Dealing With the (Overweight) Elephant in the Room

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Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker before and after losing 260 lbs. without dieting. (Teresa Shields Parker)

Food Is the Elephant

An elephant eats a lot of food. The amounts vary from 150 pounds a day to 770 pounds a day. The larger amount of food is for elephants that live in the wild. They, of course, have to hunt for their own food, roam larger spans of area, endure the difficulties of temperature and terrain.

If an elephant eats too much or too little food, one of several things might be the reason. They don't need to consume so much food because of the environment: captivity versus free range. They can't find food or the right types of food aren't fed to them. They are sick.

All three things also effect us. Our environment dictates a lot of how we eat. If we are in an area that doesn't have access to highly processed foods, we will eat less. If we have the wrong types of foods, we will eat more. If we are sick, or metabolically broken, we will eat more.

A person who is metabolically broken can't mitigate the amounts of foods they eat, such as sugar, flour, highly processed foods and fast foods. This is typically what has become known as the American diet.

It's a mindless type of eating. Part of this is the craving mechanism in our brain is messed up or broken. It recognizes something high in sugar content or an item that will eventually turn into sugar, and once it has hit the blood stream turns on the craving mechanism for more. Once the "more" hits, there is a desire for more. It is an endless loop. It never stops.

Emotions Are the Elephant

Emotions can loom larger than an elephant in our lives. They take over everything. They invade the secret places where no one else is allowed to go. They take over our minds, wills and behaviors. They make us do exactly what we don't want to do.

We can try to reason with our emotions. We can try to force them to be silent. We can will them to be silent, but they just scream all the louder.

Paul had something to say about this. "For what I am doing, I do not understand, for I do not practice what I will to do, but I do the very thing I hate. ... For the will to do what is right is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who does it, but sin that lives in me. I find then a law that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. ... O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 7:15, 19, 24-25).

Our emotions become the backdrop of our life. Everything runs according to how we feel and yet, we're not really sure where those feelings came from.

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