Saturday, March 31, 2007

Overcoming Emotional Eating

Hello Everyone:

Have you ever found yourself calm your stress through munching on chips? Have you ever drown your sorrows with a big ice cream sundae? Have you ever escaped boredom through chocolate? If so, you are not alone. We've all done this from time to time. However, these situations needs to be a rare, contained events. If "emotional eating" becomes our usual approach to food, we'll soon need to eat more and more to sooth our panic at our expanding waistlines. We're overweight because we feel bad, and then we feel bad because we're overweight. Yes, it can become a vicious cycle.

As I mentioned in my 12/11/06 post, "The Secondary Gains of Poor Eating", one of the common possible incentives for continuing with poor eating habits is for food to serve as an emotional state changer. In other words, when we don't like how we're feeling, as easy (although temporary) way to try to change those feelings is by eating some "comfort food".

So, how do we control emotional eating? Well, the short answer is to find and swap in a better, healthier way to soothe our upset feelings than through food and eating. Food should be for replenishment and refueling purposes only.

So, here are some other ways to soothe and shift your feelings:

1) Learn and practice healthy relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, etc. A solid resource for such relaxation is "The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook" by Davis, McKay, and Eshelman (2003). Learn and practice these techniques so that you can go to them as needed when the crisis hits.

2) Beef up your social life. A disconnected, lonely, depressed, and/or angry person is a person at risk for emotional eating. And, nothing puts us at risk for such feelings like our relationships being strained. The primary relationships are, in order of priority: spouse/partner, children, parents/extended family, friends, coworkers/acquaintances, strangers. Initiate contact with these social sources in your life. Repair, nourish, and reconnect with all of the main social relationships in your life, and your emotions will reward you. Call, email, send a card or letter, visit, etc. Apologize regularly. Also, ask for and give forgiveness to others and yourself on a continual basis.

3) Be your own best emotional support system. Be your own best friend. Pamper yourself. Need a break? Take one. Need some better eating, exercise, and sleeping habits? Give yourself these gifts. Need a hobby? Find one and enjoy. Give yourself what you really need in a healthy, balanced way. Remember, if you're not going to treat yourself well, why should anyone else? Furthermore, how or why would you feel good if you don't treat yourself in positive, supportive ways?

There are many other ideas here, but these 3 ideas comprise a healthy start. Enjoy!

Dr. Randy

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Internal Reasons to Lose Weight

Why lose weight? Well, some reasons are better than others. External reasons for losing weight involve trying to impress someone else: family, friends, strangers, potential love interests, etc. Is this a good enough motivator to lose weight? Well, usually, no. Not long term, anyway.

People who successfully lose and keep the weight off need consistency. Longevity. Committment. A permenant, low weight lifestyle. External motivation alone usually runs out--especially because some people are impossible to impress, no matter how much weight you might lose. Or, they just plain don't notice. They're often too into themselves.

To keep your improved eating and exercise habits, it eventually requires that you also possess internal motivation to be thin. Internal, meaning--if no one ever saw you thinner, would you still want to lose the weight--just for yourself? Would you still want to sacrifice that cheeseburger? Would you still get out of bed to exercise if no one ever knew either way? If not, it's time to change that.

Here are some ways to increase your internal motivation to lose and keep the weight off:

1) Research the endless health benefits of losing weight (and the terrible health consequences of staying overweight).

2) Try to remember how much better you'll feel inside when you lose weight. Think of all the extra energy, self-esteem, and overall happiness you'll enjoy!

3) Visualize yourself thin and healthy. Enjoy a preview of your better, thinner looks right now.

4) Practice making yourself the main one you want to impress. Be your own audience. Your own crowd to please. It's all about you!

5) Remember--be your own best friend and your own best support system. You are the one that will never let yourself down. In the end, you are the only one that will be there for yourself 100% of the time.

I wish you all of the internal motivation you need, want, and desire! Until next time...

Dr. Randy

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mandatory Fat Talk Among Women?

So, I'm up late and I bump into Saturday Night Live on the TV. Yes, that show is still on. I just watched their "Weekend Update" clip tonight (3/17) reviewing a recent actual study about "fat talk among women". Recent research suggests that when women congregate, they typically engage in an obligatory ritual: they share mutual negative put downs of their weight (and other looks topics). Apparently, this "fat talk" serves the multiple functions of mutual female bonding, as well as reciprocal validation, empathy, and support.

Yes, I understand that women in 2007 are still judged primarily by how they look. However, self put downs about weight? Can't there be a better way to promote female bonding? How about giving each other compliments about each others' looks, with the woman receiving the compliment simply saying "thank you"? Or, even better, how about just focusing on non-looks topics altogether?

How can a woman lose weight when she keeps telling others (and hence, herself), how "fat" she is and/or how ugly her ___ looks? To once again quote an Old Testament verse in the King James Version of the Bible, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). I think that that applies to "shes" as well.

Don't set yourself up for a negative self-fulfilling prophesy. It's like playing with fire. For more info on this topic, see my last blog entry, "The Secret: Thinking Thin".

Goodnight all,

Dr. Randy

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Secret: Thinking Thin

Spurred on by support from Oprah, the latest craze in the self-help world is the DVD and Book, "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. The essence of The Secret is that thinking positively about what you do want will tune you into the proper frequencies of the energies of the universe to generate the attainment of your goal. Conversely, thinking negatively about what you don't want actually attracts other negative energies to generate the negative result.

The essence of this idea is that our subconscious mind doesn't differentiate between "good" and "bad"--it just generates what we focus on--good or bad. Of course, The Secret is not the first brand of psychology or even religion to promote this idea, just the latest. The Bible states, "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he’ [Proverbs 23:7].

Therefore, having thoughts like "I'm too fat", "I'm a pig", or "I can't stop eating" won't help motivate you to lose weight. In fact, it will turn into a negative self fulfilling prophesy. However, thinking "I am becoming thin", "I will better and exercise", "I am becoming my ideal weight" sets oneself up for a positive outcome. The same with visualizing yourself--see yourself as your thin ideal before it happens, rather seeing yourself as the overweight person you fear or dread.

In short, see and think about the positive outcome you want now to put yourself in the right direction and you will lead and guide yourself to the positive result. Seeing and thinking about what you don't want will generate the opposite. Simple, but not easy. Well, practice makes perfect. Good luck!

Dr. Randy

Saturday, March 3, 2007

My Hypnosis Program for Losing Weight

I know about weight loss—both professionally and personally.

As a licensed clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist, I had a goal to create the absolute best and most comprehensive weight loss program possible—the perfect program that I myself would have loved to have back when I needed to lose my weight.

I actually had 70 pounds to lose a number of years ago. Like most people, I tried many different diet and exercise routines over the years with no success whatsoever. Then, I was fortunate to have one single hypnosis session back in 2001 to lose the weight. My feelings and attitudes about weight loss miraculously improved from that point. 12 months later and 70 pounds lighter, I replaced my obese lifestyle with much healthier choices that I have kept ever since. I learned firsthand how the power of hypnosis can truly create a weight loss mindset and lifestyle. Ever since losing my own weight, and after receiving my own hypnosis training in 2001, I’ve been helping others lose weight with hypnosis in my psychotherapy office.

From that training and experience, I slowly created the most thorough, comprehensive, and effective hypnosis program that I could. The result is my latest program, The Weight Loss Mindset. This program includes much more than I ever had when I was losing my weight. So, feel free to review this site to have any additional questions answered about myself, hypnosis, and weight loss.

Thank you for interest. I wish you immense health and happiness.

Dr. Randy