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Trading Dimes for Diets Would Make You Rich
If you had a dime for every time you thought you were too fat or tried a diet, would you be rich?
If so, that's a very ineffective way to start a savings plan, according to Brenda Crawford-Clark, who has spent 15 years working with people dissatisfied with how they look. Learning how to stop flooding yourself with negative thoughts about your weight can be just as important to balancing the scales as counting calories, said Crawford-Clark, author of "Body Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions. (Beyond Words Publishing 2001)
"Most weight loss products come with broken promises and can never work because they don't address overlooked connections that ultimately will cause you to reach for food," said Crawford-Clark, who is a National Certified Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Tampa.
"The sad thing is these diets have no potential, yet when they fail they put the blame on the dieter," said Crawford-Clark. "Even if you ignore the fact that many are unhealthy or at the minimum are a drain on your pocketbook, you're usually just wasting your time."
Crawford-Clark said she has spent years helping men, women and children who are unhappy with their body appearance learn to throw away their sense of shame and guilt related to their weight. She's developed and been director of hospital and outpatient programs that have helped people with everything from stress eating to eating disorders. Her book "Body Sense" grew out of her frustration and concern that so many people were looking for answers and being taken advantage of by a multi-million dollar diet industry, she said.
"Losing weight has never just been about willpower or finding that perfect pill," she said. "There's many pieces to connect that have been neglected." She attacks other myths in dieting by helping readers figure out why their eating and weight became a problem, then gives them tools to do something about that today.
"There's many things that contribute to the birth of a weight problem," she added. "Among the most overlooked is loss. Those include the more obvious losses related to trauma, emotional and physical abuse and death, but also losses related to infertility, miscarriages, relationship problems, career changes, illness, accidents, financial concerns and adoption."
Crawford-Clark said even loss of a dream can lead to using food to alter your feelings. Growing up with unusually high expectations placed on you or in a family where you were not allowed to express yourself can cause some people to use food as a way to temporarily change what they think are unacceptable feelings. Eventually it can become an unconscious action, she said.
"It is important for you to re-connect to the source, determine how it has effected your life and learn to take care of yourself with something else other than food," she said.
That process she includes in "Body Sense" is a personal one that the book's author compares to what the reader would receive in her therapy office. It combines compassionate stories of others who have similar problems and backgrounds and have utilized her step-by-step explanations of techniques that the author says will make this a long-lasting change. Her website forgetaboutdiets.com is scheduled to be online in May to provide ongoing support to readers.