The Challenge of losing weight: A relationship gone bad.
By Tim Ringenberg CHt
"the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.”
— Anthony Robbins
The United States has enjoyed a growing love-affair with food. It’s gone from the
1950’s tradition of the family gathered together at the dinner table sharing a
home-cooked, regionally-grown and locally butchered meal to the 1960’s
convenience of a TV dinner.
In the late 20 th century, the growth of the fast-food restaurant grew epically,
satisfying the convenience of “food-on-the-go” as a mobile America sped its way
down the highway, calorie by calorie. Toward the end of century, cable television
stations were devoted to the act of cooking, serving, and presenting meals of a
wider variety and complexity. Chefs became celebrities and restaurants became
the theater of the 1990’s.
The evolution continued to the 21 st century. Kitchens grew and became
incorporated alongside the family room. Socializing and family gatherings became
more kitchen-centered and kitchen islands became focal gathering points.
America’s relationship with food had turned into a full-blown romance! That
romance could be measured in the waistlines of the populace: In the 1960s, the
Center for Disease Control reports that 23% of the US were considered obese. By
1997, the CDC report to 39.4% obesity of the population. Romance was in the air
and 56% were reported in 2007 which has passionately grown to 65.7% by 2010.
Like any relationship, our passion has burned brightly, to the detriment of our
physical well-being. And like all out-of-balance affairs, we turn out attention to
correcting the imbalance in our life. But it’s not easy getting over a love affair.
Changing our relationship with food.
I once asked a doctor what diet he recommended. “What diet works?”, I asked.
“They ALL work”, he replied. “You just have to follow them”.
Following a diet is work. One is always classifying foods and doing arithmetic:
counting calories, carbs, points, inches and pounds. New boundaries are set.
Goals are established. But with each boundary that is stretched and goal that is
missed, the resolve to continue following the diet becomes more and more
Changing a relationship always requires effort. But framing that change in terms
such as calories, weight, and size for goals makes a task more difficult. Getting to
the root of change is not addressed this way.
Changing your opinion, your perspective, your behavior, is at the heart of
changing your relationship with food. Examine how you feel about what you are
eating, what you have selected to put into your body, why you decided to eat at
that time, and how these elements serve to benefit your body, satisfy your
craving, and achieve the change you’re desiring to make.
Change your mind; Keep the change.
Neurology shows that our minds are far more malleable than we think. Neural
plasticity is the new “buzz-word” of change. The familiar paths once taken
through the brain stimulating the urge to binge, eat foods not beneficial to our
health, and leave one with the feeling of being a slave to one’s behavior and out
of control can be interrupted, and rerouted to more positive and desired
outcomes. The change occurs where its needed; in the mind. As this change
occurs, mindful decisions take place. Feelings of self-satisfaction and
accomplishment are now triggering the brain to provide dopamine, the “feel
good” substance, as a reward reinforcing the choice of this new neural pathway.
And the more the pathway is used, the stronger it becomes until emerging as the
primary choice of behavior.
With this new behavior, permanent, lasting change is cemented into the psyche.
Our old relationship with food has evolved into a relationship crafted to be
healthy, rewarding, and providing us with physical and mental benefits.
And a healthy relationship is its own reward.
About the author: Tim Ringenberg is certified in hypnotherapy and neural linguistic
programming and practices out of both The Tree of Health Center in Newton, NJ and his office at 196 Woodport Rd, Sparta, NJ. Tim’s relationship with food was changed January 5th resulting in a weight loss of 40 lbs and three pant sizes thus far, at the time of this writing. In a bad relationship? Change your mind!