When Food Becomes the Enemy

Note:  This article I originally wrote  for the blog of Miz Fit Online as a guest post last year (you can read the original post here).  But it’s message and usefulness has not changed, so I wanted to share it with you this week.  -Dinneen

As a weight loss coach and mentor, I help many women lose weight, look better AND feel better, and I’m constantly meeting women who struggle with food and their weight.  And I get it, as I’ve been there myself.

For years I struggled to lose weight, and even when I was finally  “thin,” I spent many more years eating low-fat, low-calorie, and low-tasting foods.  Food and eating was not an enjoyment for me.  Any food I ate that was remotely decadent or a “bad” food, left me feeling guilty and eventually lead me to overeat.  And so started a vicious cycle of dieting, losing weight, putting it back on, dieting again, and on and on.

What I ate either helped me lose weight, or gain weight, or so I thought.  It wasn’t until a trip to Italy, and then a few years later living & working in France, did I learn that I could enjoy foods without guilt, lose weight and stay slim.

My world was literally turned upside down.   And so was my life.

And so began a journey of education, self-awareness, and self-growth that led me to the extraordinary life I live today.  I can eat the foods I love, and still stay healthy, and yes, slim.

As a weight-loss coach and mentor I help women and men lose weight, get healthy, and feel good about themselves.  And part of that is helping them with their relationship with food.

You see, it wasn’t’ until I changed my relationship with food was I able to lose weight and keep if off, and without deprivation.  Even Oprah Winfrey has had ups & downs with her weight and, in my opinion, she will not keep it off until she has a healthy relationship with food. (for more about my thoughts about Oprah and her weight, visit my blog post from last year).

In my business I’ve come across women (and young girls) who suffer from an eating disorder.  Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional, and social issues, all of which need to be addressed for effective prevention and treatment.

This week is the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  If you suspect, or know, someone suffering from the disease please visit the website of the National Eating Disorders Association.  There you will find an abundance of information and resources to help support those affected by eating disorders.  It is there to help a friend, family member, colleague, or loved one get help.

In the United States alone, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males suffer from an eating disorder, and approximate 15 million more are suffering with a binge eating disorder.*  More people die every year from an eating disorder than any other mental illness.  Yes, it’s that bad and that prevalent.

Also, statistics say that more than one in three ‘normal’ dieters progress to pathological dieting (that is, it becomes a very unhealthy obsession with food & weight).

So help spread the word. I see too many women, of all ages, obsessed with their weight and their bodies – and they look fine!   In my mission to help women lose weight and be HEALTHY, it is also my mission help women feel good in their body, no matter what the scale says.  Now that is something to be proud of.  I sure am.

So check out the National Eating Disorders Association, and help someone who needs it.

* 2010 figures, source:  National Eating Disorders Association

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