“Right after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I drove to the closest In-And-Out and ordered a double cheeseburger, fries, and a diet coke. I weighed in at 184 pounds when the doctor gave me the news. My doctor told me, “You are headed right towards a heart attack if you don’t start losing weight”. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I was depressed. This was my third unsuccessful attempt at losing weight. Every time I tried, I came out even heavier. I was lost. I tried every possible weight loss diet. All I wanted was to lose some weight and keep it off. I wanted, once and for all, to get my “eating” under control. I just wanted to be happy.”
This was Jessica’s statement last year when she stepped into my office. This is just one of many examples of people who are constantly struggling with weight issues. This is a world epidemic that costs our health care system billions of dollars. Some blame the fast food chain restaurants, others the low fat diets, and some people even blame the government for their weight gain.
Bottom line is… we are the only ones responsible for our weight and food isn’t the issue.
People are doing low fat diets, no fat diets, low carb, no carb, cleansing, detoxing, juicing, counting their calories, and many other weight loss trends. They even hire nutritionists and dieticians to help them with their food problem. If you are like Jessica, you are not alone. In this article I’m not going to tell you what food you should eat or shouldn’t eat. Instead, I will give you the real recipe to lose weight, and to keep it off.
I will make this quick and simple. Our bodies like any other living being operates on energy. However, where do we get our energy? We get it from food, water, and oxygen. These are the three basic energy sources that fuel our bodies. How many times have you said, “I have no energy, I need to eat something”? We all do it. We also run out of energy as soon as we get dehydrated, and life itself cannot exist without oxygen.
Life happens and growth is possible only when we allow the energy to freely enter our bodies. The same way we can’t control our metabolism or our digestive system, we also can’t control how our bodies use the energy we put in. We only have a say in what type of fuel (energy) we chose to feed our bodies.
However, how do we know when we have plenty of energy? Further, how do we know what energy is good energy? You will know this based on how you feel. If we eat well, we will feel good. That is the purpose of eating, breathing and drinking. When I say “feel good” I don’t mean emotionally while you’re actually eating, I mean what food does to our bodies.
It is all about our feelings. We choose the type of energy we fuel our body based on how we feel about ourselves. A healthy person who wants to feel good will want to breathe fresh air, eat healthy food and drink clean water. Energy allows us to feel, where feelings are our emotions. An emotion is Energy in motion. Therefore Eating = Energy = Feelings.
We already established that eating well is directly related to our feelings. We want to feel good about ourselves; therefore, we eat well. When we don’t want to feel good, we will use a different type of fuel that is going to help us achieve just that. The worse we feel about ourselves, the more we’re going to poison our bodies.
Did you hear me use low fat, low carb diet, or any other similar terms in the above statement? Do you see any food issues here? I wonder why everyone on the planet is talking about obesity as a food issue? We don’t need nutritionists and dietitians; we need therapists and coaches. We don’t need low-fat diets; we need high self-esteem. We don’t need carb-free meals; we need stress-free lives.
There’s no such thing as a food issue, there’s only emotional issues. We’re trying to control our emotions by trying to control our food. The more you try to control food, the more food is controlling you. Emotions can’t be rationalized, only lived. Food can’t be controlled, only enjoyed.
Jessica came in for a weight loss program; instead I suggested an emotional evaluation. It wasn’t too long until she realized that the food wasn’t the reason for her weight gain. She was involved in an abusive relationship and food was her only way out. Jessica didn’t know but she traded one type of abuse for another. Abuse consists of different shapes and forms. Food is just one of them. We use food when we don’t want to be noticed. We overeat when we’re not happy with ourselves. We struggle to control our food hoping that we can control, or suppress our feelings. And the sad part is that for Jessica this had being happening all of her life. She had always struggled with weight issues. As soon as she started standing up for herself, the excess weight started coming off. The more self-worth she gained, the better she looked. I’m not saying that some people don’t have a genetic deposition or a health issue that may facilitate their weight gain. However, that percentage is very small and does not account for the majority of obesity cases.
Human beings are the only living animal who actually tries to lose weight. Have you ever seen a tree rejecting water? You probably also never saw a lion with low self-esteem. “Losing” goes against universal laws. We are not built to lose, only to gain. We should never pursue less, only more. Overeating is our way of dealing with unwanted emotions. We use bulimia to cure our emotional anorexia. We somehow hope that a low-fat diet will help change how we truly feel about ourselves. We believe we can gain some self-worth if we just lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, our focus is in the wrong direction. Controlling food is an easy and quick fix. However, it won’t help with the real issue.
You’re probably wondering, “How do I know whether or not I’m doing this to myself?”
Most people talk about meals like they just appear out of nowhere. “We are not doing this. This is just being done to us.” That is the first sign of denial.
We subconsciously and meticulously are planning several ways that we can sabotage ourselves. Our meals doesn’t just happen, they are planned. It is the same with our emotions. They don’t just appear; they are caused by something. It’s cause and effect. Food, the same as obesity, is not the cause it is the effect. Obesity is the result of our subconscious and strategically plots against ourselves.
What do most people say to themselves right before making a bad food choice?
“It doesn’t matter”, or “It’s not a big deal”, or “It’s not worth It”, or “This doesn’t count”, or “Not now, later…” To name just a few.
Now I want you to replace these words with:
I don’t matter.
I’m not a big deal.
I’m not worth it.
I don’t count.
Not now, later… Are these the same words we heard our caretakers tell us many times growing up?
And we tell ourselves this every day over and over again while subconsciously planning our death. Self-worth is living. No self-worth is dying. Weight issues isn’t about food, it is about YOU. You can’t control food, the same way you can’t control life. Living is about being, not controlling…in any aspect of your life. The food you need to be eating should be the same food you want to eat. The more you struggle with food, the more you struggle with your emotions. The faster you stop blaming food for your weight gain, the sooner you’ll start losing weight.
The happier you become, the more “control” you’ll have with your meals. It is not the other way around. Next time you are about to eat, ask yourself,
Am I happy?
What am I pursuing with this meal?
Good luck and enjoy your dinner.