Everything you have tried up to this point has not worked when it comes to losing weight permanently. Diets have not worked, powders have not worked, diet pills have not worked, and obsessively exercising has not worked. Every method of weight loss has been flawed. Each has promised you something it could not deliver. That’s why it’s time to ask yourself some personal questions.
RATING THE ROLE OF FOOD IN YOUR LIFE
On the following quiz, grade each statement on a score of 0 through 5. If it’s true for you almost all the time, give yourself a 5. If you usually do it, score a 4. If you seldom do it, score a 1. If you never do it, record a 0.
1. I have to be on a diet all the time.
2. I feel guilty when I eat a dessert.
3. I wake up thinking about food.
4. I dream about my weight and/or food.
5. At parties, I hang around the snack table.
6. I am ashamed of my body.
7. I feel it’s wasteful if I don’t clean my plate.
8. I seldom sit down to eat.
9. At buffets, I feel I must try a bit of everything.
10. I skip breakfast.
11. I often eat the leftovers after a party at my home.
12. I am afraid of losing control with food.
13. I eat most of the cookies I bake while they are still warm.
14. I buy popcorn at the movies even if I’ve just eaten.
15. There are only a few safe foods I feel I can eat.
16. When I’m bored, I get out the snack food.
17. I can gain weight overnight.
How did you rate yourself? Do you see a pattern?
If you had a total score of 65 or more, I am especially glad you are reading this blog, because there is hope for you. If your score was around 50, then you may or may not need to take action. If your total score was under 25, congratulations. I can only assume you are reading this so that you can refer this as a resource to a friend.
DISSECTING THE OBSESSION WITH FOOD
Sometimes I think the reason we eat by candlelight is that we have elevated food to a cathedral-like religious experience. Our “places of worship” are the open-all-night pavilions dedicated to the sale of fat, calories, and cholesterol, and all-you-can-eat troughs of food consumed by people for whom three full plates are never enough.
Those with food obsessions believe that:
- Food is relief from stress
- Food is a reward for the pain
- Food is the epitome of success
- Food is the wafer and wine for the religion of the obese
- ‘Food is comfort in a time of storm
- Food is life!
When people with eating disorders come to see me I ask them how much time they think about food. They often say “about 110 percent of the time.” That’s one of the most honest statements they’ll ever make during treatment. They do spend the majority of the time thinking about food: about when they are or are not going to eat, what they are or aren’t going to eat, and where they are or are not going to eat. But the feelings of control these individuals think they have are nothing but a fraud. In fact, the eating disorder is controlling them, consuming their relationships, ruining their self-esteem, destroying their health, and wasting their time. Ultimately, attempts to control food are failing to control pain, anger and fear.
SOURCE: Chapter 3, “Eating as an Art, in Losing Weight Permanently: Secrets of the 2 Percent Club by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
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