9. Realize that medication can be of help with certain eating
disorders, especially bulimia.
10. If changing your eating habits seems to be impossible after
several weeks of trying, get serious about discovering the emotions
and needs underlying your overeating (see the books and Web sites
listed above). If that doesnt work, get professional help from a
psychologist with experience in this area.
11. Find the emotional roots of your urge to eat. What are the
psychological concerns (relationships, frustrations, needs) underlying
the eating problem. If you can reduce those concerns, you have a
better chance of stopping overeating and of avoiding relapse (The
Weight Control Digest, May/June, 1997).
12. Keeping a food diary is very helpful, especially if you record the
circumstances in which the urge occurs, what you were thinking,
feeling, and doing immediately before hand, and how you responded
to the urge to eat. A graph showing your progress can be very
satisfying. A recent study at Duke University shows that bingeing by
women is triggered by depression, getting off their diets, gaining
weight, low self-esteem, and anxiety. Bingeing by men is preceded by
anger, getting off their diets, thoughts of food, conflicts, and fasting.
Plan ways of dealing with your triggers to binge.
13. Celebrate and brag when your pants are loose and slipping
down. (Actually it is important to reward in some brief way the
achievement of each daily and weekly goal.)
14. Make plans to maintain your gains. Use relapse prevention if
needed. In any case, get serious about your weight whenever you gain
2-3 pounds over your desired weight, taking into account your normal
weight changes by time of day and, for women, time of month.
15. Live a long, active, healthy life.
Gambling: Many people occasionally gamble small amounts at a
local state-approved casino or on trips to Atlanta or Las Vegas. They
are social gamblers, like social drinkers, and some spend quite a bit of
time in a casino but they are not out of control. Most people gamble
for excitement, novelty, and fun; some do it to escape stress.
Unfortunately, the people who need money the most, gamble the
most. People who make less than ten to fifteen thousand dollars a year
gamble six times more often than those who earn over fifty thousand
dollars a year. About 1/3 of problem gamblers are women.
We aren't talking about gambling for fun here; we are discussing a
powerful habit or mindset that occupies most of your free time, wipes
out your savings, leads to stealing, writing bad checks, and neglecting