Eric Edmeades didn’t always imagine that he would take on trillion-dollar industries like Big Pharma and Big Food. He originally founded the WildFit program to give people the same freedom from pain that he had found years earlier.
At 21 years old, he had throat infections so debilitating that doctors suggested removing his tonsils, stomach cramps so intense it was practically impossible for him to think, and cystic acne so severe that it was painful for him to laugh, smile, or turn his head. “From the health perspective,” he remembers, “I was one of those kids that was just sick all the time.”
He decided to run through a 30-day experiment to change his eating patterns — the same health regimen that later became the WildFit program, a powerful health methodology that uses behavioral psychology and evolutionary science to change the way you eat.
Food manufacturers are choosing profits over health, and our current forms of democracy allow for major manipulation of the legislative process by those who have phenomenal amounts of money.
For this experiment, he returned to the more natural foods of our ancestors, like meats and vegetables instead of processed and sugary foods.
And in about 2 – 3 weeks, he woke up to find his acne gone, his stomach cramps gone, and his throat infections gone. He realized that not only had he lost weight and pain, but he had also started to gain more energy and personal freedom.
But why had the doctors only prescribed pills or recommended surgery? Why had they not suggested he change his diet earlier? “At that point, I started asking some of the doctors I knew, including the members of my own family, how much time they spent studying food when they went to medical school.”
As it turned out, the answer was none.
And in modern times the unexamined diet is a massive problem. The annual global cost of obesity is $2 trillion dollars — more than the combined costs of war, terrorism, and armed violence.
How do you fight against the money, and the resources, and the power that Coca-Cola has? You are competing against lobbying budgets
that have more zeros in them than are reasonable.
“We have this major, major healthcare crisis in most of the western world. The problem is that the food industry, the pharmaceutical companies, and the medical industry are based primarily on profitability and not on quality of life.”
It is out of control, he says, that “food manufacturers are choosing profits over health… and our current forms of democracy allow for major manipulation of the legislative process by those who have phenomenal amounts of money.”
He’s not wrong. Congress labeled pizza as a vegetable — yes, that’s right — in 2017 because of lobbyists for the food industry. In the last decade alone, pharmaceutical companies have spent $2.3 billion on lobbying to keep the prices and demand high.
And it doesn’t stop there… Researchers say that the sugar industry manipulated heart disease studies in the 1960s and 70s by focusing solely on fat as the main factor, leaving out the large role sugary foods play. Most likely this was because the scientists conducting the original study headed the Sugar Research Foundation. This manipulated study ultimately increased a push for fat-free, high-carb, high-sugar foods from buyers.
The old “nutritional wisdom” that big companies in the food industry paid for isn’t the diet we work best on, Eric says. That’s why he uses evolutionary science. The idea is that our bodies were designed to need certain nutrients because we were designed for a certain set of activities. Now that we’re in the modern age, it’s even more important to return to this wisdom because our bodies’ needs have stayed the same, but our food and activities have changed.
That’s the basis of WildFit. And that’s why Eric often goes on anthropological expeditions in Africa to research how early humans ate and lived.
Eric’s answer is simple: “If you change the demand, you change the supply.”
He gives an example. A woman who had gone through WildFit wrote to him once about an encounter she had with the local butcher. She went to this local shop on a biweekly basis, but after starting WildFit she found out that the meat had sugar in it, so she asked him to do a special order. “After a month of this, she goes in and orders it again, and he goes, ‘Oh, you don’t need to custom order any more.’ And she asks, ‘Why not?’ He replies, ‘Well, another one of you people on that crazy WildFit program asked for no sugar or syrup, and we started asking ourselves why were putting it in for the first place.’”
If you change the demand, you change the supply.
After only a month of this, on the strength of two or three buyers in a small community, an entire company decided not to put refined sugar or corn syrup into their food. “And when we start doing that at the scale of hundreds, thousands, millions, we can really begin to affect the world.”
Eric’s way of changing the world starts with changing the individual. He focuses on helping people improve their own quality of life, either by losing weight or increasing their confidence or decreasing their pain.
“If somebody is in pain, and they are carrying extra weight, and we can change that for them, they are now part of the food revolution without having to have a big conversation about the potential evils of the food manufacturing industry or the pharmaceutical industry,” he explains. “By changing one person, we do two things: we change their life, and we change their buying patterns. And once we have changed their buying patterns, all of us start to have an influence on the supply and demand relationship.”
By changing one person, we do two things: we change their life, and we change their buying patterns. And once we have changed their buying patterns, we influence the supply and demand relationship.
By understanding that the shift in the supply and demand relationship comes only after a shift in the relationship to one’s self, Eric has been able to help other people free themselves of much more than pain, pills, and illness. He’s helped others realize that the purpose of life is to “simply enjoy it.”
“The work we do around people’s relationship with food involves improving their mindfulness about their relationship and their conversations with themselves around food. Ultimately, we are shining a light on the internal strife, the internal debate that so many people are having on a regular basis about, ‘Should I have this? Should I not have that? Have I eaten too much of this? Am I a bad person? Do I feel guilty?’”
“As they gain power over that voice, they notice that the same voice is often the voice that makes them procrastinate, or makes them lose their temper, or triggers some other less-than-productive habit.”
Those certain habits, certain thoughts, certain cravings prevent many people from being the most fulfilled, joyous version of themselves. But by giving people Food Freedom, they’re able to go “so far beyond what you think you can achieve with food that it is mind-blowing.”
What we really are trying to do is give people
their personal freedom back.
WildFit has helped so many people achieve those “mind-blowing” changes in their lives that it’s become a movement. The movement really started to take off when Eric, who was a member of America’s Transformational Leadership Council, offered to put other members of this elite mastermind group. One of them happened to be Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley. Vishen was skeptical at first but after 90 days, he went through a massive transformation. He shared the picture on Facebook.
In the next 18 months, 2,700 followers of Mindvalley jumped on the WildFit program, the vast majority of them claiming incredible results. As more people shared images online, Mindvalley decided to bring Eric and WildFit into the Mindvalley family.
As a side note, Vishen found the WildFit process so easy to complete that Mindvalley changed its learning app methodology, launching the Quest app in 2017 to bring the brilliant behavioral design of WildFit to the majority of Mindvalley programs.
Ever since then, thousands of Mindvalley students have gone through the WildFit Quest and have lost weight, increased energy, and strengthened confidence.
And outside of his family, Eric’s most proud of being able to help thousands around the world radically improve their health and their experience of life.
“The emails that we get — from ‘I’ve lost all of this weight, ‘My doctor just took me off of these meds,’ to ‘I’m no longer Type 2 Diabetic’ — all drive me forward, even when things are really tough. I’ve had some neat businesses in my life. But this impact that we’re having… It’s incredible.” If you want to hear a more personal account of how WildFit changes lives, here’s a video from the global speaker and author Marie Diamond on how she started to understand her body better and treat it better.
Thanks to Eric and WildFit, 3,000 Mindvalley students have dramatically changed their bodies and health, and are now living truly happy lives.
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