We all looked down as Penny sobbed as though her heart was breaking. Diet Club was like that, you never knew when the emotional storm clouds would roll in like twisters from the sea.
Confessing you had “lapsed” from the strict “shakes and bars” 500 calorie a day regime always elicited gentle but probing questions from Val, our group leader and expert in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
We were all emotional eaters, either packing it in or drinking it down in a vain attempt to fill up our ever present internal void usually caused by not feeling loved, worthy, good enough. Sometimes caused by worse, terrible situations current or past.
Removing yourself from “using” food and drink (our drug of choice) was designed to allow our emotions to surface, be expressed, be faced and hopefully dealt with, once and for all.
Or not, I thought, looking around the room, full of hopeful newbies like me as well as women on their 2nd, 3rd, even 5th go round.
“Why would you ever lapse?” I wondered. “It’s hard enough to do it the first time round without prolonging the agony of delaying reaching your goal weight”.
Little did I know that Phase 2 – Maintenance – was just as hard as Phase 1, the battle to keep off the 5 stones that had nearly all melted away so magically as I sat there, crossing my be-jeaned legs for the first time in years.
Little did I know that I’d be back where I started just 11 years later.