Different Kinds of Food Problems
Linda Moran, moderator of the Diet Survivors message board at HYPERLINK "http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/dietsurvivors" http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/dietsurvivors, often reminds members that some folks can diet and lose weight more or less permanently—the 5% of dieters who are successful and make everyone else feel like failures. They have simpler food-related issues than the multitude who have complications. In fact, some folks have eating problems, others have weight problems, and others have eating and weight problems.
People who have simple eating problems are pretty well set when they attend more to nutrition, discipline themselves better around food, and trim down portions. They find dieting relatively easy without feeling especially deprived, don’t have all-or-nothing thinking about food, and do fine with a style of eating that helps them shed pounds and feel healthier. They don’t have to white knuckle it to stick to a food plan, aren’t emotional binge-eaters, and find that healthier eating makes them feel better all around.
Then there are people who have a biological tendency toward overweight, but not a huge problem with food. They watch their intake carefully and know they’ll never be thin without starving themselves. Their metabolism is slow or they store fat efficiently, but they’re comfortable stabilizing at a heavier weight than is culturally acceptable. They’re okay being overweight and try to eat healthily and stay fit.
The bulk of clients I treat have both dysregulated eating and a biological propensity toward weight gain, a double whammy. They overeat and binge eat, cannot accept their bodies when fat, and are obsessed with food and dieting. Not only do diets fail them, diets are part of what has made them fat and unable to shed pounds permanently. They make up the majority of people who either struggle to lose weight, do and put it right back on, or who can’t lose no matter how little they eat and how much they exercise. The experience of eating and trying to lose weight is far different for them than for folks who diet and stabilize at a lower weight fairly easily.
My guess is that most of you are in the last category. There’s no point in feeling sorry for yourself or angry that life isn’t fair. Better to recognize and accept your challenges, change what you can and accept what you cannot. Try setting realistic goals, avoid comparing yourself to others, and give yourself time to make progress. Aim to tailor your eating to your biology and experience with food. Remember, you can’t be anyone other than who you are. But you can be the best you possible, eating and otherwise.