Emotional Eating: Eating Up Lives
By Michael Stuckert and Eric Campbell
When dealing with people, it is important to remember that you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but rather, creatures of emotion. As a devout lacrosse player, my good friend Michael Stuckert thrived on emotion.
Michael put his heart and soul, along with every other body part, into his performance every time his cleats touched the field. While this is a great quality of any athlete, it has led to problems off the field. He was an emotional eater. Every time he lost a game, he would take it very personally, and the only thing he could do to console himself was to eat incredible amounts of food.
Michael’s and my lacrosse team made it to the National Tournament last year. After an amazing season it came down to the championship game. We lost. Michael was completely devastated. He had spent almost his entire year practicing and training with the team, and now it was over.
Our team was a family, and to see the season end like that crushed him. He turned to the only thing he knew, the only thing that could comfort him, emotional eating. He started eating like crazy. He couldn’t go for more than a couple of hours without putting food inside of him.
Eating was cathartic for Michael. It allowed him to take his mind off of everything, and it distracted him from reality. He gained forty seven pounds before he realized he had a serious problem. His friends and family became seriously concerned for him. They begged him to go on a diet, or to cut down on the junk food he was consuming.
Michael is my friend and teammate. It hurts me to say that I watched him go down this horrid path for so long without stepping in to try and help. Finally I stepped up to the plate and decided to do whatever I could to help him.
Before talking to him, I researched what it was that he was really going through. After much research and thought, I realized that Michael was feeling inadequate about himself. He let his emotions get the best of him especially after the loss.
I talked to him a lot about our season and he told me that he had been doing this for a while, but that it really kicked in after the last game ended.
Emotional eating is the number one reason people struggle with their weight. Emotional eating occurs when you feel stressed, upset, anxious, or depressed, and will cause a weight problem that no diet can fix. The only way to free yourself from food addiction, and emotional eating, is to address the underlying causes of your issues with food.
For Michael, identifying the problem was easy. Losing the game, and having his season end, hurt him and pushed him to eat excessively.
Over the next few months I spent a lot of time with Michael. His depression started to subside and he realized that there is more to life than just winning and losing. He started to understand that eating was not the only way out.
I am proud to say that Michael has already lost 23 pounds, and has started eating much healthier. Through support from his friends and family he has stopped emotional eating and his self-confidence has sky rocketed. Michael is a great friend and he has overcome his emotional eating.