Saturday, June 1, 2013

... manila bulletin: weighing in on obesity (life coach, counselor, psychotherapist, clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, osteopath, quezon city, manila, philippines)

Weighing in on obesity

By Randy Dellosa, MD
Published: May 14, 2013

People have both positive and 
negative impressions of obese 
people. On the positive side, obese 
people are considered jolly, cute 
and huggable, or wealthy. On the 
negative side, obese people are 
treated as the butt of jokes, 
perceived as slow and lazy, and 
at worst, considered to be lacking 
in self-control and discipline. 

Some obese people are triggered to 
eat by positive emotions such as 
when they feel happy, when they 
want to celebrate or reward 
themselves, when they relax in front 
of the TV set or computer, or when 
they socialize.  Others are triggered 
to eat by negative emotions such as 
boredom, sadness, loneliness, worry, 
anger, frustration, or stress.  
Whatever the emotional state obese 
people are in, most will admit that 
they binge because they enjoy the 
taste of food and the sensation of 
having a mouthful of food.

Obese people go through a vicious 
cycle of comfort eating. Whenever 
they feel bad, obese people comfort 
or distract themselves by eating 
food.  This makes them gain more 
weight, thus adding to the original 
frustration, self-disgust, or 
disappointment. Feeling emotionally 
worse perpetuates the never-ending 
cycles of comfort eating.  When 
comfort eating becomes automatic 
and repetitive behaviour, it turns into 
what is known as ‘mindless’ eating.  

Obese people are generally self-
conscious, especially of their tummy, 
thighs, neck and chin.  Many obese 
people have poor body image and 
thus suffer from low self-esteem, 
self-disgust, or even self-hatred. 
Obese people are also prone to major 
depression, anxiety disorders, abuse 
of substances that increase 
metabolism such as diuretics or 
laxatives, and bulimia nervosa 
wherein they purge what they’ve 
just eaten. 

Practically all aspects of life are 
affected by their obesity. For 
instance, they may suffer 
discrimination at work. They can’t 
enjoy or engage in activities which 
most people take for granted such 
as riding jeepneys or buses, 
entering small comfort room 
cubicles, going to movies, or buying 
clothes off the rack). Obese people 
who are single get worried that they 
might not be able to find a lifetime 
partner. And for the obese people 
who are in relationship, even their 
sex lives suffer. For instance, they 
are afraid that they might crush or 
suffocate their partner during their 
intimate moment, that they can’t 
perform the sexual acrobatics which 
slimmer people enjoy, or that they 
might kill the sex urge of their 
partner as soon as they get naked.

Short of bariatric surgery and fad 
diets, what obese people need is a 
well-thought-out strategic plan.  
Obese people must first of all 
identify their specific foods of 
abuse.  Contrary to popular belief, 
it’s not junk food that is the primary 
culprit for obesity but delicious 
viands (e.g., kaldereta, kare-kare, 
crispy pata, lechon, fried chicken 
with gravy, etc.) which makes 
Filipinos eat tons of rice.  These 
foods of abuse must be avoided 
at all cost. Obese people must 
also identify the situations (family 
gatherings, socials, watching TV, 
etc.) and the time of day (big 
breakfast or lunch, the midnight 
meal) that make them vulnerable 
to overeating.  And lastly, they 
need to correct the attitudes that 
promote overeating (e.g. ‘I must 
eat all the left-over food of my 
family and friends because people 
in Africa are dying of starvation.’)

Here’s a useful tip for you:  When 
you feel like eating when you 
shouldn’t, just drink cold water, 
or suck on strongly mentholated 
sugarless candy, or try extra 
strong Fisherman’s Wharf lozenges.  
These will surely eradicate your 
craving for food.

When it comes to issues of weight, 
the lesson here is this:  Rather than 
be plainly slim or thin, the greater 
goal for obese and non-obese 
people alike is to be healthy in 
body, mind, emotions, and spirit!

Holistic Healing for You
Randy Dellosa, MD
Dr. Randy Dellosa, popularly known as Doc
Randy, is known as the life coach-psychotherapist
of Filipino celebrities. He is reputed to be the first
and so far the only Filipino who is both a
psychiatrist (M.D.) and a doctor of clinical
psychology (Psy.D.)

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