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The Trauma Diet - How Spiritual Dis-ease Creates Inflammation & Obesity; How Unloading Your Heart Takes off Unwanted Pounds

What if you could lose weight on a diet...for your trauma?

What if that constant feeling of heaviness that seems to grip your bones, under your skin, or crawls through your veins like wet cement - is spiritual weight? We wake up in the mornings feeling heavy, like all of the food we ate yesterday hasn't left our bodies. Maybe its oddly seeped into our thighs, making it difficult to lift our legs. Maybe it's spread all over our torso, making all our organs feel heavy, or like a big solid block has replaced the abdomen that used to bend in every direction. We're a little bit slower. We're a little bit more tired. Sometimes it shows up on the scale - sometimes we're the same weight & we just 'feel' heavier.

It feels like more than just extra weight.

It feels like something...must be wrong.

The majority of my clients are people who have 'tried every diet' and yet cannot seem to keep the weight off, or they yo-yo, or there seems to be this extremely dedicated 10-15 lbs that is unresponsive even to the most aggressive weight loss tactics.

They are adjusting their food, trying elimination diets, trying to single out the culprit giving them gut problems & constant bloating. They are going to doctors, getting tested for EVERYTHING. They are tired ALL the time. They are increasing their caloric burn, pushing harder at the gym, joining every fitness class they can jam into their already tight schedule.

Nothing works. None of those things have any positive effect for the struggle they are facing.

Because it's not a physical problem.

It's a physiological problem - their mind having influence & impact on their body.

I would know.

Because I've gone through this more times than I appreciate.

I had to learn the lesson multiple times before I clicked all of the puzzle pieces together.

I have spent most of my life running back & forth between all 4 types of eating disorder behaviors & using them in turn to deal with emotional turmoil - only to have a spiritual eureka drop my soul into a body I love within 24 hours.

Books such as The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Kolk (2014) & When the Body Says No by Gabor Mate (2003) have started to poke the medical system in the eyeball a bit. They shed light on the relationship between trauma & our body's physical response over time; the spiritual dis-ease becoming actual disease.

More recent studies that have shown that the higher your ACE score (adverse childhood experience) the higher your chances for health complications by mid-age. The correlation is strong enough to suggest causation.

But I don't need to prove to you that the weight we can't shake has a direct relationship with our internal emotional struggles - because you already know.

So I'm going to do what I do best & take you slightly past the obvious.

We watch people in unhappy relationships pack on the pounds, then break up & lose a bunch of weight, get super fit & see them happy again.

We see people in horrible work environments start expanding their waistlines, then finally quit & watch them regain their beauty & zest for life.

We hear the term emotional baggage.

We get told to take a load off - referring to de-stressing.

We know about the dreaded "emotional eating" that turns a 'difficult day' into a $52 uber eats from a fast food franchise we wouldn't be caught dead in by any of our friends. It shows up with 3 forks but we're the only one eating.

We KNOW all of these things.

We also hear the classic story of someone finally telling the truth about something, or coming out of the closet, or confronting an offender, or telling someone who really deserves it to F*ck off, or taking ownership & apologizing, or quitting or leaving or finally crying - like a weight has been lifted off their chest.

But we have nestled deep into this blind spot.

It's like many of us don't want to see it.

It's actually not 'like' anything.

It's exactly what it is.

We don't want to address our emotional discomfort.

We are psychologically lazy.

Unpacking & dealing with the social, psychological, spiritual or emotional situation that is actually making us heavy, fat, sick & making life feel like we are walking through a swamp - sounds more difficult & more scary than going on another annoying diet & playing peek-a-boo with our monthly gym membership.

Even though we know.

We know the problem is in our life - not our body.

Waking up every day with a constant undertone of worry, shame, uncertainty, resentment, bitterness, hopelessness, helplessness, low autonomy, low agency, low sovereignty, fear, desperation, sadness, grief, low self regard, regret - will weight us down.

When we feel we cannot speak out, when we feel we are doing something that is against our values, when we feel trapped, when we feel unheard, when we feel marginalized - it manifests in a physical way in our bodies.

Earlier this year, I had my daughter abducted & it took 17 days of pure hell to get her back. During my Liam Neeson adventure, I magically lost around 8-10 lbs while eating terrible food. I thought that was crazy. I dug into the research to find the ways cortisol (the stress hormone) acts differently in our bodies. There is cortisol for intense fear, when we feel like we're running from a bear or the hot blonde being chased by a killer in a hack-&-slash movie. Then there is cortisol for non-life threatening worry that we kind of just wander around with when something going on in our lives isn't sitting well with us & we don't know what to do about it.

That second one - that's the true killer.

This is the type of cortisol - the stress hormone - that causes people to pack on pounds & sit a little 'fluffy' for years. What is worse is when we add in a layer of worry that our workouts & new food Tetris game isn't working, because maybe we're doing it wrong or any of the other insecurities we get when we're trying to push a boulder uphill with a wet noodle.

It's just a new stress to distract us from the other stress we are avoiding.

But guess what? If you address THAT stress, if you fix THAT problem, if you adjust THAT discomfort - the weight will start coming off.

Like the time I decided to cut my mother out of my life for the final time.

I spent most of my teenage life feeling like a ogre. I felt 'thick.' I stood at 5'6" & 150 lbs for most of my high school years. Although I never 'looked' fat or overweight - I was constantly uncomfortable. I felt like my insides were constantly pressured to the maximum stretch that my skin could handle. I never had rolls or flab - I just felt like a balloon mixed with gravity giving me a little more attention than I deserved.

I felt like the density of She-Hulk, while dreaming of having the lean agility of a ninja. Regardless of what I looked like to others, I felt built like a rugby tank, but wished to glide & leap like a ballerina, feeling like my true body was hiding somewhere under a wet snowsuit of emotional pain.

In my late 20s I spent a few months battling with my mother about boundaries & respectful communication. Finally I simply decided - no more. I'm done. This is done. I blocked her phone number & her email. It was done & I wasn't turning back.

Later that day I felt like I was walking just an inch off the ground. That decision & it's follow through had a grater effect on my body than the anorexic struggle of 1,200 calorie days in my second year of university, sitting at under 130 lbs, not seen since before the age of 13.

I remember hiking the Nootka Island trail off the coast of BC about 5 months after giving birth to my first surrogate baby. I only had about 15 lbs left until reaching my pre-pregnancy weight. But 5-6 days of 4-6 hours of hiking with nothing but the rationed food on my back wouldn't shave off the emotional distress I was carrying. I came home the same weight I had left & felt even more uncomfortable.

So I messaged my boxing coach & told him there was no way I was having a private romance with him. Either everything is out in the open or its nothing. He showed his true colours & I never went back to training with him. Over the following week I lost the weight in tears & could finally see a way forward without carrying a secret that went against my values.

As for recovering from having my daughter abducted...even after I returned with her, the heaviness just continued to weigh me down. I went to the gym. I added in walks. I found therapy. I tried to move on. But the victimhood talk in my head & the PTSD fear & anxiety & spiritual unrest of the injustice that had been committed & damage imposed on my daughter was turning the inside of my body into a garbage heap. I felt like a community landfill. My digestion never seemed to work properly, even when I was eating 'perfectly.' My workouts produced no results.

Until I decided how I was going to approach my personal sense of justice. I found my voice, I stepped into the ring & made a stance on who I am, how I'm going to show up in this life & what I'm going to do about it. I had spent 5 days at a mastery leadership retreat & came home feeling like my body was under my control again. I ate 3 large meals a day, plus snacks, plus dessert every night & only went for 3 jogs of 1 mile each the entire time I was there. Moved less, ate more. Came home feeling more skinny & lighter than I have in the past 4 months. What the hell?

It's the reckoning. It's a hardcore weeding of the garden that's long over due.

Have you tried it?

Why don't you?

Screw your 6th gym session this week. Burn a war path to your husband & tell him your sick of his covert psychological spousal abuse, lathered in narcissistic gaslighting & that shits going to change or he'll be hearing from your lawyer.

Screw the next 3 hours your planning to spend researching how to do Keto perfectly - go tell your mother she's not allowed to just drop by unannounced anymore, that you'll text back when you feel it's convenient & that it was really shitty of her to pressure you through years of dance school even through you hated it.

Screw continuing to stress out & prep the rest of the office staff for your departure & making sure things wont fall apart when you leave your job - book your last week as the vacation days you haven't taken in 3 years, call out your boss for being a bully & order 4 drinks on the plane trip to Hawaii.

Maybe it's not even something on the exterior. Maybe its a subtle grief that has burrowed deep inside of you. Maybe it's a victimhood story from a childhood trauma you're holding onto as a piece of your identity you don't need. Maybe it's your resistance to forgiving yourself for something that you could not have avoided?

I would say 'watch as the pounds fall off' but they might not.

Because they might not even need to.

You may just notice that you no longer FEEL like a slug rolled in wheat flour.

You may feel release. You may feel elated.

Notice as your digestion shifts. Notice as your exhaustion lifts.

Notice as your body feels...about 10 lbs lighter.

Maybe even see it on the scale.

I double dog dare you to try it.


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If you would like to start building your Core Resiliency Skills contact Coach Julia today. You will learn how to Thrive beyond your damage, become a Transitional Character, break abuse cycles in your family & build the core resiliency skills most often missed when being raised in a low nurture environment.

Julia is a Holistic Health Consultant, holding a Double Diploma in Community Support & Addictions Work, is a Certified Transformation Specialist, Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach & a Lvl 2 Reiki Practitioner. She specializes in Trauma Informed Practice & Resiliency Coaching and Holistic Pregnancy & Postpartum Health Coaching. 

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