Overcoming Regain & Food Addiction

Become Your Best Authentic Self

Two of my least favorite words when it comes to weight loss programs are “behavior modification.” Don’t get me wrong. I realize that a number of behaviors likely need to be modified in order for a person to lose weight. However, my thought is that if changing behaviors was enough to get one’s weight off and keep it off, then there would be no such thing as regain. Although behavior modifications (think “eat less, move more”) are essential to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, for many people, they are not sufficient. And that is why I do what I do.

Addiction is a mind-body-spirit disease, one that I am afflicted with and one that I have been in recovery from since 1989. If you have a food addiction, then no traditional “diet” is ever going to be sufficient for you. Recovery requires abstinence. For most food addicts, that translates to no added sugar and no flour.

It’s important to me that people do not equate the word “addict” with any sort of personal shortcoming or character flaw. Addiction is a biological disease, no different from diabetes, cancer, or obesity. We cannot “cure” these diseases, but we can, in the case of addiction, put it into remission through healthy behaviors.

We all know that being able to lose weight is one thing, but keeping the weight off is quite another! So many people engage in “yo-yo dieting” and, in many cases, do so for years. Weight regain is frustrating, discouraging, disheartening, and downright depressing. Weight issues are complicated, like the relationship status of most people! There are so many factors that influence weight and the propensity for weight regain.

Throughout this retreat, although we enumerate what the factors are that cause weight gain and regain, we focus on those we can influence. In addition, we look back over time to help identify patterns so that we can develop plans to prevent the same old, same old.

Using a variety of therapies, the goals of this FAIR & FIRM Retreat include:

  • identifying the non-medical issues that can influence behaviors that result in weight regain (self-esteem, self-talk, automatic thoughts/behaviors, the interactions between thoughts/feelings/behaviors, trauma, family of origin issues, addictions)

  • moving beyond “behavior modification” to addressing the aforementioned non-medical issues

  • incorporating knowledge of how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors impact eating behaviors

  • utilizing breathing skills, relaxation tools, mindfulness skills, and visualization as tools to remain on a healthy eating routine every day

  • exploring and improving the relationships we have with food and with ourselves as a way of learning to use food as enjoyable fuel for our bodies

  • implementing the Gotta Do Em’s for sustaining a healthy weight

  • learning to implement Dr. Stapleton’s 4 ACES to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent weight regain

  • learning about the disease of addiction and identifying your personal (possible) predispositions to addiction and/or circumstances leading you toward addiction

  • accepting the fact that dealing with addiction requires daily efforts

  • learning coping skills to deal with stress, a leading cause of unhealthy, mindless eating, as healing our unhealthy habits related to food consumption are essential along with treating our addiction(s)

  • learning positive self-talk to promote and encourage a healing relationship with self, the underlying issue (as far as I’m concerned) related to the emotional/spiritual healing from addiction (which leads to physical healing)