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Breaking up with (bad) food: How you can clear your plate

Demie Scott

Demie Scott

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Updated: August 18, 2013 6:15AM

‘Breaking up is hard to do,” so the song goes.

At some point, in time we have all experienced the breakup with a boyfriend, girlfriend, partner or spouse. Most of us recall the pain and sadness of the moment, and almost all of us sought some type of solace and comfort in food — you know: chocolate, ice cream or a beer or two (if you’re 21).

So, if food is the “go to” for soothing the emotions, where do you turn when your breakup is with the food itself?

It seems only fair that we follow tradition by hosting some type of pity party, but how to hold it without food or drink may be the bigger challenge. As with all behaviors that generate emotion, professionals encourage us to journal feelings about an experience.

So create a list titled I Hate Food (That Is Bad For Me) because:

My arms look too big in a sleeveless shirt.

I can’t climb the bleachers without breathing hard.

My stomach doesn’t clear the table in the restaurant booth.

My jeans no longer button and zip easily.

These are only examples. The list goes on, as it is personal to you. Try to limit it to the 10 main reasons so as not to seem demotivating.

Once this list is complete, take a few minutes and jot down the five foods that you feel were the biggest contributors to your “I hate food” list. Remember that this list is personal to you. Oh, and there is no need to share these lists with anyone else. As a matter of fact, destroy them when you are done. After all, you are breaking off this relationship with foods that are bad for you.

Realize that as with any other breakup, once the ceremonial goodbye is done, it is time to look toward future relationships. Where food is concerned, the plan going forward might be to recognize foods and beverages that are no longer welcome, and conversely introduce new foods into your diet that are good for you.

Feeling extra motivated, develop a couple new behavioral habits such as not eating in front of the TV during shows more than 30 minutes long.

As with ending any relationship, it takes time and effort to rebuild, so be patient. And if you absolutely need to eat while creating these lists and detaching from bad food, grab some apple slices and dip them in some flavored Greek yogurt.

Remember my motto: “What would Demie say?”

This time, it would be: “Don’t eat it. Leave it!”

Next time: “Single”

Demie Scott is a certified personal trainer, owner of FrisScott and Associates Inc., and occasional columnist for The Courier-News. Do you have a health and fitness question or topic you would like considered for future columns? Email Scott through the contact-us page on her website Check with your physician before starting an exercise program.

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