Sick Of Struggling With Food, Weight & Your Body?
After a 40 year struggle with food, weighing over 300lbs & hating my body….I discovered the root cause of my food addiction & weight struggles & finally found a permanent solution!
Discover how you too can permanently reach & maintain a healthy weight, heal & get on with creating a life you LOVE!
It was after reading Bessell van der Kolk, MD’s book:
The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind & Body In The Healing of Trauma,
that I had epiphany after epiphany…In the stark realization that…
for over 50 years my food addiction along with the resulting morbid
obesity that I had suffered with were driven by a form of
childhood PTSD called, Developmental Trauma
By reading The Body Keeps The Score I discovered that Developmental Trauma is caused by a young child’s developing brain, body, and psyche being exposed to toxic levels of extreme stress for extended periods of time throughout their childhood.
The brain scan below contrasts the difference between a normal child’s brain on the left and a traumatized child’s brain on the right.
This brain scan below illustrates that developmental trauma, a form of childhood PTSD is not only a psychological disorder, but a real, physical brain disorder, as well as a psychological and body based disorder.
What Does This Brain Scan Tell Us:
- The brain on the left side of the image is a non-traumatized, normal child’s brain.
- The brain on the right side of the image is a child who was exposed to an environment of chronic, toxic stress and therefore has developmental trauma.
- Note the dark areas on the traumatized child’s brain on the right. These are the areas of the brain that never developed properly or never developed at all due to being raised in an environment with chronic, toxic stress.
- Note the structure that resembles a “tooth” on the bottom of the traumatized child’s brain on the right. This is the area of the brain that is designed for fight, flight or freeze. The reason it is larger in the traumatized child’s brain vs the normal child’s brain is due to it needing to over develop to be able to survive and cope with being exposed to chronic, toxic stress.
As a result of this lack of development in some areas of the brain and over development in other areas of a young child’s developing brain, the resulting developmental trauma causes a persons brain, body and mind to operate in substantially different ways for traumatized children & adults vs. non-traumatized children and adults.
Areas of the brain impacted by developmental trauma:
Fight, Flight, Freeze Overdevelops Causing Chronic Anxiety & Tension:
As the above scan shows in the bottom area of brain image on the right of a child with developmental trauma, this area of the brain becomes overdeveloped, as well as overactive due to it needing to adapt to survive given the toxic stress it has to face on a regular basis. Trauma keeps a brain, body and mind in a chronic state of hyper-vigilance which causes chronic stress & anxiety. A person having to deal with chronic stress and anxiety will naturally seek out ways to calm themselves down. For a child without a calm, attuned caregiver to help them calm down, a child will seek whatever means are available and or/modeled. For me food was available and was modeled as a way to cope with stress. Therefore, food was soothing, calming and available when my parents were not.
Emotional Reactivity: Brain research proves that the brains of traumatized children are hypersensitive to external stimuli and can become easily high-jacked by emotions that do not cause children with normal brains to become upset over. Therefore, when a non traumatized child gets angry, sad, or upset, they are able to self soothe or find a caregiver to help regulate and calm them down in a relatively short period of time. However, due to the changes in a traumatized child’s brain, they tend to be more sensitive to becoming emotionally triggered, and therefore can seem to “over react” to what seems like a mild incident, & can also have wider emotional swings that take much longer to calm down. Therefore in my case, I became upset more easily, stayed upset longer, and needed more food to soothe myself. Hence, I began gaining weight when I was just six years old and continued to do so until my mid-forties.
Pleasure Center Deficits:
Brain research proves that the pleasure centers do not develop properly in a child’s traumatized brain. Therefore in my case, I required more food to feel satisfied. When more food is needed to feel full and satisfied, it causes overeating, and ends up in weight gain and obesity.
Impulse Control Deficits:
Brain research proves that the impulse control areas in a child’s traumatized brain do not develop properly. Therefore when food cravings would arrive, I lacked the ability to control them due to having impaired impulse control due to my brain not developing properly. Hence, I ate more and more due to lacking the impulse control to be able to stop. I used to hate myself for not being able to stop eating, not knowing then that I had a brain that did not have the proper development to support me in resisting overeating.
Ability To Stay Focused/Attention Deficits:
Brain research proves that the frontal lobe areas do not develop properly in a traumatized brain. The reason is that the brain adapts and develops according to the environment it is exposed to on a regular basis. In an environment of chronic, toxic stress, the brain is forced to develop the fight, flight, freeze area over the frontal lobe area. Since the frontal lobe area is responsible for impulse control, planning, attention and being able to hold a focus, it’s lack of development causes attention issues.
Hence, childhood trauma is a key driver of ADD, ADHD & is what many learning disabilities are caused by. Learning about how my focusing ability was significantly impaired, helped me understand why it was so hard to stay focused, initiate and complete creative projects and why I had difficulty in school. Many children with attention and learning disabilities are shamed over their inability to focus and therefore do well in school. Therefore, low self esteem issues are common with children suffering with childhood PTSD. When a child feels painful shame of never feeling like they can measure up, they will seek to soothe their pain with whatever they have access to. For me, again, it was food.
Since developmental trauma aka childhood PTSD happens in the context of close family relationships, this type of trauma is also know as relational trauma. Therefore, many adults and children suffering with unhealed childhood PTSD find that they struggle with finding or maintaining close relationships. This is due to their nervous systems being hyper-sensitive to experiencing stress responses when engaging in close relationships. This is due to being triggered from being traumatized as children by abusive or dysfunctional caregivers during their childhood.
Hence, many children and adults with unresolved childhood PTSD either avoid close relationships and end up feeling sad, lonely and disconnected, or sometimes swing to the opposite pole and become completely enmeshed in their relationships thereby losing themselves.
Being Re-Traumatized By Being Shamed By Society & Your Family For Being Overweight, Addicted, Highly Sensitive, Being Impulsive, Not Doing Well In School or In Career Projects:
Most families and cultures shame children and adults with food or other addictions as being weak willed, or losers. The more shame I felt about my body and my food addiction, the more I needed to eat to calm myself down, hence the horrific cycle of shame, overeating, & gaining more weight kept running for forty years until I discovered the root cause of my problems and found effective solutions.
In addition, our families and culture shame us for being highly sensitive, lacking impulse control or for having difficulty staying focused and completing tasks or projects as well.
Shaming people for being impulsive, weak willed, addicted and overweight, is essentially
shaming them for a post traumatic stress disorder that they had no part in causing.
Shaming people with childhood PTSD does nothing to help them.
In fact it actually re-traumatizes them, and keeps the suffering and the trauma cycle repeating.
Unless the root cause of childhood PTSD is discovered and treated, a person will have no choice but to live with all of the collateral damage of living in a traumatized brain, body and mind throughout a person’s lifespan.
You Don’t Outgrow Developmental Trauma Unless You Get Specific, Trauma Based, Brain, Body & Mind Types Of Therapies
If you have developmental trauma, your brain will stay stuck in an anxious, hyper-aroused state throughout your entire life unless you get brain, body and mind trauma based therapies to fully recover.
In addition to be able to grow and develop the underdeveloped areas of your brain, you will need specific trauma & attachment based therapies to fully recover as well.
Talk Therapy Cannot Completely Heal Childhood PTSD / Developmental Trauma: Since this type of trauma lives in the brain, body and mind, talk therapy alone cannot completely heal developmental trauma. To fully recover you need brain, body, mind & attachment based therapies to completely heal it.
As I was reading this amazing book, I began to realize that I had finally
discovered the root cause of my life long struggle with food and weight.
It was due to having a hyper-aroused, anxious brain that used the only thing it had
access to calm itself down with:
The good news is that as humans we are wired to heal, and with the right trauma and attachment based therapies we can recover
I know because it has happened to me!
My Mission Is To Provide You With All Of
The Resources & Support You Need To
Permanently Release Your Excess Weight By
Releasing Your Childhood PTSD
Ready To Learn How To Release Your Excess Weight
By Releasing Your Childhood Trauma?
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