Published: 10/22/2015 - Updated: 12/27/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
There’s no doubt about it: your weight is determined by the balance between what you eat and what you expend. This depends on your metabolism and endocrine/hormonal system. Your metabolism is how your body uses foods that you ate. This means that it uses, stores, and eliminates the energy in the foods you ate. The endocrine system controls diverse functions by secreting hormones, like growth, metabolism, reproduction, moods and more.
The interesting thing is that both cellular metabolism as well as the endocrine system are controlled by the brain. Well…the brain, which is controls functions and keeping us alive, governs everything in the body.
Where do those extra pounds come from?
But here’s the question: when is it that your brain (which is what regulates metabolism) determines weight? It’s whenever your brain detects some sort of “danger or threat” to life, like a situation of abandonment (when a baby is abandoned by his/her parents on an orphanage doorstep…). Isn’t is “wise” that this physical survival mechanism give the body the orders to survive and retain fluids and foods in emergency situations?
And getting left on a doorstep at the orphanage isn’t the only time we feel abandoned. At early infancy, babies can sense that they are not being tended to enough, or properly. When growing up, when your parents, or one of your parents isn’t around (because of divorce, work, or premature death) or even further, a lack of affection, being fired from their job, etc.
Keep in mind that when I say “feeling abandoned”, this doesn’t just mean being literally abandoned, but it also refers to what you feel to.
For the brain, there is no difference between real danger or imagined danger. The brain also does not distinguish between an abandonment that happened when you were small, or a feeling that, for whatever reason, continues to be alive in you as an adult.
Abandonment = loneliness, malnutrition and lack of protection
The abandoned individual’s brain perceives: possible malnutrition, lack of protection – danger, being unsafe, being lost – this means that they are not guaranteed protection and nutrition that parents naturally and biologically provide. Consequently the brain adopts an emergency solution which translates into something that guarantees survival.
Baby humans are born immature, and therefore need urgent attention from their protectors in order to live. Without this, they will die.
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When you feel alone, there is some sort of imminent risk of death, and whenever this happens, physiologically your organic needs are listed in the following order of importance: air, fluids, food. Because no one will give them fluids and food, the brain orders the body to enter a state of emergency to be frugal with resources. This creates a spasm in the collecting channels of the kidney, to retain fluids.
Likewise, being in danger and being alone affects the metabolism, which receives “instructions” to intervene in two directions: by accumulating nutrients for the eventual lack of provisions, and to provide protection. This is done by accumulating adipose/fatty tissues – triglycerides – which provide protection. They provide a barrier between cold and more volume = intimation of predators. This also provides energy reserves.
Abandonment = being lost
Whenever a dog is lost, they increase their efforts to find their owner, right? They’re nervous, hyperactive. Humans do the same. Whenever we feel lost, the brain gives the orders to secrete cortisol. This hormone activates energy (glucose) supplies to the body via the suprarenal glands. We’re referring to the “sensation” of feeling lost, not actually being lost, or having to go somewhere to find someone. Consequently, this energy is not consumed by the muscular system, and the way in which the body processes this excess of sugars (hyperglycemia) is to create an intense hunger. This obviously leads to more pounds.
Abandonment = depreciation
Whenever someone abandons you, you may experience a sense of depreciation. One way that the brain helps solve the problem of supposedly being worth less, is to make oneself larger. Balloon fish inflate in dangerous situations, and a lot of fish live in schools in order to look bigger to predators.
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This means that: If I’m bigger = I’m worth more = Less danger
This mechanism for change also responds to the need to camouflage oneself in the face of danger. One must find a way of impressing an adversary, or using a protective shield, and/or strengthening ones social or family positioning.
Abandonment = fear
I don’t think we need to talk a lot about how abandoned individuals are afraid. They may even be afraid of being attacked. This causes a state of hyper-vigilance, and in this state, the thyroids come into play. The thyroid secretes three hormones: thyroxin, triiodothyronine, and calcitonin. The first and second stimulation oxygen and energy consumption, and the third stimulates bone development. This means that by increasions thyroid hormones in the blood (hyperthyroidism) without increasing activity, could increase food demands and hunger. Reducing hormone levels (hypothyroidism) could increase energy and fat stores.
Abandonment syndrome is an example of how a psychic affection can manifest physically and in this case, lead to weight gain. This also creates conflicts with one’s image and identity. Certain Unconscious Family Loyalties that condition strength in us. These unconscious messages prevent us from losing weight. Some obese individuals are affected this way by developing self-compassion that no one else gave them. (Remember, the first “nourishment” we receive is love, much longer before we eat our own foods). Some people improve their curves (femininity) by increasing their adipose/fatty tissue deposits, or their strength (safety). Medical, genetic, environmental and social factors also affect this organic result. In turn, health and weight are affected.
Of course, eating a healthy diet, balanced and conscious diet is important. And of course, you need to do some sort of physical activity. There’s no doubt about the fact that most of us eat too much and move too little; however, whenever you try to control your diet and succeed, whenever you follow an exercise routine and follow through with it, not only will you lose weight, but you’ll gain weight too! This means whenever you lose weight, you gain weight too. At any rate, these emotional factors can play a primary role in affecting and conditioning your weight.
What you shouldn’t forget, however, is that when you look at the scale and tighter clothes, what this means is that you need to remember that your extra weight could be a manifestation of a certain imbalanced emotional state or chronic general stress. This could be specific to one or all areas of your life, which means that you are living poorly and are less happy than you could be.
Blesses pounds that tell us how to live better!
I love those extra pounds, but I’m happier without them!
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/27/2017
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