There’s a lot of sigma around the morbidly obese these days. Often the first thought that comes to people’s heads is something along the lines of, “OMG, how could you let yourself get so bad.”
Now I don’t blame people for thinking this, it is deeply ingrained in our society that people are fat because of the poor choices they have made, either through lack of effort, education, or both….. As a result, a large amount of our resources, personally and as a society is spent on addressing things such as diet and exercise. I’m not saying that they aren’t important. Quite the contrary, they are critical to any weight loss goal. What I’m suggesting is that perhaps some of that money would be better spent addressing the root causes of our gluttony.
I feel television shows such as the “Biggest Loser” fail to address this issue, and only helps perpetuate unhealthy and unrealistic weight loss goals. This is also why the majority of the contestant gain back a lot of the weight they have lost. The lifestyle they used to lose the weight is simply unsustainable, and without properly addressing the reasons of their initial weight gain, they are almost always doomed to regain it.
So how should we approach weight loss? Well, my suggestion before we embark on any diet and exercise program is to ask ourselves one simple question.
Why do we eat food?
Although it may seem trivia, answering the question as honestly and openly as possible can reveal a lot about the root causes of our unwanted weight gain. To demonstrate this, I will share with you some of my reasons before I started shredding the pounds and addressing these issues.
- I eat because I am hungry
- During times of extreme stress, I eat food for comfort and to alleviate the stress.
- I eat during times of boredom, it gives me something to do and simply helps fills in the time.
As you can see, only one of the reasons is because I was actually hungry. Like many others, I was using food more for comfort than anything else. Over time this establishes an unhealthy relationship with food where we are reliant on it as a coping mechanism. Understanding why we eat, is just as important as the diet and exercise plans. It helps us identify our reasons so that we may address the negative influences, or at least find other methods of coping.
We are all unique, so I cannot tell you exactly what coping method or activity will be most effective for you. You will need to discover this on your own through time and experimentation. What I can offer is what has worked for me. And for me writing these blog post, as well as keeping a diary are two simple methods I use to cope with my stress and boredom. It may sound weird, but I find it somehow comforting to express my thoughts on paper.
Now go find what works for you, and good luck.