Drugs & Alcohol
Kids & Parents
A billion dollar diet industry depends
upon your believing that your lack of persistence and inability to follow
their guidelines is the reason why you can't take off the pounds and keep
them off, according to Brenda Crawford-Clark, LMHC, LMFT. However, the drive
to use food to alter you mood often goes deeper than that, according to Crawford-Clark,
author of Body
Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions. Trauma from the past
and emotions neglected after loss can also be behind the need to eat.
"No matter how much willpower you have, unless you have acknowledged
these emotions and done work that actually honors them and allows you to disconnect,
they will continue to haunt you. Something may happen to you today
that triggers a similar emotion and in a moment's time you are reacting not
only to today, but to your past pain as well. It's as if these emotions have
been buried inside your heart, and you keep trying to push them down with
food," she said.
However, it also may be anchored to loss that people
tend to neglect, such as childhood bullying, being teased or pressured about
your weight, perceiving
yourself as an outcast, being betrayed by someone you trust or being the child
of an alcoholic or emotionally unstable parent. You also may lose living a
carefree childhood if you were in a family with high expectations, or you
were a child in a family where expectations were unusually high because your
parents were in jobs visible within the community, such as pastors, politicians
or counselors. Using food as a means to cope or get away from the intensity
of pain can also begin with infertility, miscarriage, adoption, financial
problems and disillusionment, she said.
"That's why it makes me angry when people who have weight problems
are accused of not having enough willpower or strength to lose the pounds,"
said Crawford-Clark. "The
pounds can come off and weight become less important, but it takes a systematic
approach to attack and dismantle those core feelings that are left over
from the past. A pill or a promise could never do that."
Watch for our online
course that will help you tackle ongoing struggles with your weight and
body image. You'll be able to finally identify why diets can't work, and learn
what can. The program is written and led by Brenda Crawford-Clark, a therapist
with more than 15 years experience in helping people with their weight concerns,
from stress eating to eating disorders.
Brenda Crawford-Clark, LMHC, LMFT, NCC
Author: Body Sense Balancing Your Weight and Emotions
©Copyright 2001 Brenda Crawford-Clark