Sunday, February 27, 2011

Can't stop eating? It's NOT about willpower!

At a social function recently, I talked to a guy (let's call him Trevor) who kept going back to the dessert table.  Trevor said his problem was willpower.   If he had more willpower, he could stay away from all those desserts.   If he had more willpower, he'd lose the extra pounds that he'd packed on in the last year.

His wife was across the room talking to another couple, looking animated and having fun.  At one point she glanced over and saw Trevor checking out the cakes.  An expression of revulsion crossed her face and she turned away.  She paid little to no attention to Trevor the whole night.

I asked Trevor what was going on a year ago, before the weight gain started.  He and his wife started having problems at that time.  He turned to food for comfort, but the weight served an additional purpose.  As painful as it was for him to think about the weight he gained and to struggle with food, it was easier to focus on the those things than to feel pain, helplessness and disappointment about the marriage.

The extra weight also gave Trevor the illusion that he could repair the relationship by losing weight.  He told me, "If I could just lose  the 20 pounds, I think she'd like me again."

The real problem was the relationship, not the food.   The next time you focus on what you're eating, think about what's eating you.

Comments and questions are welcome.  Please share on Facebook and/or Twitter so more people can benefit from the information on this blog.

"Like" me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter

Legal Disclaimer:  The content on this site is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not intended as psychotherapy or as a substitute for psychotherapy advice, diagnosis or treatment.