100 lb. Club - My class last night.

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02-22-2008, 08:00 AM
I have been taking a class: Understanding Your Relationship With Food - with Dr. G. - she's a PHD psychologist with special interest in health issues. There are six of us in the class.

Food for thought. Dr. G passed out a paper to us last night...

Relationship with Food - by Jeannine Tell PHD. adapted by Dr. G.

"One of the most important relationships that will change dramatically when you make a permanent lifestyle change is your relationship with food. We all have a personal relationship with food - who among us hasn't had a childhood experience when food was used as nurturance or to convey love? Major life events, positive and negative, are often centered around food - weddings, funerals, celebrations, holidays, babies, etc. We have become a culture that simply does not view food as mere fuel. It is normal for you to be anxious about how you will successfully transform your relationship with food. The first step is too acknowledge your concerns and reach out for help from peers and/or professionals. The second is to consider the transformation as a complex grief process. You will most likely experience a loss of what food has meant to you (on many levels) throughout your life as you learn to use new coping mechanisms and tools. Do not be surprised if the feelings you experience are quite similar to those you have experienced following the loss of a loved one. It is healthy to acknowledge this and work through it just as you have other losses in your life - you are not crazy. Reach out for help just as you would for any significant life loss and be sure to reach out to those your turst and with whom you feel safe."


Dr. G. also mentioned that when we make huge lifestyle changes with food - that some people actually go through a greiving process. There are steps in a greiving process:

* denial;
* denial replaced by anger, rage, envy, and resentment;
* bargaining
* depression;
* ultimate acceptance

I wanted to share this with you all because we are the 100 pound forum. Food is definately more than fuel for us. I thought it might be helpful to some folks.

Food for thought...anyway.

02-22-2008, 08:07 AM
Somehow this hit me like a ton of bricks - as they say.

That some of the feelings I have are real...that knowing I can no longer "use" food the way I have my whole life. That I really want to make permanment lifestyle changes and these changes will result in a feeling of loss.

We've talked about many things in the class...but, this hit home for me.

I am not on the "Lose 20 pounds in six weeks" diet or similar things. That I hope and pray I am willing to make long term changes and am willing to work thru the feelings of loss that come from really changing my life.

Food has been "everything" to me during my life - it is how I celebrate, morn, cope, pass the time and more. Now as I look toward really wanting to change my relationship with food - it's scary that I have to learn a new way.

I want to be in this for the long haul. I really only can take it a day at a time. It's too overwhelming to think of "life long changes".

BTW - my feelings of "loss" are also beside my feelings of joy that I have made progress. But, they are two separate feelings.

I am still thinking about this.

02-22-2008, 08:26 AM
Those are profoundly true statements. I will think on them and respond later. Thank you for posting them.

02-22-2008, 08:44 AM
Food has almost always been an excuse to gather with people, to celebrate, to fill voids in my life. There have been several times that I've been... stunned, yes, ... saddened... to realize, and acknowledge that food will never again be to me what it once was.

At least I know I'm not alone in that. Thanks for posting.

02-22-2008, 09:02 AM
Thank you so much, Beverlyjoy. I, too, hope the day comes when I can truly have a sane relationship with food!

02-22-2008, 09:11 AM
I think this is a key issue for most people who have a lot of weight to lose. When we say things like "I just can't stick with it", or "I have no motivation" It is more like: I just can't give up my relationship. Or I miss my relationship. The lifestyle change that we are all really talking about is "breaking up" with food and then moving passed the relationship we once had. It is devoloping a new relationship. I still enjoy food (different healthy food) But I don't have that "relationship" with it any more. It takes time to change that. I agree that there are many steps to letting go. Jelly

02-22-2008, 09:19 AM
Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

The most profound statement (amongst the many) for me was *ultimate acceptance*. In order for me to lose the pounds and now keep them off, I had to *accept* the fact that I could no longer have that same relationship with food that I always had. It's like losing a best friend in many ways. The thing is, when you lose a best friend, it's not usually by choice, but by circumstance. And with the food, WE have to make the choice. The conscious decision. Which is why I think weight loss is so darn difficult. Doesn't matter that we absolutely know we will be better off without it, it's what we're comfortable with and what we know - and it's HARD to give it up.