What is a hurt . . . and how do hurts relate to dieting and losing weight?

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What is a hurt . . . and how do hurts relate to dieting and losing weight?

As many as one in three obese women are survivors of childhood sexual abuse,[1] and indeed this figure could be higher.[2] Whilst this seems completely understandable to most, what about all the others? What is it that is causing us to either overeat or to eat foods that we know are ‘fattening’, or at least not healthy for our bodies?

I was talking to a friend recently on this subject and she said she felt like eating carbohydrates whenever she felt an “emptiness inside” — which was simply a feeling that she “did not like”. So, what is the cause of this ‘empty’ feeling that many of us could perhaps relate to?

Is it possible that an empty feeling can come from feeling a hurt of some sort? This doesn’t have to be a big hurt, such as sexual abuse. It could – indeed, in my case – be simply something someone said to you when you were young, such as: “Why are you fatter than your sisters?” Or it could be that you have compared your body to that of your sisters and thought you were ‘fat’ as a result of that comparison.

What then are hurts?

Are hurts different to emotions? Are they the reaction to not getting a picture we wanted or needed, or from recognising we aren't all living everything we could be, or from not being loved and adored for who we truly are, so that it becomes what we do that is important and recognised, not who we are?

"We all carry the one same hurt: Not being seen, felt, acknowledged, loved and adored for who we truly are. This is the one and the same dis-ease we all carry, until such time that it is energetically healed."

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, Volume II, p 446

For another person, a hurt may be that your teacher told you that you would never be able to draw/paint, or spell, or sew clothes, or that you would never pass your exams or amount to anything. Or a parent not loving you just for being you, rather than for what you achieve at school or ‘on the potty’. It could be the hurt, as a boy, of not being allowed to be tender and sensitive, being told to ‘toughen up’.

“I was with a young boy recently who had jeans and running shoes on on a hot day — but the wind was cold, yet his father told him to change into shorts and ‘toughen up’.” (Anne S)

We can find ourselves feeling hurt from all sorts of situations. For example, have you been hurt when:

  • You went to an occasion which you looked forward to all year which ended up being a disappointment or where you didn’t feel appreciated for who you truly are
  • Someone has rejected your offers of love and support
  • Your parents have separated or your relationship has broken down
  • Someone you know has suicided
  • You have an expectation that something will happen and it doesn’t
  • You have been bullied at school, home, work or on the internet

“As a teenager I was experiencing bullying at school, and at home I was coping with a parent with a mental illness — these were very intense experiences that hurt me a lot. I did not know how to cope with these situations, nor did I know how to reach out and ask for support, so I ate for comfort; I ate sweet food and junk food to provide a temporary escape from all the things I was feeling. Eating this way led to me becoming overweight.” (Melinda K)

All these hurts that we react to are unique to each person, because what may hurt one person may not hurt another, and vice-versa. There are no ‘rules’ on what is hurtful and what is not. When we feel we cannot cope with how much something that happened hurt us we can reach for comfort food to avoid feeling the hurt and it seems to fill up the empty feeling — but does it? Or do we just have to keep filling, keep eating?

“I know that when I eat to cover up what I am feeling I have to keep eating until I physically cannot eat any more, because the food is never enough to deal with my feelings. Also, sometimes I eat to numb what I see or feel going on around me, then feel bad about eating too much so eat more to cover up feeling bad about myself! It is an ongoing vicious cycle . . . “ (Anne S)

We can therefore use food to try and protect ourselves from our hurts.

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We have made life about protecting our hurts

We might try to hide our hurts, but if we don’t heal them then our life becomes based on protection and not love.

However, rather than trying to protect ourselves from our hurts, it is very important to feel what is there to be felt, because hurt feels like a trauma in our body.

When we don’t want to feel what we’re really feeling we can eat to cover up those feelings. For example, one person sharing her story about the link between her sexual abuse and her obesity stated:

“I started to eat my feelings.”[3]

At another level we could address the disconnection and emptiness we feel inside and why we eat to not feel this. Could we allow ourselves to feel what is there instead of using food to cover it up? So instead of a cycle of:

Sensitive –> hurts –> eat –> feel bad –> eat more

. . . we could have:

Sensitive –> hurts –> re-connect –> use coping strategies to support us

What could support us to deal with these hurts? Perhaps we could go for a gentle walk, talk to a friend about it, do a Gentle Breath Meditation, have a Sacred Esoteric Healing session, or ask for support from a professional such as a counsellor, doctor, psychologist etc.

However, unless we deal with our underlying hurts, many will continue to use food (or other substances) to numb what they are feeling.

"And note – most people suffer deeply as a result of rejection, being rejected, that is, not being truly loved by their parents in the way they knew (felt) that love to be. And, if you want to go deeper than that – the ultimate form of rejection is when you are not confirmed as being love. In other words, it’s not that you needed love so much as that you are love and were not confirmed or acknowledged as being it. This is an inner agony that deeply hurts many of us, not to mention the many forms of abuse, neglect, etc."

Serge Benhayon An Open Letter to Humanity, ed 1, p 543

References:

  • [1]

    Gustafson, TB. Sarwer, DB. Obesity Reviews. 17 May 2004. “Childhood sexual abuse and obesity”. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.601.4681&rep=rep1&type=pdf

  • [2]

    Khazan, O. The Atlantic. 15 December 2015. “The Second Assault”. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/12/sexual-abuse-victims-obesity/420186/

  • [3]

    Fell, J. Chicago Tribune. 7 November 2017. “Commentary: Sex abuse victims struggle to lose pounds put on as protective measure.” Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-fam-sex-abuse-obesity-1114-story.html

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DepressionObesityHealingAbuseAnxietyMental health

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