My client Rob eats like I used to eat. Compulsive binger –not a tummy hunger, but an emotional one. Four heart attacks and 16 years spent trying to reboot his eating routine. A broken career from it, a marriage on the rocks, his sex-life in shambles. He doesn’t sleep through the night. Chaos central: due to food.
What’s the plan for him? Change.
We can, and do, change – but we don’t often make change stick when going it alone. Last fall, with 2010 just around the corner I co-authored a survey on eating, food and views on eating habits and the very notion of change. I knew that New Year’s Resolution time was just around the corner and I was curious how attitudes and habits regarding food are shaped by what I had come to suspect was a myopic vision of ourselves and the way we graze. More than 2,000 people took time to thoughtfully answer the survey and the results will surprise you:
A) We see others as losing the food fight, but not ourselves
B) We view our spouse or significant other as about half-as-healthy as ourselves
C) We identify our own relationship food as “generally healthy” even when it’s not
We’re not only losing the war against food – we’re blind in it! We see what we want to see. A fifth of my clients are yo-yo dieters, compulsive overeaters, binge eaters or food addicts of one kind or another. Is it really a war!? You bet it is.
Over the past 40 years, we have spent increasingly more on gimmicks, fad diets and resolutions to change. In my book, How to Change Someone You Love, I focus on the power of loving relationships to inspire, enlighten and enliven change. “I’m sore, from more,” a client told me recently. When I met her she was on the Popcorn Diet in her food fight.
In order to overcome this food fight, I counsel my clients and friends to understand and then integrate these 3 critical steps into the process of weighing what you want:
- MEND your unloved self
What hurts, stressors and emotions do you pile food onto? What emotional landmines scatter your landscape? Identify them then set out to remove through healing this piece of you!
- MOVE into your peaceful temple of health
How do you eat? What do you eat? Do you snack in a pre-determined way or do you feast right out of the bag? Do you move? On what schedule? Consistency is critical in making your amazing machinery work its best.
- MAINTAIN your loving connections
Do you let others in on your effort? Do you open yourself up to the love and care of others in your resolve to change? Accountability and structure exponentially increase your odds of successfully changing. Do you extend your hand to help others in their journey?
We are beautiful soulful resilient creations who rarely experience radical and lasting change in a vacuum. So reach out your hand and take these steps to heart. The one you’re reaching out to help might finally be yourself.
I teach an online Invitation2Change Intervention Training on Tuesday nights (three weeks long, about five hours total). In it, I teach ow to help a loved one who is sick and suffering begin change. The next one begins February 2. I hope you’ll join me, and let me show you how to help at www.ChangeInstitute.com.