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Weight Loss and Control:
Roger Gould, MD's Weekly Blog
on Emotional Eating


 
Knowledge is power.
Understanding why you turn to food is the key to changing it. Join in the discussion each week as Dr. Gould shares his valuable insights from over 30-years of clinical experience.

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Is Food Your Substitute for Love?

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2008 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

"Forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate." I saw that on a bumper sticker. Who wants to fall in love? Well, judging by the success of every online dating site despite the failing economy, I would say most people are looking for love or looking for ways to improve their relationship. Unfortunately, the sweetness of romance can be unkindly bitter and with that in mind, the sweetness of cakes and Halloween candy and ice cream can feel like a sure thing. It can seem like a rational conclusion to make...don't fall in love...fall in chocolate...but there are probably some things that you might not have considered.

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3 Ways to Combat Perfectionism

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2008 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

Progress, not perfection. People that are on a journey to lose weight always resonate with that statement. But for most of us, before we hear or believe a statement like that, we've already spent a lot of years thinking we should be perfect or we could be perfect. Today, I heard someone say, "When I got hypothyroidism I had to accept that I was not going to be the perfect size two anymore so I might as well be as fat as I could get." Many people figure why not be fat if they can't be perfect forgetting that perfect doesn't exist. And if we expect ourselves to be perfect in our quest to lose weight, we're going to be gravely disappointed and therefore more inclined to get resigned and give up. The simple fact is we're going to have days when we make good choices and days when we could have made better choices. Sometimes, varying between those two can happen in the course of a single meal. So, how do you stop trying to attain perfection? Here's some things that have worked for me.

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Is Food Really Your Friend?

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2008 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

"Food feels like my best friend." I hear so many people say this. Maybe you can relate. When you're upset, anxious, despondent, angry or bored the instant calm that food provides can feel like your greatest ally. But is it really a friend? Let's take a look:

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3 Ways to Avoid Weight Gain This Halloween

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2008 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

*I wanted to get this blog out early this year because I've seen that the stores are already stocked with Halloween candy. They are prepared for the holiday and you can be too. I live in a neighborhood in Los Angles that takes Halloween very seriously--houses are decorated and candy is given out in abundant quantities. My son can accumulate upwards of ten pounds of candy trick-or-treating. Now, even the worst bingers out there are not likely to go out and buy ten pounds of candy in one pop. it seems insane to bring this amount of sweets into the home of an emotional eater. I can remember desperate moments when I searched out the Halloween candy bag in the hopes that there might be a stale piece of chocolate hiding inside months after the holiday was over. I've since found some creative solutions to avoid having Halloween be a time of self-sabotage and weight gain.

1. DON'T BUY CANDY YOU LIKE FOR TRICK OR TREATERS - If I bought Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Almond Joy I'd be in big trouble. I simply don't have that much willpower. Snagging a few from my son while out trick-or-treating is one thing but having big bags of them inside my house is something else. I recommend not buying things that you like. One woman said she buys candies with peanuts because she has a fierce allergy. Another woman told me that she buys gummy worms, tear jerkers and other equally offensive sweets. What can you buy this year that won't tempt you?

*2. THE SWITCH WITCH - Three years ago someone introduced me to the idea of The Switch Witch and it has been a saving grace. When you come home and the kids sort out their candiy, you decide how many they can keep. In my house, it's ten pieces. Then, the rest of the candy gets set out on the porch and The Switch Witch comes and replaces it while the kids are sleeping with a gift-- a DVD, a video game cartridge, a webkinz. The kids are happy and you don't have to deal with having candy around for weeks or months. This helps with two things. The most obvious one is that you don't deal with temptation for an extended period of time and the less obvious reason is that you don't have to deal with daily negotiations with your kids about how much candy they can eat. Can the Switch Witch make a visit to your house this year?

3. GET DRESSED UP - Find a costume for yourself. Getting dressed up gives you somewhere to put your creativity (other than thinking about how much candy you can eat without anyone noticing) and it creates a spirit of festivity and fun that improve the whole holiday. Who will you be this year?

I hope these suggestions make this Halloween go a little smoother for you and your children. They certainly have helped mine.



 
I'm Doing Everything Right: Why Is the Scale Stuck on the Same Number?

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2008 | POSTED BY MICHELLE

There comes a time when I hear that statement from almost everyone that is trying to lose weight. Have you ever gone through a period of time when you went overboard eating everything in sight, for instance on a ten-day vacation, and it seemed like you weren't gaining weight? Then, on the day you're going home it seemed like over night you gained ten pounds and your clothes didn't fit. That's happened to me many times. The weight can come on suddenly after a long period of not exercising or eating well. The same thing happens with losing weight.

It's almost as if our caveperson biology wants to make sure that we're not in a time of famine before it gives up the extra weight on our bodies. What this translates into is the necessary willingness to patiently stick with a plan for a while before seeing results. However, let's face it, we live in a time of instant gratification and when we don't get it we want to give up. I've heard people say that things like:

"I weighed myself in the middle of a binge and decided I was already fat, so why bother stopping."

"I lost two pounds so I rewarded myself with a indulgent dinner out."

"I did well for four days and I didn't lose a pound so I'm giving up."

When you consider people who accomplish great things, you see people who are willing to work really hard, for a long time, without seeing results. Think of Olympic athletes who train for years before they ever win a medal. All of their practice and training is leading to a goal, but there is a moment-to-moment goal before the ultimate goal, and that goal is to get stronger, more flexible and more confident. It's the same thing for you on your way towards your goal weight. Each time you make the right choice, don't worry if it doesn't affect the number on the scale just yet, the choice itself will be making you stronger, more flexible and more confident. These qualities will benefit you no matter what the scale says. By the time the scale reaches a number that you feel good about, you will have been transformed from the inside out and the outside in.

In other words, be patient. As cliché as it sounds, this is about the journey, not just the destination.