Emotional Eating has lead to Obesity. It has reached epidemic proportions with 3.8 million people weighing over 300 lbs. and approximately 65% of Americans are overweight. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in two decades. The average adult female weighs 163lbs. The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2006 only four states had a prevalence of obesity of less than 20%. One in four children is overweight.
Clearly, the statistics indicate a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States, but the trend is true for all developed countries. The causes of obesity are many—some complex and others simple, such as living sedentary lifestyles.
Jessica struggled with her weight for more than two decades. At times, she had felt in control but for the most part, she experienced her eating and weight problem as controlling her. She describes her struggle: “I gained weight as an adolescent. I was very unhappy as a teen. I felt unattractive and unloved and unwanted. The food was a way of making me feel better. Emotional eating was a coping mechanism. I didn’t worry about eating because I figured I could lose weight when I wanted and I was very successful at it. As a teenager, I could lose 10lbs in a week but the ease of losing weight gave me permission to eat whatever I wanted. The day came that I couldn’t lose it so quickly. My weight went up and down for a long time and then the general trend was that my weight increased over time. I had phases when I lost weight, but it was a struggle not to put the weight back on. I would re-gain the weight I lost plus add a few pounds. As I experienced the increased weight after a successful round of dieting I became even more restrictive and crazy about my weight loss schemes. I would spend a day or two not eating at all and then decide I would eat only cabbage soup for a few days. This is an example of the wild schemes I would concoct to control my weight. Now I am totally out of control. I am about to 86 pounds overweight and I feel completely helpless to do anything about it. The more I try to control the more I want to eat. The more problems I face and the more stressed I feel, the more I eat. Actually, most things end up with: ‘the more I eat’ .”
At LWS, we seek to create true health and wellness. It begins with lifestyle changes and learning how to nourish yourself, not just with the right foods but with the way you live your life. Wellness is about
managing stress, having a positive outlook, sleeping well, and eating foods to nourish your body. Most of the people in the wellness program are there because they are not feeling their best. They may have weight issues or may not be sleeping well. They have been to doctors who have evaluated their complaints of tiredness, stomach distress, or general malaise only to find out that there is nothing wrong
At LWS you can have a complete lab workup. You can have a wellness lab evaluation to establish your general neurological health. We will evaluate your lifestyle and take a close look at what you eat and establish what is the best nutrition for you. It is best to have your food plan designed around your body type, family health history, and other genetic factors. Laboratory tests will tell us if you have a predisposition toward diseases now, such as a pre-diabetic condition.
Based on your personal evaluation, a plan of health will be designed. It will address nutrition, exercise, and overall lifestyle changes. You will know how to manage your stress to keep them at low levels. You will become highly educated about your body, how to maintain good health and what signs to look for when you may be putting your health into jeopardy.
The best time to start with a wellness program is before you become ill. Always protect your health and learn what “medical/medicine” treatments may affect your health adversely.
Jessica describes her journey back to healthy eating and a normal weight. “I learned to identify what I was thinking and feeling. Every time I had a craving I kept a journal in my purse or in my pocket and wrote down what I was doing and what was going through my mind. I reviewed my notes with my coach, who gave me helpful ideas on what to change in my behavior. She coached me through my negative thinking—I had no idea how often I was indulging in negative thinking. I learned that if I felt the least bit out of control or feared I might not be in control, I wanted to eat. I put all of my focus on my relationship with my mother but she wasn’t influencing me anymore. I was living my own life but I was still acting as if I had to have my secret stash of food to make me feel better. I learned to eat out in the open. Once I did that I was really aware of how much I was eating and I wasn’t going to eat a bag of cookies in front of other people. It was interesting in that as I gave up my food habit I realized there were important aspects about myself that had to change. I learned to take control of myself and accepted the fact that nothing else is really in our control. I learned to take life a step at a time and to welcome the surprises and challenges. The other odd thing is that as I gave up relying on food as a remedy for all of my emotional ailments, I felt challenged by a lot. Food was like a sedative to me. Once the sedative wore off, I felt really alive and now I realize I can live with the challenges.”
Jessica achieved a great deal from the LWS wellness program which for her was focused on beating emotional eating. She finally learned to let go of old, self-destructive issues with food. She progressed from that point to deal with wellness and lifestyle patterns that were not helping her to thrive physically. As a result of ongoing coaching and development, she was able to reach her ideal weight and then move onto living a more healthful life.