In your battle to shed pounds there are two obvious factors you’ve likely considered; nutrition and exercise. Eating well and burning calories are the two obvious factors that are always taken into consideration on the quest to getting thin. The formula sounds simple yet, for the majority of people, loosing weight remains a struggle. Why? Because there is a lesser known third component, equally as important as nutrition and exercise, largely being ignored. Your mind.

Amber came to me for help with her weight loss struggle. For years she had been doing everything right. Eating healthy. Hour long daily walks. She knew nutrition inside out and had even completed a two year nutrition program. Her weight would bounce up and down. The little she would lose would come right back. No matter how well she ate, how hard she tried, it felt hopeless. She felt completely powerless in respect to losing weight.

Having worked with similar clients in the past, I pulled out one of the many probing questions from my tool belt. I asked Amber “If you were to reach your target weight, what would be the absolute worst thing about that?”. After pausing for a few seconds, her eyes grew wide as she answered “I don’t know what I’d do with myself”. She realized something that had never occurred to her.

Losing weight was her life.

Her weight loss battle had become her top hobby. Studying nutrition. Reading weight loss magazines. Without her weight loss struggle, who would she be? She had made losing weight part of her identity.

This identity was the root cause of her weight loss struggle. It induced self sabotaging behaviors which, even though she consciously wanted to lose the weight, subconsciously, wasn’t an option. The fears of who she would become without this struggle, was keeping her stuck.

This is one of many subconscious patterns creating barriers to losing weight. Emotions such as low self worth, powerlessness and feelings of not being good enough all create barriers to weight loss. I regularly witness clients experience a side benefit of shedding pounds without making any weight loss efforts all because they managed to let go of emotions, which beyond their awareness, were responsible for the excess weight they carried.

Anik Gallant (blissfullyorganik.com) has explained to me that when your body is operating in a state of fight or flight it creates a barrier making weight loss next to impossible. If you feel like you’re always walking on egg shells, always on the go, or operate largely in a state of fear (suffer from anxiety) you may be operating in a state of fight or flight. When in this state your body raises cortisol levels (a stress hormone) which gets released into the blood stream. This stress response impacts normal organ function and inhibits the ability to lose weight. Because your body has the impression it may be in danger it turns all its attention on balancing the body’s vital functions rather than focusing on letting go of weight. It is very difficult for the body to let go of weight when not in a relaxed state. You can read more about this in Jenna La Flamme’s book Pleasurable Weight Loss.

Taking your emotional and mental state of being into consideration in your weight loss struggle may be daunting. Take note however clearing the emotions and subconscious patterns usually have immediate and long lasting effect. The emotions you’re harboring are emotions you’ve picked up along your life journey and aren’t part of you. Working with a practitioner using the right tools can help you let go of these emotions once and for all. Releasing these emotions may turn your quest to lose weight from struggle to ease and also help you live a healthier, happier life.