Do You Know Why You Eat? The Key to Losing Weight

July 17, 2014 5:14 PM

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Do You Know Why You Eat? The Key to Losing Weight

Few people are aware of the meaning or purpose of their eating patterns and tendencies; most simply parrot back what they have been taught about the reasons they have addictions or compulsions, including, "I medicate my feelings," "It's an unhealthy way that I have learned to care for myself," "It comforts me," or, perhaps most commonly, "I'm screwed up; something is wrong with me." Discovering the meaning and purpose behind our eating patterns requires something most people, as well as many counselors, simply ignore -- the patience and love of a naturalist where moral assumptions and ideas of health are temporarily suspended so that empirical and discoverable details can be observed. The patience and love allows one to carefully and respectfully gather critical, but often ignored, information about the personal and cultural history of the user, the rituals they engage in surrounding the food, the qualities of the food they desire, and the feelings or state of mind they experience upon eating.

Consider a student that attended my university class, Addictions and Dependencies. He told the class, quite vulnerably, how upset he was about being overweight and how much he ate. In exploring the history of his eating and weight gain, he recalled that he and his twin sister, at about eight years o...

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