What actually makes you fat?
Stress and weight-loss
live in Austria. 59% of Austrians are overweight. That’s just 1-2% shy from the 61% of the US.
The WHO calls obesity a major public health threat in Europe.
When I was a teenager, in the late 90’s, there were hardly any overweight people around. Back then girls seemed to be constantly on a diet to compete for attention. Thinking about it now, food and nutrition were not an issue. I lived in Bulgaria and the first book I ever half-read on nutrition that my mom brought home was when I was 17.
Over time, as I lived around Europe, I got accustomed to seeing more and more overweight people, which is now also the case in Bulgaria. Years ago, I would judge them as people who were not able to control themselves. Now I understand. Now I have compassion.
I first experienced being overweight with the birth of my first child. With the 30 extra kilos I had gained, I was on the higher limit of what one can gain during pregnancy. I felt awful to say the least.
The ones of you, who are mothers, know you’re trying to do everything right as a first-time mom. Since I didn’t have enough milk to breastfeed, I was eating special nutritious foods that allegedly stimulate lactation. They did not.
Six months passed and I hadn’t lost any weight either. My new baggy clothes were greeting me every morning and my desire to groom altogether had vanished. My baby was a demanding one – of the type you have to carry around all the time, so that there’s literally no free minute. The way I dealt with early motherhood is not the point here, though.
The point is, at some point I wanted my life back and started a diet. I lost most of the gained weight within two and a half months with the 90-Day diet (otherwise known as Rina’s diet). I wouldn’t recommend it to you, unless you are super disciplined and have the time to prepare the nutritious food you need every day. For me this was a good solution and it kept me in good shape for about two years.
Then came stress. Managing my projects and taking care of a small child at the same time is not a kid’s play. For a few months I completely overwrote my food regime, and ate late at night to calm my nerves. At the same time, I avoided the weighting scale as the plague.
The moment of truth came one morning and it was harsher than expected! As my partner says, “The scales don’t lie.”
The first person I thought about was Laimei Yeung, who does nutrition and hypnotherapy on Healnlearn. She had quests talking about stress and resilience and I had always wondered, whether the relationship between stress and nutrition was indeed that strong. Well, it is, now I have officially experienced it!!!
I began re-listening to Laimei’s short videos on managing stress and anxiety that she had published and immediately felt calmer. How does this help with the extra weight, you’d ask? Well, for once, I can see the root cause of gaining weight. Yes, there is more than one contributing factor to gaining weight, such as the type of food that is available (GMO etc.), the variety of foods that taken together can literally poison you, and much more.
However, stress tops the list. It does, because it is able to take away your control.
Now I am sitting here contemplating about the vicious circle of stress. Unless you deal with it timely, it will drag you down to addiction – food addiction, alcohol addiction, cigarettes, anything. Addictions are there to mask the pain and unfortunately, they keep us stuck and drag us down in a downward spiral: I noticed when I had more weight, I was less social, simply because I wasn’t feeling well with myself. This led to isolation, less creativity and for sure lots of missed business opportunities. Also, as you may imagine, this did not do good to my intimate relationship. No need to continue, you get my point.
Just in case you also want to re-watch Laimei’s videos, click on the link 10 day managing stress challenge and if you liked them, please do subscribe!
If you want to go more in-depth and root out the causes of stress and anxiety, Laimei is there for you. Check out her programs: