Sometimes a client would confess to me, “I know what I’m supposed to do, but I just can’t do it!” and I would feel like screaming “ME TOO!”
As a registered dietitian and personal trainer, I had the education and skills to provide my clients with the best nutrition and exercise advice on the planet for health and weight loss. I gave them personalized menus, helped them organize and plan their days, and even got them motivated to exercise.
But time after time I would see the same pattern emerge. These beautiful souls would be “good” (their words) for a few days, or even a few weeks, but inevitably, they would fall back into their old habits. The weight loss would stop, or the weight they had lost would find its way back.
True Confessions from a Dietitian
Sadly, this wasn’t just happening with my clients. Nearly everyone I knew, no matter what program they signed up for or who was their trainer, was seriously struggling with keeping the weight off. They had tried every pill, potion and gimmick under the sun – even weight loss surgery – to no avail.
They spent thousands of dollars and invested countless hours and days, even years, looking for the answers. It was frustrating and heart breaking, and it was creating a sense of hopelessness for everyone involved.
What they were doing wasn’t working for them, and it wasn’t working for me either. Truth be told, I was struggling with my own eating and weight issues.
I still remember teaching seminars on weight loss, then coming home and “unwinding” with a big bowl of buttered popcorn, followed by some chocolate. And that was after dinner! My nightly binges had nothing to do with physical hunger.
Are You an Emotional Eater?
Finally, it dawned on me that I was eating emotionally, just like my clients were. As the owner of a weight loss clinic, this was not an easy thing for me to admit, even to myself. My weight was “fine,” and I thought I carried it well. Sure, I could stand to lose a couple of pounds, but who couldn’t, I rationalized.
Besides, popcorn is healthy because it has fiber, right? And chocolate has antioxidants, especially the dark variety. And what’s a little raw cookie dough going to hurt now and again – especially if you make it with pasteurized eggs so you don’t get food poisoning?
For years I preached the standard advice to my clients and to my self – keep healthy snacks around, get rid of the junk foods, call a friend, take a bath, go on a walk – but none of that helped.
If you’re eating for emotional reasons, it doesn’t matter how many veggies are in the fridge. If you’re having a craving for chocolate, you’ll find the stash – hidden behind the chia seeds, on the highest shelf in the…