This month we are featuring Colette Baron-Reid’s Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much as our book of the month. As Baron-Reid describes in the book, “people who feel too much” sense the world beyond their own personal boundaries and become overwhelmed not just by their own feelings, but also by feelings that don’t even belong to them, the feelings of others. Although the ability to connect with others can be a great asset, it can also lead to emotional and empathic eating — and that can pack on the pounds.
Are you a person who is letting empathy overload affect your weight? Baron-Reid has put together a quick quiz to help you better understand if you are a person who feels too much.
THE EMPATHY AND EATING QUIZ
For each question, chose Y for yes or N for no.
1. You feel overwhelmed by your emotions around certain people, and don’t always know if your emotions belong to you. Y/N
2. You feel disconnected and disoriented by strong emotions during family encounters, and you turn to food to calm down. Y/N
3. You turn to food as comfort or reward, and to calm yourself or to escape your feelings, especially from 4:00 p.m. on. Y/N
4. When you feel emotionally unsafe, food is temporarily calming and makes you feel grounded and secure, if only for a few seconds. Y/N
5. There are times when, rather than face a social opportunity, you stay home and eat comfort foods that may be a combination of sugar, ﬂour, and dairy or are processed foods such as chips, cookies, etc. Y/N
6. Sometimes, you can’t stop eating these comfort foods, and you mentally bargain with yourself that you will start again on Monday (or tomorrow). Y/N
7. During stressful times, you can gain weight without eating extra food. Y/N
8. In your experience, fear and excess food go together. Y/N
9. You gain weight as soon as you think about dieting. Y/N
10. You feel afraid that you won’t ever get your eating under control. Y/N
11. You feel powerless when you’re in an emotional eating phase and powerful when you think you’ve got it handled. Y/N
12. Your love/sex life has suffered because of your relationship to food. Y/N
If you answered yes to three or more questions, your empathy is probably interfering with your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Baron-Reid’s four-step, eight-week plan in Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much may be able to help you gain perspective and look at your body, weight loss and health in a way you never have before. Her program teaches empathetic eaters how to manage the “weight of the world” they carry by helping sort through and let go of emotions, create healthy boundaries, learn conscious eating techniques and more.