|Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D.
Associate Clinical Professor , University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine
Director, Institute for Health Solutions
Author, The Pathway: Follow the Road to Health and Happiness
The Solutions: 6 Winning Ways to Permanent Weight Loss
The Shapedown Program
If you have been dieting, there is a good chance you have lost weight. Unfortunately, large numbers of successful dieters quickly regain the poundage. If you wish to maintain the weight you have lost without developing substitute excesses such as overspending, overworking, excessive drinking or smoking, you must satisfy the emotional hunger that causes people to overeat. To do this you need to master two basic skills – self-nurturing and setting effective limits. Self-nurturing is the ability to check our feelings and needs throughout the day in order to know and honor ourselves and better meet our needs. Setting effective limits is the skill of having reasonable expectations and following through with them. That enables us to take action and have more power and greater safety in our lives.
People who have mastered these two skills are far more likely to be healthy and happy. Learning them is not a quick fix and takes time. But, from the first moment you use them, you will begin to feel better and more satisfied. After these skills are used over and over again, they become integrated into our brains, and the changes are developmental, that is, we begin to feel as if we have a new life.
These are not new concepts. In fact, the essential elements of self-nurturing and setting limits have been part of the scientific literature since at least 1940. The problem is that the current methods used to help people lose weight, don’t involve these skills. So, people lose weight then regain it and begin to believe that they cannot solve their weight problems. They feel powerless and discouraged. All that is unnecessary.
Our patterns for self-nurturing and limits skills were implanted early in life in the feeling brain. The various healing methods for feeling better and turning off the drive to overeat, which are based on insight, knowledge, or analysis, are processed by the thinking brain. Unfortunately, they target the wrong part of our brain. So, we know what we should eat, but we can’t do it. The drives to overeat are too strong.
The Solution Method enables you to reach your feeling brain and retrain it will the skills of nurturing and limits. It’s just like learning to type. The more you practice it, the sooner the skills become automatic. When they do, your inner life naturally favors a life in which the whole range of excesses (not just overeating, but overspending, overworking, drinking too much and smoking) fades. What follows is nothing less than a personal transformation. But, it requires time – usually 18 months to master the basic skills. Group meetings, such as the support provided by the Buddy system, are key.
Until recently, most people were unaware of this method. That proved to be a blessing. It enabled us to study it in relative obscurity. We have been able to train thousands of people in this method.
While using The Solution, you will become aware that there are two worlds: the world above the line and the world below the line. With training, you pump your self-nurturing and limits skills so that you spend more of your day above the line or in a state in which you are emotionally balanced, spiritually connected and intimate with others. Moreover, the annoying drives that cause your excesses – what we call “external solutions” – fade. Life without the self-nurturing and limit setting skills forces you to spend too much time below the line. Life below the line keeps you out of balance. Your excesses flourish, and your life has few rewards.
There are a few explanations for why you lack these skills to nurture yourself and set limits. Modern life requires more skills. Earlier generations were faced with far fewer choices and a less changing society. Indeed, communities were more nurturing. Further, your parents may not have had the ability to teach you these skills. Because these skills are transmitted early in life and are harder to learn later in life, the legacy of imbalance is often perpetuated from one generation to another.
Self-nurturing and limits skills consist of clusters of questions that we ask ourselves over and over – until they become automatic.
The following are the questions for the nurturing skills:
How do I feel?
What do I need?
Do I need support?
The following are the questions for the limits skills:
Are my expectations reasonable?
Is my thinking positive and powerful?
What is the essential pain? What is the earned reward?
The questions posed by the nurturing cycle enable us to access our deepest
feelings. The limits cycle contains our feelings and helps them mature. The goal of the method is the interweaving of the skills. Initially, you use the skills intentionally. That moves us from an imbalanced state to one that is balanced.
It’s extraordinarily powerful to be at the grocery store, stuck in traffic or home alone with the refrigerator packed with food and know that all you have to do is reach for these skills, and, in a matter of moments, you can move yourself above the line. Your drive to overeat will fade. You’ll stop wanting the food. You’ll still enjoy it. But, food becomes just food, not a fix.
What’s more, the groups are fun. We use a buddy system and a warm and wonderful Internet community for support. (For more information, visit www.thepathway.org or contact The Institute for Health Solutions at 415-457-3331.)
Copyright © 2005, Weight Loss Buddy Press
We at www.WeightLossBuddy.com/lm are committed to helping you find a 24/7 buddy who will not only help you lose weight but who also will get you to change to a healthy lifestyle. You choose your own diet and your own exercise regime, and we find you a buddy who literally will stick with you through thick and thin. Signing up for a buddy is free. Simply go to www.WeightLossBuddy.com/lm
or call 1-877-BUDDY-UP.
About the author:
Joey Dweck is the founder and CEO of
Circulated by Article Emporium
Watch Online Articles with YouTube for Free: