There is a large contingent of people who struggle with their weight who believe they are a victim of societies stress and poor food choices. They believe that their choices were forced upon them and not even a choice at all.

There is a belief that in order to be part of society and feel successful we need to do all the same things that we perceived others were doing including eating and drinking.

As time passed and obesity rates climbed these beliefs continued. There is no alternative. In fact while striving for this ideal body type on one hand we are filling ourselves up on the other with foods that don’t serve our goals.

But – what is really happening is much deeper than poor choices, economic circumstances or excuses. Underlying this behaviour is the source to much of societies issues today. We are checking out of our relationships and as a result use food to numb out.

Loneliness can be momentarily subsided with an extra-large pizza. A person whose experienced abuse may instinctively pack on weight to feel larger than their attackers and protect themselves. A lost promotion or a failed business can prompt binge drinking and overeating to avoid thoughts of lost potential.

Everyone has their core relationship and success that is being pushed away in order to avoid managing a difficult conversation or facing hurtful feelings. Some just aren’t ready for the alternate future, so pausing in the moment any possible way is just fine with them.

This concept is so eloquently brought to life in The Culture Code written by Clotaire Rapaille. His expertise on dissecting core societal beliefs along with their meanings is simple to understand yet not obvious to the naked eye.

He states, “The Culture Code is the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing…via the culture in which we are raised. The stronger the emotion, the more clearly the experience is learned. The combination of the experience and its accompanying emotion creates something known widely as an imprint, a term first applied by Konard Lorenz. Once an imprint occurs, it strongly conditions our thought processes and shapes our future actions. Each imprint helps make us more of who we are.”

The take away for us all is to evaluate more deeply the reasons for which drives specific unwanted behaviours. What exactly are we avoiding in our lives and replacing with food and drink instead? How has this negatively impacted our lives and those we say we love?

While rhetoric for now, I’d encourage you to really think about this. From my experience once I identified my own ‘WHY’ I was more equipped to become present to my feelings and how I would rather manage through difficult situations. Over time I was able to check in instead of check out from life.