My neighbor is a registered dietician and we frequently talk about the frustration she feels when dealing with patients who come to her for diet and weight loss advice, but have a hard time believing her.
As a society, we have had our brains filled with so much information and mis-information about healthy eating and dieting that most intelligent people don’t even know how to separate good advice from bad.
We’re told to throw out our scale. Just evaluate your weight loss goals by how your clothes fit. What’s the deal with the scale? Are we afraid to face the fact that we’re overweight? If that’s the problem, then that’s a problem that needs to be dealt with. Facing the fact that they’re overweight is certainly a first step. Anyone suffering from obesity needs to deal with it without turning to other means of handling it, like booze, or drugs, or more food.
My neighbor showed me a magnet that one of her clients said she puts on the refrigerator of all her friends. It says, “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels.” That’s certainly a motivation, but it isn’t one that would work for me. I’m not sure I want to be skinny, but I’m very interested in being noticed as a human being. I want, more than anything, to be loved.
If food feels like love, I’m in trouble. According to my dietician friend, that is a huge problem for a lot of people. They tend to substitute food for love. It’s a poor substitute. When they finally realize what they’re doing, they can finally break that formerly unbreakable tie with food.
Another one that my friend hates is the idea that you can eat well through the week and then reward yourself on the weekend. On the surface, that sounds like a pretty good plan, but have you ever calculated how many calories are in all those wings, slices of pizza, pitchers of beer, fried mushrooms and ranch dressing? And that’s just one meal. If you allow yourself to go totally crazy even on one day a week, you can sabotage all the hard work and feelings of deprivation you felt all week.
In short, your diet is doomed to failure. It isn’t a lifestyle change. It’s a temporary solution that doesn’t deal with your relationship with food.
Pay attention to how you respond to food. If you feel good after eating it, continue to eat it. If you feel sick or like you’re in a “food coma” afterward, you may want to avoid eating it. Every person’s body responds differently. What your friend, husband, or sister eats may work well for them. You have to discover what works for you and then stick with it. It must be a lifestyle change that you can maintain for the rest of your life.