I have a good friend named Mark Victor Hanson—co-author of the Chicken Soup books, which I believe are now up to 150 million copies sold. Years ago, he told me that the top-selling category of books every year is weight loss. “So,” he said, “who do you think buys these books every year?” I told him I had no idea. “The same people who bought them last year,” he said.

Obviously, their methods aren’t working. For me, I think it all has to do with the barrel effect. The first time I heard about this effect was from my now good friend Dr. Doris Rapp, MD. She is the worldwide pioneer of children’s environmental medicine, and has a list of humanitarian and medical honors as long as your arm. Every medical doctor I know agrees with the barrel theory. It simply states that every bit of stress we experience goes into a metaphorical barrel: physical stress, mental stress, emotional or relational stress, it makes no difference. And as long as that barrel isn’t full, your body, mind, and spirit can handle it. Everything clicks along without any significant disturbance. But as soon as that barrel gets full, the warning lights start to go off. If it isn’t emptied quickly, you will break.

That’s not a metaphor. The only question is how long it will take, and where your breaking point will be. For me, it was acid reflux. For my wife, Hope, it was depression. For my friend, Dr. Ben, it was ALS. I can’t tell you where you will break, but my guess is you already know, because most of us have experienced an overflow at one time or another. What you may not know is the next place you’ll break, because once you’ve broken in one place, you’re far more likely to break again, and again, and again.

Fortunately, we do have a little control, here. Stress comes from everywhere. Work and home, exhaustion and injuries and physical activity. But the wild card in the majority of cases that I’ve seen isn’t any of those. It’s the unexpressed, unresolved emotions and feelings. Many years ago, we thought that if you weren’t actively thinking about negative memories, events, and people, then they would just sit in the corner and behave themselves. Today, we know that nothing could be further from the truth. Even when you’re not thinking about them, these things go into your stress barrel and stay there. How long? Forever!... At least until you resolve the issue. Let me try to give you some perspective. Let’s say you have some fairly normal problems, conflicts, small health issues, whatever rings true for you. You’re at work, at home, working on a project, hiking in the mountains, and all of a sudden—wham!—it hits you. You feel faint or have a pain in your chest or head. Maybe you feel angry without knowing why, and you think, why did that happen to me?

Very often, it’s because your barrel was already 90 percent full with unresolved emotions and feelings from your ancestors, in utero, childhood tantrums, popsicle memories, and so on. Then when something small happens that your body should be able to handle with one hand behind its back, instead it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Well, just like in that metaphor, the camel’s back is not the problem. The problem is that our “camel”—the barrel. Apologies for the double-layered metaphor—is already overloaded.

Over the last 17 years, I cannot count how many people have come to me with weight issues, done the Healing Codes for three months to a year, and then contacted me in amazement, saying, “I’ve lost ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred pounds without even trying! How is this possible?” Well, when that barrel overflows, you body turns off all nonessential systems to enable you to run faster and fight harder (because why would you be so stressed if you didn’t need to run or fight for your life?). Among those nonessential systems are your metabolism, your digestions, pretty much everything to do with processing food and drink. What does that mean? You were never supposed to be fat! It’s because of your unresolved emotions and feelings filling up that stress barrel. Dump the barrel, and voila! Your metabolism kicks in, and it’s the elusive, magic diet, which in this case, means no diet at all. That’s the diet I ascribe to. Heal your issues preventing efficient metabolism, eat only when you’re hungry, and eat slowly.

Alex

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