Dear Dr. Levister: I was abused as a child. With psychotherapy and maturity I am now able to move on with life. The downside is I’ve spent years drowning in comfort food. At 260 pounds, it’s difficult to look at myself in the mirror. What can I do besides having major surgery to break the eating cycle? W.O.
Dear W.O.: First, let me commend you on your courage to speak out. Many women who are abused as children, ignore, abandon and take their pain and dysfunction to their grave. The biggest step forward is recognizing that you’ve come through it all, that you’re a survivor.
You say you’ve benefited from therapy and maturity. It’s now time to focus on what matters in the present and the way you choose to use it. Remember, you’ve been able to overcome unimaginable horrors you had no control over. Now you do have control even over those comfort foods.
Contact your doctor or a nutritionist for weight loss and weight control advice. You may qualify for one of the many discounted safe minimally invasive weight loss programs. Consider joining Weight Watchers, ranked #1 for Best Plan for Weight Loss according to new diet ranking from U.S. News & World Report.
Create a boot camp with family and friends by getting healthy together. Start walking.
Check out the local mall. Most allow fitness activities before stores open. First you may only make it two blocks or one lap around a track. Stick with it. This is a great time to air out the lungs, stretch the muscles and get the heart racing. Keep a journal and reinforce members of your group. Soon you’ll not only look better but you’ll feel more energized.
You are what you eat. Revamp your diet. Add fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish to the mix. Cut back on the carbs and slowly eliminate sugar. You’ll probably feel tired as you detox from sugar. You can still have your cake and eat it too by introducing sugar free or low sugar desserts to your diet. If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer to get your workout routine off to a good start.
Now that you’ve committed to letting go of the pain, you’ve got to move forward with the strength you’ve been given to live your best life.