At a Christmas party, two guests are standing by the buffet. One has their plate piled high with food. The other has cleverly taken a Buffet Tour and has selected only the food they really wanted. The first guest is eating very quickly, the other is taking their time and savouring their selection.
“When you do start to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full after years of being on one scheme or another, you will most likely go down a size or several sizes.
Unless you have been eating drastically less than your body needs for years, your weight should stabilise at its natural set point, which will be lower than what you’ve achieved through dieting and bingeing”.
Susie Orbach, “On Eating”
When clients first seek help for their emotion-driven overeating issues, they often think if they can sort out their weight, everything else will be OK.
In this way, therapy can be seen as another weight-loss initiative. There’s sometimes a sense of disappointment that we’re not focusing on weight during sessions and, as a result of this, some clients assume I’m anti-weight loss.
“I started each new diet with burning enthusiasm – this was going to be the diet to beat all the others, this time I was really going to lose weight and keep it off forever. I never did. Every single diet ended with me regaining all the weight I had lost, plus a few pounds extra. What I did lose, I had not intended to lose – I lost time, I lost energy, I lost me”.
Dr Cherie Martin, “Naturally Slim Without Dieting”
It breaks my heart when I see a young woman on Instagram hating herself for not being able to stick to her slimming club’s diet plan, dreading her next weigh-in and vowing to do better tomorrow. What will tomorrow bring for her? More of the same and, in all likelihood, a life-long messed-up relationship with food.
Perhaps you were once that young woman.
Listen. Can you hear that?
That’s the sound of people everywhere falling off the New Year diet wagon.
Maybe you’re one of them.
Maybe you bought into the much-touted idea that enjoying yourself at Christmas is ‘sinful’.
Maybe you felt you must make ‘amends’ by starting some self-proclaimed diet guru’s “no fail, instant weight-loss, guaranteed results, easy 12-week eating plan”. (If I sound a bit angry, I am, because these people make my job so much harder).
Maybe you now find yourself out of control with food.
I’m sorry if that’s the case.
It’s not your fault.
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
– C. JoyBell C.
I started turning to food when I was around 12 years-old. My emotional attachment to it had begun before that but I was about 12 when I started to binge, in secret, to the point that I felt sick. As a result, I began to put on weight.
Uh-oh, it’s January.
The time of year when, even if you’ve been doing really well normalising your relationship with food, you can suddenly find yourself bingeing again.
Why? Because in January it’s impossible to escape the barrage of adverts for slimming clubs, weight-reduction schemes and meal replacement products. Social media is abuzz with the latest celebrity eating plans, while endless newspaper and magazine articles try to convince us of the new wonder diet “that really works”.