Grief Can Make You Fat.

We all grieve. There are varying degrees and some of it can be mind-numbingly shockingly awful, completely consuming and life-changing, but the only permanent thing in life is ‘Change’ so we are all grieving sometimes, but at different levels.

Grief itself has well documented stages – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. We can get stuck at any one of these at any time, fluctuate between them all and endure an entire emotional catalogue to boot too.

When we have lost someone or something we have come to treasure, there seems to be a certain time-frame that we are expected to suffer for. After that, depending on the severity of it, we are supposed to pull ourselves together – the harshest person of all on us normally being ourselves.

I’m not going to make light of this subject, but I want to move on to what often remains when the worst has passed: Sadness. This can make you fat.

Feeling fat makes us sad. Feeling sad can make us fat.

Being January and everywhere I look loads of us are trying to lose weight, I want to be brave and say it doesn’t matter how much dieting you do, how much weight you lose, if you’re holding on to some grief, you will want it back on. Not consciously, I understand that, but unconsciously.

The subconscious is very powerful. It will want you to feel cocooned i.e. comforted and protected from your residual pain.

Actually, in your heart, you will want that too, so it won’t feel or be ‘the right time’ for you to lose weight.

I’m not talking about when grief is still raw – we can all lose shed loads then, I mean when time has passed, things have changed and you can’t settle. It’s easy to ‘comfort eat,’ not to mention ‘comfort drink!’

This might be nothing to do with the death of a loved one. Grief comes in many forms and from many places. So my advice to you, if you want to lose weight and you are feeling rather sad about it, is to focus on any grief you might be holding onto, stuff you may not have moved on from, that is stuck in your soul.

This is easier than you might first think. Remember your breathing and sitting quietly? When you’ve got the hang of the simple things like those, let your mind wander around your body. See what you can sense, which memories surface, how feelings flow. Let them all come. Have a good cry and a strong, sweet cup of tea.

Whether you have a biscuit is up to you. You’ll undoubtedly deserve a couple! And when the time is right, when you have let go of the extra sadness you were holding onto – because some of it will rightfully remain sometimes – you will be able to let go, loosen up and lighten up, literally.

Do let me know how you get on with these meditations / visualisations. Any problems, just holler. You can leave a comment or e mail me privately at any time regarding this or anything else.

Plus, I have introduced a new page for any spiritual stories whatsoever. They are always interesting and back up my work here, so please feel free to share!


flower, healing, meditation,


  1. says

    So, so very true, and the very reason why I can’t be bothered to diet, exercise, and go back to the great food I was eating before the birth of Little A. It’s been three years and I’m still grieving over the birth and shock of becoming a mother in the way I did. Thank you for the breathing reminder! XXX

    • Anya says

      Shock hangs around for a long time. In all my years practising, most problems stemmed from it originally emotional stuff, accidents and lots of birth stuff actually – for the children as much as the parents. You’re welcome X

  2. says

    Bloomin wise words. I am experiencing a bit of this at the moment. I’m trying to clean up my act on the sugar front and I am more than capable of doing it, I’ve done it before, but I keep find myself reaching for it and it isn’t a physical addition thing, it is because deep inside there is something that is unsettling me and until that is resolved I am going to find it hard to not sabotage myself. Onwards and upwards eh! xx

    • Anya says

      Well only you have the answer Luci and I don’t mean to be flippant – it’ll come when you’re ready. At least you’re AWARE of that – and that is the biggest step! It’s a pleasure to see you over here XX

  3. says

    Gosh, I really thought I was in a good place! There is really nothing in my life just now (apart from wishing we had more money – so maybe it’s that and security for the future) that I’m not happy about, so I’m not sure why my weight yoyo’s so much and yet always goes back to about 12 pounds over my goal! *meditates*

  4. says

    This makes loads of sense to me. After we lost our son, I became a skeleton, I stopped eating all together. Four years and 2 children later, my weight has gone up and down constantly, but never back to my pre pregnancy weight. I have days where I forget to eat and realise at about 4pm that I haven’t eaten. Other days I “think” I’m hungry all day. I know there has to be underlying factors. I just need to get them clear in my mind.

    • Anya says

      I’m so sorry to see that about losing your son. I can’t conceive moving on, but you have. Some stuff will remain for ever, but other stuff can be addressed. Your pain is awful to comprehend and when you’re ready to address it, I hope this will help X

  5. Otilia says

    No wonder that I have so much extra weight! I know I just had a baby but even before I had problems handling it.
    Since my grandmother died I feel lost and I still cry over her death.
    Plus I have two other reasons why I still…it’s grief over my own life and the things that happened to me…
    How Anya! How am I going to go over them?
    I’m lost:(

    • Anya says

      Hi Otilia, Can you write it all to me and we’ll go over it together? I’m so sorry for your losses – we can work through this slowly but surely XX

    • Anya says

      It’s so powerful – that hollow – and it’s natural to need to fill it. I guess the only power we can try to have over it is in the choice of how or what we do with it?

  6. Ada says

    This is so interesting. I gained 30lbs right after the death of my father when I was 11, and they have been with me ever since. The only time I ever lost weight, besides a lot of diet and exercise trys, was when I was in a healthy relationship. But as soon as I broke up with them, the weight just reappeared like magic. I thought maybe it was a stress thing, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood recently, and I’m fairly certain I never properly grieved at all. In fact, it was only 12 years after the fact that I started crying at all, and then only for music and movies.
    Any tips for learning to grieve when you’ve repressed it for so long? Obviously meditation will have to be done, buy I’ve never done that before.

    • says

      I think that meditation will definitely help but it’s good to get some guidance, perhaps some NLP or Hypnotherapy. Otherwise, just allowing these feelings to come up works well. Lying in the bath quietly and ‘allowing.’ Good luck X

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