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Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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Honesty About Eating

It’s scary how easily we can fool ourselves. Take people who consume a great many unhealthy foods while insisting that they’d rather eat whatever they want than feel condemned to deny themselves pleasurable, high-fat, high-calorie foods in order to tack a few extra years onto life. Can you hear the faux wisdom in this distorted thinking which we often use to justify doing what we want in spite of real consequences?

Although the above remark may be comforting, it’s irrational and self-destructive because it’s based on the false assumption that we control our destiny. For who can foresee the spectrum of consequences of chronic, unhealthy eating which may cause debilitating, lingering disease or conditions that cut life short prematurely? The faulty assumption is that a person will die peacefully and painlessly, albeit a few years “before their time.” But might they not equally develop colon cancer, diabetes, or suffer a stroke mid-life? How can anyone be sure to chop only a few, rather than many, years off a life?

This kind of thinking is called rationalization, the lies we believe to justify behavior. It’s a lot more comfortable (and comforting) to eat unhealthy foods regularly, pretending we can predict the consequences we’ll suffer, than to admit we can’t possibly know specifically how and when unhealthy eating will impact us. What we’re really saying is that we hope our unhealthy eating choices will affect us one way rather than another and are working hard to convince ourselves that this is truth.

How might a rational-thinking eater approach the issue of unhealthy foods? She might conclude that enjoying them in small quantities occasionally, while eating nutritiously most of the time, and living a generally healthy lifestyle give her a good shot at getting the best of both worlds. She would assume that she’s taking a risk when eating high-calorie, high-fat food, and wouldn’t believe that she could eat destructively more often than not and fail to have major health consequences.

Of course, we are irrational creatures at heart, with a tendency to deceive ourselves about eating (and everything else!). Because there’s no science to tell us exactly how much unhealthy food we can eat and still remain healthy, we have to monitor our underlying beliefs, be scrupulously honest with ourselves, and stay conscious of the lies we use to buttress our desires. Conning ourselves doesn’t guide us to make wise choices about food in the short run or help us live healthy in the long run. Remember, the more you think rationally, the better you’ll do eating rationally!

Self-trust
Counting Calories and Fat

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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy