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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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The Pain-Body and The Feeling Phobia (A Series on The New Earth by Eckart Tolle)


Many members of Shrink Yourself have shared that they're reading The New Earth (who isn't?). They were amazed to discover how much the ideas of The New Earth correspond to what they've read in Shrink Yourself or learned in our program. I thought I would write a series of blog posts on how the two relate to one another. If you comment on this post, I'll address things directly in future blog posts.

I thought I'd start with a discussion of the Pain-Body and how it relates to Emotional Eating since many of you are doing the online course on the New Earth and that is the subject for tonight's program.

Eckart Tolle defines the Pain-Body as "an addiction to unhappiness." It's the part of us that contains all of our past hurts not just from our own experiences but from the lives of our ancestors, our gender, and even our culture. In Shrink Yourself, we call the fear of feeling anything uncomfortable, The Feeling Phobia. This fear sends people looking for the comfort of food.

When you begin to realize how much you carry around in your Pain-Body you can begin to understand why you have a Feeling Phobia. You're not just afraid of what's happened to you in your life, you're afraid of carrying the sadness, rage and frustration of an eternity. If you've proved to yourself that eating keeps that pain at bay you can see how a dependence on food develops. You eat because you've proved to yourself that it works as a soothing balm. However, it's a balm that comes at a price. It's the price of your health and your ability to face life head on.

When you begin to realize that you have a Pain-Body but that you aren't your Pain-Body your need to run from negative feelings into the comfort of food will lessen. You'll start to see when a tidal wave of negative emotion is sweeping over you. This awareness is what we teach you how to develop in the Shrink Yourself program so that you no longer run from that wave of emotion into a pint of ice-cream but instead observe it, disconnect from it and recover your power so you can create a fulfilling life (instead of a full stomach).

Stay Tuned: The next blog on The New Earth will be about The Voice in Your Head that Tells You to Eat.

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The Moral of the Story is Care


Maurice Sendak's book Pierre tells the story of a little boy who says, "I don't care " to everything. When a lion shows up threatening to eat Pierre and Pierre retorts his usual, "I don't care." The lion eats him. The moral of the story is, care.

So often I hear people who struggle with their weight say, I saw the piece of cake and a voice inside me said, "I don't care, I'll just eat it." Or [they'll tell me,] I sat there with the whole box of Samoa Girl Scout Cookies and heard myself say, " I don't care, I'll eat the whole box. After all Girl Scout Cookie season doesn't come around again till next year." Or getting ready for the gym and that same voice will say, "I don't care if I never wear a bathing suit again, I'll just sit here and watch Oprah."

I'm here to tell you not to believe that voice. The truth is that you do care. You care very much. That's why you've tried diet after diet and that's why you looked for and found our website, book or online program.

Human beings feign disinterest when something feels too hard. If you have a child you've probably heard them say, "I don't care if I never ride bike." "I don't care if those kids invite me to their party." They care very much but they're afraid of failing, and so are you.

It's not that you don't care, it's that you feel defeated. And why shouldn't you, diets set you up to fail because they don't offer you the information you need to lose the weight you want. You don't need an eating plan. You don't need someone to tell you that a box full of caramel coated cookies isn't good for you. You know all that.

What you need is to find your hope again by seeing real change. The kind of change you're looking for in your body begins in your mind. It begins with a conviction to care. Care for your health. Care for your self-esteem. Care for your future. When you care you can stay true to yourself in the moment and make better choices.

Being an Adult is the Best Kept Secret


Many of the roots of Emotional Eating lie in a fear to face our feelings, to take responsibility for our bodies, and to delay gratification. These are all examples of The Rebellious Self (which we discuss in Week 11 of the online program or The Rebellious Layer chapter in the book).

When we feel stuck in life it's often a symptom of the Rebellious Self. The Rebellious Self is the part of our minds that is selfish, spiteful, willful or defiant. In other words, childlike. For anyone who has a child, they understand that what seems like anger is often fear.

The way you take the hand of that frightened child inside of yourself and help him/her grow up is by acting "as if" you're an adult. Do the things that adults do and you'll become one.

They say that growing up is hard to do which is why most of us are willing to avoid it any cost. But when we begin to help ourselves grow up our lives improve. And as adults, we can make responsible choices about what we eat.

Being an adult gives us the chance to have a say about how our lives go and how our bodies look.