I think Douglas Lisle is my new hero. There are several heroes in the healthy eating community: Drs. Fuhrman, McDougall, Esselstyn, Campbell, Ornish, and Barnard. I have to add Dr. Douglas Lisle to this list. He's a psychotherapist who works at the True North Health Center. You can read some of his articles here. He has lectured at a few McDougall conferences and I think the DVDs are taped from these events. This one I just watched is called "Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind." He talks about 3 major obstacles to losing weight: 1) the pleasure trap, 2) the ego trap, and 3) the pull of other's demands.
1) He's talked about the pleasure trap in a few other lectures, DVDs and a book. I highly recommend the book or DVD. Very briefly (and hopefully somewhat correct), the pleasure trap is about how it is perfectly normal to prefer chocolate candy to an apple. We evolved in an environment of scarcity of high-caloric food and we are hard-wired to prefer it. If you can abstain from the artificial food for a while, for example, with a fast, your taste buds re-adapt and you can enjoy the healthy food just as much. But it aint always easy to say not to that high calorie-dense food.
2) The ego trap. I loved this because he described me. The ego trap is where you or others have high expectations of you, perhaps because of a previous success, and you know deep down you can't live up to those expectations so you quit before you fail. In your mind, quitting is preferable to failing. This is what sometimes happens to me with healthy eating. I achieved success sort of accidentally, just experimenting with this. Then I joined the Fuhrman forums and started a blog and became something of a role model. I didn't feel comfortable being a role model and started doubting myself and suddenly eating healthy became harder than it was before, and the temptations, which were almost non-existent before, became greater. Dr. Lisle says the solution to this is to lower your expectations. Pick a goal that is better than where you are, and achievable, something you are pretty confident you can do. You can even pick a goal that is insulting to you so you say, of course I can do that, in fact I can do better than that, I'll show you. He described working with kids and saying, do you think you can get B/C grades? and the kid says, yes, I can do even better than that!
3) other people's demands. He described how we evolved in an environment of 30 people where everyone knew what everyone else was doing so they couldn't demand too much because they already saw everything you are doing. Nowadays, our spheres are so separated, your boss doesn't know what you home/community demands are; your spouse and kids don't know your work/community/friend responsibilities, etc. So everyone wants the most out of you and this situation benefits naturally pushy people and hurts naturally nice people. You have to learn to say no and you don't have to say why. You say, "I've got something else I have to do." "I made a promise and have to take care of something else." And you don't say what and it becomes clear that it's none of their business and they don't have a right to know. You have to be able to say no so you can make priorities for yourself. If you are going to change your diet and develop and exercise program you need time to commit to this. It IS high priority.
I'd be curious to know what other people think of this lecture.