Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center
International Eating Disorder Referral Organization
Therapy vs. Dieting by Susan Rosener Casac, Edc
This to me is a “No Brainer.”
Have you ever met anyone who has been through the gamut of diets? Gained and lost hundreds of pounds? Spent their last dime on pills, gyms, clubs and doctors? Well, I have. Everyday!
You signed up, paid your money, been measured and now you get on the scale. You feel somewhat ashamed and embarrassed, but what the heck, this program is going to make it all better. You are determined, gung ho and ready to go. Off to the grocery store for all those fruits and vegetables and wonderful diet deserts for when you just need a touch of sweetness. Then off to the gym to either sign up or re-up your membership because you truly believe you are going to go there at least four times a week. Oh, we need to get a few new outfits for the gym because the old ones are either dated or don’t fit anymore.
A week from now, you will be back on their scale and it will be a great feeling of accomplishment. A new life, a new you….You are ready, ready, ready!
See, you have done this before…you remember the last time you lost weight doing this and it felt great. So you want that same good feeling again. Believing you are “in control” and can pull this off, you are on a high for the rest of the day.
So now that day one is over, day two is reality. Perhaps days three through seven are still working for you and if you are a compulsive overeater you may get a good three to four weeks of sticking on this diet. The truth is that if this is your third or forth time loosing weight this way, the success time will get shorter and shorter. The reason you have to keep returning to the diet is that you never really learned how to cope without using food as a drug. Perhaps you lost your weight years ago doing this kind of dieting, but as you get older your problems get bigger and you just can’t make it through a day anymore without using food. No different than an alcoholic. Overweight is an emotional problem and not an intellectual one. Just ask someone who has had bypass surgery. After one month they are ready to jump out of their skin. These people are the new “therapy” people. Most bypass clients will tell me that if they just would have gone into therapy to begin with , they could have skipped the surgery. They still have to change their way of thinking and do the work for the rest of their lives.
Bulimics that are in denial, and still think they can do this alone, find out quickly that dieting will cause many more bulimic episodes. How can you keep those numbers down on that scale every week? Especially when you need to binge to survive. Well, purging of cause!
If you eat over disappointment , getting on that scale every week is the most fattening thing you can do. Eating disorder people have terrible anxiety. They want what they want yesterday. Dieting is a slow process geared for people who have maybe ten pounds to loose. (Those people don’t need to diet they need to cut portions). Going to the gym is exhausting and studies show that only a small percentage of people return after a few months of a new membership. I am convinced that weight clubs and gyms are still around not because they work, but because they don’t work. They just brainwash you into thinking they do. When was the last time you saw a commercial stating that this person has kept off the weight for five years or more? Never!
If you have twenty or more pounds to lose this process is a nightmare. It will not be long before you just can’t take it anymore emotionally…so you will binge.
Just a note for the Anorexic; I love it when they ask me for a nutrition counselor. Again, this is not an intellectual problem. It is an emotional one. Anorexics know more about nutrition than any nutrition counselor I have ever met. They don’t need a diet, they need a good therapist that speaks the Eating Disorder Language
So you be the judge. This time spend your money wisely and get to the cause of the problem, instead of just another expensive bandaid.
This article was written by Susan Rosener, therapist at the Counseling Center for Eating Disorders, (631) 665-0097.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author and are presented without editing. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of EDReferral.com, and no official endorsement by EDReferral.com of the opinions expressed herein should be inferred.
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