Below is an excerpt from my first book:
Release Your Obsession with Food: Heal from the Inside Out.
The hot sweltering sun had slipped behind the clouds, promising a burst of rain and cooling of the earth. Mindy, my last patient of the day, stormed into my office, brushing back her blonde mane and wiping the sweat from her brows as she plopped onto the couch. She sank low on the cushions from the burden of carrying an additional 130 pounds of weight on her five-foot-two frame. Then she burst out, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”
And of course I responded with, “Do what, Mindy?”
“I’m frustrated and fat,” she screamed. “I don’t know what to eat. Can’t you just tell me exactly what to eat and how much? I’m tired and discouraged. I’m filled with God’s love, yet not filled with emotional stability. Shoot, I don’t get how to make food choices. I ate four crispy cream doughnuts and an iced coffee laced with cream and sugar this morning because I don’t know what foods are good and which ones are bad. I don’t eat lunch because I’m not hungry until late in the afternoon. So I grab a quick candy bar from the vending machine to carry me over until I can get dinner on my way home. Then I stop at a drive-thru because I don’t have a clue what a protein is, let alone a good carb. Help!”
I’m sure many of you reading Mindy’s cry for guidance have experienced the same sentiments, not having a clue about how to string together a health-promoting meal and let go of the `nutritious foods versus bad foods’ ideology.
Don’t give up! You’re closer to resolving your obsession with food than you realize. You may feel frustrated because your plan of recovery from compulsive eating is still a work in progress. But fear not. Your Higher Source works His plan for your life, so refrain from becoming weary in doing good. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. In the proper time, you will reap your harvest—if you don’t give up.
Don’t push for the forest with a diet mentality, but plant the acorn—one meal at a time—use food as a resource to heal yourself in your recovery. When you put your focus on the recovery, the bonus is your weight normalizes. When you put the focus on your weight, recovery often vanishes.
Okay, so you say, “Yes, I’ve heard all about the wonderful miracles that come because of spiritual recovery, but how do I get started with the food side of the equation? What do I eat? How much can I eat? Will I have to eat this way forever? Will the weight come off? Do I weigh my body on a scale? Do I weigh my food? Do I have to write what I eat?”
One by one, I’ll attempt to unravel the mysteries and answer every issue you face as you begin this new adventure of turning your food addiction into recovery. I understand fully how weary you are. I’ve been there myself, at a place where I felt life wasn’t fair, and I asked, Why me? Why must I have this food addiction? But intertwine your divine recovery with your food recovery, and you’ll be well on your way. In Matthew 11:28—29, the Bible says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.”
And yes, you can recover with the right tools in place. Let me show you the way.
Food is a good thing; it’s a gift from the Universe, and eating should be a pleasurable experience without guilt. In fact, a wide variety of delicious foods is available that you can enjoy as you transition from binge eating to normal eating. When you question what you can eat, the answer is simple: Any food that’s real—not processed—and that’s not sugar, flour, or wheat, eat four-to-five-hour intervals. This leaves you a large choice of foods to eat throughout the day.
Plan how much you eat and what food groups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which will remove the uncertainty concerning what to do.
Unfortunately, we food addicts don’t have a “normal” foodomoter. We mostly don’t get the message of when our stomachs might be full or when our bodies need food and we should be hungry, which leads to our overeating or our undereating. Often we skip breakfast and lunch, and then later in the afternoon, all heck breaks loose, and we binge. To offset this, determine breakfast, lunch, dinner, and your half-meal in advance, with portion sizes (using a food scale and measuring cups) and food groups in place.
For instance, a reasonable breakfast comprises four ounces of protein, one serving of starch (one cup of whole grain or rice or a six-ounce potato), one serving of fruit (one cup or one piece of fruit), one serving of dairy (one cup liquid, cottage cheese, or ricotta), and one serving of fat (one teaspoonful).
How you configure your breakfast is up to you. Sometimes I like to have breakfast that closely resembles what one might consider an evening dinner. Recently I ate four ounces of steak, six ounces of broiled sweet potatoes with a teaspoon of coconut oil drizzled over the top with sea salt and cinnamon (which gave it a brown glazed look and outstanding taste)—along with one cup of fresh blueberries, eight ounces of skim milk, and a cup of hot decaffeinated coffee.
At first, commit and write the foods you’ll eat for the following day to take all guesswork out of the equation and avoid temptations from not being prepared well in advance. In time, you’ll just know what to eat from the food groups that are designated for each meal, leaving you more spontaneity and freedom of choice. Make sure your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry are stocked with an abundance of fresh foods for you to choose from, and you are set.
Don’t you wish someone could tell you how close you are to finally resolving your weight issues and food obsession? Don’t you wish someone could say, “If you just keep at it and understand why you eat, you’re certain to stop binge eating?”
Or even if it would be heartbreaking, wouldn’t it be nice to be told that you’re wasting your time going on yet another diet, so that you could move on, try another tack, or simply eat foods that bring pleasure—and release your obsession with food, with no other aim in mind?
I’ve counseled thousands of patients and spoken to large groups of people over the years. Even though I might not work with each individual I address, I can usually say something definitive about what that person’s next steps should be. I also often see when their diets are simply wasting their time.
No matter what point you’re at on your own food path, it’s smart to take stock of where you’re headed from time to time, and revise your eating plan as necessary.
What is your plan? Do you have your tools in place? Perhaps you know another way, please share….simply scroll down to the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.
Next week stop by to explore another topic on obsession from my obsession series.
Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum of this blog. YOU are important to me. If you have something you’d like to say, I’d love to hear it. YOU are important and your words need to be heard. If there was something you think I should have added, I’m here and want to hear what you have to say…
To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, and aging, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Stay tuned…you never know where my mind will wander…
And now my newest release:
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.