If you’re thinking … “You gotta be kidding me! I don’t get anything out of being overweight – except for feeling rubbish in my jeans!!!”… listen up.
Because as crazy as it sounds, if you’re not the shape and size you want to be, then you are getting something out carrying that bit extra.
The Mischief of Secondary Gain
As humans, everything we do, we do, because we get something out of it.
In psychology it’s called secondary gain. In English it’s the unconscious or under-the-radar reasons for holding onto an undesirable condition.
Secondary gain is very, very common. It’s the reason why so many of us say “I want to easily fasten the top button of my jeans”, but then behave in ways that directly conflict with what we said we wanted.
Secondary gain is also deeply unconscious. It’s like the iceberg that is mostly submerged, and we don’t even know we’re doing it!
It’s super important to recognise your secondary gain, because if you’re unaware of it, your unconscious mind will never allow you to become the shape and size you say you want to be.
But you can change.
First, you must to bring your secondary gain into clear view, out from under the water-line of your mind.
Hence the question…
What do you get out of being overweight?
– Do you use your weight as a barrier between you and future (or current) partners?
– Are you rebelling? Against a parent, a sibling, society, authority, men in general?
– Are you using your weight to punish? Yourself – for something you did or didn’t do in the past – or your partner?
– Do you get to hide or play small? Or blame others?
Example of Emotional Protection
A recent client had a breakthrough when she realised, “I get to hide! I’m online dating, and since I’m a larger lass, I get to tell myself ‘the reason he didn’t contact me was because he’s not into bigger girls, rather than not into me specifically.”
Example of Physical Protection
Another client – who’d struggled with her weight since a sexual attack in childhood – saw why she was sabotaging with post-gym food binges. Unconsciously she felt physically unsafe every time she got close to her pre-attack weight, and she’d self sabotage.
Clearly, these are individual cases.
But they highlight how our minds are very clever at keeping us overweight – all in the name of protection. Our unconscious mind simply wants to keep us safe and away from pain.
And, in its effort to protect, it will do whatever it takes – no matter how illogical it might seem.
So, what’s your thing, darling?
Simply ask yourself the question with honesty and curiosity. Keep enquiring as you go through your day.
You see, as you become aware of your secondary gain, you can consciously take back your power and you’re able to congruently move forward — without the self sabotage.
There’s no right or wrong answer, be gentle but firm and allow yourself the gift of discovering your under-the-radar blocks so that you can become the shape and size you want to be.
Now, off you pop, go and answer the question…
Love etc, Avril