Books: Colette Baron Reid’s “Weight Loss For People Who Feel Too Much”, by Pranada Devi

Recently, the Toronto Star profiled an author’s visit to Toronto to hype a weight loss book called “Weight Loss For People Who Feel Too Much” which contends that some overweight people may be overweight because of poor boundaries and taking on the energies of others. It’s an interesting enough thesis that I wanted to investigate the book further.

Colette Baron-Reid already has a significant following in the New Age community as an intuitive counsellor and life coach. She’s chosen to share her own journey with weight loss and what she’s learned about why her body was hanging on to excess weight. Many people have felt her experiences apply to their lives as well.

There is some useful food for thought in this book. There is no doubt that our physical bodies reflect what is happening in our energetic bodies, and that the way we think about ourselves and relate to the world has an effect on our health. Baron Reid offers some tips for integrating a greater sense of self-love and self-support, including the Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping on various spots on the body while repeating an affirmation).

Ultimately, though, I found that the book’s value was limited. There needs to be a greater light shone on the nature of wanting: wanting food, wanting security, wanting love; and on the importance of true sober humility. When we really understand what we’re feeling, we understand why we may have the impulse to eat that chocolate bar, or to eat quickly on the run. Baron Reid says eating food like cookie dough helped her to feel more grounded as a child when she was stressed by the energies of others. My own experience has been that foods like wheat and sugar are not grounding for most people – if anything, even as they provide a momentary sense of satisfaction or even security, they amplify continued disconnect and wanting.

The book moves in the right direction, but not far enough. I feel it can be all too easy for readers who may already have a tendency to frame their understanding of the world through “it is happening TO me”, and/or an anxious desire to be “good enough”, to take the information in the book and say “Well, I’m overweight because I’m a special sensitive empath and I can’t help but feel so much and take on other people’s energies!” In fact, it’s important for each one of us – regardless of our weight – to come into understanding of how much more energetically sensitive we are than we may believe, and of how to manage our own boundaries without creating excessive drama or narratives for ourselves.

Baron Reid suggests nightly soaks in the tub with Himalayan crystal salts. That’s definitely a good way to help detoxify (Epsom salts can be even better), but for most of us it’s not a wise choice to depend on that every single night; nor can the planet’s already threatened water resources sustain that kind of regular water use from everyone who struggles with boundaries! And Emotional Freedom Technique is a good tool – but it’s limited. True addictive tendencies, including dysfunctional eating habits, go deeper than its ability to release. Far more important and useful in every person’s life is a regular meditation practice.

Those who struggle to manage their eating habits may well need to attend Overeaters Anonymous and work a twelve-step program. Similarly, those who grew up in dysfunctional environments that led to a poor sense of boundaries would likely benefit from attending Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings where members learn to understand and move beyond childhood patterns.

May all find self-compassion and release the weight of wanting.


Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She is the Managing Editor of Parvati Magazine, and serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects.