Let’s Talk About Food – Start the New Year by Being REAL!


By: Pennie Hale

pennie haleIt’s a new year! Isn’t January the best time to start a new diet and exercise routine? Last year’s diet failures are history. This year’s diet success is ahead of us. Being healthier in the New Year can only improve all aspects of life. Replacing bad habits with good ones and starting off each day with a clear plan and dedication is possible.

I recently heard a celebrity say that after struggling with her weight for years, she realized that she had to get happy first to lose weight, not lose weight to get happy. I can really identify with that. My outward appearance is definitely a reflection of how I feel on the inside. I think that’s true for a lot of people.

So where do we start?

Self-evaluation is difficult but necessary for weight loss. Knowing what the number is on the scale as well as how you reached that number is so important. If you are overweight, it’s good to explore all the reasons why. Figuring out if you are one who overeats when bored, tired, lonely or stressed will help you get through those times without overindulging.

My past weight-loss experience is that I lost 75 pounds in a year. Since then I have gained back approximately 25 pounds. My future weight-loss goal is to lose another 50 pounds. I have definitely learned that I have an eating disorder. I don’t eat like a “normal” person. I binge. I typically start the day with a plan. I know how many calories I can consume and I plan meals accordingly. Most days, I stay on task until after dinner. I sit and think – hey I did it, today was a good day and I didn’t overeat. Within a short period of time the chocolate chip cookie dough in the refrigerator starts to speak to me. I tell myself that I should just go and throw it away. I tell myself to not think about it. But inevitably, I eat the cookie dough. Then I beat myself up for failing. And the next day the cycle continues. No one can lose weight like that.

This month, I decided to research eating disorders, eating trends in the US, food-related obsessions and other topics. I came across a website for Overeaters Anonymous. It’s a website that lists meeting times and places for people who wish to share their stories about overeating. I remembered that years ago I attended one of those meetings. I remember that no one actually spoke about their problem. They didn’t talk about how they obsessed over certain foods or had trouble losing weight. They did speak about how hard they were trying, how they only gained one pound this week but would lose five the next. I didn’t feel they were being real. I remember one woman who at the end of the meeting said, “Produce is on sale at Market Basket everyone so go stock up!” Right then I knew that meeting was not for me.

If I was buying fruit at the grocery store, I don’t think I’d have the need to attend an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. If I decide to attend one of these meetings again, I want to talk about the real stuff. I want to talk about how I fell asleep once while eating Milk Duds and woke up the next morning with melted chocolate all over my face and chest! I want to talk about how I used to buy candy at the dollar store so I get more for my money! I want to talk about sneak eating and that comforting sleepy feeling you get with you go to bed full! I want to talk about how I can smell a Dunkin Donuts a mile before seeing it! I want to talk about my addiction to sugar. I want to talk about my obsessive mind when it comes to food.

I want to start off this New Year being real. I want to call a thing a thing and decide if I am going to do nothing about my weight or if I’m going to get happy and become a healthier me.

I am not a diet or exercise expert. I wish only to share my stories with you and hope that you share yours with me. If you would like to contact me, please send an email to pennielacouture@verizon.net