DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been finding myself overeating more and more recently. At first, I was just treating myself to a little more pasta or a second helping of dinner. Now, I eat until I feel pain in my stomach. I know this isn't normal, yet I can't bring myself to stop. My exercise routine hasn't changed (about 60 minutes a day), so I can't find a logical excuse for this. I don't want to seem like the boy who cried wolf while going to the doctor. How can I stop myself from stuffing myself to the brim? -- Stuffing, Atlanta
DEAR STUFFING: It is time for a trip to your internist. Get a physical to rule out any underlying health issue that may be accelerating your desire to eat. Be sure to tell your doctor everything that you remember about your behavior patterns and eating habits, including when this increased eating began and what was going on in your life at the time. Pay attention to these variables. Has anything changed in your daily routine, in your relationships, in your work? Sometimes emotional changes can trigger eating changes. Review everything as you attempt to pinpoint what’s going on for you.
If your doctor is unable to identify the culprit, take matters into your own hands. You have already taken the first step, which is identifying the behavior that needs to change. Next, you can consciously decide not eat the things that will not honor your body. When you feel the urge to eat, choose fruits and vegetables. Drink more water. Throw the pasta away so that it cannot be a fulfilled temptation. You can do it!