Stress can stop your weight loss goals about as much as eating a family size bag of Nacho chips and a 2-Liter bottle of pop can.
My approach to weight loss was in gaining my health. Losing 300 pounds was not the first thing that occurred to me, but rather “what could I do to get healthy and eat right”. It was a very strange approach given that I was obviously clinically obese and immediately needed some quick weight loss.
I had no idea that our body used food in a very specific manor and that we could improve our energy levels by working with the body, not against it. There were some very specific rules to follow, so being the good student I followed them. It became a religion for me and as I preached it, I made many people quite crazy. I became an outcast because I had to prepare my food differently and would not eat with the gang at meal times. My food was prepared differently, eaten differently and eventually I even came to ask food servers to use different spatulas to flip my “veggie burger” from the grill.
I followed the rules and I increased my energy. I began eating better and my energy levels increased enough that my weight loss began and I started to become lean and healthy.
Then the stuff hit the fan
Well, it hit their fan, not mine.
Friends began to talk behind my back about wanting the old Rob back. In one instance, I was held down on a couch while cola was poured into my mouth against my will. They wanted their old funny, fat, life of the party friend back, not this health nut with all these food rules.
I think I first became aware of being stressed about food at a birthday party I was asked to attend. It was a time of celebration, but do you want to know what I was thinking?
“Do I or don’t I have a piece of cake?”
“This is totally processed, unnatural food. No fiber, no wholeness and it contained sugars, lard and all kinds of other crap”.
I had a whole bunch of thoughts about how this would affect my weight loss goals, my health and my eating habits.
I was weighing the thoughts of being socially acceptable against the health choice of having this one little piece of cake. I thought about losing them as friends if I did not accept the cake and weighed it against the impact this poor food choice was going to have on my body. I had already lost friends because of my food choices and I really did not want to lose more.
I’m sure you’ve been there yourself, having to make a decision based on your social status vs your health. It’s a very quick thought process, but you notice that your blood pressure goes up, your heart begins to beat faster, you begin to sweat… you know what I mean?
I ate the cake.
I felt like crap.
I felt like crap on many levels and I was stressing about this excessively. I felt bad that I had to make that choice in this manner. I felt bad because the sugar was surging into my blood and I felt bad because I “thought about this way too much”
At some point, you need to let go of it all.
There is energy in food; in the love and people around you that prepared the food and the circumstances in which it’s eaten. Never eat a meal when you are upset or sad because you should be enjoying the meal and taking in all the goodness in what the earth has brought to your body. Take in all that goodness and let go of all the stress.
Eat naturally as much as you can and increase the amount of whole foods in your diet. Make a choice to remove processed foods and beverages such as cola’s, fruit juices, coffee and traditional teas. Eat with a smile on your face and give thanks to everyone involved in bringing the meal, the nutrition and that energy into your body.
Then when the time is right, have fun and enjoy the health you've created.
There was a very dramatic shift in my life, my health and my weight loss when I made the choice to enjoy some foods again. I began to break my own rules and live my life. I began to have fun with food and fun came back into my life.