When I first started Dr. Lisa Weight Control Therapy Blog, I really didn’t have any goals or objectives. I just wanted a place to write my thoughts that didn’t fit the academic writing I’m trained for in addiction psychology. As such, I didn’t think I’d have too much of an audience in the beginning. I was wrong. From the start, my thoughts as a practitioner and as an individual in recovery from binge eating disorder and food addiction on topics that addressed obsessive eating, weight control, spiritual recovery, and emotional recovery pulled in interests from around the globe. I learned implementing goals and steps increases the success in the release of obsessive eating. I also learned sharing stories without the academia flare was more palatable.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I now consistently hear and see positive results in my practice and from my blog and/or emails from a wide population seeking to release obsessive eating. I found with the goal to contribute steps to build a strong recovery foundation successes increased. True, it didn’t all happen at once, patients and blog readers confessed there were some ups and downs along the way. I’ve found that the 10 steps below can help any food addict increase their ability to release weight and/or make peace with their obsessive eating—whether it’s a new issue or struggles long lived.
Here are my 10 ways to increase the release of obsessive eating:
1. Remove all forms of sugar from your diet with the exception of fruit for breakfast and a fruit included in the metabolic boost later in the day. Sugar is not just an empty calorie; its effect on the food addict is much more insidious. Obese patients think it’s about the calories, but it has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself. Forget the fact that obesity and diabetes has skyrocketed in America in the past 30 year and it’s responsible for diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and many common cancers, it also triggers obsessive eating and thinking.
2. Exercise daily at least 30 minutes. It’s important to exercise because it helps maintain a healthy body, reduce stress, and improves blood circulation. More importantly, it’s important to exercise because exercising is healthy. It’s proven to help peoples overall moods, and their health, such as boosting their immune system. Exercise has also been known to keep your mind healthy as well. Get outside and connect with nature and your Higher Source while you move.
3. Sleep seven to eight hours each night. Sleep is crucial for overall health. This is because sleep helps your body to recover and rejuvenate from your days stressors, ridding your body of fatigues. It’s your body’s chance to recharge and heal. The only way to rejuvenate all of our organs is to rest the body and sleep. Our brains need time to process all of the information it receives daily. Some even say it’s your time to clear your mind and connect with the Divine Source.
4. Write a daily gratitude journal. Journal writing is very personal and very intimate. It allows you to tap into your inner feelings and figure out what’s going on for you in your life. Journal writing takes many forms. I, myself, especially enjoy “diary writing,” which for the most part involves the unstructured, chronological recording of the extent of a person’s life. With that, I write daily gratitude posts listing all the blessings and treasure that unfold in daily life.
5. Meditate daily. Meditation is the act of embracing an open and inviting clear space in the mind. It’s the discovery of a corner of the mind, a quietness within the mind, a sanctuary, a resting place—paradise in the mind, a place of peace. Meditation is performed in quiet—with no agenda. Some individuals meditate by using one word to concentrate on, while others hum one note, and still others focus on something to look at, such as a cloud or flower or even a spot on the wall. Some will use a mantra, repeating it over and over again. In meditation, we spend some time in the spaciousness of not knowing.
6. Pray throughout the day. The beauty of prayer is that it’s personal. There’s no right way to pray, and there’s no wrong way—just your way. You can talk, sing, sit in silence, dance, cry, run, embrace nature, hug a baby, kiss a puppy, and/or watch a butterfly swirl around a daffodil—all in the name of prayer. Prayer is powerful. Prayer can change your life anywhere, any time—alone in quiet or in the middle of a room full of people. You can be rich, poor, belong to a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque, or sit alone in a field that stretches out as far as the eye can see. Our higher source is everywhere—within us and around us.
7. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Just as plants and animals need water to survive so do human beings need water to survive and function properly. In fact, humans can’t live without drinking for more than a few days before deterioration and death set in. About 55% of the female body (60% of the male body) is made up of water with the muscles and the brain about 75% water. Although hydration for survival is of the utmost importance in drinking water, drinking water hydrates your skin and makes you look younger, helps fend off hunger, and helps to combat ailments. All good reasons to include water in your daily ritual. Hmmm, seems it might be a good idea to add pure water to the system!
8. Eat three balanced meals (breakfast, lunch, and snack) and one metabolic boost (snack) daily every four to five hours. The best way to begin your food recovery journey is to follow a simple formula of having four meals a day and breaking down each meal according to an easy structure of specific foods: fruit, protein, fat, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains (see www.weightcontroltherapy.com for detailed menu and food suggestions). I’ve found, too, that at the beginning, the most workable way to do this is to commit to your food plan prior to the start of your day, rather than merely hoping you’ll arrive at this optimal arrangement by random eating.
9. Hug an adult, child, baby, and/or your fury child several times a day every day. According to the famous family therapist, Virginia Satir, “We need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance, and twelve hugs a day for growth.” In the right setting and situation a hug is the best natural therapy for all kinds of conditions, a sign of approval and affection. It is such a simple uncomplicated gesture that speaks more to the other than actual words. A simple hug—a universal cure available to all of us—is positive energy transmitted in its simplest and maybe oldest form.
10. Laugh, giggle, and smile. A simple smile goes a long way. It immediately puts a person at ease and often is returned spontaneously. Giggles and laughter, like a smile has medicinal benefits. When I think of the benefits of laughter Norman Cousins immediately comes to mind. About 30 years ago Cousins was diagnosed with an incurable and fatal spinal column illness with no known cause or cure. Against the advice of his doctors, he checked out of the hospital and secluded himself in his home reading humorous stories and watching movies that brought tears of laughter hour upon hour for a month only to return to the hospital with marked improvement—no sign of the disease whatsoever.
Since then, research has shown that the health benefits of laughter are far-reaching including it can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity. So, laugh yourself to health—beat down compulsive eating with a good belly laugh. Think of little kids when they laugh so hard they fall down. Like smiling and kindness, laughter is contagious. Imagine if everyone partakes what kind of world we’d be in. Now go giggle….
Photos Taken by: Dr. Lisa