A NEW LEASE—on Life!
By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
Interview with Dilia de la Altagracia author of “The End of Diets – Healing Emotional Hunger”
What do you mean by ‘emotional hunger’?
Emotional hunger is using food to satisfy needs that are not being addressed in healthy ways.
The food fix is exhilarating, it seems to alleviate anxiety, loneliness, boredom, the blues. You name an emotion, there is a food that will temporary mitigate it.
Why do people yo-yo diet?
Short of eating plutonium, most people believe that the weight problem is about food: count calories, eat low-fat, don’t eat carbs. Every year there is THE new way of losing weight. I can attest unequivocally that if you stick to any one diet you will lose weight. But here is the conundrum – if you cope with life via food, i.e., you are an emotional eater, you won’t sustain any diet but for a few weeks. And the scientific fact is: after the diet ends you will weigh more than when you started. The cycle is then repeated. You are ashamed of yourself, you want to lose weight. There is a sexier, new diet that everyone is raving about, scores of compelling before and-after pictures and my God! this IS the solution…and onto another diet you go.
Have you had personal weight issues yourself?
Yes, after my ex-husband left me I gained 50 pounds, after 10 years of dieting I gained another 40 pounds. From 1993 to 2002 losing weight was my number one priority in life. I went on every major diet, hired personal trainers and took diet pills.
What exactly do you advocate in your book?
Stop being seduced by the newest marketing schemes. Own the paradox that all diets work, and yet none is a life-long solution. Releasing the weight entails addressing the root causes and building the emotional muscle that supports healthy living.
How is your program different from other weight loss programs?
Understanding an issue doesn’t change anything. We must develop the skills that truly eradicate emotional hunger. With that foundation there are many tools available: exercise programs, yoga, meditation, journaling, visualization. It’s about acquiring the proper tools that ensure long term weight loss. The ultimate journey is to self-knowledge which leads to self-advocacy and finally self-love.
People with weight issues have tried just about everything. What makes you think “The End of Diets – Healing Emotional Hunger” will succeed over the long haul?
Because it is not just another diet – it addresses the root issue of emotional hunger. I lived this life. I drove home after a 4,000 calories, 5-course meal plotting what I would eat once home.
When I developed the emotional muscle to deal with the ups and downs of life, I finally lost the weight.
(Ed. Note: Judit is the owner of Change of Pace Fitness Center in central Ajijic. She can be reached at 766-5800.)