Habits are automatic. When was the last time you really THOUGHT about brushing your teeth or fastening a seat belt? You just do it. For our 8 clients, eating the wrong foods or too many of them is a habit. Cheeseburgers – habit. Cookies – habit. Cocktails – habit. Breaking a habit is damn near impossible, and losing a habit means creating a hole that needs to be filled. Hopefully with a healthy habit.
Emotion is tougher. Listen to how they talked about food: "I LOVE food, it's..my culture." "I feel naked without a cocktail." "Ice cream is kryptonite." Giving cookies a "last kiss goodnight." In their worlds food is love, food is erotic, food is power, food is family. When you take away their pie – you don’t just take away sugar and flour – you take away grandma.
When Jackie did the great sugar massacre she was in essence asking them to kick a lover and friend out of the house. It was actually the removal of an undermining partner – one who would be a familiar quick fix, but harmful in the long run. Regulation of sugar intake is a challenge for this group, and when you remove the quick fix, you give the person pause to really think about whether they really need it.