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Pairing Generic Faith With Compulsive Overeating Can Bring About A Viable Approach To Food Addiction

Aug 17, 2007
We read a lot about how to beat compulsive overeating, yet in those we know with this baffling condition, we see more of the "accordion effect" than any permanent resolution of obesity.

It's become common knowledge that dieting doesn't work, has lasting ill effects and supports weight gain in the long run. Still, new diets and Diet Gurus surface on a regular basis. It's clear that the afflicted don't want to give up and probably shouldn't...so we have a huge industry around this complex problem.

Every once in a while we come across someone who has made it. The weight is off and has stayed off. What's confusing is the "magic" that worked for one person is seldom what saved the next. And for most, there is no "magic."

Groups that include a spiritual component have worked for some, but not all. A look at other groups suggests that shaming sometimes works. Weighing in front of everyone may support a temporarily slimming-down out of embarrassment. The operative word is "temporary." One company even makes all your meals for you, asking for, but seldom getting, compliance.

Weight loss seminars are often well attended but not widely productive regarding any lasting effects. One plan advises a system designed to listen to our bodies and what they want, not our minds, or more likely our emotions. There's also a plan where we can learn to love ourselves and thus end the search for love in all the wrong places, especially grocery stores and restaurants. A well-known nutritionist touts healthy eating as the way out of the chemical dangers and addictions caused by refined sugar, preservatives, pesticides and hormones.

Diet pills of every variety, both over the counter and prescriptive, have failed miserably for the majority of those spending billions on them. The now infamous Fen Phen, still buried in independent lawsuits as well as class action suits, was lethal for some and fatal for others. Pills that actually do no harm, work sometimes via the placebo effect, but they seldom offer a long-term solution.

A new approach is starting to take shape by word of mouth and is being seriously considered by many who have tried everything else and failed. It has to do with what is described as "Generic Faith"...(to separate it from the faith concepts of religious sectarianism.) It defines Faith as simply "relying on what lies beyond logic and limitation."

The premise of this plan sounds quite simple...but it's not necessarily easy to follow, initially. When compulsion descends most people describe it as so compelling that all resolve and reason disappear. People say they actually feel they will die if they don't get their "fix", whatever that food might be at the moment. It makes no difference that their logic tells them that won't happen...it feels like it will and they're overwhelmed.

Where Faith comes in is in working with an affirmation. The afflicted affirm that they have the Faith at that exact moment that they will survive if they don't get their treat. For many, this is working surprisingly well. If the craving returns, they repeat the proces stating that they really believe, have Faith, that they can pass on what their bodies are screaming for and live to tell the tale.

As this catches on, we will see what the track records are. At first glance, it sounds like a very personal approach that doesn't require groups, books, seminars, pills or even prayer in the common sense of the word. Everyone knows, intellectually, that passing on a treat won't cause death, but it seems to be the "degree of Faith" involved in making the affirmation that evokes success, not rational thought.

The Faith Plan certainly is a moment-to-moment thing. Yet those who are practicing it say it gets easier and easier. That's the direct opposite of the standard experience of denial, which usually becomes harder and harder...then, impossible. So, here's hoping!
About the Author
Luise Volta's life has included careers in nursing, teaching pre-school, interior design, Real Estate sales, insurance adjusting, and dairy herd testing. Visit for Nutrition and Health.
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