Watch Live Every Other Wednesday at 7PM PST
Conscious Conversation Salon
this month's topic:
Sick Of Struggling With Food,
Being Overweight & Hating Your Body?
Discover How Mary Found A Permanent Solution To Achieving
A Healthy Weight, By Discovering & Treating
The Root Cause of Her Food Addiction & Obesity-
A Form of Childhood PTSD aka Developmental Trauma
Mary will be sharing her story of how healing her
childhood PTSD has been one of the key
reasons she has been able to
maintain a 160lb weight loss for over 15 years.
This is what an adult, with untreated childhood PTSD looks like * This is what recovery from childhood PTSD looks like
Tune in to learn how early childhood trauma & loss (including: physical or emotional neglect, physical or sexual abuse, being raised by a parent with alcohol or drug addiction, work addiction, chronic anxiety, depression, mental illness, chronic illness, family dysfunction: including domestic violence-parents who chronically argue or are physically violent, losing a parent by death, separation, incarceration or divorce, or other chaotic environments with toxic stress, can cause a form of childhood PTSD known as developmental trauma.
Developmental trauma is a brain, nervous system, body, & psychological disorder that is the root cause and the driver of food addiction, eating disorders, obesity, as well as all other addictions whether, substance, process or relationship addictions aka co-dependency.
I will be sharing my story of how I began using food to cope with the toxic stress of my family environment at just five years old and how my struggle with food, my weight and my body continued for over 40 years to where I became morbidly obese, reaching a top weight of 310lbs in 2003.
I will also share how I have been able to maintain a 160lb weight loss for over 15 years by discovering and healing the root cause of my food and weight struggles-a form of childhood PTSD called Developmental Trauma.
In addition, I will be sharing the latest neuroscience (see below image) that proves that food addiction and resulting obesity is driven by changes to a young child's developing brain due to it being exposed to high levels of toxic stress. These levels of stress cause a brain to become chronically anxious & dysregulated, which then naturally made it seek relief through food.
According To The Below Brain Scans, Exposure To Toxic Levels Of Stress In Early Childhood Significantly Change The Way A Young Child's Developing Brain Functions, & If Not Treated Will Persist For An Entire Lifespan.
The Below Brain Scan Shows Two Brains:
One Healthy & One Abused
What Do These Two Brains 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, including emotional neglect, and therefore is suffering with developmental trauma AKA Childhood PTSD.
- Note the dark areas with the white circles 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 and therefore they are dark due to no activity in them 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 this brain area is more active in the traumatized child's brain vs the normal child's brain is due to it needing to over develop & function to be able to survive and cope with being exposed to chronic, toxic stress.
- Note the red areas in the top part of the normal child's brain on the left. This indicates normal frontal lobe region activity, where as compared to the abused child's brain on the right, where there is much less activity. This frontal lobe area of the brain on the top areas of these scans are the areas of the brain that attention & impulse control regions develop, However, if a child is exposed to toxic levels of stress, these brain areas do not develop properly and therefore attention and impulse control tend to be difficult for children exposed to these levels of 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 that drove my food addiction and obesity:
Fight, flight, freeze overdevelops causing chronic tension and anxiety:
As the above brain scan shows in the bottom area of the 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, tension & 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. For me it was food. Food was soothing, calming and available when my Mom was not.
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 normally impact children or adults with non-traumatized brains. 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 their emotions, and therefore can be over-reactive to things that trigger them, & suffer with wider emotional swings that take longer to calm down. Therefore in my case, I became upset more easily, stayed upset longer, and needed more food to soothe myself.
Pleasure Center Deficits:
Brain research proves that the pleasure centers in the brain do not develop properly in a traumatized child's 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. This is why I struggled with food and obesity for over 40 years.
Impulse Control Deficits:
Brain research proves that the impulse control areas in the frontal lobe area of a child's traumatized brain do not develop properly. Therefore when food cravings would arrive, I lacked the impulse control to resist them due to having impaired impulse control. Hence, I ate more and more due to lacking the impulse control to be able to stop or resist my cravings.
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 is 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 the enormous shame of never feeling like they can measure up, they will seek to soothe their pain with whatever they have access to. For me, 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 get triggered by engaging in relationships and either avoid close relationships due them being overly stressful, causing loneliness, or sometimes people swing to the opposite pole and become completely enmeshed in their relationships thereby losing themselves.
Being Re-Traumatized By Social & Family Shaming For Being Overweight, Addicted, Highly Sensitive, Being Impulsive, Not Doing Well In School or In Career Projects:
Many 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 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, impulsive or for having difficulty staying focused and completing tasks or projects as well.
Shaming people for brain, nervous system and psychologically based disorders that they had no part in causing continually re-traumatizes them, and keeps the trauma cycle repeating & therefore the suffering continuing throughout a person's lifespan, unless they discover that the root cause of there seemingly intractable problems is childhood PTSD and seek trauma based treatments to begin the healing process.
It Was Such An Epiphany & A Relief To Realize That My Food Addiction &
Obesity Was Never My Fault To Begin With!
However, I Did Need To Realize That Even Though My Food Addiction & Obesity Were Never My Fault To Begin With...
I Needed To Own That If I Wanted To Resolve My Food Addiction & Achieve A Healthy Weight For Life, It Was My Responsibility....
To Seek Out The Support I Needed To Heal
The Good News Is The Brain, Nervous System & Mind Are Wired For Healing
Therefore, With The Right Consistent Support....
You Can FINALLY
*Heal Childhood PTSD
*Heal Your Food Addiction
*Find & Maintain A Healthy Weight Permanently!
However You Must Gain Access To Specific Types of Trauma Based Healing &
Make Specific Types of Lifestyle Changes
Therefore, You Don't Outgrow Childhood PTSD Unless You Get Specific, Trauma Based, Brain, Body & Mind Treatments/Therapies
If you have developmental trauma AKA Childhood PTSD and you do nothing, your brain will stay stuck in an anxious, hyper-aroused state throughout your entire lifespan unless you get brain, body and mind trauma based therapies to fully recover. Unfortunately, this is why people who do not heal the trauma to their nervous systems typically end up with chronic illnesses or pain as they get older due to their body not being able to take living in a chronically stressed, hyper-aroused nervous system.
In addition, to be able to enjoy healthy relationships, you will need to heal the relational trauma aspects of childhood PTSD as well. To do this you will need to engage in specific attachment based body/mind therapies to fully recover. I will go over these types of therapies as well during the show.
I will be sharing specific therapies, tools and lifestyle changes that have worked for me in finally finding a permanent solution to my struggle with food,weight and my body that I suffered with for over 40 years.
I have a level of peace around food, my weight and my body that I never dreamed possible & I want this for you too!
Tune in to discover real solutions to start healing your relationship with food, your body and yourself so you can release your excess weight by learning how to heal your childhood trauma and discover how to implement some lifestyle and healing practices that will help you finally solve your struggle with food, your weight and your body permanently.
Also, please join in the conversation by making comments and asking Mary questions how she managed to permanently
keep off 160lbs for over 15 years by healing her childhood PTSD
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