on.
Examining the symbology of fatness, we can see that the frame is soft, emanating the same softness of a baby which we see as incapable. We do not put expectations or responsibility onto a baby because of their incapability to manage it. Sometimes maintaining a soft formless shape symbolically screams: “do not put responsibility on me.” Do not put any excess weight or expectations on me because I am already surrounded. We even have the term of losing one’s “baby fat” which happens when we move into adulthood. So, for some, maintaining this more baby-ish shape or composition can be associated with a refusal to step into adulthood and individuation where one is solely responsible for one’s life. This is especially true if blame is constantly placed elsewhere as a recurring theme. For example, if it is your family’s fault or your partner’s fault or your surgery’s fault for the excess weight.
Depending on how much excess weight the person is carrying, we can see that they are literally being hidden, drowned, or swallowed up by fat. The weight is a way to not only hide’s one’s adulthood from view but also one’s beauty, magnetism, and vitality. It is hiding one’s true form and beliefs. As mentioned above, this works as a barrier to insulate one’s Self from the world. This can be to hide from judgement by staying in a baby-ish state where no expectations can be placed on you. Or hiding from the external criticism by keeping your true self and talents locked away. Hiding from confronting some aspect of the world, like the negative manifestation of male sexual predation on women mentioned in an example above.
I’ve noticed in clients that the excess weight also serves as a way for them to create a barrier as a defense against the the world. This is usually because they are too empathic but also boundary-less. These people do not know how to manage their energy or their personal space. They are always taking on other people’s emotions or problems so the weight actually feels necessary to a degree. In these cases, the act of eating often becomes a grounding tool. This becomes the most effective or efficient method these people know how to get back into the present and be back in their body.
As mentioned, food becomes a type of “grounding” or numbing act. This becomes a way to quiet feelings and thoughts, especially those that are anxiety inducing. The excess weight creates a barrier between you and the world but the numbing routine of excess or emotional eating becomes a barrier between you and yourself. Marathon binge eating and watching Netflix becomes a method to quiet the world but also to quiet your inner self. Food is grounding because the sensation eating is a bodily experience. (By grounding I mean bringing you back into your body which is also bringing you back into the present moment because while your mind may be able to “travel” in time, your body only exists in the present. Constantly living in the future or past can also be a symptom of rejecting being in one’s body.) This is usually why “loud” foods are preferred for this type of eating: flavorful processed foods of sweets, carbs, and salts. People are usually not using lightly dressed salads and plain tofu to quiet the world and quiet their inner voice. Eating is also a safe pleasure to experience in the body. For those that have experienced bodily trauma or harm in some way, this type of bodily pleasure centered around food may be one of the only ways a person knows how to “safely” enjoy their body.
From my work I’ve noticed there is usually a past wound or an experience that creates a belief or a host of beliefs that vibrate at “I need protection” or “I feel unsafe” in someway. This can be an experience of abuse or abandonment or too much co-dependency or harsh criticism. When we properly process and integrate life experiences, they flow through our energetic field and are eventually released out of our crown chakra. If we integrate a valuable lesson from this experience and it evolves us in some way, this can positively impact our energetic frequency as a whole and contributes to our personal growth.
Alternatively when we have an experience that we cannot properly integrate or process, the body stores that “pain picture” somewhere in the energetic field. It might get stored in a major chakra (the 7 we are most familiar with) or into a minor chakra of a joint or nerve bundle or even into one of the layers of the aura. You can think of this phenomenon similar to a physical wound that the body can’t heal and so the body continues to function around it but the wound also keep festering. The festering gets worse and potentially blocks the blood flow to and from that area or contaminates what blood can still flow. This wound that started as something so small, can grow to infect other areas of the body and create problems that effect the whole bodily system. This is very similar to the way unprocessed experiences effect our energetic system.
If the unprocessed event radiates a frequency of “I am not safe” or “it is not safe to be in the present” this can manifest as a whole life that reflects and embodies this energy. I often mention our energy is the lens through which we see the world, and if a person’s lens is tainted with some version of “I am not safe,” they will not only find that in the world around them but they will also act in accordance to create any method of relief from this belief.
For many people, never addressing the underlying symbolic or energetic roots of their excess weight leads them to a revolving door of diet and exercise program failures. There is an energetic need to feel safe and they have created a way with excess weight to remedy it, though it is a rudimentary and often unsatisfying. To actually be free of the weight means that the energetic root of feeling unsafe must be remedied and the habits that created the unsatisfactory solution of excess weight must be replaced with something else. For example, this can be taking on a martial art to create a sense of safety in the world or learning a new meditation or journal practice to confront those feelings instead of stuffing them with food.
That said, there are absolutely very valid reasons why people are overweight. These energetic underpinnings explain the phenomenon but they do not excuse it. We all have very good reasons why we can be less than our best but that doesn’t mean there are any benefits for us to settle for a lower quality of life because of it. Our weight is not merely for aesthetics but also for our long term health and quality of life. I am not proposing everyone needs model bodies. Fitness “influencers” don’t even look like the pictures they post. But for every person, there is a healthy body composition range that one can maintain with a fairly healthy lifestyle. That isn’t outside anyone’s reach.
If any of this resonated with you, start with addressing the energetic root cause and the rest will fall into place before you. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes.