Saturday, July 09, 2005

The 4 Steps

My patients are often surprised when they come to understand what it truly takes to manage disorderly eating, bingeing, sugar addiction and related issues. While it is about food, it is certainly about much more than food. Even in the nutritional area, food choices are only a part of what needs to be understood in order to make a plan that works. For example, many patients are completely unaware of the workings of their body and mind in relation to a healthy body fat percentage and weight. For some, the mindbody connection has never even entered the mind. The idea that food choice, amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as the timing of meals do play a large part in how the mind and body communicate and function on a moment to moment basis, has remained outside the knowledge loop for most.

I have a clear recollection of entering the world of disorderly eating and emotional bingeing when I was 3 years old. My father died unexpectedly on my 3rd birthday. In those years, deceased were waked or viewed from the home. I remember thinking that all of the people who were arriving were coming to my birthday party. I distinctly remember noticing that they didn't bring presents and cried when they looked at me. I was told to stay in the kitchen and play with my doll, but instead I entered the living room and saw my father "sleeping". As the story goes, I went over to him and told him to wake up. Of course, this was met with screams and a very quick removal from the area. I was sent to the garden with a bag of cookies and clearly remember feeling so sad as I ate them one by one. To this very day I have a tendency towards bingeing when I'm feeling sad or isolated.

I grew up with all sorts of emotional issues, but the biggest error was that no one in charge knew what sorts of foods I needed for my particular family and personal medical history. It would be decades before I found out about this, and during those years my life was filled with all sorts of medical, health and emotional problems. As we work through this blog project, I'll share some of those with you. I know from my many years of research and experience in this field, that those of you reading this will certainly recognize yourselves. It will be through this recognizing that your own personal journey in recovery, healing and growth will begin. And make no mistake, your life will change in ways well beyond your breakfast, lunch and dinner.