Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Benefits of being overweight

When I suggest there may be something you are getting out of your extra pounds, you may think my idea is absurd! But, as a Clinical Psychologist, Weight Loss Analyst and someone who has struggled with and survived the entire spectrum of eating disorders with over 25 years of personal and professional experience, I know this to be true.

Being overweight is not simple and generally there are at least a few hidden, unconscious agendas behind the eating behavior. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and think for a few minutes about the advantages you get from being overweight. Then return to the present. Write those advantages down. Perhaps your weight provides the illusion of safety. For example it can keep you from taking the risk to be in a romantic relationhip or it gives you an excuse to stay home and hide.

Now note any other, more nurturing ways you can take care of yourself and your feelings and write these down. Next, choose one area where you would like to make a change. For example, if you have discovered that one advantage of overeating has been to numb feelings of grief, you might plan to talk with a friend about your loss. In this way, you allow your feelings to surface and find expression and you no longer need food to anesthetize yourself. You can do this exercise often as a way of checking in with yourself and changing your compulsive behavior.

It works!

My best,
Dr. Denise

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