What are you really, really, really hungry for?

Okay. I admit that I have always been an Oprah fan but I was exceptionally happy to see this week’s newsletter from her with the title “Why Oprah Says She’ll Never Diet Again.” As we all know, Oprah has been through many diets over the years and she’s shared each one with us.  She has been the perfect example of the “ups and downs,” the losing and gaining of weight that happens when someone tries to lose weight through some type of diet plan that is not sustainable over time (“yo-yo dieting”).  If any of the outrageous claims in diet ads worked, promising almost instant weight loss in very few days, we would probably not have the problem of obesity that exists in this country today.  Research tells us that diets don’t work.  Oprah is a prime example. Now she says she has “come across something so profound” that could be ‘miracle for your life.”  She’s not talking about a new diet plan, but the courage to really look at the reason why you’re eating and coming face to face with the fact that it’s often not because we’re hungry.  Well, we may be hungry, but it’s not for food.  Unfortunately, food has become the answer for all of the things we’re hungry for.  But filling the need for intimacy or exercise or creativity or sleep or anything else besides physical hunger with eating something will ultimately not satisfy and only make us feeling unfulfilled and overweight.  Personally, the only way I lost the weight I had gained after quitting smoking was when I began to take the focus off of food and my weight and focused on the activities that made my life full and meaningful. This idea is basically the topic of Geneen Roth’s new book, Women, Food, and God, and is what inspired Oprah.  You can read more about her discussions with Geneen Roth at http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Geneen-Roth-Talks-About-Women-Food-and-God.  I use Ms. Roth’s earlier book, Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, in the class that I teach and it is also a wonderful resource. So, next time you get ready to eat, ask yourself, “what am I really, really, really, hungry for?”  It may be for food, but it may not be.  If you’re reaching for food when your desire is for something else, it could be life changing to actually take the time to respond to your deeper needs.  It takes courage and effort.  But I believe you’re worth it.  Don’t you?