What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


What’s up with all the dieting

Posted on April 24, 2019 by Katy Byrne

The pressure is on – spring in California means we’re supposed to be stick thin. Every diet from Keto to Micro is on TV and in books and magazines. So, what’s up with that?

It’s crazy to obsess on thinness while half the world starves. Still, I understand we all want to be healthy. Why can’t we relax a tiny bit? Wellness is important, I get that. But I think it’s a political mistake to focus so much on beauty, and it’s mean spirited to judge others for their size. Prejudiced against an extra 20 pounds – isn’t there a more useful way to spend our time? Nobody lives forever, so why all the kerfuffle about being skinny?

I have empathy for people who eat too much or die of anorexia. I weighed 300 pounds once. It was a nightmare. I couldn’t stop eating. I know the cycle well, I’m anxious about my job or relationship so I eat a bag of potato chips, damn it! Then, “I can’t believe I ate all those chips. I hate myself.” The cycle of any addiction. Finally, after years of therapy and diets, one night, I stood at the refrigerator and talked to my inner child. It seemed silly at first.

Desperate, I began to understand why the little kid inside me wanted so much ice cream and pizza. I imagined her with me as I opened the refrigerator. But this time I told her she could have anything she wanted if we just talked for 60 seconds. I leaned into the fridge, peeking through the slightly open door, cold and crying. She said she had never felt heard.

So, I asked what she really wanted. I told her she could have anything. I wouldn’t deprive, starve, or stuff her anymore. I was depressed, giving up, standing there poking my nose inside, looking for something to fill me up, to soothe my emptiness and relieve my anxiety. Her small voice whispered, she just wanted warm milk, crackers, and flannel pajamas.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but I even brought a teddy bear to bed. That was the first night, after years of overeating, stomach aches, and waking up feeling awful in the morning – the first time in years that I didn’t overeat.

Marianne Williamson writes,”Ultimately, your greatest miracle is this: you’ll come to realize that you are fine exactly as you are. The real you wants healthy food, invigorating exercise, and an active lifestyle. The real you doesn’t want the damaging effects of unhealthy, chemically-processed food and a sedentary existence. The real you knows those things for what they are, a tomb for the person you used to be… The key for me is to let myself have whatever I want because in so doing, I give myself permission to be who I really am – and who I really am does not want to overeat.”

Everything changed after that talk with myself at the fridge. I call it the 60-second diet.


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