May 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

If Not You, Who IS in Charge of Your Life?

I was slightly surprised that no one mentioned anything about the article I wrote about diet and losing weight causing great distress and worry to many people. And while the issue of smoking only applies to a smaller number of people, it too, I would imagine, is of significant concern to at least some, if not most, of that smaller number.

Then I realized that people truly believe advertisements. There is impressive material in those ads. For example, doctors’ endorsements for xenadrine which claimed great results. But they didn’t tell you the doctors were allegedly writing scripts in exchange for payment. Take a pill, wear a patch, or use acai berry supplements–all of which, of course don’t work–but are very effective in getting people who are desperate to spend their money. Scan the web for countless ads that claim miraculous weight loss such as “best weight loss programs,” “ I tried Beyonce’s diets and lost 10 pounds,” “5 new diets everyone is talking about–Family Circle” or what about grapefruit diets, cookie diets, fast diets that work, crash diets that work, etc.

And they work–they quickly separate you from your money and ultimately leave you in the same or worse shape you were in. When people realize it isn’t working, they usually don’t blame the diets, they blame themselves–they don’t have the will power, they can’t look away from food, they have never learned how to stick to a difficult regimen, etc. And everyone knows someone who DID lose weight. They were successful and if I were a bit more motivated, I would as well. We just won’t give up–there is too much riding on it.

In general, when we are trying to solve a problem, we analyze the issue and try to come up with a solution. But therein lies the problem. Our minds are stuck on solutions that don’t work–but we don’t give them up, always blaming ourselves for the problem.

What if, instead, we accepted that the OVERWHEMING MAJORITY of people cannot lose weight. No matter what, if you are in front of lots of delicious, tempting food, especially on a regular basis (which most people certainly are), you WILL gain weight. No matter what you do. Maybe instead of feeling terrible on Sunday for the tons of extra food you ate the day before, you set things up so that you don’t have to rely on your self-control. You simply change your Shabbos, Yom Tov, and your feasts in celebration of whatever, for diets that don’t force you to overeat. How about a simple meal that is nutritious, but limited.

SERVE meals that consist of a simple soup, a reasonable main dish, a limited side dish and lots of vegetables. And end it with a light dessert or fruit. Second portions should not be offered, applying the same concept to candies, cookies, cakes, etc. Moving from the table to a sitting area to continue conversation can be constructive. As well that can be extended to restaurants and community celebrations. That sounds draconian. But if we truly did it, it would do wonders to our life, heath and self-esteem. And if we all did it–it would work.

Please feel free to contact me regarding this (or any) topic. You can do so anonymously by writing to [email protected]

Dr. Glick was a clinical psychologist as well as rabbi of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel. If you would like to contact him for an appointment, you can do so by writing to him at [email protected] or calling him at 201-983-1532

By Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Glick

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