You’re reading this article because you think you have a food or weight problem, right? And what if I told you, you’re wrong. Moreover, no matter how hard you try to fix the problem by dieting, you end up failing. Why? Because you haven’t fixed the real problem.

If you are working a diet program, working with a nutritionist, a 12-step program, or are in a spiritual-recovery group--good. Keep doing what you are doing. You don’t have to change a thing. This article will teach you about the 3 core issues underlying all food and weight problems--the issues that many programs leave out. Just add these strategies to what you are already doing, and you’ll be in good shape.

I lived for 20 years food obsessed. I have also lived for 20 years fully recovered. I can teach you how to be free. I’ve done it myself, and I’ve helped many others like yourself. And I’ll tell you this, there isn’t a person out there that I’ve worked with that hasn’t had to address their core underlying issues--FEAR & LACK. That is why we cling to weight, or cling to our obsessions or cling to our compulsions because we are desperately afraid of never being fulfilled. And because it’s a heck of a lot more comfortable to fight off food compulsion then to face the terror of our own unfulfillment, our own lack. You see, we all have a unique comfort range. It feels kind of safe, but it isn’t really. It is simply familiar and carries a sense of pseudo safety. Think of yourself as a caveman or cavewoman. Your food issues are your cave. You venture out into the scary big world and you have to face your own fears, right? But snuggled up inside your cave, you’re safe from harm.

Sorry. I wish I could tell you there was a kinder way, but I can’t. Your job is to face your fears. The good news is that you can learn to leverage these fears into what I call Power Drives. You can actually begin entertaining the thought of leaving your cave and building a beautiful home in the sunlit valley above. Most of us hide out in our caves--bury our fears simply because we don’t know what to do with them. After all, they’re scary. It’s natural to run away when we see one. You run to food. No biggie. Other people run to other things. You just happen to use your food obsessions to handle your fears. In this article I’ll start showing you HOW to stop turning to food, HOW to face your fears, and better yet, how to use your fears to move you towards freedom. What a power we all possess. We actually can turn our fears into our greatest allies, to help us attain what we’ve always wanted: happiness, freedom and fulfillment.

In 40 years of working with this issue, I’ve broken-down the FEAR problem into 3 crucial mindsets that must be overcome. I call these the 3 Laws of Fear-Based Lack. Fear-Based Lack is a devastating condition that results in thoughts, feelings and behaviors that create and re-create over and over again a chronic condition of underlying shame, struggle and inadequacy. FEAR inhibits our expression in such a way as to produce a deep and profound state of emptiness or lack.

The 3 Laws of Fear-Based Lack are:

· For every compulsive bite and diet, there is an equal amount of repressed authenticity and aliveness.

· For every compulsive bite and diet, there is an equal amount of repressed self-integrity & self-strength.

· For every compulsive bite and diet, there is an equal amount of repressed self-nurture.

Whenever there is repressed authenticity, integrity and nurture, there is a profound and deep pervading sense of lack. We use food to fill the void and cope with the terror that this underlying emptiness will never be filled.

For now, let’s explore each of the 3 above fears and learn how to begin leveraging ourselves out of our fears, underlying lack and resulting food/fat symptoms into alive, authentic living.

The 1st Law of Fear-Based Lack is: For every compulsive bite and diet, there is an equal amount of repressed authenticity and aliveness

As children, we are programmed to absorb (like sponges) the beliefs and lifestyle of our parents and our culture. What we see around us is what we pattern ourselves after. As new-born spiritual beings we come into this world wide open--ready to explore and create. Instead, we are surrounded by the fear our parents and society have already internalized. Our little sponge-self absorbs the fear and takes on the fear reality. The child body becomes riddled with pain. (It is painful to lose our spiritual truth, at any age). We find ways to “survive” our fear-ridden childhood. One of the ways is by overeating or producing a biochemical system that protects us with fat.

As we grow into adulthood, our spiritual truth is kept alive by a vague memory, a vague longing for something that we hope is deep down inside. In many cases, this yearning is totally repressed by the day-to-day struggles of being an adult. In other cases, the longing is tenaciously held onto and drives us forward seeking meaning, spiritual truth and healing.

This yearning is our key to freedom. HOWEVER, as we begin to follow the path of longing, we MUST PASS THROUGH the gateway of our grief, anger and fear, because those feelings are a part of the repression mechanism and environment of our childhood conditioning. The good news is that as we follow the pathway of the yearning, we are on the road back to our greatest, most alive authentic Self. The fears are just temporary roadblocks that can be surmounted with support and guidance.

The way it works is this:
1. Your food and fat issues disguise your fears 2. To release your food and fat issues, you must confront and pass through your fears

The truth is this:
1. Your fears represent nothing more than an illusory reality you adapted yourself to in order to “fit in” with the reality you perceived your parents occupying. 2. You can move through your fears into the most incredible, ALIVE and AUTHENTIC Self you’ve ever longed to become.

This is how:
1. You can harness the power of your mind to reconnect yourself with your spiritual truth, and powerfully confront your fears so that you can create and claim a life based on your ALIVE, AUTHENTIC Self. 2. Just as in Akido, the student is taught to utilize the energy of the enemy to FLOW into victory, you can learn to utilize the energy of your FEARS to EMPOWER your ALIVENESS. 3. By focusing on ALIVENESS, not FOOD, you are powerfully anchored into the essence of your Being, which strengthens your ability to confront your fears..

The way out of FEAR of FOOD/weight issues is to identify and face the fear of bringing forth our most alive, authentic Self. This is an incredible journey folks. This is what life is about. This is why we are here. If you are reading this article, you are probably ready to find yourself and give up your food issues forever.

· The 2nd Law of Fear-Based Lack is: For every compulsive bite and diet, there is an equal amount of repressed self-integrity & strength.

Your spiritual essence has its own unique set of values. And those values are longing to express themselves in this world. When we take on the fear-based reality of our parents and of society, (what we see represented around us), we squash the vital expression of our essence, which results in lack. To be able to express this truth in the world, is joyous beyond belief. We are desperately longing for this. Expressing essence, we are in integrity. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear and resentment, mean we are out of integrity. We must allow these feelings to guide us back to our truth so that we can radically alter our lifestyle to match this truth.

Let me give you an example of how this process might work, as I’ve personally gone thru this process many times and on many levels. For years I worked at IBM. I would go to work depressed, then come home and cry. Why? The answer was simple. Working at IBM was not the work that expressed my essence. Through the years, as I’ve made vital changes in support of myself, I’ve discovered that my truth is voraciously creative. Any job that asks me to fit into another person’s system won’t work for me. I’ve tried on all sorts of systems and I still try on systems. But, what I discover is that in order for me to be truthful to me, I have to have the freedom to try on a system and then re-create it. I have to have the freedom to act spontaneously. Now, my parent’s system didn’t work for me. It wasn’t a bad system. It worked for them. It just didn’t work for me. We were as different as lettuce and carrots. My authentic self was not mirrored in my environment. To be in integrity with myself, I’ve had to find the courage to live my life very differently from the way I saw my parents live theirs. Working at IBM was the perfect job for someone living in my parent’s system but it didn’t work for me. No wonder I was depressed. My spiritual essence had no expression. Simply put, I was not in integrity with myself. I longed for freedom, but I had no idea that to acquire that freedom I was going to have to have the courage to protect my truth and act on my truth.

You must do the same--in the sense of finding your truth. You must inquire into your own truth and discover what it is you passionately need to feel at one with yourself. This means you must stop doing what you think you “should” be doing, stop living another’s reality. This means you courageously embrace your values with dignity. I don’t know what this might look like for you. What do you dread when you wake up each morning? What do you regret when you lie down in bed each night? What dreams and visions for yourself have others convinced you are silly. I don’t know you, and I certainly don’t know the look of your truth. But, I do know what when we begin honoring ourselves in our own lives, we take on a whole new way of being in the world that brings us joy. This is living in integrity with ourselves. And this demands the courage and strength that I call FIERCE. Being fierce means strongly pursuing what brings us joy. It means being highly focused in pursuit of our dreams, and being willing to be uninhibitedly intense in wanting what we want. It demands having the courage to not be like everyone else. How magnificent.

Self-strength takes courage to act in our own behalf, to take actions that support the Self. It means learning to say, “No,” to the demands of an outside world that don’t mesh with our own aliveness. It means learning to say “Yes,” fiercely to our inner values and calling. It means developing strong boundaries, setting limits and courageously moving in the direction of our inner dictates. It’s painful to be out of integrity with ourselves. It is painful to know that a deep part of us isn’t being expressed because we’re confused, afraid and lacking in the support we need to help ourselves shine.

So, what does food have to do with this. Food hides the pain. It numbs us so we don’t have to confront the yearning and the changes we might need to make. It fills the deep hole inside, a hole that can only be filled by us making different choices. It covers the grief we feel at the loss of the true Self. Take food away and you will have to feel the feelings but these are good feelings because they point the way to wonderful changes. It’s just a bad habit to keep running back to food. It’s a huge distraction from what is vital.

· The 3rd Law of Fear-Based Lack is: For every compulsive bite and diet, there is an equal amount of repressed self-nurture.

STOP!! Don’t take that compulsive first bite! Let down some of your control. Stop dieting. Instead, I want you to look inside yourself and ask yourself this one question: WHAT COULD I do for myself right now that would be obscenely Selfish? This is a radical request for most women, but I have to tell you that I see, time and time again, the pain that putting others first brings. Most of us are taught to put ourselves aside and be there for others. I see this over and over again. I see the suffering that losing oneself to others causes. If you were to ask me, what is the most prominent cause of weight-gain or anorexia? I’d have to say, caretaking others at the expense of oneself! No doubt in my mind. Absolutely none. If you are not putting yourself first, you are eating (or restricting) instead! You’ve got to unlearn this pattern and you’ve got to become obscenely Selfish. There IS a difference between true caring and caregiving. Essentially caring happens in joy. Caregiving happens in sacrifice and numbs us to joy. You see, the essence of the Self is extremely Selfish. But not in a way that hurts or ignores others. In fact, the Self doesn’t even know what Selfish means. The Self just plays at what innocently brings her pleasure. And s/he figures that others will be excited to play this too. When we are selfishly following our greatest passion, we give others permission to do the same. There is a glow about us that others want. We become attractive and exciting to others. We spread joy.

So how did you lose this? I’ll tell you. You see, when you were that small young child and you absorbed your parent’s and society’s fear-based reality, you learned this untruth: Don’t trust yourself, because harm will surely come to you. Fear means harm is lurking around the corner. Any “wrong” move can and will result in some forsaken tragedy. We learn to question our impulses, and our spontaneity. We become adept at doing things “right,” which means doing things in a way that will prevent harm from coming to us and our family. We learn to second-guess ourselves and to be careful. Too careful. We learn to disown our impulses and replace them with caution. Not healthy caution, but caution based on fear. This is how we learned to watch out for others, rather than enjoying our selves.

We can unlearn this fear-based living. Indeed, when we begin replacing our fear-based caution with radical Self-Nurture, our Self thrives. Why? Because when we re-focus our thoughts and actions on nurturing, joyous pursuits, we begin reaping the rewards of a nurturing, joyous life, and this is totally fulfilling. The longer you avoid your own fulfillment and compensate with fear-based “right behavior,” you perpetuate emptiness and lack. Then, food/fat obsession is to fill that void.

Your job is to utilize the incredible power of your mind to connect itself with your heart to honor your heart’s Selfish desires. The reality is “selfishness” has no meaning in the world of your alive, authentic Self. Why? Because as you become alive through your Selfish pursuits, you spread joy and give others permission to to do the same.

ITS NOT ABOUT FOOD. . . is a process that entails:
· Becoming fully Alive through honoring our truths and having the courage to implement them
· Becoming obscenely Selfish in our pursuit of joy
· Facing and confronting the fears that we absorbed from our fear-based childhood environments so that we might use those fears to fiercely and powerfully drive us forward towards our truth

Stop allowing the 3 laws of Fear-Based Lack to rule your life. Realize the power of your creative mind and utilize that power to harness your abundant, magical, authentic Self. You are not alone. Please give yourself the gift of stepping into a journey that you will never regret. Yep, that’s what this journey is about.

***********************
Our Sacred Hunger Course begins October 7, and again in January, 2002.

Our Introductory Course (IT’S ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NOT ABOUT FOOD) begins in November and again December. It has 4 lessons and 3 teleconference calls. FOR MORE INFORMATION, email info@aliveness.net or subscribe to the Sacred Hunger News by emailing subscribe@aliveness.net. We’ll send you out info on all of our programs. For more information, visit, www.sacredhunger.com.

Copyright 2001 by Jane E. Latimer

Author's Bio: 

Jane E. Latimer, M.A. aliveness coach, artist, author and entrepreneur has transformed years of dysfunction into joy. "I believe," says Jane, "we can leverage our sufferings into our greatest joy, IF we are shown how." Her passion is creative play and transformation. Her mission: to show the world how to live beyond the wound, how to live our most alive, authentic self-expression. http://www.sacredhunger.com
jane@aliveness.net