The Truth They Don't Tell You About Obesity
Updated: Feb 16
After days considering the subject of my next blog, something happened. The day before my birthday, I received a call to let me know that my cousin had died due to post-surgery complications following a successful bariatric surgery intervention. So with weight loss being an issue I have experienced myself and in his memory, let’s talk food addiction.
Severe obesity is a much bigger problem than the average person’s weight loss, although they share the same common denominator.
The average overweight person can spend a lifetime of unhealthy yo-yo dieting and exercising as I did. A severely obese person has a constant bottomless hunger that increases over time, resulting in consistent weight gain to the point of reaching serious life-threatening conditions and even physical immobility too.
What's eating you?
The usual root cause is emotional eating. Food temporarily relieves unhappy feelings and keeps them out of mind for that short period of time while food brings comfort. After the meal, satisfaction turns to guilt and shame and the vicious cycle kicks in again.
So what emotion must be so desperately suppressed, what pain must be so deeply buried that has actually been fed and turned into a bigger monster eating at you?
That’s right, the bottom issue is not what you are eating, but what’s eating you. You can take my Type of Eater Quiz and find out what's eating you.
Furthermore, what’s eating you is not some upset or difficulty you experienced yesterday, last week or last month, but what happened to you as a child that you have been carrying around for 25 or 50 years.
Yes, the relationship with food you experienced and learnt as a child in your household, you carried into adulthood, but what was exactly that made your hunger reach the limit of infinity and beyond?
Discover what emotion drives your overeating,
take the Type of Eater Quiz.
Surgery doesn’t fix emotions
The answer to obesity is not just about reducing your stomach size and changing the eating habits of a lifetime but also changing how you feel about food and about yourself.
The reason bariatric surgery by itself doesn’t guarantee weight loss is that, despite giving you a smaller stomach, the emotional needs, of the child you were, are still not being met.
You can have a stomach the size of an egg and still crave a full buffet, which you will eat a bite at a time, to satisfy your emotions at the risk of your own health and death.
From happy baby to food addict
As a baby, and in the womb, you ate when you were hungry, you stopped eating when you had had enough and you felt loved all the time. You felt a connection, significance, security and safety.
Growing up you experienced how one or more of these satisfying and necessary feelings disappeared and you reverted to food to get them back.
And the more you ate, the more you wanted, and the more you needed. You couldn’t help it, food became your drug.
You became addicted to the chemicals in junk food, fizzy drinks, sugar and refined carbohydrates that make the body release dopamine, a happiness hormone that makes you feel good like drugs do, and over time you need more of it to get the same effect.
In order to stop feeding the addiction, you have to cut out these foods and resolve the emotional issue underpinning it so you stop turning to food.
Understanding is power
It is crucial to realise what your emotional issues are in order to fix them because, once you understand them, you have the power to change them.
Obesity is simply the physical manifestation of the real emotional problem underneath. Often its role, function and purpose are to protect you from rejection, sexual predators or to justify failures.
When you see what the reason for the heavy burden you have been carrying is, you can dismantle its power over you, return to your perfect weight and maintain it.