Please enjoy this excerpt from my 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide, “Eat to Thrive.” If you like what you see, feel free to download your very own, very cuddly eGuide below.
“Frenemy” (alternately spelled “frienemy”) is a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” that can refer to either an enemy disguised as a friend or someone who’s both a friend and a rival. The term is used to describe personal, geopolitical, and commercial relationships both among individuals and groups or institutions. The word has appeared in print as early as 1953. – from Wikipedia
How many of you feel like food is your “frenemy?” I’ve felt that way at times. I must admit, I love food. I love to eat. I watch movies about food. I read about food. When I was reading “Eat, Pray, Love,” I celebrated the end of section #1 (set in Italy) with a bowl of pasta laced with butter, salt, and garlic. It was divine.
Then, there’s the flipside. Eating too much leaves me bloated and feeling like a sloth who should climb a tree to let the sun burn off the extra calories. But the worst – the absolute worst –is dieting. When I was on Atkins, carbs became my enemy. My thoughts rambled with ways to circumvent the malicious carb gang roaming the alleys of my world. How could I avoid them? How could I replace them? How could I not think about them? Or, when I followed the HCG diet with the special drops that were supposed to help me burn fat, then calories became my opponent. How could I beat the calorie game by consuming as few as possible while still feeling satisfied?
You probably know how all of these diets ended, but I’ll tell you anyway. Food won. No – there’s a better way to put it — rather, my heart won. I will always love food. That’s why, after I returned to “normal” eating (after binging on everything I had been depriving myself of), I gained the weight back, and then some. When I started my 100 pounds journey, I was the heaviest I’d ever been, despite my best efforts.
Unfortunately, there’s something even worse than gaining all of that weight back. It’s the messaging fueled by the diet/deprive/binge/guilt cycle. These messages used food as a reflection on my character. Whenever I ate a “bad” food that was not on the approved list, then I became “bad.” Whenever my stomach growled from hunger, and I had precious few calories left in my daily budget, I became “weak.” Whenever I admitted defeat and went running for the doughnut case, I became a “failure.” I may not have consciously labeled myself in these terms, but these messages brewed inside like a rancid cup of tea.
On my journey to lose 100 pounds in 1 year, I had to escape this vicious cycle. Even more than that, I had to find a way out of the “frenemy” tango with food. I had to transform food from feared foe to life-long friend. I started, rather accidentally, by reading “Women, Food, and God” by Geneen Roth. I’ve mentioned this book how many times now? Oh, well, I’ll always lift up this tome as the perfect starting point for someone in my situation. I was a woman. I loved food. And I loved God. Plus, Oprah loved it, so, duh!
Geneen Roth nailed me. She has stockpiled years of teaching women — not just overweight women like me, but all kinds of women – and described our nuanced relationships with food. She’s seen it all, and she’s way past the nicey-nice, cheerleader version of food advice you’ll find in most self-help books. She knows this is not a game for most of us. She understands the frenemy trap. And she knows the way out.
The way out of the frenemy cycle is through my heart. I love food. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe. So why not use that love, which supersedes short-term desire, as a friend instead of a foe? It made perfect sense. Except, to do this, I had to give up dieting. To me, dieting was synonymous with caring for myself. However, to follow Ms. Roth’s advice, I had to betray the idea that deprivation would work. I had to go against the grain of all the diet books, gurus, and programs. That’s tough love. Considering how much my mind and emotions had depended on diets to make me feel more beautiful, more desirable, and of more value, this was a tall order. How dare she ask me to give up dieting! I thought.
Then, she teased me. She told stories of how women became free to live in their love of food. She watched burdens lift; not just of physical weight but emotional weight, too. These unshackled women became lighter in their lives as well as their shoes. Once these women got the connection between their hearts and their plates, there was no holding them back. They became fueled by a new power source; running on high-octane love that burned hot and fast. They were on fire. It’s no wonder the subtitle of Ms. Roth’s book is, “An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.” Food, for people like me, is that powerful.
I’m beginning to see the light. Without rules about food, I’m free to enjoy every bite. I can eat when I’m hungry. I can feast when it’s time to celebrate. Those pernicious messages of “bad,” “weak,” and “failure,” are being replaced with “joyful,” “strong,” and “spunky.” When this starts to happen, diets become the true enemy. Oh, and did I mention, I’ve lost almost 50 pounds to boot?
When you download a 100 Pounds weight loss eGuide,
here’s what you enjoy…
“Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book on it or something.”
Is peace with food possible? Yes! Here’s practical ideas on how I stopped my fight with food. If you’ve ever imagined food as your enemy, then my story is for you. It’s a refreshing approach which honors our struggle and gives credence to our deep desire to relate to food in a healthy way. Learn how to ditch diet tricks and eat to thrive. $5