What Are You Hungry For?

Since I talked about the Diet dilemma in my last post, I wanted to followup with a conversation about what gets in our way.

In my work as a Wellness Coach, I have often been asked how to handle cravings and binges. Like any behavior, the first step is to identify the craving or the urge to binge. One of the things I often tell clients is to keep a calendar or journal handy. When the urge to overeat hits, write down the day, time, the food you are craving and the feelings that are associated with this urge. If, for example, I suddenly can’t stop thinking about Peanut M&M’s and the more I think the hungrier I get, I stop, pick up a pen, note the date and time, write down Peanut M&M’s and what I am feeling.

Initially, clients look at me like I am crazy! ‘Why do you want me to write down what I want to eat?’ they ask. My response is to remind them that sometimes the ‘what’ you want to eat provokes thoughts and feelings that, once noted, can be dealt with.

When I recognize my craving for the aforementioned candy at 11 P.M., I am reminded of the Halloweens of my childhood. I grew up in New York City, so Trick or Treating took place in large apartment buildings. When we finished scavenging for sugar, we (my brother and I) would empty our sacks, divide up what we loved and hated (all the while indulging). The next day the candy would be gone! My parents donated it every year, the day after Halloween! I never had the chance to get sick of it. I needed to stuff it in as fast as possible, because it was leaving soon. My craving today is usually met with the same sense of urgency. I am worried that I won’t get enough because it will be taken away.

This urgency for sweets is usually a metaphor for urgency in life.  So, although many of us eat to fill a void, there are times when the stress of life or a stressful event makes us feel the same urgency or emotion we experienced in childhood.

The bottom line is that, in order to truly lose weight, we have to cope with the issues that encouraged us to gain in the first place. These issues need to be observed. I am not suggesting that you rush to the nearest therapist, although, for some, this is a wise choice. I am encouraging you to do your own work. Pick apart the elementss of your ‘eating’ life that need examination.

Wellness Coaches, like me, often work with clients helping them narrow down the issues mentioned above. We ask questions, point clients to resources and help them do the work. Your awareness of your triggers or what you are hungry for, is profoundly helpful.

As you plan the weight loss plan or diet, as you visualize your success, try to be aware of the things that have gotten in your way before and what their cause might be.

To Your Health!


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Diet Schmiet!


I have struggled with weight all of my life. I inherited the obsession from my mother and passed it on to both of my girls.  And I have spent countless hours and dollars trying to get to the bottom of my eating problems. Why can’t I maintain weight loss for long periods? Why do I crave junk food? What is so enticing about the “forbidden” foods?


I have learned a lot from asking and re-asking these questions. The first lesson is ‘stop asking’! Like so much in our lives, the question of why often remains unanswered and, although there is something to learn from asking ‘why’, when it comes to eating and weight loss, the better question becomes ‘how’? How do I find a way to eat that provides me with better health, physical satisfaction and emotional contentment?


When we begin with ‘how’ we start from a place of authority and control. This is a huge piece of a puzzling and emotional dilemma. I am not saying that understanding binge eating or over eating not important. I am simply stating that in order to get going, you don’t need an answer. You need to know what works and what doesn’t work.


As a weight loss counselor, I have often asked people what they know about themselves in regard to weight loss success and failure. For instance, I know that starving myself and drinking my calories is an absolute failure. I tried it when Oprah tried it. She gained it back and so did I! I also know that I need support. My experience tells me that I need the accountability of a weekly weigh in or check in with someone in the know.


Once you’ve narrowed down your options you can begin look around for a good fit. This is a period of exploration.  I suggest you visit, call, email any and all opportunities. Follow your instincts regarding where you feel most supported, motivated and comfortable. Avoid the “I’m a lost cause and this is my only option.” and embrace “I am interviewing prospects to pursue my best self.”


Begin to visualize your success. What will you look like? What can you wear? What does it feel like to get up in the morning without worrying about what will fit? Play with this. Take your time. It’s important to capitalize on this period to help clarify what you look like inside and out.


There is no need to force a timeline. You are ready when YOU are ready. By the same token, use this time to really define what you want and what your outcome looks like. Do your homework.


Finally, remember, a weight loss program is something you do for yourself NOT to yourself. It’s a way to nourish and guide yourself toward your best possible self. It’s not a punishment.


My 3-step plan for weight loss plan starts here:


1. Ask yourself what has worked and not worked in the past. Write it down.


2. Once you know the answers to number 1, you can begin to narrow down the available weight loss programs/counselors/coaches that will work for you.


3.Visualize what success looks like. Picture yourself in the outfit you love. Then begin to imagine what you feel like. How is your energy different? Is your sleep affected? (This is not a fantasy, you are creating a picture of yourself at your optimal health so be realistic without being self-critical.)




To Your Health!


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