Q. ... I'm 5'1", 200 pounds, and eating is my only pleasure. I have bipolar disorder, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and high blood pressure. I am so unhappy with me. What can I do? -- Carmen, via e-mail
A. What struck us first about your letter was the phrase "eating is my only pleasure," so we're going to help you tackle that first. Some people will tell you that you can't squash your problems with chocolate or a bag of chips, but your brain chemistry would beg to differ. The only problem food really solves is hunger, but it does bring us pleasure. Eating sugary foods or carbohydrates helps us score the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine. They boost your mood and make you forget for a moment that you're stressed, bored, angry, sad, or in pain. But of course, the second you're finished, the pain returns, and you need sugar again . . . causing a long-term problem from a very short-term gain.
But there are other more healthful foods that can turn on that "natural Prozac" faucet in your brain. Eating a couple of slices of low-fat turkey can ramp up serotonin levels because it contains the raw material -- tryptophan -- that your body uses to make it; it's also a protein that contains the amino acids your body uses to keep your dopamine levels healthy. But we're willing to bet that you actually get very little pleasure from food because you don't take the time to savor it. If you must have a candy bar, choose healthier dark chocolate, and make eating it last a good 10 minutes, during which you pay attention to the flavor and the pleasure you feel. Today, sit down and write a list of other things that make you feel good, from talking to friends to flying a kite, and whip it out whenever you have the urge to eat your way out of your problems. Time to learn that pleasure comes in many forms. That may solve one of your problems for a longer term.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Q & A with Dr. Oz
I know it's been a while and I promise to update you all on the amazing happenings soon, but today I want to share a post with you from a Q&A with Dr. Oz. If this sounds even vaguely familiar for you, or describes someone you know, let's talk and find your\their joy!!