The Shocking Reason Why it is Extremely Difficult for Obese People to Lose Weight

Written by Pamela Wagner

Written by Pamela Wagner

@pamelawagnerofficial

Studies have shown that one of the main common denominators of people who are morbidly obese is that they have been sexually abused. Fortunately, or unfortunately, many don’t remember. But, how dare we make such a krass statement?

So where does such a statement come from, you ask? Let’s take a step back. To 1985 and a guy called Vincent Felitti who was back then an internist at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Renowned New York Times Bestseller author and founder of the Trauma Center in Boston, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, shares more about Felitti’s discovery in his book ‘The Body Keeps The Score’. Felitti was also running an obesity clinic back then and had discovered that most patients who are morbidly obese had been sexually abused as children. However, experiences from interviewing more than 280 patients wasn’t enough to convince the general public. As a result, he started a gamechanging investigation known as the Adverse Childhood Experience study (ACE). More than 17,000 people were interviewed on the subject of childhood trauma.

What he and his team found out was that while they successfully treated people at the obesity clinic, many had either regained their weight later on or had to be treated for different issues such as suicidal ideation. Some cases were so severe that only electro shockers could help.

This raises three questions:

  1. Why is obesity a problem?
  2. How does obesity become a problem, i.e. what are its roots?
  3. (How) can it be cured?

What Felitti and his colleagues found in thousands of their interviews was that obese people who experienced trauma tend to overeat as it made them feel:

  • less seen and thus more protected against potential danger (i.e. abuse)
  • less likely to be the target of any sort of attack
  • safe (or be one of the only actions that they took that made them feel safe)
  • overlooked and thus out of sight from any potential trauma, and reduce the risk of getting hurt again
  • like having found a solution to their problem, which was not knowing how to deal with their trauma and how a safe world could look for them

Unfortunately, for many, the short-term benefits (e.g. the taste of sweets or the momentary feeling of satisfaction) overweigh any long-term risks. And, oftentimes, due to the high mental stress load, willpower is low and saying ‘yes’ to changing one’s behavior becomes harder and harder. This is also the reason why they keep being stuck in the behavior of overeating, or having an unhealthy lifestyle in general.

In addition, for many people it is often more convenient to stay in victim mode than to take responsibility and action to step out of a self-destructive behavior.

What about genetic influence? Does it have anything to do with obesity?

In order to answer that question, one must first understand what genetics actually means. Not the classic school medicine’s definition, but looking at it on a cellular level as people like Bruce Lipton do. He has shown in numerous studies throughout his decades of experience that genes are only set to a certain extent. What it mostly means is that at one point, the body started to translate certain behaviors and thought patterns into the cell structure, which was then passed on to the next generation. As a result, genetics – as we know it – is the repetition of behaviors and thoughts under the influence of epigenetics (how your environment influences your well-being).

However, since these behaviors and thoughts were initiated somewhere, it means they can also be eliminated. Unfortunately, most times, society has equated ‘genetics’ to being unchangeable. But we long know from thousands of studies that that isn’t true.

With this, the genetic influence concerning obesity can still be changed. A person who turned out to be obese can still gain the willpower to achieve a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook in life.

To fully normalize obesity without accounting for its debilitating health effects is to not want the best for people. It would mean that it’s okay for them stay crippled by their trauma and not be able to live their best life. So, what’s the best approach?

Just like with every person who wants to change for the better, it’s best to reinforce good habits, give compliments, and no judgement. Give help when they need it.

If any obese person shares with you their deep personal goal of wanting to lose weight and be healthier, appreciate their vulnerability. Instead of directly giving advice, ask first if that is okay with them or what kind of help they would need.

Of course, body-shaming also has to stop. We all know that we’re least receptive to change when we receive negative criticism.

If you wonder how to make lasting changings in your behavior, emotions, and thoughts, then check out our latest training here.

Hi, I'm Pamela, the face of Hustle Less & Live More!

Hi, I'm Pamela, the face of Hustle Less & Live More!

I have trained and coached hundreds of people on personal development all over the globe – from Jamaica, the USA, to hosting workshops while being on a ship on the Atlantic ocean, all the way to Uganda, Austria, Ghana, the UAE, Pakistan, Singapore, and many more.

I am a go-getter, dream achiever, a true role model for behavior change, and I'm here to help you become the same.

Find me on:

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Hi, I'm Pamela, the face of Hustle Less & Live More!

Hi, I'm Pamela, the face of Hustle Less & Live More!

I have trained and coached hundreds of people on personal development all over the globe – from Jamaica, the USA, to hosting workshops while being on a ship on the Atlantic ocean, all the way to Uganda, Austria, Ghana, the UAE, Pakistan, Singapore, and many more.

I am a go-getter, dream achiever, a true role model for behavior change, and I'm here to help you become the same.

Find me on:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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