Yesterday, one of my clients came in for a training session. She sat down in my office and after ten minutes, barely holding back her tears, said, “Leo, I don’t want to struggle anymore. I just want to eat whatever I want.”
After our session, I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said. But it was not until later that I realized what she was truly saying.
I believe that when you wish for your struggles with food to end, you’re actually wishing for the part of you craving cookies, mashed potatoes, fries, pasta and bread to, quite literally, disappear. Die. Why? Because you don’t want to accept the fact that there’s always going to be a CHOICE. You’re struggling to accept the side of you that will always crave cookies, mashed potatoes, fries, pasta and bread. And that’s just the beginning.
The same way we struggle to accept the side of us that will always crave foods that undermine our goals, there are parts of us struggling with how our family and society have defined us. There is a part of us attracted to failure — to an unhealthy submission to the critical voices inside our heads. And the struggle only worsens when the desires stop feeling like failures, and we actually begin to enjoy them.
What you are going through is actually the consequence of having a higher potential and purpose. It’s part of being human – or better said, it’s a part of the human condition. Believe it or not, our fatal attractions give us a purpose and fuel our goals. For most of us, however, our struggle with food is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a symptom of a bigger and deeper problem.
How many of us struggle to accept certain parts of ourselves for various reasons? How many of us have been told at some point in our childhood that we talk too much or we’re too loud? How many of us have been told we’re too tall, too small, too fat, too skinny, not so smart — not good enough? How many of us have been told we can’t do something, we shouldn’t even try? How many of us have been told “no” far more often than we’ve been told “yes?”
I don’t know about you, but throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I was constantly told I was “too much” — too aggressive, too fat, too lazy. I was constantly told to be quiet and do what I was told. As a child, I was never physically held — or, I was held with such little warmth that I don’t even remember it. I don’t remember being told I was “worth it,” or even that I was wanted. It was all left for me to figure out…where did I come from and what was my purpose? Why was I born? I grew up lost, in a desperate search for my identity. Anger and self-loathing were my go-to weapons against others and myself. Alcohol and food were my friends.
For the last fifteen years, I’ve dedicated my life to finding peace and rediscovering my true identity. This process has helped me to understand that our relationship with food is just a reflection of our relationship with ourselves. Our love for food actually represents our love for our dreams. We associate food with our dream-relationships, dream-career, dream-house, dream-body, dream-waistline — our dream life. It’s all at work when we eat. It’s where our unconscious goes when we sit down at the dinner table.
We eat too much because we’re not happy in our relationship, or we’re mad at ourselves for not having our dream body, dream career, dream life. We don’t eat because we’re hungry and our bodies needs fuel — we eat because our souls are starving. We over-eat because we’ve run from the truth, from ourselves and from our dreams. There is more food on our plates than there is courage in our hearts.
Most of us don’t treat food as nutrition for the body. Food is just the currency we trade for failed dreams. The more work you put into realizing your dream partner or dream career; the more work you put into accepting everything about yourself, the less you will crave food. The more you love holding your partner’s hand…the more you enjoy going to work every day… the more eager you are to wake up in the morning and live your life… the less you will crave mashed potatoes, French fries and cookies.
Food is not your enemy. Failed dreams are. Mashed potatoes and French fries are not bad. Failing to reach your highest potential, not being true to yourself, is what’s wrong.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the side of you that craves certain foods, in the same way that there’s nothing wrong with the way you see the world, the way you feel, or the way you are. At some point in our pasts, we were told by our parents, caretakers, friends and peers that who we are and what we feel isn’t good enough. We were brainwashed to believe that something is fundamentally wrong about the way we think, feel or look. There is a relationship between the side of ourselves that perceives we are “right” and “good” and the side of ourselves that believes we are “bad” and “wrong.” And believe me, it is not a harmonious relationship.
There is — and probably always has been — a conflict between your “good” side and your “bad” side. There’s been a constant struggle for you to accept the side of you that was shamed, ridiculed, put down or labeled an outcast. That struggle is so real, so intense and so physical that it makes people eventually get out of their own way to seek help from a personal trainer. Please don’t get me wrong. You need a trainer to help you get your body into shape. But if you really want to realize your goals, you need to do more than sprints and lifting weights.
If you desire to go from desperately needing a cookie to proudly earning a cookie; from binging food to enjoying food; from living with resentments to living with excitement, you’ll have to accept everything about you – the good, the bad and the ugly. You must internalize that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with cookies or with the way you look, the way you think or who you are. You believing those things are the problem is the problem.
It’s not the thought that makes something wrong. It’s how you act upon that thought that affects your goals and dreams. How you act upon a thought is what makes it bad, good, right or wrong. There is nothing wrong with eating a cookie. There is something wrong with eating a lot of cookies when you want to lose weight.
Once you accept everything about yourself and who you are, your food struggles will cease to exist.
Furthermore, ironically, the parts of you you’ve been judging and frantically trying to avoid are the very things that make you special and unique. The sides of you in exile desperately need to be heard, seen, understood, validated and accepted. The side of you that likes what others don’t, that thinks like no other, that feels too fat, too short, not good enough — that is the side that once accepted, validated and cherished, will give you the strength, confidence and identity you’ve been craving. Accept yourself and love yourself unconditionally. Treat yourself with patience and understanding. Listen to yourself with kindness. Only when you truly love yourself and your dreams; only when you value your authenticity more than what others think, will your struggles with food dissipate.
It’s not about what we eat, it’s about what’s eating us. Live up to your full potential and you will wake-up to your ideal body, ideal relationship, ideal career and ideal life. Your struggles with food will end.
Thank you and good luck.
Join Leo — the former professional athlete who used to lose 150 lbs a year — as he shares his weight loss secrets. After this free, one-hour lecture, you will never view weight loss the same way again!
Sunday, January 26th at 10AM
Results Personal Training
4367 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks CA 91423
We look forward to seeing you there!
Leo Frincu is a world wrestling champion, author, speaker and performance coach for business leaders and athletes worldwide. To learn more about his training philosophy, check out his latest book, “WELCOME HOME, 3 Simple Steps On How To Reach Your Highest Potential,” available on Amazon and iBooks.