Stress and emotional eating are the current silent killers that manage to completely slip by our healthcare system’s radar (and even our own personal radar). If you’re not sure how then drop everything and read this story below:
The other day I was sitting with a friend of mine. He told me he had gained 38 lbs in the span of 1 year (although his body did a good job of distributing it evenly). He said he was exercising and dieting and so didn’t understand why he was gaining weight.
His doctor had told him to go on a diet to lose some weight because his blood sugars were climbing up (initial stages of diabetes). I was intrigued and inquired about his eating. According to him, he has 3 equal meals a day, doesn’t include sugar or junk and eats enough vegetables. He told me he thinks his metabolism is broken. I pushed a bit and asked him about how consistent he was on the perfect nutrition he just described for me, he replied that he was consistent but… (I knew it was coming) he struggles with emotional eating.
I was amazed to see that it took him 20 minutes of talking about what he does good before he mentioned what he doesn’t do so well. It struck me then. I remembered a principle I learned in a book that stuck with me for years: “we are not the highest version of ourselves that we think we are, instead, we are the lowest point which we are willing to accept”. It dawned upon me that my friend was confused as to why his current condition was not a reflection of the highest version or “best choices” of what he does (3 equal meals a day + exercise) as opposed to being a result of the lowest point or “worst choices” of which he is willing to accept (stress/emotional eating and being in denial of it).
Our health is not dictated by the best choices that we make, instead, it is a direct result of the lowest point which we are willing to accept for ourselves. How “good you are” with your food choices is no longer as significant to your current weight and health condition as how "bad” you can be. Therefore we must learn to set new standards for our lowest points.
You see, his doctor had failed to tell him that he doesn’t need a diet to lose weight, and that instead he only needs to take control of his stress and emotional eating. When I analyzed his emotional eating episodes, it turned out he can easily add 1200-2000 calories to his evenings (which is when people are most vulnerable to stress eating). He estimated he stress eats 2-4 x a week which would account for 30-60% of the time, quite significant.
His results were not determined by what he thought he was doing good, instead, it was dictated by the lowest standard which he was willing to accept. The lowest standard that was measured by the quantity of poor food choices he puts in his body, the timing of when he has it and the frequency of it. That low point had a direct effect on his current condition more than his 3 equal meals everyday and exercising.
Unfortunately, my friend’s story is all too common. The world is currently eating itself to death. Medical statistics will say that the top killers is cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc. The one thing they all have in common is that most people who develop these conditions never built a good relationship with food. They stress and emotional eat their way to death. Our current healthcare system neglects this and tries to put a band aid on it by saying “you should go on a diet or lose some weight”. Dieting and “attempting to lose weight” does not resolve stress or emotional eating.
Dieting and “attempting to lose weight” does not resolve stress or emotional eating.
If this story resonated with you, feel free to reach out to us for a free conversation. We have helped hundreds of people turn their lowest point into a strength, and we can show you how to do the same by shedding light on your own high and low points.