Let’s Talk About Food Addiction


By: Pennie Hale – February 2013

pennie haleIs there a secret to weight loss? Do some people know the secret while others don’t? When you see someone successfully losing weight, are you envious? Have you seen tv commercials that claim to know the secret? Have you invested money in commercial weight-loss programs? Have you purchased exercise gadgets that you hoped would help you burn calories?

A long time ago, a family member told me that the secret to weight loss is: eat less, exercise more. Could it be as simple as that? I think the answer is yes. I don’t believe that trendy food programs and exercise tools help anyone achieve weight loss on a long-term basis.

In the past, I was like most people. I thought that if I just stuck to a program, I’d lose weight and be able to easily maintain it. I was wrong. I have spent an embarrassing amount of money on pre-packaged “diet foods”. I bought the fat burning contraptions. I was never able to maintain any weight loss that I achieved.

Since that time, I have had some successes and failures. I’ve gone from bingeing to severely restricting my caloric intake. I have done the research. I have read the books. I have tried the recipes. Now I firmly believe that if you are not mentally ready to consciously pay attention to your health, emotions, and overall well-being, you cannot maintain a healthy weight. Our emotions and self esteem are directly related to our weight. I believe that is especially true for women. When many aspects of life are going well for me, its easier to pay attention to and track my weight. When my mind is consumed with worry, sadness, tension or negativity I am far less likely to drag the scale out for a weight in. Makes sense, right? But no one is happy and self assured all the time. How do we stay on track with our weight at those times?

I recently decided to stop keeping my weight loss goals in my head. I also decided to stop thinking about calories all the time. I purchased a small date book. Its small enough for me to carry in my purse so that I have it at all times. On the calendar pages, I note my weight that day, the number of calories per meal that I consumed, and I also note how I’m feeling on that particular day. I hope that doing this will help me simplify my days and ultimately my life. The less guess work I have to do during the day the better. I just do what I’m doing and make notes. At the end of the day I can see how I did and make adjustments the next day if necessary. Will I ever get to my goal weight and never have to think about my weight again? Will I be able to put less thought and effort in to weight management?

I believe the answer for me is no. I will always have to make weight management a part of my day and life. I will always have to count and burn calories. Obesity is epidemic. Its genetic. I have seen many family members become obese and unhealthy. Some gave up. Some became ill or like my aunt, died from complications and symptoms directly related to obesity. I don’t want to obsess about weight. I don’t want to be mindless of it either. So I will continue on my journey and I will continue to share my story with all of you.

If you would like to share your food or weight-related story with me, email me at pennielacouture@verizon.net