Halloween makes me think of candy and I have this unique relationship with candy. I don’t always have candy in my house and to be honest I don’t always crave it, BUT during the most stressful times in my life, candy has been a staple. Just 2 years ago, I gained 15 pounds in a matter of months and, naturally, felt terrible. I was hiding peanut butter M&Ms, Dove chocolate, and Milky Ways in my desk drawer, concealing the wrappers in kleenex so my husband wouldn’t see them (and I’d have to explain what I was doing). It was not good.


I was eating crap and felt like crap, go figure. The thing that pulled me out of this downward spiral wasn’t swearing off candy forever, or mustering up the self-discipline to bypass the candy aisle at the gas station, it was actually going deep and asking myself, “what’s really going on here?”


Thinking about this question opened the floodgates for me.


What I eating more? YES.


Did it make sense that I was gaining weight based on that? YES.


Why was I bingeing on candy?….Ugh, I was unhappy. That was tough to admit. I agreed to take on a special project working with kids that ended up being WAY more time and energy that I originally anticipated with a lot less impact. I felt trapped because I wanted to finish the commitment, but it was stressful and emotionally draining and the value just wasn’t there. So while I couldn’t spend less time or energy on this project, the only escape, the only way to immediately take the edge off and make myself feel better was with candy, that was my rationale.


Answering that last question was the real solution, because I found the root cause. The reason I was gaining weight was because of everything I was eating, TRUE, but that’s not the root cause. The root cause is why I was eating all those things. It was a brand new level of stress and emotional stress that I was dealing with that I was not equipped to handle combined with the fact that I felt like I didn’t have the time or the resources to manage that. So I self-medicated with junk food and that led to the weight-gain.


So how about you? If you’re in a place where you want to lose weight, do NOT obsess or solely focus on what you’re eating. No, no, no! Before you focus on trying to change that you have to go a layer or two layers deeper to uncover the root cause.


Do you have more stress right now than you know how to manage? Are you under emotional stress? Relationship stress? Career stress? Something that plagues you every single day? Lonely? Unhappy? Unfulfilled?


Those are the types of root causes that have to be addressed FIRST before you can even attempt to lose weight.


So, whatever happened to the 15 pounds I gained two years ago? Well, I did successfully lose that weight! It wasn’t because I swore off candy forever, instead I learned a big lesson about figuring out how to deal with the underlying root cause. Once I did that, then I naturally started to eat better and I naturally started to take better care of myself and I naturally prioritized myself higher on my to-do list and as a result the weight came off as a byproduct. There wasn’t nearly as much struggle and suffering as I thought there would be.


If you are where I was 2 years ago and you have 15 pounds to lose OR if you have more, the process to do this is the exact same. Determine the root cause- why was I bingeing on candy? Why are you ______? Why are you not ______?


Want more? I’ll be in the Professional Women GET REAL Facebook group tomorrow to get your specific questions answered and to take it one step deeper so you can uncover YOUR root cause!  Happy Halloween!