Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


I am stressed about have eaten so much over Thanksgiving. The worst of it is that I can't seem to get myself in balance again. I feel like I will keep eating into oblivion. Is there any way to stop this?


I know what that feels like! Whether it is the biology or psychology of sometimes takes a lot to calm down, pay attention to ourselves--INSIDE-- to differentiate between body hunger and psyche hunger.

Trust me. You will get past this time. In fact, those of us with food and eating stresses, often revisit this problem. Part of our health comes from knowing how to return to that balanced place.

For now. Try some of this:

Plan What You Eat:

  • Keep healthy and tasty food at home.
  • If need be, pre-package it in healthy portions.
  • Don't eat sweets by themselves. Eat pie cake, candy, cookies and other sugary foods with a meal to avoid blood sugar swings that can trigger fatigue, depression, anxiety, cravings and binges.

Plan How You Eat:

  • Do conscious (awake) eating rather than unconscious eating: "oh my, I just ingested a box of candy"
  • Do the sit down thing -- at a table, with a plate and utensils and even a napkin in front of you.
  • Taste the stuff. Chew it. Enjoy it.
  • When you can, dine with fine, calm people.

Pre-Plan Alternative Decision Strategies:

  • Practice saying, "Yes, thank you, I will have a candy" after having thought about it and even planned for it.
  • Practice saying, "No, thank you. I would not like a candy" after having thought about and deciding that you either don't want it or don't want it now.

Above all. Get off your case. Kindness and foregiveness help us get back on track sooner.

By the way, do you exercise?

Dr. Ross


It is here. Thanksgiving has passed and now the other big holidays are here. I feel both exhilarated and overwhelmed. I want to get through this time with more enjoyment than typically happens. Any tips for me?


This time of year is just like that...there is all that glittery, joyful, beautiful, tasteful activity that takes place. There is all that anticipation of wonderful moments that we will experience (i.e., pleasure, love and acceptance, gifts, sharing, and good, good food or drink).

There is the crescendo-like frenzy that comes about as each holiday approaches. Buy enough. Get it ready right now. Wrap it right! Is it right?

And hopes get raised. And the pace of life increases for some of us. And we forget to stop and rest. And we forget to stop and "smell the roses." And we forget to do the right things for ourselves to stay balanced and awake and alert.

So, "E or S," remember to take time outs -- even little bitsy ones are helpful. Really take good care of yourself (not just the "yeah, sure" version)-- eat well, sleep and relax.

Above all consider your priorities and values. This is a good time of year to think about these things. Gifts to oneself and others come in many forms. Think about it.

Dr. Ross


Marianne Ross, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Irvine and Laguna Beach, CA. (714) 497-3454). She also works at the University of California, Irvine. Counseling Center/College of Medicine.


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