A Theory of Overeating - Locals Questions Answered - Transcript


"Dear Stef, I've been navigating the challenges of weight loss after two pregnancies that occurred within a span of two years. The combination of insufficient sleep and a lack of motivation for exercise has made it particularly challenging. Despite maintaining a generally healthy diet, I find myself consuming larger portions than necessary.

"Little backstory: I recently defooed my mother, and the journey proved quite stressful. Additionally, I'm still in occasional contact with my father and his wife, feeling a sense of hypocrisy as he was mentally absent during my childhood and he is not supportive as parent should be at all. We are in touch mainly because of his new wife who provided me more care than my parents when o was in my teenage years. She is still calling me on regular basis and arranging meetings, otherwise I don’t think I would see my father.

"I once heard you talking about a possibility that someone might sabotage your weight loss so you would look irrelevant and it struck a chord. It resonated deeply but I don’t know why. I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this matter. Thank you!"

"I have a question about student loan debt forgiveness. Should I feel bitter with the fact that right as I finished paying off a six figure amount of debt, many others have had their debt forgiven?"


Introduction and Weight Loss Challenges after Pregnancy

[0:00] All right, more questions from the great listenership of Freedomain at freedomain.locals.com.
I hope you will come and join this most excellent and wise community.
Woman writes, Dear Steph, I have been navigating the challenges of weight loss after two pregnancies that occurred within a span of two years.
The combination of insufficient sleep and a lack of motivation for exercise has made it particularly challenging.
Despite maintaining a generally healthy diet, I find myself consuming larger portions than necessary.

[0:31] Little backstory. I recently defood my mother and the journey proved quite stressful.
Additionally, I'm still in occasional contact with my father and his wife, feeling a sense of hypocrisy as he was mentally absent during my childhood and he is not supportive as a parent should be at all.
We are in touch mainly because of his new wife, who provided me more care than my parents when I was in my teenage years.
She is still calling me on a regular basis and arranging meetings.
Otherwise, I don't think I would see my father.
I once heard you talking about a possibility that someone might sabotage your weight loss so you would look irrelevant, and it struck a chord.
It resonated deeply, but I don't know why.
I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this matter. Thank you.

Congratulating the Listener and Addressing the Sabotage Theory

[1:15] Well, obviously, first and foremost, congratulations on the beautiful babies.
Secondly, of course, massive sympathies to what's going on with your family.
It's never a fun choice.
And I'm really sorry that it has come to pass, but I fully support, of course, people's right to not see people who they don't want to see, who are destructive or abusive.
I don't care who you are. That's just a moral principle.

[1:44] So this is all nonsense theory, right? Just so you know, this is going to be all silly nonsense theory, no proof, total amateur hour, not advice, nutritional advice of any kind.
But let's talk about me. Let's talk about me. Hopefully this will help.
So I have this basic or general theory that children who grow up with a lot of stress often end up never feeling full.
Right I mean there is a feeling that I think most people get where you have a meal and you're like I couldn't eat another bite I'm stuffed.

[2:22] And they're full and they're satisfied and satiated and all that kind of stuff.

[2:28] I honestly don't remember a time in my life where I've ever had that feeling of being full.
I remember when I was at a friend's birthday party in my, I mean, maybe 14 or 15 or something like that. It was a friend's birthday party.
It was at McDonald's and there was just like lashings of food, like a complete monster amount of food.
And at the end of it the kids were all groaning and everyone was full and i'd eaten a lot and, the mom was like does anybody want anything else and i put my hand up i said i could do a fillet of fish and i did never feel full it's one of the reasons why i can't i can't just have food around that i'm snacking on you know like i was talking with a friend of mine the other day and he's like like yeah what's your what's your food of weakness and i said well it's a lot of stuff that i can't have around one of them is chips and dip like potato chips and like a nice onion dip and if if i'm just reading or or watching something and that stuff is around i said it's it just like a conveyor belt like it's not something it's unconscious eating or just automatic eating or whatever you'd say right it's just it's like a conveyor belt i'm not choosing it's just happening to me, so to speak.

Theories on Overeating and Survival in Chaotic Environments

[3:46] And this feeling of never being full is just a constant. Now, that doesn't mean I'm always hungry.
It just means that food doesn't really have the capacity to fill me up and satisfy me and have me not wanting more food.

[4:03] Now, I mean, part of that is because I'm a pretty active guy and all of that.
So, yeah, there's some aspect.
But I think when I sort of look at my history, maybe this is your history to some degree as well.
I think this is helpful to others.

[4:20] But think of chaos. Think of, you know, an R-selected, unpredictable, chaotic.
It doesn't necessarily mean violent, although that certainly would be part of it. but just a really chaotic environment.

[4:34] Now, if you have a chaotic environment, I want you to think, like, where everything's unpredictable, everything's uncertain, and this also could be even factors outside the tribe.

[4:47] So maybe hunting is really hard.
Maybe things are scarce. Maybe there's a lot of predation from predators.
Maybe there's a lot of violence from other tribes, and people chucking spears at you when you go to hunt and stuff like that, right?
So, you've got two kids in this environment.
One kid grows up, but when his belly is full, he gets the signal of being full and stops eating.
And he has enough food to be comfortable, but nothing to excess.
And you've got another kid who doesn't really get the signal of being full and just eats and eats and eats when the food is available.
Now, because the environment is uncertain and food is uncertain and nothing is particularly reliable, which kid do you think has better odds of survival?
The kid who overeats in an uncertain food environment or a chaotic environment environment or the kid who eats just enough and then is okay.
I mean, you could make the case both ways, but I think that the case for the kid who overeats when the environment and.

[6:05] Therefore food supply, or at least the food supply. When that's uncertain, the kid who overeats is going to do better.
So the kid who eats just enough, not too much, just enough to satisfy caloric requirements for the day, well, he's got to get up, and he might have to hunt for two days before he gets more food.
So he doesn't have any excess food in his system to take care of the next two days.

[6:29] But the kid who overeats, so to speak, It's only overeating if you don't burn it off, so to speak.
Again, I'm no nutritionist. It's just a sort of amateur way of looking at it.
So the kid who eats an extra thousand calories is going to have that much more energy for hunting, for fighting, for gathering, for planting, for whatever, right?
Well, planting would be a little different because in agriculture, food supply is a little less random, right? Certainly hunting and gathering could be tough.
And gathering, you could say, oh, well, yes, yes, but we know where the berries and nuts are. It's like, yeah, but so does everyone else. So does the other tribe.
And they might have got there ahead of you. I mean, I remember seeing a documentary where monkeys were fighting for control of a single tree, which had a lot of food on it.
So I think one of the things that happens to our bodies, again, no proof, right? It's just a theory.

Lack of Feeling Full due to Childhood Stress

[7:18] But I think one of the things that happens to our bodies is that when we go through a lot of stress as children, the cap on feeling full just kind of vanishes.
Like we just don't get that sense of satiation, of fullness, and that sense that you could always eat more is kind of continual because we have uncertain food supplies.
And of course, you know, the body could have evolved, obviously quite easily, the body could have evolved to simply get rid of excess food, right? Just flush it away, right?

[7:50] I mean, when we drink a lot of water, we just pee more, right?
So we just don't store it and get big and bloated like a manatee.
So we could have just evolved to dump excess food and not store it as fat.
But of course, the reason that excess food is stored as fat is that then we become our own food source when food is short, right? We're short on food.
Then we can eat our own butts. So to speak, we can eat our own bellies, right?
So we become our own portable larder.

[8:16] And the reason we would do that is food would be excessive when present and then regularly or at least uncertainly but regularly absent, right?
So this would be a hunter society, I think, for the most part.
So the reason that we would store food, store energy in fat cells is so that we could expend that energy when food supply was not around, was not available.
We couldn't hunt successfully or something happened or maybe there was a crop failure. A crop failure is kind of tough because you can't really store enough food to last that long.
Although there was a Scottish guy who barely ate for over a year or something like that and only pooped once every 40 days, just took a bunch of vitamins and basically lived off his own lard for a crazy amount of time.
So if you're looking at weight and listen i'm i'm not perfect on weight i'm doing okay i'm doing okay i'm not i'm not perfect on weight i'm certainly i'm not i'm not a uh.

Chaotic Childhood and Body Image

[9:22] An ab guy, but I'm doing well. I mean, I'm 57.
I'm six foot tall, just a shade under six foot tall, and 187 pounds.
And I mean, some of his muscle, you know, I've got a tiny little bit of a muffin top, but you know, I'm not too bad.
Obviously not perfect, whatever that would mean, not too bad.
And one of the things that is hard to adjust to when you have a chaotic childhood is to readjust your i mean i don't know if it's permanent or not whether you can train it or change it but i just i've never feel full i'm never satisfied i'm never full i'm never oh my gosh i just couldn't eat another bite and like i could always eat more i could literally always eat more and i think that not having that cap because there is isn't there a hormone i can't remember what it's called but there's a hormone that gets released it tells you you're full and and so on.

[10:15] And I think people who go through a lot of stress as children, the body says, oh, well, okay, so the stress is because of uncertain food supplies or chaos, and therefore we need to pack on excess energy whenever we can.
So whenever you get food, eat like crazy, store it up, because sure as sunrise, you're going to use it at some point.
Now, of course, the reality is that our food supply in general is not uncertain.
Although, well, you know, Well, to be fair, I did spend some time hungry as a kid.
I did spend some time hungry as a kid. I do remember having to hang around at friends' places, hoping that I would be invited for dinner.
And the difference between a good evening and a bad evening food-wise was whether I got invited for dinner.

[10:54] So I did spend some time. It's one of the reasons why I got a job so early was to make sure that I could have food.
And it's another reason why I loved working in restaurants is I would always have food then in my sort of mid to late teens.

[11:10] So as far as sabotage goes, there certainly, I think there is a pattern with families that as a whole, and you can think of tons of exceptions, But as a whole, the tendency seems to be that families have similar weights.
You go to a restaurant, and this may be a little bit more true in America, but you go to a restaurant, I don't know, like Bob Evans or something like that.
And if you see a fat person coming back from the bathroom, then generally they will go and sit down at a table with a whole bunch of other fat people, significantly overweight people.
People and families it's rare as a whole for there to be you know in the same core family structure right in the same immediate family structure it's rare for there to be wide divergences in terms of weight it's not obviously impossible it happens but it's it's somewhat rare for there's like for some people to be 350 pounds and like half half the people are 350 pounds and That's not particularly common.

Sabotage and Family Dynamics

[12:25] And...
You see this with fat parents. Fat parents will often have overweight children.
Not always, of course, but will often have overweight children.

[12:35] And the eat more thing, again, that's kind of a compulsion.
Eat more from parenting comes from chaotic childhoods of the parents, and I guess to some degree then of their own children.
The eat more is, well, you've got to eat more than is comfortable because we don't know when we're going to eat again.
Or I don't want you to cap out on your eating because physiologically my body is like, well, when are we going to eat again?
So that kind of sabotage is not uncommon.
And I'm not saying it's conscious or anything like that. Not that, you know, these questions of conscious versus unconscious are sort of meaningless because you can't ever prove these things.

[13:13] But, and it's often a way of taking away people's responsibilities.
So something being unconscious doesn't take away responsibility because you're responsible for knowing what your motivations are.
But if you are a member of a significantly overweight family and you start to lose weight to measure your portions it often will trouble the other people and they may have an impulse to prevent this from continuing your weight loss from continuing and of course a lot of times I think this is certainly much more true of moms than dads a lot of times Sometimes, you know, if your mother's cooking food and so on, then how much you eat can be translated in her mind to how much you love her or don't love her. So how much you eat.
Oh, if you if you reject her food, then you're rejecting her.

[14:06] If you're dieting, you are rejecting her because she wants you to consume the food that she's making for you. She makes the food as an act of love.
And if you reject the food, you are rejecting her love. You are rejecting her.
And it can cause, I mean, it's a fairly primitive personality structure, but I think it certainly does happen that if you reject your mother's cooking, She perceives it as you rejecting her, and she's offended and upset, and she encourages you to eat more because she wants to feel loved, and it's all, you know, very, very primitive stuff.

[14:41] My own mother was very slender. Well, probably still is. Very slender.
Unusually slender. And I assume that, given that she's of German stock, that when she would hang out at the German-Austrian clubs, that one of the reasons that men were attracted to her, because she wasn't that sort of fridge-built, German, Kircher-Kinder kind of woman, right?
She wasn't the sort of stock, squarish, cube-shaped, middle-aged or older, Germanic style of woman.
And she was a very slender and i mean part of that was smoking and and all of that and part of that was she watched what she ate and so i i do find overly slender people and this is nothing to do with them like good for you well done but i do find i have i i associate mentally and i'm aware of this so i don't know i associate overly slender women in particular with being high strung and And neurotic. And that's completely unfair.
I'm absolutely, I don't act on, I'm sort of aware of that, but I do sometimes wonder if me not getting totally slender has something to do with that.
So, yeah, so if you had chaos growing up, I mean, I really would be interested to hear what you have to say.

[16:06] About this idea that if you had a lot of chaos growing up, and if that chaos, like you could have a wealthy family which has a lot of chaos, but they have, you know, the fridge full of food.

[16:20] And if you had chaos, particularly concerns about when you were going to get another good meal, I mean, I vividly, vividly remember going with my friend and his mother, the guy who later died in the motorcycle accident.
And I must have been 13 or 14 years old.
And his mother took us both to a restaurant called Ponderosa.
And this was my first encounter with an all-you-can-eat scenario.
Now, if memory serves me right, it was all-you-can-eat with regards to...
Well, it was a bottomless drinks, the bottomless pop. And it was all-you-can-eat with regards to salads. But, of course, the salads had, like, bacon and ham and things like that.
And this was my very first time encountering chickpeas and Thousand Island dressing.
And I've never been a huge salad dressing guy. I'll have a little bit.
But those chickpeas with a light dusting of heart-clumping Thousand Island dressing was God's ambrosia, God's gift to the planet.
And I just remember going up, I can't even remember how many times, because I could eat all I wanted.
In boarding school, food was scarce, water was scarce in particular.
There was a food and water shortage when I was in boarding school, so that was a considerable challenge.
I was just really trying to get enough calories, because you're always very active there as well. So...

[17:50] I have to, you know, for me, the solution is I'm taking good advice from my daughter and also, you know, just don't buy stuff.
Just don't have it. You're not going to go out and get it, but if it's there, you're probably going to eat it.
As far as sabotage goes, you know, we want our kids to, I mean, I'll just be perfectly frank, like we want our kids to do well, but going from mentor to learner is a challenge for a lot of parents.
I mean, I felt this twinge from time to time, too.
When my daughter gets better than me at something, it's like, oh, yeah, I'm aging out and you're here to replace me and and so on. Right.
And when she catches me in a contradiction, which, you know, she as a teenager with a whip smart brain is going to do from time to time.
It catches me in a contradiction or I exaggerate something for the sake of making a point or something like that.
And she'll be like, it wasn't three times. It was only two. Boom. Right. She's right.
So that it's just something you kind of need to work through.
Because everyone's like, oh, we're so proud of our children.
Of course we are, but, you know, there is also a little bit of out with the old, in with the new, and the smarter she becomes, the closer I am to death.
It's just, you know, one of these exciting and complicated facts about life.
Now, I don't have an answer.

The struggle to feel full and overeating

[19:07] I don't have an answer as to how to feel full.
Like you say you overeat. Okay, so you overeat. You could say that you overeat relative to your immediate calorie requirements, but do you overeat to the point where you are stuffing yourself even after you feel full?
Because there's overeating relative to your objective calorie requirements, and then there's overeating relative to actually feeling full.
I would imagine I don't know obviously but I would imagine that you overeat relative to your objective calorie requirements but you don't overeat relative to feeling full like you don't say oh I'm full I'm perfectly satisfied I couldn't eat another bite and then wedge more food down, I think there is probably a just can't feel full, can't feel full.
And I don't know how to fix that.
I mean, I don't even know if that's a problem. It's just something that I've experienced, so I'm theorizing about it.
Hopefully that helps. Somebody says, I have a question about student loan debt forgiveness.
Should I feel bitter about the fact that right as I finished paying off a six-figure amount of debt, many others have had their debt forgiven? given.

[20:23] So, should I feel X? I think that's not the most productive approach to your own emotions, in my humble opinion.
Not the most productive. I do feel X.
Let me feel it. Let me perceive it. Let me, right? So, look, of course, you're going to feel some bitterness if you just finished paying off $100,000 plus worth of debt, and then other people get the magical finger snap from the state, and their debt is completely erased, of course, you're going to feel better. Bitter. Sorry, I'm going to feel bitter.
And the idea that you should or shouldn't, like, should I, should I, should or should I not feel these things?

Embracing and exploring emotions as an integral part of life

[21:06] I mean, the empirical evidence is you do feel these things.
So the best way, I think, to deal with emotions is to think of them as an extension of physical sensations.
So, if you were to write to me and say, I stick my hand in a fire, I stuck my hand in a fire, should I feel pain?

[21:27] Well, the answer is, yes, you should feel pain. If you don't, that's indication of, I don't know, some significant nerve issue in your system or something like that.
So, yes, absolutely, completely, and totally, you should feel pain.
And even if you were to say, well, I shouldn't feel pain when I stick my hand in a fire, You do.
So should or shouldn't is saying that your emotions are like people to be accepted or dismissed.
Like your emotions are like people ringing your doorbell who just want to chat or, I don't know, give you a copy of the Watchtower.

[22:05] So somebody's ringing the bell, open the door, let them in, right?
So my emotions are ringing the bell.
Should I let them in or should I talk with them or should I just send them on their way?
That is, I don't think, a super healthy relationship to emotions.
Emotions, they help you. They're an integral part of your life.
Emotions are like family members. So basically when people say to me, should I feel this way?
It's like, yes, I have a beloved uncle living in my house. and it's great that he's here, but he said something that I didn't like. Should I throw him out in the street in the cold?

[22:40] So you do feel bitter with the fact that you have paid off debts and other people are having their debts forgiven.
It would be crazy to not feel bitter about that.

[22:51] Now, the question is, where is the bitterness? What is the bitterness about?
Now, student loans. So you take kids who are 17, you fill them full of propaganda.
You don't give them any understanding of economics and you tell them that they're completely doomed if they don't do this if they don't take on massive loans or get to college by hook or by crook and they'll be doomed they'll never make any money they'll never really be able to afford a house they'll never get married they're like so you basically and they don't really because they've gone through government schools which doesn't teach you anything about economics and interest rates and principal and and loans, and payoffs, and payments, and so on, right?
And also, of course, when you are graduating at 17, or I don't know, some places 18, 17 from high school, you're completely unprepared for life.
I mean, you've been stuffed full of useless, trash, garbage knowledge that.

[23:46] I mean, people, they've done studies, like you forget 95, 96, 97, 98% of everything you learned in high school and junior high.
I mean, if you were to sit down, if you've got kids, right, They're working on some homework, and it's like, well, I remember learning this.
I can't remember how to do it. I have to look it back up again, which is pretty tough for your kids, right? Because they look at you like, oh, how do I do algebraic division?
How do I do long division? It's like, oh, yeah, I learned this, right?
And you kind of struggle through it, and then your kids are like, so why am I learning this if you learned it and completely forgot it and never used it again? That's a fair question.

[24:22] So people are unprepared and in order to postpone the anxiety of being so woefully unprepared by school they go to university so they're filled full of propaganda they're not talking about the downside and the options are generally not talked about so what I mean by that is like there's this meme where somebody's saying, I'm still angry at my teacher for telling me that if I didn't go to university I would end up as a garbage man without saying that the garbage man made more than the teacher without ever telling me that, So, of course, and you can't have your debt forgiven. It can only be transferred to others, right?
I mean, if the government pays the banks, then the taxes go up or the debt goes up or the money printing goes up, which means the inflation goes up.
If the banks have to eat some costs, they simply raise interest rates or charges to other people. So the debt, it can't be forgiven.
It can only be transferred to others.

[25:13] But the question is, okay, so what are you bitter about? about.
Now, there's nobody who owes $100,000, almost nobody who owes $100,000, and someone comes along and says, I'm going to take that $100,000 debt away from you.
How many people are going to say, but no, I would rather pay it off myself, right? That's not really how human beings are constructed, right?
I mean, you basically just won a lottery ticket for $100,000 or more, and people are telling you not to cash it.
Well, you're going to, I mean, people are going to cash it and you can get mad at that all you want but that's just the way people are and i have i have a great deal of difficulty complaining about the way people are because we are the most successful species in the entire universe that we know of and so everything we do is pretty damn fine right like i mean if you have an athlete who wins the gold in six different.

[26:08] Sports wins a gold medal in six different sports are you really going to crab at how he trains no i mean he's the most successful athlete of the whole games and saying he should have done he shouldn't do this he should like we are the most successful species therefore everything we've done is pretty right and therefore crabbing at people responding to incentives is kind of pointless and and anti-empirical that doesn't mean that everything everyone does is morally right and we have the capacity for evil of course but the fact that people respond to incentives and don't want to burden themselves with debt that other people are willing to take away is natural.
People want to achieve more with less effort.

[26:48] Which is why we have all of this great technology. So if you appreciate all this great technology, the cars, the internet, planes, and so on.

[26:55] Then you're going to have to accept that people don't want to pay off their own debts.
Sure, sure, sure. I mean, if someone is left money from a distant relative they didn't even know about, someone gets left a million dollars tax-free from a distant relative, they'll take the money. They won't say, oh, I'd much rather own it myself. They'll take the money.
I mean, and you could say that's not good for them or whatever, but they will.
They will. I try not to lecture against the essential nature of humanity that's trying to create the new Soviet man or the communist man who's not interested in personal gain or profit. It's like, nope, doesn't really happen.
So, yeah, you do feel bitter. Now, what do you feel bitter at?
Well, I think you should feel bitter at the propaganda that's laid on the kids.
I mean, it's really rough, man. It's really rough.
You'll be nothing, particularly for men, right? You'll be nothing if you don't go to university. And the other girl bossing stuff is pretty intense these days as well.
And it's kind of nice for people to postpone their lives and just continue, you know.

University: A Demonic Trade-Off for Hedonism

[27:51] University these days is where you sell your soul for hedonism, right? You lose your integrity, you lose your soul, you lose your reason.
But in return, you get to drink and party and have sex a lot of times.
So kind of demonic in a way. I mean, there's some good stuff there too.
We do need our engineers and so on, but a lot of it is sell your soul. for hedonism.
So there's propaganda, there's propaganda about going to college, there's propaganda in college outside of the hard sciences, and even in the hard sciences the propaganda is hitting pretty hard.
So there's all of that and then there's a government that pursues this propaganda because governments love it when people pay for their own.

[28:33] Propagandizing and the government that has the power to wipe out debt without producing any any money of its own it's one thing if you're a multi-billionaire and you want to pay off a bunch of people's student debt well that's your money but so it's it's the system i mean getting mad at the individuals trying to survive in a system is kind of pointless you know as i've said before it's kind of like calling the soviet worker lazy it's like no it's just in a terrible system, and so yeah there's there's a bitterness and the bitterness i think is to do, with the whole uh system the whole system of coercion and compulsion and propaganda and And government is a way of transmogrifying lies into profit, to a large degree. And that's a bad system.

A Bad System: Coercion, Compulsion, and Profit

[29:13] That's a bad, bad system. All right.
I hope that helps. I really appreciate everyone's questions and comments. I've got some more to go.
But I will stop now. And I look forward to seeing you. Remember, Wednesday night, 7 p.m. Friday night, 7 p.m.

[29:30] Sunday morning. It may not be Sunday morning for you. 11 a.m.
This is all in Eastern Standard Time. Please drop by the live streams.
It is an electric time to spend together. All right.
Take care, everyone. Lots of love from up here. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.

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