Charlie, are you hungry?

Charlie, are you hungry?

A mother said this to her son while standing near me at a Kohl’s checkout one night. I assumed she was thinking about dinner, which was beginning to enter my thoughts as well. Her approximately 8 year old son was disinterested in her question, busy reorganizing some of the fun fuzzy socks hanging from the front of the register. She called out to him again “Hey, are you hungry?” as she stood looking intently at the candy display. Wait. What? When she reached down and picked up a bag of M&M’s, Charlie became interested and joined her scanning the sugar on display. He picked up a rather luxurious looking chocolate bar and said he wanted it instead of the M&M’s. She told him no, it needed to be something he could eat in the store without making a mess. In the end, they decided to split a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans.

Since I became a weight loss coach, I’ve had to get used to feelings of concern and a big desire to help when I see significantly overweight people. Charlie’s mom was obese and Charlie was on his way – and all I could think of was that I’m in possession of information that could save their lives! I’ve actually had to get coaching on this myself – that I can’t save the world and can only help people who want help. It would be rude of me to offer to help them, right? So I went on my way, my heart breaking a little for both of them.

What is our relationship with food if we think candy is something normal to eat when our stomach growls? What habits, norms or beliefs have led us to become overweight? This is what weight loss coaching is all about. We help people see and understand their own minds, then help them achieve their weight goals permanently. Going on a diet is something most of us have done, but until we change our ingrained thinking about food, the weight will likely come back.

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