Roger Gould, M.D.  

Specialties: Mental Health, Wellness, emotional eating

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3 Reasons You Won't Lose Weight

May 21, 2008 - 34 comments

3 Reasons You Won’t Lose Weight
Today we are going to discuss the three reasons you won't lose weight: an overpowering urge to binge, an intense hunger when you know the hunger is not for food, and a mind filled with thoughts about food or worries about weight.

The good news: once you learn to control the emotional eating that causes these three obstacles... well, then you can take off the weight -- and keep it off -- for good.

Last week, in the first of this series about emotional eating, I left you with the dilemma of the divided self. One part of you wants to control your weight by eating in a healthy way while the other part of you wants to hold onto food as a form of self medication. You have to resolve this dilemma before you can control your weight.

Why you eat too much

If you were in treatment with me we would have a conversation about this. I would ask you to explore why you eat too much by observing when you do that. I would have you ask yourself is it because you are bored, or frustrated, or depressed, or anxious, or is it because you are around your family or some other relationship and don't know how to handle your emotions?

But you are not my office and you do not need to be there in order to have a conversation with yourself about these critical issues. With some help you can do it yourself.

To be more accurate you need to have a conversation with many of the selves within you but for our purposes today let's just consider that you have two people inside the same skull. Both skull mates are competing to control how much your hand puts into your mouth.

If these two roommates don't talk to each other they will just alternate in control and you will be a yo-yo dieter. You will diet and lose weight and then your other self will take over and you will gain all the pounds back plus about 10%. You may do this for decades with only fat and frustration as your reward for the thousands of days of dieting deprivation. Wouldn't you be better off talking to your skull mate?

Stop making you binge

Of course you would... but you'll have to learn how to do that. You can't simply tell your skull mate to stop making you binge or eat too much. That part of you does not like to be told what to do and has no interest in giving up food as an emotional relief. That part of you has a mind of its own.

Here is something you should know about your skull mate. He or she won't talk to you in words at the beginning so you have to understand how he or she expresses herself. There are three signature expressions of emotional eating.

The first, is the overpowering urge to binge. It is a sure sign that you want to shut off your mind with food.

The second is an intense hunger when you know the hunger is not for food (you may have just finished a meal and are already physically full). This is a sure sign that you are feeling empty about something and are “emotionally” hungry.

The third is having a mind filled with thoughts about food or worries about weight. These are space occupying mental entities that distract you from thinking about what is really bothering you in life. These are boring repetitive thoughts that weigh down your mind.

This is the knowledge you need to start your conversation with yourself. Every time you feel or think one of these three ways, the other part of you is talking and taking over. Your first task is to observe this and try to understand what is going on within you. Even though you will need more tools to come to a full understanding, you can begin with this knowledge.

In the next part of this series I'll describe a technique you can use to go the next step in your conversation with yourself.

Dr. Roger Gould is one of the world's leading authorities on emotional eating and adult development. The board-certified psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and author, has pioneered the use of online therapy sessions focusing on weight loss and other issues. Dr. Gould is the founder of Shrink Yourself, a comprehensive program focused on emotional eating.

For more info and a FREE session, visit ShrinkYourself.com.

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by ladybug52, May 22, 2008
This series is fantastic.
Keep writing and both of me will be reading. I want my skull mate to go away. He snuck into my life about 8 yrs ago and I can't shake him.
Do you think anti-depressants contribute to weight loss? I started celexa about 8 yrs ago and am happier (calmer) but 30 lbs heavier.
Thank so much for the information you've provided.

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by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank, May 22, 2008
ladybug52...thanks for the comment..yes antidepressants effect weight gain but mostly because they help with the mood, but the challenges in your life that still need to be addressed...look at my site, shrinkyourself.com, and learn more about what you can do re that 30 lbs.

Avatar universal
by MexiMama, May 22, 2008
Hi Doc!  I am a 52 year old female who has started menopause.  I have gained 30 pounds in the last three years.  I do have two forces constantly but I don't binge, don't have intense "hunger" without being hungry,  and I don't have a mind full of worries about food and weight (too busy for that)!  I do work hard and long hours and feel like having a reward at the end of the day actually sitting at the table and eating a good meal with my family.  I don't feel I binge or eat excessively.  Weight has always been a problem for me.  The two forces seem to say "stay thin to stay healthy and fit into your clothes" the other says "relax and eat a good meal, you deserve it!".  I really don't think I am doing anything major to deserve this weight gain.

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by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank, May 23, 2008

There are many variations on the emotional eating theme.  What you describe is quite reasonable but you fail to take into account the effects of menopause.  In order to maintain  your weight you actually have to eat less than usual...it is too easy to put on 30 lbs or more, and just keep going up and up.  You  increase your chances of breast cancer with that added weight, along with several other chronic diseases.

Staying healthy and active is key to longer  and better life at this stage of life.  You do deserve a good meal with your family as a reward at end of the day....but what you eat and how much you eat will determine your weight, and if you have gained 30 lbs, you are simply eating too many calories. If you take in 100 calories more per day than you expend, you gain twelve pounds a day.  Go to my site, www.shrinkyourself.com, and learn more about emotional eating.

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by 888mom, May 24, 2008
I wanted to make a comment about my weight gain problems.  I had tried weight watchers and LA Weight loss, and just ended up throwing my money away because neither worked much.  It took going to a doctor for me to figure out what was wrong.  Turned out I was diabetic and had some vitamin deficiencies. She put me on metformin (diabetic medicine) and the weight started to come off.  She also started me on B5(pantothenic acid), B6, and B12 which got my energy levels up, so I could have more energy to excercise and put some more muscle mass on.  For me, I think it was all about my sugar levels.  So it wasn't the amount of calories that I was eating, it was the amount of carbs and I needed medication.  I still have a lot more weight to come off, but it's going in the down direction and my sugar levels, with medication and diet, are normal again.  My doctor also helped me figure out an exercise routine.  I have an autoimmune disease (seeing a rhumatologist), with joint pain issues, so I had always been afraid of going to the gym.  But we figured out things that I could do safely and pain free, to get me going. Excercise is good for diabetes and for anyone.  I also found out from my primary care physician that all the rounds of prednizone didn't help much for my weight either.  So, I'm trying to avoid it and use other medicines instead when possible.

I guess the point I wanted to make was, it's probably best if you have weight issues to consult your primary care physician.  You might have other issues that can be affecting your weight, or maybe not, but your doctor can help you get through them, or just help you set up a healthy diet and exercise program..

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by smittygirl, May 24, 2008
Dr. Gould,

Funny I just stumbled upon your thread today.  4 years ago I was a marathon runner/triathlete.  I am 5'8 and used to weigh around 138.  Today I am 190.  I was dx 4 years ago with Reactive Arthritis and now have Ankoylosing Spondylitis.  I work a lot and by the time I get home I don't feel like cooking ( live alone). The only healthy thing I do all day is fix myself a protein shake with flax oil every morning before work. Most days I skip lunch ( bad I know!) and dinner is hit or miss as well.  I don't eat at night or binge  I have been on Enbrel for 9 weeks now and my Dr. wants to change me over to Remicade.  I am also in the process of looking for a new rheumy, won't bore you with the details.  Aside from the pain of these diseases I just have absolutely no energy left by the end of my day, I force myself to take my dog for a 30 min. walk but never get my heart rate up to any kind of a good cardio workout.  Can you recommend any natural products that would help with my energy level so I can at least start to power walk and get back on my bike.  I am spending this holiday weekend coming up with an eating plan that will fit my lifestyle and be healthy.  Any strong feeling on the national weight loss centers ie WW or JC?    Glad I found your thread and will look at your web site.   Thanks for your time.


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by katebud, May 24, 2008
Thank you so much for your post, Dr. Gould!  

I am a 23 year old woman, and I started struggling with weight gain once I got into college at 18 years old.  Now I know the female body goes through lots of changes and challenges as it matures into an adult body, but I was already very healthy, muscular and althletic, weighing 140 lbs and a healthy size 9/10 in pants.  Over the course of the next 5 years, I have been able to maintain weight and size at times, but now find myself at 188 lbs and a size 14.  I do not look bad (thanks to my hourglass figure!) but am not completely comfortable with all the risks carrying extra weight brings on.  I am a newlywed, and we would like to start trying for children soon.  I understand that having extra weight can increase fertility issues, predisposes children to being obese later in life, etc.  Not to mention the risks to myself!

I have signed up for your articles on shrinkyourself.com, and have found lots of hope in them.  
It seems that I fight with myself constantly about food and my body image, putting myself on restricted diets only to gain the weight back the next menstrual cycle ( you ladies know what I mean!).  The urge to binge does not go away just wishing it away.  
I have thought about it and meditated on why I was so thin in my earlier days, even though I ate a normal amount of food.  
I have come to a few conclusions:
I was buisier, and did not get bored as easily;  in love with life, I pushed myself to explore more aspects of it, such as running, hiking, walking with my friends outside as our "hang out time," rode my bike to feel the wind on my face, playing piano and singing, writing music and poetry and journaling constantly.  Church activities and involvment (I did these on my own volition) and school activities also were priorities, as well as helping out around the house.
Now, looking back, I notice that I don't do a lot of the things that bring me fulfillment.  I do believe it is the ups and downs of life (especially as a newly wed and adjusting to marriage), and finishing college, etc, that have contributed to a growing depression and avoidance of dealing with things in my life.  When I used to explore my emotions and resolve things on my own, I now see myself as just being over emotional and "hungry" with out really knowing why, exept for the small notice that I do not do things I know that I love and excel at.  
What I am doing to deal with my life :) is to just run full bore back into the activites of my youth (I am painfully aware that I am very young still), and incorporate them with my new life.  I do enjoy life currently, I just don't make time to evaluate it like I used to, and am turning to other things to cover up that need I have, such as emotional eating and other unfortunate activities.   :(

This post and the articles have come at the right time in life for me-I could not have planned this to work more perfectly, and I know God has orchestrated it all.  

Thank you again,


P.S. I will be buying your book and sharing it with my sister in law.  :)

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by meki, May 25, 2008

Have you ever run across someone who was fairly well mentally balanced - but had no feeling of "fullness"?

I don't feel full --- EVER.

I've even tested this out with all you can eat buffets --- etc. I just don't get that "satisfied, full tummy, feeling".

I need to lose about 30 lbs - I'll admit the last 4 years have been difficult on me, HCV diagnosis (with no risk factors), treatment and now being diagnosed (in the process of it) with fibromyalgia --- or some sort of neuropathic pains. I'm pre-hyperglycemic.

I don't crave sweets --- but I do go on "AUTO-PILOT" eating with crackers, chips or salty-crunchy things which I do crave a lot.

So --- would you have any suggestions about how to tell my other self in my brain to stop putting the chips to the mouth --- or any good feedback with how to make myself eat better/less ---- or how to "feel full"?

I don't know if that sounds strange or not --- but I'd like to feel full after a handful of chips - instead of seeing the bottom of the bag and still feeling empty in my stomach - as if I haven't eaten anything at all.


Avatar universal
by catfeehely, May 26, 2008
I am 53 yrs. old and have lost large amounts of weight at least 4- 5 times.  The last weight loss was 140 lbs. and I thought I had it under control.  And I did for at least 2 yrs.  My metabolism is extremely slow.  I am very carb sensitive.  At the age of 50, I began a serious bout with menopause and changed my lifestyle with a new partner.  I have gained 70 lbs. and have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  My mom past away last June from complications of diabetes.  Bad diet and the lack of will to make the changes necessary to stay healthy.  Over the past two years, I have worked with a personal trainer using a healthy balanced diet.  No weight loss.  Joined a medically supervised diet clinic with a strict low calorie, low carb diet-there was great weight loss with no life.  The bottom line here is my attitude.  I am tired of battling with my weight, tired of dieting and fighting the urges to eat or even worse have a social drink at the end of the week.  And too tired and lazy to put the effort in to ensure that the food or lack thereof I need to eat is available.  It's easier to pick up from the fast food isle.  Also, with my new partner eating all types of food is something we share together which consists of carbs and eating late because of his work. Anyway, I know my eating is emotional based but it is more due to a lack of motivation, tiredness and a feeling that I can't just be normal and not have to worry about everything I put in my mouth or not put in my mouth.  I suppose I am angry as well.

Avatar universal
by caudas, May 26, 2008
Lots of good tips including checking with family doctor.  I would just add that I believe what a person eats determines how much a person eats.  Thus, if you are eating the wrong things, it is almost impossible to control calories.  Sensible exercise appropriate for age and health can also be a great aid in increasing calories burned and controlling appetite.  I would suggest that anyone concerned with their weight develop a disciplined approach to regularly read nonfiction books on diet and nutrition.  If you do this, then it will help you spot things in your diet that are wrecking your ability to lose weight.  



Avatar universal
by missbrownsugar, May 26, 2008
Very interesting information.  I am a 58 year old woman who is overweight, but not on any meds and occasionally have elevated blood pressure.  I recently started belly dancing to work off the belly fat.  It is working.  However, sometimes I get lazy and not want to exercise.  I also walk.  I sometimes crave sugar.  I crave ice cream and cookies, but it's a once a month binge.  Sometimes I get really hungry and sometimes I can go for long periods with no food.  I think it is all phycological and I just need to tell that other person in my brain to sit down and leave me alone.  

Thanks you for your article.  I will check out your website.

Thanks again,
Missbrownsugar in Texas    

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by katarina777, May 27, 2008
I do understand the concept of 'split self', and even having 'multiple personalities', or 'family problems' within.  But, it is quite normal for one whole person to feel ambivalent, and have different wishes and needs going on at the same time, too, right?  Using an example from above, I may want to be thin and healthy, but I also have the need to self medicate with food to handle my emotional problems. I may wish I did not have to do this, but unfortunately I may not have that choice. I may even be aware of the conflicts at hand, but this insight does not seem to impress anyone either the different parts, of the I who has different needs. Understanding, even wisdom, don't seem to have much influence over my actions. They happen in a parallel fashion but do not overlap. Just wondering.

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by katebud, May 27, 2008
Hi Katarina777,
I think a desire to be healthy and thin has to out weight the desire to self medicate with food.  There are other ways of self medicating, like going on a short walk.  A lot of times, replacing a physical action with a healthy physical action is the key to keeping motivated, even when things are at their hardest.
I don't know if you've ever hear this, but some say to never spank or punish children when one is angry with them, but to deal with it when you've calmed down, so that the child knows that you are not doing something out of blind emotion, but that they see your true intent, to guide them to do the right thing the next time.  I think one could make a parallel argument about eating; never eat when you are upset and feel a desire to "self medicate."  Do an alternate activity (such as going on a short walk, reading a book, talking on the phone, etc).  And then return to eating when it is meal time AND you are genuinly hungry.

It is good for people to be at a crisis point in their lives in order to start breaking bad habits/turning over new leafs that stick in place.  Sometimes you have to bring yourself to that place or have an epiphany while mulling things over.  I think it was Oprah who found that at her heaviest, she had honey packets and frozen hot dog buns, and she was scarfing them down, when she realized something had to change (you may want to verify this story somewhere, I just recall it from a memory of something I heard about her).  
Basically, she found herself in that place, where everything about eating became unhealthy for her because of how she was abusing her body.  It's no different than abusing a different person outside of yourself, but (selfishly) worse, since you have to live in that body.  You do not get a second one.  Medicine has not invented a way to give you a new body, and damage can be irreparable.  :(

The choice IS ultimately yours, and to change a previous decision, you have to ACT  and DO SOMETHING.  Wishing and ambivalence and wisdom are no good unless you ACT to change that which you desire most to change.  What one most desires to do about themselves is generally what they do.  
I hope this has been helpful a little at least.
I wish you much energy in your actions to change, if that is your desire.  

Avatar universal
by gjabouri, May 27, 2008

While it is true that probably everyone has Good vs. Evil diet entities in their heads, I would also suggest that when you can't stop eating or "just don't feel full yet" it can also be that you did not eat (yet) what your body really needs. I was on a low-fat diet for a while, but ended up eating "a snack" after about an hour or so after eating the perfectly portioned meal. I realized that I need to eat some kind of protein with every meal/snack to feel full and not feel "hungry" after a short while. A good book to read on this subject is "The Metabolic Typing Diet" by Wolcott - it has helped me tremendously.

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by katarina777, May 27, 2008
Dear Katebud,

Thanks for your excellent comment.  I have been thinking, that my question in terms of what Dr. Gould explains, is where to draw the line between emotional compensation with food, and clear down addiction to and/food or other substances. In my mind, it is difficult to talk with an addiction, and the addiction is always stronger than any other voice, no matter how reasonable, and begging, and wanting.

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by katarina777, May 27, 2008
PS:  And I no longer have an eating disorder, and have not had for close to 18 years. For me, this was cured with having my first child.  It stopped when I became passionate about something/someone else, and this became a lot more important that food, or my looks and weight. As a result, I became much better looking, and healthier. But then, over the years, other addictions have come and go, and it was never any therapy, or anything I consciously did that stopped the addiction.  On the contrary, therapy made it worse, and focusing so much on myself.

This of course is my own experience, and I am not interested in condemning therapy. I very much appreciate what Dr. Gould has to offer, and I am interested in his success with clients.

Avatar universal
by Scosa, May 28, 2008
Interesting article. My query is if the skull mate has been in the drivers seat for many years, what the best way to get control back of your mind?
Thanks for your time.

Avatar universal
by Ryans_Mom, May 28, 2008
Dr. Gould, I'm sure you have addressed this topic many times over but I am a newbie to this sight and I found you before I found anything else.  

Eight yrs ago, I was a very healthy size 4-6.  I ran 4 miles a day, ate extremely healthy and loved life.  I loved life until my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away four months to the day from his diagnosis date.  That event started a severe decline in me emotionally and physically.  I was in a very deep depression and did not work for a year after his passing.  I went through the whole thing of not getting out of bed except only to go to the restroom and occasionally get something to drink. I've been on so many different anti-depressants and anxiety meds that I couldn't list them all.  I've leveled out somewhat on the depression but continue to take meds daily.  I had some weight gain during that first year just from sheer starvation/no excercise.

In 2005, I had a hysterectomy, leaving one ovary.  I thought this would be a good thing, leaving one ovary.  I'm finding that it didn't really matter much now.  My weight has skyrocketed!  I feel like I'm having an out of body experience.  This isn't me.  I've never been out of control.  I cry about the weight.  I have stopped going out and enjoying things like shopping or even just going to the grocery store.  I've removed myself from family functions.  I know people look at me and think what the hell happened to her?  I now am on meds for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.  Still taking meds for depression, anxiety and insomnia.

I'm very aware that I've become an emotional eater.  When I feel bad, eating makes me feel better.  Carbs and sugar are my best friend.  It's all about comfort foods for me.  But when I do eat like that, I'm very aware that I'm trying to comfort the part of me that wants to be "normal" again, even though its doing the opposite.  I'm at a total loss of what to do.  Are there no natural/homeopathic supplements that can possibly at least get me jump started?  

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by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank, May 29, 2008
Ryans mother....

There isn't any medication that can help you learn how to handle your own emotions, and thoughts.  That is the problem...you use food to shut off your mind, and food has become your friend for moments, and then turns into your enemy.  You can, and you have to, learn better ways of conducting your life than avoidance and tranquilizing yourself with food to cover up your sense of failure.  the only way to help yourself is work this out..not with antidepressants but either with therapy or with something like I describe in my book, or my online program at www.shrinkyourself.com.  do the work, you will be surprised.

Avatar universal
by homesick_gypsy, May 29, 2008
Dr. Gould,

I've been to two different psychiatrists to learn to deal with my emotional eating, and learn alternate ways to comfort myself and deal with the emotions.  They both told me that the key is to get my life the way I want it.  Once I get my life the way I want it, they say, the weight will come off by itself.  But then they won't help me figure out how to get my life the way I want it.  I'm willing to do the hard work, the shoveling, but I need guidance as to where to dig - back yard, front yard, etc.  Figuring it out on my own hasn't happened, even though I've made some progress.  By the time I figure it out on my own, I'll be dead from old age or, if I don't lose weight, from a heart attack.

And isn't that something of a cop-out - to "get my life like I want it"?  Does anyone ever have their life just the way they want it?  We all have to make compromises and learn to deal with issues.  Thanks, HG

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by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank, May 29, 2008
homesick gypsy

You never can get there for very long...I agree..but you can find a way of dealing with your emotions that are better than using food to shut down...I have the method for you...go to www.shrinkyourself.com, check out the online program and the video about it...it has worked for others who were in the exact same position you are in...it requires a special line of therapeutic thought to get there, and that is what we do in the  twelve sessions..most psychiatrists have not yet been trained in this new  method.

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by Debz123, May 29, 2008
Hi there Doc
can epilepsy meds contribute, to weight gain, im on tegrotol and eilplim

Avatar universal
by jakesbride110, May 30, 2008
Dr. Gould

Why is it that when you get married you gain weight? I lived with my boyfriend for a little over a year before we got married. I'm 22 years old now and last year I weighed 123 pounds, I weighed 137 a year later! I've lost lost 4 pounds and currently weigh 133. I can't keep going like this. I don't view myself as over weight at this point but I really want to stay in shape for my husband just as much as for myself. I always ate what I wanted when I wanted, I would eat at least one or two late night snacks! During the day I ate fast food and sweets whenever I wanted, and still stayed thin. I didn't start gaining weight until I got married. My relationship with my husband is the same except that new feeling is gone which happens to everyone after a while. We are still great friends and do everything together. I am trying really hard to eat healthier and I'm slowly losing weight. So why did I start to gain weight once I got married? I mean nothings changed from the moment we moved in together to now! I really wish that I could understand better so that I can fix this problem.

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by joanna1986, May 30, 2008
Dear Doctor,

I am 22 years old and I weigh 75 kilos..I think that is overweight! I suffer from high blood pressure since I was 12. Now I've made a point that I should start a diet, infact, I started eating salads and avoid fats but I am really finding it difficult because I am always feeling dizzy and having lots of headaches. Can you please give me a list of what I should eat? I cannot add salt to my diet because of my pressure. I did several blood tests, including hormone tests (CBC, FSH and LH test) but I am still waiting for the results. I also made some ultrasound test and ECG monitoring but everything seems to be OK. The doctors think that it's hereditary because my mom has high blood pressure as well. Do you think that I am overweight because of my blood pressure/irregular hormones? Thanks alot.

Joanna Sultana

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by joanna1986, May 30, 2008
Sorry for posting again but I forgot to ask something! What I cannot understand is that most of my friends eat alot of fast food like Pizza and burgers but they seem to keep fit. Why is this happening to me? Do I have slow metabolism? How can I make my metabolism work faster? I usually eat crackers at around 11am and eat salad at around 1pm. In the evening, I usually eat 2 pieces of toast or nothing..depends if I'm hungry or not! Am I doing the right thing? I have to admit that I won't have time to exercise but sometimes I'll go for a 2 hour walk. What shall I do to start feeling good and happy with my figure? Thanks once again!

Joanna Sultana

Avatar universal
by Sandy1976, May 30, 2008
I am a 31 year old woman with a real problem...  I was in therapy for 2 years, nearly 3 years ago.  I was dealing with issues from my childhood and managed to get some things sorted in that time - we started to touch on my weight and the sessions stopped as I emmigrated.  I have about 4 different "me's" that all effect me in a different way..  I cant seem to deal with my eating and feel very depressed and HUGE at the moment...

After I binge eat I feel so bloated and my throat feels like it is closing off and i feel numb... I have dealt with so many things in my life that I know I can deal with this but feel so helpless and out of control of my own body - I seem to have programmed myself and even though I am aware I am not really hungry I still grab foo din pri0vate and eat till I feel worse...

Please can you help me - my therapist started to touch on the subject and advidsed me to sit with the feeling when I feel hungry and that it will pass - how do I do that though?  When I have the urge it is so strong but so depressing..

Here's hoping

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by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank, May 30, 2008
This is a comment for everyone who has responded to this last  blog entry.  Thank you for taking the time to ask your questions and describe your situation.  There are some common themes here.  Most of you describe and understand your emotional eating patterns quite well, including the conflict between your.desire and need to be at a healthy weight and your desire and need to continue eating in the way that you have been as a kind of compulsion and self-medication.  You each ask, in your own way, what can possibly help?  You've tried so many things that don't work for very long and even when they do you go back to the old ways when life throws you a curve.  One of you even mentioned that being married has its own stresses and can be a very important cause of weight gain.  Others mentioned medication which causes weight gain and the changing metabolism around the time of menopause.

This is all true.  These are the kinds of things that trigger weight gain.  But what stops you from mastering these things and being able to control your weight despite these things is the fact that you feel defeated and no longer believe you can help yourself or that you can be helped by anybody else.  When that happens, you retreat to the familiar remedy which doesn't work.  You start looking at and asking me what you should eat because you stop thinking about Why you're eating.  Although nutritional information is important and contributes to your weight control success, it's not the key to controlling your weight.  The key to controlling your weight is learning a new way to control your emotions, and especially the emotions that occur during transitions in your life and when you are under a great deal of stress.  That is your challenge.

You simply cannot learn how to do that overnight.  Even a good therapist may not be able to help you do that because most do not understand the many layers of emotional eating conflict because that is not their specialty.  You have to sort this out piece by piece and step by step and that is why I created the shrinkyourself program and wrote the shrinkyourself book.  It is a process in which you can reach the goal but you will have to put in effort and there are times when you will have to struggle.  At the end it is worth it.  Even if you have diabetes now, the loss of weight can actually make the diabetes go away or diminish the need for  medication.

I want to  leave you with a clear understanding that despite your specific situation you all share the same struggle, and that is to learn how to think and understand yourself better so you don't have to use food to shut off your mind.  It can be done, but it is a process.  It's not what you eat but why you eat.  Once you have become an emotional eater, there is only one way to lose weight and keep it off, and that is to break that very destructive eating habit.

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by madgeOwens, Jun 01, 2008
ok now after reading all of this.I am hungry! hahahaha sheesh

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by abobaker, Jan 04, 2009
iam talking a lot and i dont know how could i gain weight by this size.and also i do misturbution tell me what to do .

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by Klairtemp, Mar 23, 2009
Hello Dr.,

I have a very perplexing problem and it is driving me crazy.
I eat a very healthy, balanced diet.  I exercise 5 days a week (3 days with a trainer).
I have gained 80 lbs... i cannot explain the weight gain.
The doctors are baffled, I know that they originally thought it was thyroid - though my tsh levels are in the normal range, my t3/t4 conversion is off.  Nothing i have tried to correct it has worked.  I am so upset because I don't liek the way I look... as well, i'm trying to get pregnant and i don't wish to be 80 lbs overweight.  Please help...?


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by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank, Mar 26, 2009
Hi Klair,

There are two things you might want to consider.

1. One is that it can take a while of consistently adopting new habits before you see a change. Take a look at this blog on my website. It's called I’m Doing Everything Right: Why Is the Scale Stuck on the Same Number?

2. Perhaps you should consider seeking out a naturopathic medical doctor. Have them check your thyroid antibodies. If you do indeed have difficulty converting T4 to T3 (usable thyroid hormone), your TSH could be normal but your body could still not be absorbing it. Do you have other symptoms of hypothryoidism? If so, consider finding a doctor that might be open to giving you a T3 supplement (Cytomel).

I hope something here helps. Best of luck.

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by caryl8, Apr 04, 2010
   I have a really terrible marriage- could this be the reason I've gained so much?

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by Hornygoat14, Mar 07, 2011

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by mariofarhat, Mar 18, 2012
Hey doc I am 16 yo boy and I am 100 kilos and about 1.78 m tall I think I eat when I get bored and I only notice this after I eat not while eating,other than emotionaly eating when I see fast food like burgers or frys I just can't help eating ,+ I don't make any kind of sports I dnt want it to be too late for me cz they say after 18 its really hard to loose weight no matter how much I tryed my mind ignors everything and I just eat even if I knw its wrong

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