Those extra pounds might not be what you think.
By Judith E. Lipson, M.A., LPC
When there are weight issues in the family, it may be helpful to look at the situation from a nutritional, psychological and energetic perspective.
Typically, discussions about weight focus on the familiar concepts: Is there enough exercise? Are too many calories being eaten? When is the largest of quantity of food being consumed? What is the quality of food intake – fats, carbohydrates, etc?
From a psychological perspective, one can ask if weight is used as a barrier. Some individuals feel a deep insecurity and may unconsciously use weight to “protect” themselves. Is your child using weight to hide from inner emotions or to insulate against the world?
Some children don’t trust their own perceptions, and parents can contribute to the problem. When children share a perception about a person (“He was mean!”), or an event (“That was so scary!”), or their own state of being (“I’m not feeling good”), they are often told something different: “Oh, he wasn’t mean. He was just kidding.” Or: “That wasn’t scary. What’s the matter with you?” Or: “Your stomach is fine!” Children may learn to not hear or trust their inner messages. They may not hear their hunger/satiation signals, which can set them up for weight issues in the future.
A parent who also has food or weight issues sometimes projects these concerns on their children. Comments that are intended to be helpful can backfire. Listen – with an honest and open ear – to the messages that you give to your child. Be wary of comments about your child’s food intake or negative observations about their appearance.
We are not human beings having (or striving for) a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. The spirit feels much larger (expansive) than our physical form, and we long to be all that we are. But some are afraid of their greatness, and afraid that it will put people off. They may suppress their real self and show their greatness with weight instead of with their being. To address this concern, help every child to see the perfection that they already are – separate from their accomplishments. Teach them empowerment skills so they do not suppress their voice or their right to be.
Weight can be used as a mechanism to feel grounded. Some individuals live “with their heads in the clouds” and energetically aren’t “in their bodies”. Some choose to use weight, especially in the abdominal region, to feel grounded. These individuals may also be hyposensitive (comparatively lack sensitivity), may not have a sense of their body and may not feel their “edges”. In effect, they use weight in the hopes of being more aware of themselves.
For these energetic issues it can be helpful to teach children the concept of Tree: “The trunk (torso) of your body is like the trunk of a strong tree. Feel your trunk stretching down through your legs and into your feet, just like the roots of a tree, grounding you into Earth.” While Tree works for all ages, older children can also be encouraged to gently tap their body parts. As each area is tapped, the child looks for the sensation within that body part (as opposed to feeling it with the fingers that are doing the tapping). This is done without any judgment, observing the sensations along the body.
Ultimately, extra weight is about calories in and calories out: nutrition and movement. Model for your children how to eat in moderation. Select healthy choices for yourself and your child. Keep healthy snacks in the home and remove the unhealthy alternatives. Encourage movement and exercise and do these things together.
If you want the pounds off and wish to keep them off, it is helpful to examine the other aspects discussed here. Psychologically, are there old wounds to release? Energetically, is it time to acknowledge the inner self? It is time to be the expansive, honest and authentic person each person is here to be. Look within. Then go through the steps – physically and psychologically – to make the outside equal to the glorious inside.
Judy Lipson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and educational strategist in West Bloomfield. She helps clients of all ages who have learning difficulties; work or school related anxiety; ADHD; Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism Spectrum Disorders; and those who wish to Remember and Become Who You Really Are. Contact Judy at 248.568.8665 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and visit www. SpiralWisdom.net for more information.
This article was published in Metro You Magazine, January 2012