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Question
Posted by: Overweight | 2010/08/24

How do I do what I know has to be done?

Dear Grahem,
What a relief to be able to voice our problems on this forum. I''m a 59yr old female. Never struggled with my wieght until after the birth of 2 multii-handicapped babies. I know I''m an emotional eater - I eat when I''m happy, sad or for any reason in between, I''m seeing a dietician and a pshycologist. I''ve done a lot of introspection and realized that I am probably still mourning the loss of not having " normal"  children. I love our children just as much as I would have loved any normal child, but I probably mourn over lost life expectancies any parent has for his child. I realize that our children will never be in a position to be there for us when we are old, I will never have the priviledge of being a grandmother etc etc, Our children''s health is deteriorating and is a huge financial burden to us. I don''t feel depressed and function very well, sleep well, only eat too much. My therapist is so proud of me because I have actually pinpointed my problem on my own - without her telling me what''s wrong with me! Yeah,yeah! My problem still remains - although I know what makes me happy or sad, I still need food! How do I shut my mouth? I try to have water first, then get up for coffee and still, the thought of food never leaves me. I eat according to my prescribed plan, and I feel good about it, but nevertheless, it just does not come naturally. This is taking so much energy and increasing my emotional burden even more. I stick to the eating plan for 5 days and then cheat for 2 days. It''s back to the salt mines on Mondays. I feel I''m a complete loser (unfortunately not losing what I wish the most - kilo''s!!) Is there any hope for me?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hello Reader,
I really admire that you have chosen to face your challenges rather than hide away. It is very courageous that you have persisted with therapy and continue seeing a dietician in order to resolve your destructive relationship with food. Even though you love your children unconditionally, it is very understandable that their handicaps have posed many challenges at so many levels. Yet you have faced those challenges and moved forward. It is now time for you to look to yourself and try to engage in an unconditionally loving and nurturing relationship with yourself. Instead of focussing on trying to lose weight, try and place the emphasis on establishing and maintaining a moderated, balance and healthy relationship with food. If you can do that, your emotions might not get diluted by food, but have the opportunity to find more appropriate expression in healthy intimate friendships. Try starting a daily journal to acknowledge your feelings, and perhaps make a connection between your emotional feelings and your eating habits. Your therapist and dietician might need to collaborate in assisting you here. My patients always find it helpful to learn that it is easier to focus on establishing a healthy relationship with food, rather than focussing on trying to lose weight. If you eat healthily and maintain a creative and fulfilling lifestyle, losing weight (if it’s appropriate for your body to do so) will be an automatic by-product/side-effect. Does that make sense? Please persist with your professional help, and talk to your therapist about some helpful groups that might be available in your area as an adjunct source of support. Your therapist can email me for guidance if you wish, but let me know what area you live in.
Regards,
Graham

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert | 2010/08/25

Hello Reader,
I really admire that you have chosen to face your challenges rather than hide away. It is very courageous that you have persisted with therapy and continue seeing a dietician in order to resolve your destructive relationship with food. Even though you love your children unconditionally, it is very understandable that their handicaps have posed many challenges at so many levels. Yet you have faced those challenges and moved forward. It is now time for you to look to yourself and try to engage in an unconditionally loving and nurturing relationship with yourself. Instead of focussing on trying to lose weight, try and place the emphasis on establishing and maintaining a moderated, balance and healthy relationship with food. If you can do that, your emotions might not get diluted by food, but have the opportunity to find more appropriate expression in healthy intimate friendships. Try starting a daily journal to acknowledge your feelings, and perhaps make a connection between your emotional feelings and your eating habits. Your therapist and dietician might need to collaborate in assisting you here. My patients always find it helpful to learn that it is easier to focus on establishing a healthy relationship with food, rather than focussing on trying to lose weight. If you eat healthily and maintain a creative and fulfilling lifestyle, losing weight (if it’s appropriate for your body to do so) will be an automatic by-product/side-effect. Does that make sense? Please persist with your professional help, and talk to your therapist about some helpful groups that might be available in your area as an adjunct source of support. Your therapist can email me for guidance if you wish, but let me know what area you live in.
Regards,
Graham

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