The disease that makes us overeat and overweight. Part 2. (Click here to read part 1.)
Let’s get right into it…
Ever notice how in movies like “This is 40” or “Knocked Up” or one of my favorites, “American Beauty” – the common theme is the main character feels like a loser? He’s always out of shape and can’t believe where he is in life.
Ever notice how there’s always one scene (if not dozens) about how out of shape they are? It’s either them buying healthy food for the first time and having no idea what to buy, looking in the mirror and hating what they see, being attracted to someone they think is out of their league, trying to cut out junk food, or exercising.
Here is one of the most powerful scenes from American Beauty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVpsmoAe9pM (Probably not safe for work)
There have been so many of these movies about what is essentially, a quarter or mid-life crisis, disguised as a comedy.
Where do these “crises” come from?
I’ve done some reading on quarter-life and mid-life crisis. Really interesting stuff.
These crisis come from:
DISAPPOINTMENT which can lead to regret, a very powerful emotion. (We feel way worse about the opportunities we don’t take versus the opportunities we do.)
In all those movies the main character feels disappointed with how their life is turning out. They can’t believe “this is it”. They can’t believe how out of shape they are. They can’t believe who they’ve become. They can’t believe how little control over they have of their life.
We don’t live in Hollywood though.
I’ve noticed it in real life too, with men and women.
So many people tell me they “let themselves go.”
“Letting ourselves go” and getting engrossed with our life seems par for the course once we’re an adult. It’s almost like a right of passage.
“I’m busy with work, I’ll focus on my health later on!”
“I’m married now it doesn’t matter. Who am I trying to impress?”
“I have kids now! They take up all of my free time!”
There are endless ways to rationalize, “letting ourselves go.”
This is where feelings of unfilled potential, disappointment and emptiness stem from because we stop taking care of ourselves. We feel like we have no control over our lives anymore. How can we…when we feel like we have no control over ourselves!
Instead, we focus on everything else – things we don’t have nearly as much control over.
The lack of control is the most interesting part to me because that’s the most actionable. I bet you can guess what the remedy for a lack of control is in all of the books I read on quarter and mid-life crisis:
Drum roll please…
Exercising and eating better.
Change – no matter your age – whatever aspect of life it is (career, love social, etc.,) starts with you. The idea is to focus on what you can most control.
Check this. Read the part in the box at the top: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/3iyho9/midlife_crisis_at_35/
This guy writes a long thread about how he’s having a midlife crisis at 35 years old.
The interesting thing is this guy knows exactly what he needs to do. He even writes it! “I really need to hit the gym and feel better about myself.”
The Solution to overcoming D.O.U.P is:
Realizing your body’s full potential so that you’re able to realize your overall potential. You don’t have to change your entire life to change your life.
What I’m saying is that no matter your age, change in whatever aspect of life it is (career, love, social, etc.,) starts with YOU.
Being out of shape, overweight and tired all the time wears on us. It erodes our self-esteem. It spills into every aspect of our life. We don’t trust ourselves to be able to go after what we really want. We lose confidence in ourselves.
In other words, we feel stuck in life. We feel like we have no control.
That leads to so many uncomfortable feelings like disappointment, feeling like a failure, and unfilled potential.
What is the “easiest” way to get rid of these uncomfortable feelings?
Besides overeating, which I talked about in my last email, it is blaming our situation on work, kids, schedule, etc.
It’s much “easier” on the mind to blame our feelings of being stuck on things beyond our control. Otherwise, we have to step up to the plate. That can be scary.
Here’s the thing:
Overeating never gives us what we really want. It only suppresses the desire (for a short time) of what we really want.
This is human nature. It’s what we do…because tension relief is what we’re after.
It all starts with ourselves.
There is no better way to exert the control we do have than on our health and fitness.
Change your body = changing your mind = changing your life.
Can it really be so simple? YES!
Here’s the tricky part: Your brain is going to convince you it can’t be so simple. Why? It’s easier to remain stuck!
This is harder than it sounds. Don’t fall for it. Catch yourself.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many of our clients have changed careers and went after their dreams. When you take control of what you’re able to – aka yourself – it allows you to handle everything else so much better.
No, I’m not saying that being in great shape is going to suddenly make your life perfect. But it will change how you think about yourself and that can change everything.
For those of you who are very happy with your life…
For many, the ONLY nagging feeling IS this feeling that you let yourself go. That you’re not the best physical version of yourself. This can lead to so many uncomfortable feelings as well. You’ll see an old picture and shrug, “The Good Old Days!”
Sure, it feels awesome to have a flat stomach and get into those tight pair of jeans and notice yourself looking good – but it’s so much more than that.
Being healthy and fit and taking care of ourselves is a signal to others – and most importantly, ourselves. It’s a commitment we’re making to being the best version of ourselves we can be. That feels awesome! And it certainly feels way better than the alternative. When we’re not, it wears on us.
So many clients report feeling so much happier as early as a few weeks in because they’re finally taking action (eating well and exercising, consistently) on something that has been so important to them for a long time (their health and well being) – and are no longer suppressing that desire. (We either realize our desires or we rationalize them away.)
Many clients reach their health and fitness goals and ask, “What’s next? What else can I conquer?” Bingo. That’s the idea.
What I’m suggesting is that before you change anything in your life, change yourself. Focus on what you can most control.
Once we do that, and as we do that, you’ll notice how powerful you feel. That power spills over into every aspect of our life.
We’re all juggling a million balls. One of those balls is our health and fitness. If we drop that ball, eventually, everything else is going to drop too. Everything impacts everything.
The more we take care of ourselves, the better we’re able to take care of everything else. So simple but so incredibly powerful.
We’re now in Q4 of 2015. Are you in better shape now than you were at the start of the year?
If so, I love it! I truly want everyone to feel the effects of being healthy and fit – whether it’s with MBT or not. This is too important. It’s too transformative.
If not, why not try MBT?
I offer a guarantee because I know what I offer works better than anything else out there. I believe in that much. Try my program for a full month. If you don’t feel or see results you get your money back. It’s as simple as that.
We all know our health and fitness is so important. We all know the transformative potential it has. Yet, we all play the “I’ll start fresh on Monday” game over and and over. It’s already October 9th! 2016 is going to be here before we know it!
Don’t you think if you could “Just eat healthy and exercise consistently” you would have already? Knowing what to do and actually doing it are very, very different. It’s amazing how many people say they know what to do yet year after year they’re not in the shape they want to be in.
You will never regret being healthier and more fit once and for all. With MBT, it gets easier with time. Most diets get harder with time because they’re based solely on willpower and motivation, both of which are fleeting. (Think about how motivated you may have felt at the start of the week compared to today, for example.)
What are you waiting for?
Questions about my program? Message and let me know.
Together, we will make it happen.
Before we get started with today’s lesson, I’m going to ask that you read this when you have a few minutes of uninterrupted time. One of my clients wrote this to me, “I think sometimes people don’t appreciate the depth of your wisdom when it arrives as a free post.”
Please note this is a two-part post.
The disease that makes us overeat and overweight.
This disease doesn’t kill us rapidly. It doesn’t kill us slowly, either. However, it can create a lingering feeling that lasts our entire life, if we’re not careful.
I call it the disease of unfilled potential.
Or you could simply say being disappointed with how your life is turning out whether it’s in your career, love life, social life, etc.
Thankfully, it’s reversible.
Potential is a very powerful word. Feeling like we’re not realizing our full potential can weigh us down greatly.
The disease of unfilled potential (here in referred to as D.O.U.P.) doesn’t feel like a sharp physical pain. It’s a lingering feeling that comes and goes. It’s like a dull tooth ache. You might feel it a few times a day, or you might feel it a few times a week or month.
We know it when we feel it.
What do we do when we feel it?
Before I tell you, let’s keep this in mind about humans: When we’re uncomfortable we seek relief. It’s human nature.
So, back to the question…when we feel this nagging and uncomfortable feeling pop up, we usually seek to relieve it by eating highly palatable food (aka food high in sugar, salt and fat).
Our mind then goes from feeling these strong emotions that would otherwise upset us to being consumed with the short-term pleasure of flavor.
Remember: pleasure, by nature, is extremely fleeting.
This is how we start to feel like we have no control over our food intake aka food addiction.
Most people who overeat are using food as a drug because of the short term relief it provides them with from sometimes very strong and uncomfortable emotions such as anxiety, loneliness, depression, and, of course, D.O.U.P.
We go into what I call a food trance – where we think about nothing but the food we’re eating – or sometimes we don’t think about anything at all, and that can be a nice break from the constant stream of thoughts we have (so we think).
Here’s what we want to remember: We go from feeling these uncomfortable emotions to feeling pleasure…and then very quickly, those pleasurable feelings turn into feelings of guilt and disgust towards ourselves.
In short: we’re choosing to feel disdain over discomfort.
Here’s where it gets tricky…
As we know, the key to losing weight and getting the body we want is eating right and exercising consistently. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
On the flip side, the key to gaining weight is overeating consistently.
When we consistently use food to cope with our emotions, the result is extra pounds.
THEN, these extra pounds create more discomfort and nagging feelings because of the larger person we see in the mirror.
“I eat because I’m unhappy and I’m unhappy because I eat. It’s a vicious cycle.”
So freakin’ true.
Before I share how to get rid of these nagging feelings and ultimately get rid of D.O.U.P for good, I want to be clear: This is not a weakness. It’s simply a habit. Instead of bashing yourself (like we usually do), try being a little more compassionate with yourself than usual.
Right now, we’re simply using food to get relief from these uncomfortable feelings. We will change that.
If the Disease Of Unfilled Potential (D.O.U.P) resonates with you – or you’re feeling empty, message me, and tell me what area it comes from.
Is it in your career? Is it in your love life? Is it in your social life? Talk to me. I’m here to help.
In my next post, I’m going to share with you how to get rid of these feelings so be on the look out for it.
Us MBT-ers know that getting the body we want and being healthy and fit is about 3 things: Eating well. Exercising. And doing those two things consistently.
As we also know, it’s the consistency part that’s so hard.
One of the reasons why consistency is so hard is because it can feel so booooring.
And because consistency can feel boring we tend to bounce from one fad diet to the next, always in search of the newest fad diet, instead of focusing on what actually works.
We all know deep down, the secret to success is —–> doing the right things over and over and over and over again. And doing the right things over and over and over and over again. And doing the right things over and over and over again.
No matter what diet we follow, or what ‘magic pill’ we take (they don’t exist!), or what the ‘magic food’ of the moment is (acai berries anyone?), if we want to be successful, eventually, we’re going to have to do the actual work.
And the actual work means: eating well and moving more…consistently. (Easier said than done, of course. And that’s not meant to be self-serving. It’s the brutal reality we all face.)
Unfortunately, there is no escaping this. I repeat: We can’t escape the work if we want results.
While the majority of people are searching for the “latest and greatest fad diet” we’re doing the right things day in and day out. While the majority of people are searching for the “new and shiny diet” we’re making it happen week after week.
The challenge in all of this is we can’t escape the discomfort we’re going to face if we want results.
Results come from change. Change = discomfort.
Here’s what I mean:
If we’re doing the same things we used to do, we’ll keep on feeling and looking the way we always have. We also won’t feel any discomfort. Why? Because we’re doing what we used to do. We’re doing what’s comfortable to us.
If we’re doing things differently, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. Why? Because we’re doing what we’re not used to doing. And because we’re not used to doing it, it’ll feel uncomfortable to us…until it becomes our new normal.
When we feel uncomfortable it means we’re doing things differently. It means we’re changing. It means we’re getting closer to where and who we want to be.
Hence, discomfort is our compass.
We can’t escape that. Nor can we escape the day to day consistency, which isn’t sexy whatsoever – even though, it’s ridiculously effective.
It’s so tempting to avoid the inevitable which is being consistent and sticking with a sensible eating and exercise plan in favor of the fad diet of the month.
No one said it’s easy. Nor sexy. But it’s certainly doable. (This is why I’m convinced – though I’m admittedly biased – daily and personal accountability and support is what makes all of the difference. It makes the discomfort – dare I say – a lot more comfortable.)
Ask anyone who’s pursued anything worthwhile —-> (usually things that are hard to obtain or else it wouldn’t be all that valuable) — and they’re certainly convinced it’s worth it.
I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than our health and fitness. I can’t think of anything that impacts our life more than how we feel about ourselves. And a big part of how we feel about ourselves (like it or not) comes from how we look and how we think we look.
The solution is to:
a) accept that we can’t escape the work if we want sustainable results. [This is harder than it sounds. Your brain will constantly try to convince you that there's "one magic pill" still out there. When this happens, catch yourself. Our brains are designed to seek pleasure and avoid discomfort. Consistency and sticking with something can be uncomfortable at times. Starting the "new thing of the month" can be pleasurable...until it wears off and we're back at square one. This is why it's worth re-reading the first sentence of this giant paragraph! ]
b) accept that there are times that it’s going to feel boring. Such is life. There are highs and lows. The question is what are you going to do when you’re in a low? What are you going to do when you feel bored? My suggestion: Embrace it. Realize that it feels boring for everyone at times. Yes, myself included!
When it feels a little boring, that’s our time to lean in. Because like our moods, we know we have ups and downs. When we’re up, it feels easy. When it’s easy, we quickly forget about the inevitable downs that knock us off our game. That’s when most people go back to their old ways and start something else and repeat the cycle over and over again.
But not on our watch. Oh no. Not on our watch.
P.S. Of course feeling and seeing progress/results isn’t boring. It’s thrilling! Nothing tastes as good as being healthy and fit feels. I know some of you may roll your eyes on that one. You’ll think I’m crazy until you truly feel what it feels like to be strong, empowered, and in control. There’s nothing like it. The best part? That feeling / attitude spills over into every other area of your life. The sad part? Many people quit before they ever feel that. Why? It’s easy to start a diet/exercise plan. It’s hard to keep on going with it. This is where MBT can help.
I know. I know.
Big claim in the subject line. One of those claims where you just want to roll your eyes.
BUT, I believe I can deliver.
Here it is…
So a monk tells Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?”
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At THAT moment the monk was enlightened.
I love this little story.
It reminds me to stop thinking so damn much and just take the next action.
It’s so easy to get caught up in every day life. It’s also so easy to get frustrated and intimidated when we have a long journey ahead of us. (This is why having a Body Tutor on your side makes all the difference.)
When something seems overwhelming (like losing weight), we usually choose choice C: None of the above and do nothing.
Instead, let’s just focus on our very next meal. Our very next workout. Our very next choice.
Focus on your very next action, your very next interaction, your very next task.
That’s it. That’s all we can do.
Although we can worry about eating poorly this week, or the upcoming party, or whatever is on the horizon (there’s always something), there’s nothing we can do right now…
EXCEPT, focusing on our very next meal.
When in doubt…don’t ask questions. Don’t ponder. Just wash the bowl.
Let’s make it a great week choice by choice.
I do a lot of reading on many different topics because our health and fitness is comprised of so many different subjects.
This is why it drives me crazy when “experts” act as if we live in a vacuum. Every area of our life impacts our health and fitness. Everything impacts everything.
So when I came across an article about Monica Seles and her life after tennis I was intrigued.
As many of you might know, she was the top ranked female tennis player in the world. Sports reporters said she had the potential to be the best tennis player of all time.
A man stabbed her during a match.
Her father passed away from cancer.
She began to rely on food. She quietly became a binge eater.
In the interview, Monica said, “I just didn’t want to feel! Food was there for me from 7AM to 11PM. I’d do anything to numb myself and food was so reliable.”
Binge eating is emotional eating on steroids. And if we’re not binge eating then we’re emotionally eating from time to time. We all do.
Emotionally eating is eating to change the way we feel. Most commonly, eating when we’re not physically hungry.
Maybe we don’t realize how often we eat when we’re not physically hungry, but once we do, it’s shocking.
Believe it or not, Mike Tyson has some great quotes.
One of my favorites, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
And as the saying goes, if we fail to plan then we plan to fail.
But, of course, all the planning in the world doesn’t help when our impulses and emotions get the best of us.
For some reason we’re scared to feel. We’ve been conditioned from childhood to not feel.
“Stop crying,” “Here’s a cookie,” “Stop complaining,”…and then, we’d find a way to distract ourselves by playing outside or calling a friend, or playing video games, etc.
However, as adults, it’s not so easy to play outside or call a friend or play video games…
Whether it’s our annoying boss at work upsetting us, our significant other, kids, our job, and on and on and on…
If we never let ourselves feel, we’ll never get to the root cause of why we’re emotionally eating in the first place.
So this week, let’s work on F-E-E-L-I-N-G.
It sounds so corny and trite but even just acknowledging our feelings will help a lot.
Your boss is making you do something you don’t want to do.
Instead of grabbing food to deal with the discomfort, why not acknowledge it? “Ugh, right now I can’t stand my boss because I really don’t want to do this. But I know this will pass.”
Corny but helpful!
Your kids aren’t being appreciative or your significant other isnt…
Instead of eating our sorrows away, how about acknowledging it? “Ugh, my kids are being so ungrateful right now. My significant other is being so ungrateful right now. But I know this feeling will pass. And I know they aren’t always like this but right now it’s really bothering me.”
In this hyper-connected, 24/7/365, go-go-go, never stop world we live in, many people don’t ever just sit there for a few minutes and simply acknowledge how they feel.
When we do this, we won’t be as “hungry”. (Of course, we often mistake this “hunger” for physical hunger.)
And then maybe, just maybe, we can deal with the real issue at hand. (Of course, having a Body Tutor on your side helps as well.)
As Monica Seles said, and as we all know, “binging and overeating never feels good. It’s a mask. A very, very itchy mask.”
Are you an emotional eater? You’ll find this article helpful.