Monday, September 28, 2009

We are all works in progress

Americans are the fattest people on earth. Why is that? Why are we as a culture so overweight? Why are so many of us prone to eating to excess? Why are so many of us obsessed with food and body size? Why have so many of us alternated between eating compulsively for periods of time and then dieting for a while? Why has this become a common, life-long style of food management for so many? Why have millions of women and men become entangled in a pattern which is so self-destructive and that can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, a general sense of being out of control as well as a host of many other problems? We are all different, of course, and some people have not experienced such a struggle. Most of us, however, eat more than we want or need to at times, and for some over-eating has become a life-style. What can we do about this? What can you do to bring more balance and peace into your personal relationship with food (or drugs or alcohol or any other addictive substance or behavior)?
I have studied this issue and specialized in working with people with food control concerns for over twenty years. I have waged my own private war with compulsive eating and dieting – enduring phases of obesity, bulimia and anorexia. I have finally found a path to a healthier life with a more positive, balanced and appreciative attitude towards myself, my own body and food. Please understand, however, that I too am a work in progress and will continue to be so for the remainder of my time on this planet. My body is not and will never be “perfect” according to our contemporary societal standard and I will never negotiate my path “perfectly”. However, after more than sixty years of alternately starving and stuffing myself, the idea of perfection has become irrelevant. It has been replaced instead by a feeling of peace and an appreciation of myself, the person I have become and of the many wonderful things my body can do.
From time to time I share my perspective about compulsive eating behavior and my philosophy of treatment in this blog. Please note that our physical bodies and our emotional and spiritual selves are intertwined and that we have been heavily influenced in our society to look and act in certain ways to be accepted and approved of. So, to feel in control of our impulses to eat compulsively, we need to address all of these areas and to map out strategies to bring each of these aspects of ourselves into balance. This requires us to know ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually and to understand the impact social forces have had on us throughout our lives. This is no small task but it is possible and worthwhile. As I write to you each week I will be touching upon all of these areas in one way or another. Thank you for being on this Chew Tamer's Journey with me!

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