This is another article that I wrote two years ago, which I revisited now. Thinking back on the psychology of obesity, I thought I would re-post it here.
There are several reasons why people gain weight. Some of them are:
- Lack of education about nutrition.
- Gluttony – we just want more.
- Stress – many people turn to food when they are stressed.
- Emotional eating – my boyfriend girlfriend husband wife boss children or whoever have hurt me, and I am going to turn to food to relieve the pain.
- Misunderstanding about healthy portion sizes.
- Picking the wrong foods for more than the occasional treat.
- Knowing what we should eat and how much we should eat… and ignoring them.
There are myriad reasons why we eat poorly. These are just a few. However, I am not an expert on the subject. I am, however, an expert in why I am fat.
- An abusive (first physically, and then emotionally) childhood with a mother who liked a lot of foods that were bad for us. She fed us healthy foods too, but the buffalo wings were always fawned over, whereas the fish was always just ‘Eat this.’
- During my Army service I was able to eat as much as I wanted without gaining weight. Not only was I in my early twenties, I was also probably burning 10,000 calories per day.
- Toward the end of my Army service I was injured, and owing to that injury, two things happened that were disastrous:
- I stopped working out.
- I developed a dependence on prescription pain killers, which would have a terrible effect on every aspect of my life, many of which are still apparent today (although my dependence on pills is long behind me now)
- After the Army I was working as a radio entrepreneur with a partner. We had a lot of restaurants pay us in free meals rather than cash, and those restaurants were extremely unhealthy.
- Many soldiers develop psychological traumas because of their service. That, coupled with the traumas resulting from an abusive childhood and a toxic relationship with a poisonous parent (long-reaching trauma that amplified the effects of the dependencies discussed in an earlier point), left me an emotional disaster zone in the personality of a rock. Outwardly I always seemed fine, grounded, stable, and reliable. Inwardly, no.
- The same partner mentioned in an earlier point, along with a number of people I was friends with at the time, would go to restaurants almost every meal, and eat extremely unhealthily.
- For many years I worked as a road warrior. In essence, this meant that I spent a lot of time travelling. Hotels, restaurants, airplane food, and little if any exercise is a recipe for weight gain.
- I like fattening foods. I like sizable portions of fattening foods.
There are probably more reasons, but they are really just excuses. I want to get to a point now where I can look in the rear-view mirror of my life on that terrible time when I was fat because I was unwilling or unable to overcome all of the obstacles that life threw at me. I have worked my buns off to get to where I am today, which is nearly forty pounds lower than my peak. I never want to be there again. For that matter, once I get to my ideal weight, I never want to be here again. It will take a lot more work.