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Beyond the calories — why we eat is as important as what we eat

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 48 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -.5 lbs
Change overall:  -63.5 lbs

I’m very happy to have lost weight this week.  Only a half of a pound, but going in the right direction!  And this is the first time in about a month that I’ve lost two weeks in a row so I’m encouraged by that trend.

At the same time, I’m realizing that this is a hazardous time for me in respect to my weight loss.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my success so far and how proud I am of myself for sticking to my plan for close to a year now.  I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure this is the longest I’ve stayed so focused and been so successful (writing about my efforts is definitely helping in that regard!).

The flip side of that realization is that I’ve never gotten past this point before.  I’ve always managed to “screw it up” around 50-60 pounds lost and not only stopped losing weight, but gained back everything I lost plus additional weight to boot.

Over the past week, I’ve had a few late-night “bad food” binges.  Luckily I don’t keep too much unhealthy food in the apartment, so I haven’t been able to do too much damage, but the feeling of being out of control and just wanting to eat everything in sight has been damaging enough.  I’ve noticed that this usually happens on the heels of feeling good about my progress or having some other kind of victory, so it appears to me that I’m indulging in a bit of self-sabotage.

One of the things I think it’s really important to keep in mind as we struggle with weight loss efforts is that if it were simply a matter of discipline and burning more calories than we eat, so many fewer people would be overweight.

Many of us have emotional reasons why we have gained weight and don’t easily lose it. It can be anything from loneliness to perfectionism to the fear of what life will be like outside of our comfort zone.  And the first step to being able to take weight off and keep it off is to tackle our own personal demons and figure out why we’re resisting the very changes we want so desperately to make.

It’s a scary part of the process, but I’m actually relieved to be so aware of it this time.  I’ve had my binges, but I’m also thinking a lot about what may be scaring me about losing weight.  And the more I think about those obstacles and challenges, the more I realize that I can deal with them in ways that don’t involve food.

For some people, talking to friends or family helps.  For some, journaling and keeping a diary is the answer.  For some, a therapist is the way to go.

For all of us, the first step is really thinking about every bite we put in our mouths and figuring out what hunger it’s feeding – is it actually physical hunger or is it an emotional hunger?  Or are we eating simply because we want to?  Once we can identify the difference between the reasons we eat, we can deal with any issues that need to be addressed and focus on the food choices and exercise that will get us where we want to be.


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