Tag Archives: weight loss journey

Emotional Eating

Dr. Judith S. Beck

This is a guest post by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., author of “The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person” and President of Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research.

Chronic dieters often have beliefs about emotional distress and eating that interfere with losing weight or keeping it off. They express the ideas in the following ways: “If I’m upset, the only way I can calm down is by eating.” “If I’m upset, I deserve to eat.”

Woman Eating to much food while a man stands behind her while condemning her for her actions

Are you an emotional eater?

To address the first idea, I ask dieters about people they know who don’t have a weight problem. What do they do when they’re upset? Dieters frequently feel stymied–they simply don’t know. After polling hundreds of people, I’ve found that people who don’t struggle with their weight do lots of things when they’re upset: they try to solve the problem that is leading to distress, call a friend, take a walk, tolerate the feeling and return to whatever they were doing, practice relaxation or mindfulness exercises–or they distract themselves (surf the web, write emails, play a video game, do a puzzle, listen to soothing music). This group has a different idea about emotional distress: that it is temporary, normal, tolerable, and will diminish.

To address the second idea, “If I’m upset, I deserve to eat,” I get across the message that dieters deserve to feel better but that eating will only give them temporary relief. Once the food is gone, they’ll still have the initial problem that led to distress plus they’ll feel badly about having overeaten. I help them see that they have a choice: They can eat whenever they’re upset (and fail to lose weight or keep it off) or they can tolerate their distress or actively work toward reducing their distress in other ways (which greatly increases the probability that they will lose weight and maintain their weight loss).

I then work with dieters to create a list of compelling activities they can engage in when they’re upset and they quickly find out that they can self soothe in other ways. Many of these activities are described in the newsletters and blogs at www.beckdietsolution.org.

The End of Dieting Has Arrived

New Years Resolution: Stop Dieting Part I

I know that I have said these types of things before like a broken record but this time things feel different. There have been so many ups and downs but now after finishing the first cut of the movie and having time to reflect on the last three years of my life in production on this film, I think I am starting to get it. Forget dieting!
Now I know what you are thinking, we have heard the non dieting approach before, so what else is so new? Well I could make you wait for the release of the film to find out but I will give you some personal hints. After spending time with some of the best authors and personalities like Jillian Michaels, Dr. David Katz, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Judith Beck and that doesn’t even cover almost every top ten university that we visited. I think I  have a good perspective to back up what I am going to tell you. I Personally don’t give a damn if you want to eat peanut butter sandwich sandwiches all day long, though I think you will probably get sick and tired of them very quickly. I also don’t care if you want to eat foods laden with chemicals or just fruit and vegetables. It really doesn’t matter on its own. My new school of thought is really mixing two approaches. The first is trying to make small changes that are geared towards more healthy eating but with only foods that I like. If they are fruits and vegetables that I hate, why bother forcing myself to eat something that I know I can not and will not stick with. Second thing is stop depending on becoming so damn obsessed with calories, carbs and the chemical breakup. If you really want live by reading every food label you come by for minutes at a time you are going to have very hard choices and grow to hate the grocery store. I think it is a certain amount of common sense when you decide between having eggs for breakfast or a box of yummy chocolate pancakes with pecans and syrup. One is not going to turn out very well for you and chances are you already know which one. If you do decide to go the with the route of obsession, its going to be very hard to eat out with friends and your going to basically live like a hermit.. I personally think it is not going to work. Never did for me or the majority of the rest of dieters in this country.
Another major change is you have got to exercise. Now that does not mean spending huge amounts of time and money at your local gym Chance are that if you didn’t go last year, you probably wont go this year. Now don’t give up hope yet. There are some pretty cool solutions that have come out that are relatively inexpensive and totally enjoyable that you can do right out of you home or even possibly your office if are willing to share. So my New Years resolution is going to be practicing what I preach. After all, I have had three years of researching and filming for this film.
Please keep joining me everyday up until the release and I will be honest with you and share what really worked and what did not.
Please stay tuned tomorrow for the second part to this blog where I wrap things up with the truth about most diet book authors and the way to find possible peace and weight loss for this year and many more to come. The odds really don’t have to be against you.

Tales From a Beached Whale

I just got to see the footage of me taking a body fat percentage test. FYI: That’s when you are actually in an X-Ray machine with a full scan. Check out the picture below…


I didn’t realize I looked that big. I literally looked like a beached whale. It’s the first time I am seeing myself laying down… and I don’t like it.

Thank God there is no mirror by my bed and I can’t see without my glasses. Usually I don’t look at myself in the mirror anyway, and I hide my belly with a cover so I don’t see it. Today I really got a good look at myself. Wow… I look so bad.

I feel like I have learned a lot about food and dieting while working on this film, but I am not sure it is enough to make me happy and thin. Sometimes, I just wish I could magically take off the weight. I wonder how long it will take.

Do I need to lose weight to like myself?

Beached Whale Barry

31 Days Towards Change – A Progress Report

In all my years on this earth, through all of my ups and downs, 500 lbs days and 150 lbs days, I am at a place I have never been at before. I previously made bad choices that inevitably led to more weight issues. Now I am making  better choices and losing the weight in an appropriate way. I am watching what I eat better and exercising better. I used to just watch every calorie that went into my body and became obsessed with it. Now I am watching how healthy the food is. It is more important to me that food is a healthy choice than just a lean choice.

After 31 days of this, I feel much better. I feel alive for the first time in a long time. I was recently in New York City and what previously seemed like the worst walk ever from 21st street to Time Square was a breeze. Don’t get me wrong, there are days I would love to stay in bed or eat everything in my fridge, but I have a new found strength that keeps me going and feeling healthier than ever.

I also realized that it is not just what I eat or how I work out, it’s about the weight that I carry around with me. I have blamed being heavy for everything in my life — the reason I don’t go to social events, the reason I don’t do physical activity, even the reason I eat most of the time. It’s a shield I hide behind. However, the biggest weight I carry are the layers of unhappiness. I know that being thin doesn’t make me happy, but being happy can help me be thin.

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