Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Have you ever had a binge?
Do you think a binge just happens?
No way.
First, behind every binge there is an attempt at self-care. The mistaken notion that this food is going to make me feel better is very much in play here. So, rather than beating yourself up for having that unplanned binge, understanding it and all its' stages may help to make a better judgement next time. Every binge has a TRIGGER. The TRIGGER is usually an emotional feeling. "I just had an argument with my best friend and I am angry", "It's raining outside and my plans have been cancelled and I am disappointed", "My son is late coming home and I am frightened"....those feelings and the full gamut of emotions are the TRIGGERS. The triggers feel like hunger and it is difficult to differentiate emotional from physical hunger. It would seem that we go from the TRIGGER to the binge stage, but there is an important step in between - DECISION. I once heard a Rabbi say "between thought and action there is a moment to choose", and sometimes that moment between the thought and the food is so fleeting, and the voice that says "don't do it" so small that we choose to ignore it, but it is definitely there. That decision may be made right before the binge takes place, or it may be hours before when you "prepare for it" in the supermarket, as you purchase the problem food. The third stage of the binge is ACTION, when the actual eating takes place. Most of us have our own ritual - alone at the end of the day, go to an ice cream parlor with friends, middle of the night - shoveling the food in or savoring every bite. After the action (and the action may last for minutes or hours) there is a HANGOVER.

There is no binge without a HANGOVER, and there are two types. The physical HANGOVER - headache, sore muscles, nausous, stomach ache, gas, belching, bloating, sleepy, weepy and/or_______________(you fill in the blank); then there is the emotional HANGOVER - guilt, self-hate, embarassment, and anger. These are uncomfortable but they do pass. And then the LETDOWN - the food didn't solve the problem, you are disappointed in yourself and everything is as it was except you have gained some weight and lost some dignity. And, the last stage is BACK WHERE YOU BEGAN. You are no better off than before and those TRIGGERS are all around you again. Do you recognize any of these stages? Can any of them be short-circuited? be continued

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So, it's raining - perfect eating day. It's also a perfect binge day if it's sunny, if it's my birthday (or yours), when the dog gets sick, when the dog gets get the idea. The food is always there and it's the "most acceptable drug there is". We give it such power - "this doughnut is going to make me happy" "this piece of cake will calm me down" "this ice cream will give me the quick energy I need" - AND NONE OF THIS IS TRUE! It's just food, and we want from it much more than it can give us. It's not the item - it's the experience and expectation that we bring to the situation that is important. If the hunger isn't physical to begin with, there is not enough food in the world to satisfy it. And yet, we cave in to the destructive habits again and again, in an attempt to take care of ourselves, to make ourselves feel better and comfort the uncomfortable feelings. Is all lost? Of course not! Are we doomed to this behavior forever? No way!
Think again! Something is going to take better care of you than eating, than that inanimate food.
What we are looking for can usually not be provided by food, but by other people.
Think of those situations that send you running for the chips. Is there something that you can ask for, something that can replace the unplanned overeating? What will make you feel better at that moment. It isnt food!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I’m so excited about the launching of our new website- what a boon to our kosher community! Just think, the ability to have our meals planned out for every day, Shabbos, YomTov, and what I love most is the community support. It’s too isolating to be out there alone when the cravings hit and there’s no one to understand. Believe me- I’ve been there.

Let me introduce myself. I’ve lost 5,000 pounds in my life and gained back even more. Like so many of you- I’m a master dieter. I’ve been everywhere, done everything and I dare anyone to top my list. Which includes diet pills, therapy, injections, diet clubs, protein powders, herbs from the health food store, starvation, eating only a few foods, rotation diet, grapefruit diet, experimental programs, calorie counting, the air force diet, shakes, acupuncture, hypnosis, water pills, the cookie diet, Ayds candy, red liquid protein, brown rice diet, Xenadrine, Meridia, Orlistat and of course, all the well known ones.

All of these false starts led me to the basic understanding that there are three components necessary for permanent weight control. 1. A solid healthy food plan. 2. Focus on behavior change. 3. Social support. And that’s what is all about.

I’d love to hear about your experiences as join us in our journey towards a healthier lifestyle.