Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
become the person you were meant to be...

Dealing With the Roots of Your Weight Issues:

Note:  All names and identifying information have been changed.



How Long Will You Treat Your Symptoms Instead of the Causes?

Oh my gosh, Sandra, is that you?” I couldn’t believe how much weight this former client had lost. I’d run into her at a local store, and we chatted about her weight loss and how she was doing. She had lost 70 pounds since I had seen her last, which was about a year and a half earlier. Of course I couldn’t resist asking how she did it. I was expecting to hear that she used one of the latest diets. Instead, she grinned and said, “You know, most of the weight loss is from what you and I worked on in counseling.” We chatted for a while about her life, and it was thrilling to see how well she was doing compared to when she had first come into therapy.


I finally realized why I was punishing myself (by being heavy),” she said. She chatted a bit more about how we had discovered that she—like many overweight women—was punishing herself for certain things she had done, which I can’t reveal due to confidentiality. We had worked on figuring out how she was sabotaging her life, and why she felt compelled to do so. She gradually decided that she was done with that part of her life, and decided she deserved to be average sized. She started working on it, and in a slow, healthy way, dropped over seventy pounds.

I ran into Sandra at the same place about a year later, but didn’t get a chance to chat because there were more people around. She looked the same as the last time I’d seen her, so I know she has kept the weight off for over a year.


I wish more women and men would be willing to get into therapy to work on the underlying issues that caused them to gain weight in the first place. Of course there are no guarantees, but I find it interesting to note that many of my clients end up losing weight if they needed to do so. It is often a by-product of dealing with the issues that are heavy on their hearts, because those issues are the ones that tend to end up on their hips.

Do you have the courage to work on the reasons that you gained weight when it first started to accumulate? If you do, you will probably have more success with keeping your weight off once you lose it. Most likely, the weight gain started at a difficult period in your life, and in some ways it worked for you. By this, I mean that if you were promiscuous years ago, you quickly discovered that to wear extra weight protects you from your own promiscuity. Some of my clients call it a “fat bubble.” What do you call your layer of protection? What would it be like to deal with the causes of your weight gain?


Would you be willing to ask yourself the tough question of why the weight gain seemed like it was protecting you? Or why you turned to food as your drug of choice when your parents got divorced, or you were molested, or you lost your best friend? Until you are ready to face the truth, you probably will have only fleeting success with keeping off excess weight.. The truth will set you free. But first you will have to be able to look at your issues straight in the eye. Are you ready to deal with the roots of your weight issues, instead of yoyo dieting ? You deserve it.



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