Jon Gabriel was stuck.
At nearly 410 pounds, he had tried every diet imaginable – with no luck.
No matter what approach he took to lose weight, his body would fight him, and he would inevitably end up heavier than before.
Then one day he had a light bulb-over-the-head “ah-hah” moment: His body wanted to be fat, and as long as it wanted to be fat, there was nothing he could do to lose weight.
If you’ve struggled for any length of time with weight loss, then you know the frustration that Gabriel felt in that moment. He was at war with his body.
In the two years following Gabriel’s “ah-hah” moment, he lost over 220 pounds naturally, without surgery or counting calories. His incredible journey is recounted in his book The Gabriel Method.
One of the key components to his success was that he identified and addressed the mental and emotional reasons that his body felt safe being overweight. Once these issues were eliminated, the weight began to fall off.
The Real Reason You Can’t Lose Weight
According to Gabriel, your body wants to be fat anytime it decides that being fat is the best way to keep you safe. Once your body understands that being thin is the best way to keep you safe, your body will want to be thin and the weight will fall off.
This all ties into our survival instincts to protect us from starvation, freezing to death or being eaten.
In our modern world you have different worries than being chased by a lion, but even modern stress about paying your bills create the exact same chemical signals that are produced when you are starving or freezing. This convinces your body that you need to be fat in order to be safe.
When you approach weight loss from the outside in, you overlook mental and emotional threats that can confuse your body into thinking that being fat can help keep you safe. Here are four such threats:
- Fear of Scarcity: When you spend your time in fear that you don’t have enough money then you send a message to your body that resources are limited. The only resource that your body recognizes is food – and storing fat is how your body saves up.
- Emotional Obesity: At a subconscious level you may have the association that being fat makes you feel safer, or that it is serving another emotional need. In this case your body is simply trying to protect you; it is making you feel safer emotionally.
- Mental Starvation: Though your body only recognizes physical starvation, you can also be suffering from emotional or mental starvation. This could be a desire for love, joy, fun, intimacy, or a deeper spiritual connection. Any mental or emotional longing can send the same chemical signals in your brain that physical starvation causes.
- Dysfunctional Beliefs: If you believe that you were meant to be fat, or deserve to be fat, or if you view weight loss as impossible, then your body will obey by refusing to lose weight. Change your dysfunctional beliefs first and then weight loss will become simple.
Exercise was a big part of Gabriel’s remarkable weight loss journey. Once he broke through the mental and emotional reasons for his obesity, his body craved activity.