Deflating Full Fat Cells

Internal clutter inhibits freedom. 

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storage unitAmerica’s consumerism created a storage industry. Our houses got full of stuff so we filled our garages. When those were full, we had to find someplace else to store stuff. Someone came up with the idea of charging people for additional storage space. Think of all the things in all the storage units of this country and consider how rarely people  see or use what they have stored!  It is a hassle to drive somewhere, get through security, and then dig through the entire unit for a single item. So, we just leave our stuff in storage and pay a monthly bill.  One more phenomenon is that when we fill a storage unit, we usually do not stop consumption or get another unit of the same size, we just upgrade to a larger unit. How strange is that?

It isn’t really strange at all. Perhaps we instinctively knew how to create more storage because that is exactly what our bodies do with excess food, toxins, and emotions. If any of those three things cannot be processed completely, the body will store them away.  And just like we rarely access the storage units for our objects, it is rare for the body to access what the fat, toxins, and emotions it has stored away.

HUMAN STORAGE UNITS

fat cell extractionThe storage units of the body are fat cells. Fat, more technically referred to as adipose tissue, is found in several places in the body. Generally, fat is found underneath skin (called subcutaneous fat). There’s also some on top of each kidney, in the liver, and in muscle tissue. Where the fat cells are concentrated in the body is related to gender. Men tend to carry body fat in the chest, abdomen and buttocks, producing an “apple” shape.  Women usually carry fat in the breasts, hips, waist and buttocks, creating a “pear” shape. You might not like that distribution model, but it serves a purpose if ever life’s circumstances required the body to survive challenging situations like reproduction and famine.

When the body needs to store more fat, it doesn’t make new fat cells, at least after puberty. It just packs more contents into each cell. Fat cell membranes have an amazing capacity to stretch. If a significant amount of weight is gained, the body may choose to make more fat cells. It also might make more if liposuction is performed. The body works hard to store your extra metabolic substances!

FAT CELL CONTENTS

Fat cellsWhat exactly is in a fat cell? It’s mostly fatty acids that are absorbed from the blood. Insulin secreted by the pancreas makes fatty acids into fat molecules that are stored as fat droplets. If you eat more food than your body can burn off as energy, the excess calories are stored for later use. A fat cell can also be used to store toxins such as chemicals and acids. Chemicals come from our foods and environment. Acids are created by the body’s metabolic processes and when we eat and drink acid-forming foods and beverages. In a healthy body, the toxins will be removed by the five trashcans of the body: colon, liver, lungs, kidneys, and skin. If the trashcans are full or not functioning properly, the body refuses to allow damaging elements to wander around, so it stores them in fat cells to keep the toxins away from the internal organs.

It is also possible for fat cells to take up glucose and amino acids and convert those into fat molecules. The conversion of carbohydrates or protein into fat is ten times less efficient than simply storing fat in a fat cell, but the body can do it. Given a choice, a fat cell will grab the fat and store it rather than the carbohydrates because fat is so much easier to store. Given a choice, the body will request a fresh supply of carbohydrates for energy and leave the fat in storage. This tendency makes losing weight so challenging.  Just like we would rather buy something again rather than go to the storage unit to dig out what we already bought, the body would rather use up the carbohydrates that you just ate for energy and keep the fat stored away because it’s easier.

Less scientific, yet instinctively and physically proven, fat cells also hold emotions.  I only say “less scientific” because scientists in America are still intent on studying the physical body and have yet to spend sufficient effort on the energetic body. Emotions affect how the body functions as evidenced by the chemical changes brought about in a “fight or flight” situation.  Like food or chemicals that are unprocessed, the chemical and energetic results of emotions that we avoid or cannot process psychically must be stored somewhere. The fat cells are the likely place.  Many people who lose significant amounts of weight can attest to emotions being part of what is released as fat cells are emptied.

EMPTYING STORAGE UNITS

fat inside the bodyThe point at which an over-consumer decides to stop adding stuff to their lives and start reducing is very personal. Some people never reach that point of decision. The ones that do have a huge job in front of them. To clear out the house, the garage, and all the storage units requires both time and effort.  However, the benefits of a lighter existence are well worth the energy expenditure.

Just like the storage unit can be emptied with great effort, so can a fat cell be emptied. One shift that must be made is to get the body to stop living off of carbohydrates for energy and start using the fat in the fat cells. This requires an eating strategy that reduces intake of carbohydrates, specifically simple carbs like sugars and processed foods, while increasing intake of protein and good fats. Many complex carbs such as certain vegetables and legumes have sufficient protein, so increasing protein in the diet does not necessarily involve increasing animal meat intake. (That is a whole other subject!)  Once you get the body off of its addiction to carbohydrates, it will begin to use the fat cell contents.

Chemicals and toxins will naturally flow out with the fat molecules as they leave the fat cell. That’s why it is important for someone who is losing weight to make sure that their body’s trashcans (colon, liver, lungs, kidneys, and skin) are optimized. Pay careful attention to these parts of your body if you are on dedicated weight loss plan!  If you don’t, you may feel quite ill. Not feeling good on several levels may undermine your weight loss effort. A good colon cleanse is a great way to start a weight reduction program. Also consider taking probiotics to boost your immune system and add in digestive enzymes to assist the digestive tract with breaking down foods. Lastly, research herbs that strengthen the liver, kidneys, and lungs.  Those organs will thank you for your help.

In the process of emptying a storage unit, a person is likely to come across items that bring up old memories and emotions. Emptying the fat cells of the body does the same. Usually the emotions that surface were the ones we felt when we were stuffing ourselves to compensate for shortages in other areas of our lives. Emotional eating is a huge factor in weight gain. Food makes us feel happy and we forget our troubles for a while. Sometimes the fat insulates us from perceived dangers. Whatever the reason for storing the emotions, they are felt again as fat is released. Letting go is not easy physically or emotionally.  Without support, it’s easier to give up. That’s why it is important to get the emotional support you need to process old emotions appropriately.

WHEN FAT CELLS ARE MOSTLY EMPTY

The body will always have some fat cells with fat in them. They act as insulation for temperature regulation and for energy when food is not available or the body is sick, so it’s not healthy to have too low of a body fat percentage.  The good news is that a mostly empty fat cell doesn’t take up much room.

As a person who struggled with an abundance of overstuffed fat cells, I’m once again learning that the body will change given the right conditions. As we feed it the best foods, move it in the best ways for us, and send continual positive mental messages to it, the body will transform.

On a personal note, I’m doing martial arts training and it is changing my body! And, I’ve stopped hating myself (in subtle and not-so-subtle ways). Going vegetarian also changed how I look and feel. It all adds up – diet, movement, and emotional work. You can change whatever you want to change. You just have to choose it and allow no compromise.

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Action Step

If you feel like it’s time to empty your fat cells, consider starting by emptying your house, your garage, and any storage units you have. Those places are metaphorical representations of your body. Plus, as you empty your living spaces of unnecessary objects, your muscles will require lots of extra energy. If at the same time you eliminate sugars and processed foods from your diet and up your protein and good fat intake, and spend time with a good counselor/coach, the body will begin to empty your fat cells.

You will love the extra space in your house and the freedom found in a smaller, healthier body. You won’t have to pay for a storage unit or medical bills. That’s a win/win situation!

Affirmation

I will remove from my life anything that is not beautiful, beneficial, or loved.

The 3 A’s

Appropriate action requires appropriate preparation.

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Image -  canstockphoto8815498Are you unsettled about something from your past that keeps rearing its head in everyday life?  Is this something you’ve tried to remedy because you know that its one of the main things that holds you back?  If you don’t know how to move forward or can hardly speak the words of what happened or even write them, consider a different approach to the situation.

I learned these three steps in a program that helps to refocus our attention to ourselves instead of putting the blame on someone else. The answers to our problems are inside of us. We must find them, not by demanding solutions from others but by searching within ourselves for what we need to do.

Awareness is the first step. Some things that bother us are hidden deep in the psyche. Despite their depth, they still affect our perceptions of what has happened or is happening.  Before awareness comes, you feel like you’re in a pitch black room. You have to feel around to find your way and some of what you touch is strange and even scary. Awareness is like a light bulb that is suddenly switched on. Now that you can see, those strange and scary things are revealed to be ordinary objects.  You see things for what they are, not what you imagine them to be.  You see a behavior or a coping mechanism that you developed or were taught. You remember words that were spoken, but now you see another meaning to them. Your new perspective on what once was hidden reveals more meaning.  You are aware of how what was troubling you is affecting you today. It’s a start.

Acceptance is the next step. To accept what happened doesn’t mean you agree with it, it means you make peace with it. Sometimes making peace means to forgive the ones who hurt you or forgive yourself for your part in it. Sometimes it means we release the need for justice. Acceptance takes time and concentrated contemplation. Acceptance is personal and determined by the awareness. When we resist what we are aware of, it pushes back on us emotionally. Acceptance gives the pain nothing to push against and it loses its power.

Action is the third step. We are aware of what happened, we accept it without resisting, then we are ready to do something about it. If you try to take action before you work through acceptance, you won’t know what to do or it will feel confusing. An action without acceptance doesn’t usually work out well for anyone. However, an action preceded by awareness and acceptance will usually bring appropriate results. You will feel a confidence, a knowing, that this is what needs to be done to resolve the issue.

Confusion, resistance, blocks, and self-doubt are all signs that one of these elements is missing. If they arise, determine where you are in the process: awareness, acceptance, action. Then, fill in the other parts to bring balance and clarity.

Of the three, I find acceptance to be the most difficult. Some things take a long time to accept, especially if they were abusive or traumatizing. Sometimes we need help to do it. The good news is that when acceptance does happen, peace flows like a river over your soul. And then you can move on. It’s worth every effort to do these three steps for every thing that troubles us.

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Action Step

Write three paragraphs about what is troubling you.  Start the first paragraph with “I am aware of (write everything you know now about the situation).”  Start the second paragraph with “I accept (write out what you can accept about what you just wrote).”  Start the third paragraph with “I will (list the actions you can take based on what you have accepted).”

You may not be able to accept everything you wrote in the first paragraph. Give yourself time to work through the things you are having difficulty accepting. Do not write the third paragraph until you have accepted everything you wrote in the first paragraph. You might have to keep this paper around for a long time, but someday, you will be able to complete that third paragraph.

Affirmation

My actions are based on awareness and acceptance.

Principles versus Rules

Principles guide decision making.

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As a young child I quickly learned that life has rules and if you break those rules, you will be punished. The pain a belt inflicts is a powerful motivator, especially for a sensitive child like me. I was frantic to avoid its sting, both physically and emotionally.

Image - Teresa age 5

As a teenager, I discovered that rules can be broken, if you’re smart about it. I learned how to break rules without getting caught – well, most of the time.

I developed a weight issue that I desperately despised.  Without knowing how to lose weight in a healthy way, I made lots of rules about what I allowed myself to eat and when. I broke those rules more times than I can count. Each time I broke a rule I was rebelling. Who was I fighting against? Me.

Many years later, I realized I was trying to be my own parent, to carry forward the restriction ethic I had known all my life. This opened a door to healing. And, instead of making rules, I decided to live by principles.

Rules versus Principles

Rules say, “do this and don’t do that.” Rules limit. Rules set the minimum of good behavior. And rules are meant to be broken.

Principles are statements of truth. An example of a principle is “Organic food is better than non-organic food.” The principle does not say, “Don’t buy non-organic food.” It’s just stating a truth.

When faced with a choice, a rule may restrict you while a principle will guide you.

When Abraham Lincoln was asked about principles, he said, “Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.” Because his decisions were guided by principles, he was able to set thousands of people free and hold our war-torn country together. Learn from his example. If you have an internal civil war going on, principles can be used to set you free and hold your life together, too.

Memorizing the principles in this book can help you avoid inner rebellions. Embracing these principles will make it easier to shape wise choices.

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Action Step:  Avoid restricting yourself with self-imposed rules. You are unlikely to stick to them anyway. Instead choose to simply set yourself free from doing anything that brings you harm. Apply principles of truth to your daily life. The principle for each chapter in this book will be listed under the title of the chapter.

Write the following affirmation on a sticky note and post it where you will see it every day.

Affirmation:  Truth is the key that sets me free. 

[Author’s Note: This is one of the first chapters in the book. I include it here because I will start each blog post with a Principle.  Also notice that each blog post ends with an Action Step and an Affirmation. These three elements enhance your potential for success in getting to where you want to be.  Live by the Principles. Do the Action Steps. And say the Affirmations until they become a part of your thought patterns. It works!]

Roller Coaster Forces

 Choices determine experience.

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Long ago, I lost track of how many attempts I made to overcome my weight issues. So many times, I felt like I was on a roller coaster of ups, when I feel like I could do anything, and downs, when I felt like I could do nothing. My instincts told me I should be on a nice flat track, but instead I was continually soaring and plunging. Why is this?   Continue reading

More is Less

Why you eat determines what you eat.

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When I was deep in my struggle with weight issues, I was obsessing about losing weight, but still gaining 10 pounds a year. It was beyond frustrating! I would try eating less and less, thinking that I would lose weight. At first, that would work, but then the weight loss would slow down and stop. Our bodies have an amazing survival mechanism for times of famine that causes the body to reduce its energy needs and store more fat. This happens when the body detects a reduction in the food supply.

That just is not fair if we are trying to lose weight! The way to overcome this mechanism is to eat the right foods in the right amounts at the right time of day. If you wait too long between meals, the body will click into famine mode.  Continue reading

Letting Go

Unresolved emotions affect us physically.

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Like food is fuel for the body, so emotions are fuel for the mind. Both the mind and the gastrointes­tinal tract are designed for processing and their fuel keeps them functional.  Even though we have often been taught that our emotions are small, they are in truth quite large. They are so large sometimes that we don’t know what to do with them.  Continue reading

Read the Book

Feel-Yourself-Thin-CoverThe content on this blog site is sourced and inspired by the book Feel Yourself Thin written by Teresa Becker.  The book contains the first collection of writings that were originally sent out to participants as part of an email support program.  The content was so beneficial that we compiled the writings into a book format.

The book will soon be available in several formats including e-book, Kindle, and in print. Stay tuned for the release date!

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