You know how bad you feel when you have a special event, a friend’s wedding, a reunion, and you wanted to shed those extra pounds, and you didn't do it? What about when you promised yourself after a weekend of over-indulging that you would ‘be good’ for the week ahead and start a proper diet on Monday? Struggling by Wednesday, all you can think about is what to eat and what not to eat, as images of fresh bread or salt and vinegar crisps float into your mind. Evening times turn into a ritual of grazing and picking, as you promise yourself “tomorrow WILL be different”.
I knew those feelings- hovering around the fridge in the evenings, standing over the kitchen sink eating, always wanting more to eat and feeling that I could never get enough. I’ve been known to wolf down a tub of ice-cream and a few packets of biscuits in one sitting (or standing!) I used food for the same reasons an addict uses drugs: to comfort, to soothe, to ease stress.
My big “Aha” moment came shortly after my daughter was born when I was 28 years old. By then I had separated from my husband and was a single mother to a 6-week old colicky baby, and trying to complete my PhD. I was exhausted, but I clearly remember thinking, “This cannot go on. I cannot carry on living like this”. I felt horrified at the thought of my beautiful little girl becoming like me.
Looking back I think that by caring for my little daughter, I started caring for myself. I learnt that I didn’t really have a weight or food problem- I had a self-care problem that manifested through weight and eating. Now when I stop and ask myself, "What am I really hungry for?" the answer is usually "I feel overwhelmed by work” or “I’m afraid things won’t work out”. Another diet cannot fix this these concerns and anxieties. Only you can take the reins back.
I drew on my personal experiences and my PhD in Sociology to create the Heyday program to help women and men develop a healthy relationship with food and weight. I love my work and I’m inspired by my clients’ honesty and determination. I deliver the program in Loughlinstown Weight Management Clinic. The very promising outcomes among patients inspired me to develop Heyday's online program.
I’m fed up to my teeth with diets and deprivation. It’s time to move beyond a focus on food plans and diets, and start addressing the emotions, habits and situations that that cause you to reach for the biscuit tin. Do you eat in the evenings, out of boredom, stress or anxiety? Is food company, or do you eat to relax or to treat yourself after a long day?
Let’s start a dialogu
e that empowers you to develop a healthy relationship with food and weight. Send me your comments and questions at email@example.com