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Giving Thanks for Freedom from Food Addiction and Resulting Diseases

Posted Nov 21 2012 7:15am
















Over the past six months, Kathleen has been working with Randi Carbone, R.N. and Food Addictions Counselor with Dr. Fuhrman’s Motivational Outreach Program to get free from emotional eating and food addiction; and she’s now 55 lbs lighter and counting!   You’ll be inspired by what she has written below to help you successfully navigate the holiday challenges ahead. Welcome to Disease Proof Kathleen!


Giving Thanks for Freedom from Food Addiction and Resulting Diseases


by Kathleen Callahan


There is something about the holiday season that seems to make dysfunctional relationships stand out more than they normally would. I imagine at one time or another, most of us have gathered at a holiday table with people we felt were toxic to us. We may have spent months (or even years), learning to build healthy relationships with the important people in our lives, so that holiday gatherings became joyful events, rather than occasions fraught with anxiety and pain.

The phenomenon of the dysfunctional family holiday gathering is well-known. A lesser known, though certainly more pervasive phenomenon is that of the severely dysfunctional relationship that far too many of us have to food, in particular, the Standard American Diet.

Ours is a culture of addiction. We expect food to be our savior. I know I did. For me, food was the perfect friend. This friend never, ever let me down. If I was sad, she was there for me. If I wanted to celebrate, my friend lifted me up and celebrated with me. If I was bored, she filled my time. If life was too painful to contemplate, my friend distracted me and eased my pain. Truly, this felt like the best friend I'd ever had.

The SAD (Standard American Diet) brought me solace, comfort, celebration, and was always present when I was lonely. However, it also brought pain and despair. This relationship caused me to gain an enormous amount of unhealthy weight. It exacerbated a genetic condition I have, causing me to end up with such severe osteoarthritis, that I had to have a total knee replacement at age 47. It chipped away at my self-esteem and self-care. Clearly, the sensible thing to do was to end this unhealthy relationship. But, as with all dysfunctional relationships, ending this one also meant giving up the good parts that I desperately needed. How does one do that?

I suspect that the answer to this question is deeply personal and different for all of us. For me, it took watching my dad slowly die as every one of his body systems fell to the Standard American Diet. I remember sitting in my bed, hugging myself and crying. Not only did I miss him terribly, but I saw my own future, and it mirrored his. My addiction to the Standard American Diet was no less powerful than my dad's, and I was terrified.

Days before my dad's death, he had watched Dr. Fuhrman on PBS and ordered the books and DVDs. He was excited and motivated for the first time in years. He told us he was going to follow this plan and regain his health. He never got the chance to try, as he passed away before the materials ever reached him, but I hold in my heart his excitement and hope. When I came across a posting on Facebook for the Motivational Outreach Program offered by Dr. Fuhrman, I knew I had to do this for my dad.

I have spent thirty years dieting myself up and down the numbers on the scale. I am an intelligent woman who understands the scientific research, but was never able to make it work for me. The reason is that despite all I'd read about diet, obesity, weight loss, and nutrition, I never came across anything on food addiction. The Motivational Outreach Program directly addresses this deadly and little-researched problem.

For six months, I worked with Randi Carbone, a registered nurse who specializes in addiction. She helped me to recognize the dysfunctional relationship I had with food. I came to understand that if you are running with a crowd that causes you trouble, that causes you to make poor decisions, that doesn't respect you and hurts you, it's time to cut those friends loose no matter what positive aspects the relationship brings to you. I had to say goodbye to artery-clogging pizza, to greasy Thai food, to chemical-laden Dunkin' Donuts bagels, and to dysrhythmia-producing Diet Coke. As so often happens when you remove dysfunctional relationships from your life, you open up space to form new healthy connections. I now have gorgeous, fresh, crisp vegetables. I have decadently sweet, juicy fruit. I have happy belly-fulfilling beans, hearty whole grains, and luscious nuts and seeds. My new friends nourish me, and never hurt me the way the SAD did. They bring me fun and joy and comfort without the devastating cost of obesity and disease.

I am 55 pounds lighter than I was when I started the Motivational Outreach Program and still losing. I have a much healthier relationship with food. This Thanksgiving, I will share a healthy nutritarian table with my healthy nutritarian family, and I will give thanks for Randi Carbone, Dr. Fuhrman, and the Motivational Outreach Program .

Embrace your true friends this holiday season, and ask them to support you on your journey to health. Who knows, they might even join you for this year’s Holiday Challenge!  Breaking free from any toxic relationship, especially one that makes you sick and unhappy, is priceless. Please join me!














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