Does "Food" Mean?
you factor genetics out of the equation -- you can't change your
age, genes or sex -- most people are overweight because they
eat too much and exercise too little.
Of course, someone with a will of steel can easily fix both conditions.
Then there's the rest of us.
In eight years of working with people who have difficulty controlling
what they put in their mouths (and 47 years watching me not control
what goes into or comes out of mine!), I've noticed that there's
more to eating than cell nourishment. Food taps into our deep seated
feelings about ourselves; power, self-esteem, fear, even punishment
often spice up the servings we swallow.
I realized this after I had an epiphany about my feelings toward
food. Suddenly, without any other change but understanding, I had
my chocolate cravings under control.
What tipped me off was my father's comments that as a newborn,
I refused to eat when my mother tried to feed me. (Since that was
the early 1950s, feeding me was not in his job description.)
My mother and I have never gotten along from Day 1. Although we
argued about everything, the main clash was food. Today, that is
still our major battle field. She's constantly on my case about
my weight, even though she knows I'm struggling with menopause,
looking exactly like she did at my age. But that doesn't stop her
from promising me she'll buy me a new wardrobe -- Prada! Prada!
-- if I drop three dress sizes. Right!
This Christmas I realized that food was just a symbol for the real
issue: who determined my future. My mother and I have always disagreed
about what's best for me. It makes perfect sense that our battles
would crystallize about food since my mother is a well known local
gourmet. That was her turf so that's where she wanted to wage war.
Even though I have always agreed with her that I should be thinner,
I realized that deep down inside, I didn't want her to win. Until
this Christmas, showing her I was boss was more important than
losing weight. So I ate the wrong foods for the wrong reasons.
Once I understood the problem, I decided to stop fighting with
her. We yelled and screamed and finally agreed to disagree. But
the air between us was clear for the first time in half a century.
Suddenly, eating correctly was soooo easy. I knew I was cured after
spending four days in Las Vegas last week. My trip package included
all meals at the ubiquitous buffets. And I only had dessert once
in those four days -- the vaunted Meltdown cheat day.
So, my eating problem had nothing to do with food. And I'll bet
yours doesn't either. Once I resolved the bad blood, eating right
and working out became second nature.
I maintain if you've had trouble staying with an eating plan or
getting motivated to exercise, there's some underlying emotional
event that's controlling your behavior. The key to losing weight
is figuring it out!
Here's how I did that.
Our personality is made up of parts. So, have a parts party. My
book, The Meltdown Diet and Cookbook: Learn How To Burn Fat 24
Hours A Day, Even While You Sleep, describes a parts party in great
depth. Here is the Cliff's notes version:
Get in a comfortable, quiet place and close your eyes. Calm down.
Slow your breathing.
First, thank all your parts for doing a wonderful job. (because
Now, talk directly to your Food part. Ask her/him how it's going.
Ask how s/he has been treated. Then, ask for suggestions to improve
the situation. Listen closely because this part will tell you --
in child like terms -- what the problem is.
Finally, thank the part for the information.
Now, ask your Creative part for ideas on how to fix the problem.
Typically, the Food part will chime in, too.
Thank everyone for their good ideas. Then, go eat a meal and see
P.S. You can substitute the word "money" for "food."
Scary food fact: According to Tufts University, only 50% of U.S.
medical schools offer nutrition ELECTIVES to their students. Only
25% REQUIRE course work in nutrition.
Comment from BE: Don't ask me to perform surgery, but don't ask
them for nutritional advice. The biases in their training make
most MDs clueless when it comes to nutrition.