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Monday, January 5, 2009

ViewPoint Inspired - Advice on Eating Habits

Mitch Darnell offers advice on personal matters to readers. Contact Mitch with your questions via e-mail at

Dear Mitch,

Recently I've been spending way too much time thinking about my eating habits. I would say that, in general, I'm a pretty healthy eater. I don't eat fast food, drink soda, or consume sugar or (much) artificial sweetener. I keep my portions under control and try to stay away from any fried or processed food while sticking mostly to fish, salads, sushi, etc. The only negative things I can pinpoint about my diet are that I often have to pass on breakfast (I'm ALWAYS running late) and I often work till midnight or later at my job so I either don't eat dinner or eat really late.

Lately, I've been feeling really guilty every time I eat. I know that I'm trying to eat as healthy as I can, but I just get this unexplainable guilt that's telling me that I'm eating too much even when I know I'm not. I start to feel like I'm going to gain weight, and at times feel like I have gained weight (when in reality I haven't). I live a very active lifestyle, work out pretty regularly, and am in good shape so WHY am I feeling like this all the time? Is this normal and or healthy, and if not how can I change my attitude?

Good ‘N Guilty
Granite Bay
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Hey Good,

“Don't let love interfere with your appetite. It never does with mine!” – Anthony Trollope

The fact that you’re reaching out to get information says to me you’re a pretty healthy person! Meanwhile, MANY of us have conflicting relationships with food!!

I’m not a food issues specialist. Meanwhile, I certainly can relate to the many stories we all hear and repeat about food, like: “eating too much” or “too little”… “dieting”… and, well, about 10,000 other narratives…

To be honest, your story sounds like a pretty “normal” person dealing with life’s stress and challenges. In the meantime…

º If’s there’s any possibility of this being a serious, health and/or life-threatening issue, definitely contact your doctor immediately. For examples, if…

∙ Those who love you have expressed relevant genuine concern - the key being “genuine
concern”. Many people declare “concerns” which are really fear-based thoughts that may have
no bearing on your own reality and/or are truly expressions of other agendas (such as a need to
criticize others, or to be a caretaker, or….).

∙ Your weight “yo-yos” or has taken an extreme loss or increase – Note: A doctor can tell you what is “extreme” – of concern.

∙ You have eating-related habits which concern you or loving family or friends.

These are all situations which should be brought to your doctor’s attention. If she/he sees a need to provide you with direction and/or resources for “help”, perhaps you’re on track to gain some control over something that’s not working well for you.

Meanwhile, your doctor is a trained professional with his/her own subjective opinion. He/she can be a good resource, but you’re best advocate is your own self. Research is very easy today via the internet. Just know that no two persons’ experiences are the same. What may sound like “my situation” may really be a projection of another’s challenges!

Your question is about guilt feelings “every time (you) eat”. That’s a bummer… And your answer(s) may come from a variety of areas…

º Some people experience symptoms of childhood-based messages. These messages may
subside in our subconscious for years, suddenly revealing themselves in response to unknown
triggers. Common “triggers” may include:

¤ Reaching a certain age – such as the age at which a parent experienced something
apparently relevant to food, eating, lifestyle habits…

¤ Entering a specific life stage – such as the age at which a parent experienced… (like the
age item, above)…

¤ Experiencing a “normal” biological or psychological activity or challenge – you know,
like a child moving, job change, aging, injury, someone’s pregnancy, winning a
drawing… It’s amazing how many otherwise innocuous, or seemingly unrelated
experiences can be psychosomatically connected to eating symptoms.

¤ Experiencing life’s increasing stressors! Your lifestyle sounds like almost everyone
nowadays… Trying to “keep up” just to “maintain”. Our hyper data-overload lives
(24/7 bombardment from the internet & cellphones) are commanding our resources,
leaving most of us with little or no feelings of control over our lifestyle behaviors and

∞ SPECIAL NOTE: The fact that, “…almost 70% of our corn, 90% of our soy and 75% of our processed food now contain neurotoxins, novel proteins and allergens” can mean psycho-emotional responses could result from these facts! What we eat dramatically affects our entire being!
(Quote source:

You sound like someone who strives to be responsible… probably are handling an ever-increasing load of responsibilities… and might be a bit overwhelmed?!... Possibly even feeling a bit “out of touch” with your own self! Mix in a dose of guilt for being imperfect, and the myriad of conflicting stories about what’s “good” and “bad” to eat…

Anyone out there who never feels inadequate and ineffective sometimes?! If so, you are a guru!

◊ Your life is a marathon. Consider the possibility that you can maintain an awareness
which allows you to define your current lifestyle as a “stage” … And that you can set goals
for your next stage(s) which honor how you’d like to live your life overall during this

◊ Some good habits (like daily deep breathing and drinking lots of water) can reduce some
of the consequences of stress and/or poor life habits.

◊ How would you feel if one of your friends or family members were saying exactly what
you’re declaring. What might you tell him or her… particularly about their value as a
human being?

◊ As Mr. Trollope said, “ Don't let love interfere with your appetite”. While that’s a
humorous proclamation, there is a nugget there. How does your search for love
and/or acceptance relate to food? Any connection with your deeper desires and needs?

¤ Perhaps it’s time to develop a new relationship with eating and food. Some options…

◊ - “Our Intimate Relationship With
Food” – great articles.

◊ Dr. Jim Donoghue, a uniquely integrous, empowering Chiropractor here in
Sacramento is always a great resource! Contact him: 916/486.2663. His Clinic
(“Advantage Chirocare”) is at: 2410 Fair Oaks Blvd., #226, Sacto., 95825!

◊ Summit Eating Disorders & Outreach Program:

Using any illicit drugs is almost a sure ticket to mind-body-spirit problems. Concurrently, over-the-counter or prescription drugs can trigger uncomfortable or even dangerous emotions and/or physical symptoms .

As I noted earlier, do your research and know that no one will care for yourself as well as you can... As long as you allow yourself to be imperfect, appreciate the stress load you’re carrying in life, and love yourself for being one of God’s children… as you are.

Namasté ~