I have been listening to the book, ‘Lost Connections – Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions‘ by Johann Hari. He’s a British journalist, not a doctor, but in the very first section of the book, he hooked me. He was describing an incident when in Korea, he was violently sick. He requested some meds to curb the nausea but the Korean doc refused as his nausea was telling him a story of why he was sick. In other words, the symptoms aren’t stupid. This led him on a search to find out WHY he was depressed…and it has nothing to do with the unproven serotonin deficiency hypothesis or genetic.
There’s a section in the book discussing obesity and WHY people get fat. Not how people get fat but why? I try to keep the paradigm that symptoms are a protective mechanism. But I had always looked at obesity as a primary physical protection, storing fuel for later escape. It’s much deeper than that.
He quotes a researcher that stated,
“Obesity is a normal response to abnormal life experiences.”
What does this mean? It means a better question has to be asked. What abnormal life experience happened around when you started putting weight on? Through quoted surveys in the book, there were 3 primary reasons people put weight on as an EMOTIONAL protective mechanism.
Sexual Protection: Many had experiences sexual trauma and therefore gaining weight equated them to being undesirable and hopefully mitigating future sexual predators.
Structural Protection: Others were bullied so by gaining weight and beefing up, they were harder to push around…literally.
Reduced Expectations: People often look at obese people as lazy, undisciplined, etc. They get fat to avoid disappointment. If expectations are low, disappointment is averted.
He also mentions the ACE questionnaire (Adverse Childhood Experiences). There’s an exponential increase in obesity, depression, autoimmune, etc the more questions are answered with a ‘yes.’ I have written about this in the past.
What does this have to do with Animal Based August? Since I have lost weight (not desiring to) and body fat (perceived due to pants fitting looser) with only eating meat, maybe this diet can be a weight loss strategy for people.
But maybe eating this way will go horribly wrong for people because the underlying emotional protective mechanisms are still needing much attention (not my expertise). If you struggle with obesity or yo-yo weight fluctuations, start asking yourself the hard questions. ‘What am I trying to protect myself against?’ ‘Is that threat still there?’
If that threat is no longer a reality, then I recommend getting some counseling but I also highly recommend a book called, The Four Agreements.
Last side note: I hit a 3 rep, front squat PR. This is a 10 pound increase from just 11 days ago. Powered by meat or just avoiding a crash from carbs?