In my 35 years as a psychologist, I have been blessed with high functioning patients. They come to me for tune ups, not major overhauls. Most of them are successful, attractive and achieving--the top 2% of the population. Yet they are often plagued by a sense of failure and defeat regarding their weight.
A typical patient is Sherri, a 42 year old executive with a husband and two children: “I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and have 2 drinks with dinner. When my doctor said that if I continue to live this way, I’ll have a heart attack by the age of 55, I stopped smoking and stopped drinking. I work 12 hours a day and have never found a problem I couldn’t solve. Except for food. Haagen Daz is my best friend and I would kill for a bag of potato chips. It’s so ridiculous. It’s not even gourmet junk food.”We are a country of dieting failures. Despite the current emphasis on healthy eating, the availability of fat free foods, dieting programs and exercise devices, the U.S. population has become fatter. One third of our population is obese. As a high school kid would say, “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that DIETS DON”T WORK!”
If you’re like most dieters, you wake up each morning with your dieting resolutions: “Today’s the day! I will be good today. I will stay on my diet program. I am going to lose weight”. And then, somewhere between the donut at work or the pie at dinner, you go off your diet and spend the rest of the day feeling like a failure.
In fact, most dieters think about the right foods but eat all the wrong foods. To the dieter, the right foods are all the low calorie foods they should eat to lose weight and the wrong foods are all the tasty high calorie foods they really like. In the long run, dieting can never work because what a dieter thinks they should do and what they really want to do are opposite.
My approach is one of MINDFUL EATING (ME!). It is an approach that helps you make smart food compromises for permanent weight loss. I deal with the addiction component of food, and the psychological component of overeating. Frankly, it’s complicated. Dieting is easier. But dieting rarely works. If you are overweight and have been on endless diets, consider speaking with me and taking the time to overcome this problem and change your relationship to food. You will need to make food compromises, but these compromises will feel good and reasonable rather than bad and depriving. You will not be counting the days until your diet ends. Rather you will feel so full of energy and so happy about your appearance that you will want to continue with your new way of eating forever.
NEXT PAGE (Weight Loss: Tips for Looking Good, Feeling Better)