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Fat me, thin me

Althea Hayton

My research has shown that many womb twin survivors have a problem with food and eating, which appears to be expressed as an addiction to some kinds of food. I have found that many people who have come to me for dietary advice show some signs of being a womb twin survivor, and it has become my practice to mention the possibility to them if those signs are present. Many of them react very strongly and positively when this possibility is first suggested. In this case, a lovely woman of 35 years old had two wardrobes, one for her "fat" self and the other for her "thin" self. She seemed to be unable to maintain a median weight between the two extremes.

A nutritious drink

Toni came to me for help with a weight problem, because she knew I provided food addiction counselling. She had previously entered into a very effective slimming regime with a group, when she had lived on a nutritious drink for three months, during which time she had lost all her excess weight. However, once she began to eat normal food, after a short time she found herself eating in the old way: cakes, crisps and sugary drinks. Inevitably the weight went back on again, and she was now afraid she would gain all the weight she had lost and be back where she started. I recommended another kind of diet, one that was calibrated for food addicts, and so she came round to obtain a copy of the book. (1)

Masculine and feminine

We never spoke about the diet. We looked at her "before" and "after" pictures and at once it struck me that when fat she looks masculine and when slim she looks feminine. Was it possible that here was another womb twin survivor- one who had lost a brother, and was keeping him alive in her life with her excess weight? I was supposed to be talking diets and food, but we had already agreed that this eating problem had nothing to do with food. So I took the plunge and mentioned womb twin theory.

A lost brother?

I started off with an intuitive analysis of what was probably going on for her, basing all my statements on the possibility that she was a womb twin survivor and had lost a twin brother. She accepted and nodded to it all. Then I said something about the "little place inside her where a voice said: "What about me? Why can I not have what I need so much? It isn't fair!" This was the pain. Then she wept. Encouraged by this show of emotion, I said more. I suggested that obesity began in the womb. She agreed that maybe it did. I said that there may have been two of them and the void was the missing part of herself. This really resonated with her. Then we looked at the website and the womb twin work. She looked a little overwhelmed by it all, but bravely stuck it out, weeping some of the time. Then she left me, and I had the feeling that I had given her the means to heal the unhappy co-dependent relationship she had with her husband; her fragile, over-protective relationship with her son and her weight problem.

A first step

As she went off to take a walk alone to absorb all this, I knew we had made that important first step on the voyage through the womb twin work. (2) She had encountered her womb twin for the first time since before she was born, and had greeted him with tears of grief, but not a little relief also - as anyone should after such a long absence. Now she has begun to get to know him a little, and discover what he really means to her and how she is keeping him alive in the male side of her personality. This story shows how the womb twin work can heal long-term, deep-seated emotional pain.


(1) Hayton A. Food and You: stage one, Introducing the four Zero Experience Wren Publications 2000

(2) Hayton A. A Healing Path for Womb Twin Survivors

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