Constantly Battling with Food

By October 10, 2012

I don’t know if you can help me. I am constantly battling with food. I overeat. I crave carbs and sweets and everything in between. I have dieted nearly all my adult life. I am now in my late 30’s. I am obsessed about my body but I do not over excercise. I diet but very unsuccessfully. I am about 40 pounds overweight and climbing. To be honest, if I could purge I would, but I am even unsuccessful at that. It’s not that I binge, diet, and obsess constantly – I can’t seem to make it more than a day or two dieting, then I get overwhelmingly discouraged and eat anything I want to again until I am get back to the reality of what I am doing. I know the right way to lose weight – I am an expert, I just can’t seem to do it. Any suggestions? – LeeAnne

Dear LeeAnne:

From the tone of your letter, it sounds like you are very weary. Eating isn’t supposed to be a battle, yet countless people feel exactly the way you do. Like so many others, you’ve fallen into the “on and off” or “all or nothing” mindset of dieting. Please check out the articles “What Is Healthy Eating?,” and “Eleven Keys to a Healthy Lifestyle.” Dieting just doesn’t work in the long run, but gradual healthful changes do. When you are truly eating well, you’ll be able to enjoy all foods, including some sweets; cravings will weaken and you’ll feel so much better.

It seems to me that you need to explore the issues that are beneath your eating and weight struggles. I am especially concerned by your comment that you would purge if you could, but that you are “even unsuccessful at that.” I strongly urge you to consult with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders, to help you work from the inside out.  See “Finding Treatment” for some guidance.

With professional support, you will be successful!