Did you know that empaths tend to struggle with a variety of issues related to their weight?
Although some are underweight, a significant number of empaths actually carry a bit more body weight than they might like.
There are a variety of reasons for this, and those listed below are the ones that are mentioned most frequently after healing sessions such as hypnotherapy and spiritual coaching:
1. A Natural Dampening Field
Have you ever been in a mosh pit?
If you haven’t, imagine you’re packed into a space where hundreds of people are crowded in around you, bouncing and thrashing about.
After being in a space like that, your entire body feels like it’s been tossed around like a chew toy amidst a pack of Rottweilers.
For many empaths, simple day-to-day existence is like that, but on an emotional and spiritual level.
A long subway ride can be excruciating, as emotional rollercoasters from hundreds of fellow travelers come in from all directions.
Empaths don’t just feel emotions internally: they can be felt in one’s bones, muscles, and nerves. It’s an unbelievable onslaught, and those who are quite slender in build seem to be more sensitive to these energy waves.
A bit of extra weight on the body is like a form of defense: a literal dampening field between an empathic person’s hypersensitivity, and the emotional energy waves pummeling them from all sides.
2. Self-Defense Mechanism
Because empaths can feel so much (just about everything other people are feeling, really), they are hypersensitive to being ogled.
While some people may find it flattering to be objectified and lusted after by a large number of people around them, others may find it off-putting.
If said empathic people had experienced sexual trauma or abuse in their past, they might find it extremely upsetting, and their bodies and minds will work together to protect them from potential predators.
Hence weight gain.
If a person feels unattractive when they’re carrying extra weight, they’ll project that around themselves, and thus reduce unwanted sexual attention from others.
3. Comfort Eating
Empaths who haven’t yet learned how to move other people’s energy out of their own bodies may suffer with pretty crippling anxiety and depression at times.
Although some people find it difficult to choke any food down when they’re an emotional mess, others turn to comfort foods to soothe them during hard times…
…and for many, comfort foods are sweet and fatty.
Cookies, ice cream, and cake are just a few to make the top 10 list of soothing foods, and if someone is emotionally overwhelmed and vulnerable on a regular basis, they might be consuming far more of these items than is best for them.
One way to combat this is to find a few different ways to self-soothe. Baths with Epsom salts work wonders for drawing away negative energy, for example.
If you’re a comfort eater and you feel ashamed of yourself for doing so, please be gentle with yourself. Changing habits takes time, and is also a matter of changing one’s mindset.
If we treat our bodies lovingly, from a nurturing perspective, we often take better care of it. “I will comfort you with foods that will nourish and heal you right from the cellular level” is a much more positive approach, neh?
4. Autoimmune And Hormonal Disorders, Allergies, etc.
A startling number of empathic people also suffer from autoimmune disorders, neurological issues, hormonal imbalances, and a variety of different allergies.
It’s believed that the constant state of being overwhelmed by emotions, sensations, and environmental toxins stresses an empath’s body to such an extent that their immune systems go into hyperdrive and just stop functioning properly.
Autoimmune disorders are inextricably linked to the foods we eat, and even people who make really healthy food choices may find their weight fluctuating all over the place.
Celiac disease, for example, can cause people to gain or lose weight in reaction to exposure to the gluten in grains like wheat, rye, barley, and spelt.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and various allergies can cause the body to retain water, or have inflammatory reactions to all number of different foods.
If you think you’re reacting badly to foods, it’s a good idea to see a naturopathic doctor so they can determine what may be causing the reactions.
A lot of standard GPs are trained to treat symptoms rather than causes, but getting at the root of an issue and then determining a holistic treatment (including nutritional counseling) can do a world of good.
You might have gone to work or school and been torn in a million different directions, with assignments due left and right, people throwing off your concentration, not to mention traffic, horrible news on the radio or TV, family members demanding your attention, pets leaving spectacular messes for you to tend to…
After contending with all of that, how much enthusiasm do you have to go for a run or throw some weights around?
If you don’t have the strength – emotional or physical – to do anything other than lie on the floor and recover from the day’s onslaught, you really, REALLY don’t have the wherewithal to bounce your body around, even if you need the exercise.
6. Body Dysmorphia
For some empaths, the issue they have with their weight isn’t so much a body image or weight gain/loss situation, so much as an alienation from their bodies as a whole.
Some have a mental image of themselves as simply energy beings, so to be “trapped” in a physical body is extremely alienating.
Their bodies may be seen as cages, either too big, or too tight, or too hard, or too soft, or too “anything” other than the glowing light beams they feel that they really are.
As such, even if an empath’s body is a regular size, it may feel or look huge or strange to their eyes, simply because it feels wrong to them.
There have been situations in which empathic and highly sensitive people have developed anorexia or bulimia simply because when their bodies are incredibly thin, they feel light and buoyant: as close as possible to what they feel is their true, energy body.
It’s important to note that for many empathic people, carrying extra weight (or gaining a fair bit of it) isn’t necessarily linked to food choices.
A significant number of empathic people are very health conscious. They eat very nutritious, healthy, balanced diets, they don’t overeat, and they get regular exercise.
For them, their struggles with weight are entirely emotional and spiritual. They may have problems with unconditional self-love and acceptance, or have a number of different stressors in their lives that mess with their feeling of wholeness and safety.
If you’re an empath and you’ve been struggling with weight-related issues, please treat yourself with kindness and patience.
These bodies allow us to do so much: to feel glorious sensations, to hold and love others, to move around and revel in the beauty of water and breezes on our skin.
Try to love your body unconditionally, and appreciate it for the gifts it gives you.
Feed it wonderful things that make you feel good. Pamper your skin, move in a way that makes you happy, whether it’s a simple walk in a natural environment, some gentle yoga, or dancing around your kitchen while you wash the dishes.
This positive, nurturing approach alone will do wonders for your sense of self-worth, and it may very well be that this radical approach to self-love and acceptance will allow your body the safe space it needs to shift to a stronger, healthier version of itself.
Catherine Winter is a writer, art director, and herbalist-in-training based in Quebec's Outaouais region. She has been known to subsist on coffee and soup for days at a time, and when she isn't writing or tending her garden, she can be found wrestling with various knitting projects and befriending local wildlife.