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That Insatiable Craving, that Burning Desire...


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Simple conversations can be a huge first step toward weight loss. Through medical and psychological research, the author's program seems to have found a way to make people more aware of a spiritual safety net and to use it to support them as they lose weight.

This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 1999 issue of Spirituality & Health. Can twenty years of clinical research into a cure for obesity be condensed into teaching people how to a have a deep conversation with a chocolate pinwheel cookie? No. Of course not. But teaching people to have such seemingly simple conversations is a huge first step toward a weight solution that works, long-term. This program — now used in 150 hospitals — is not overtly spiritual, yet it turns out that 72% of those who learn to use it experience a lasting spiritual deepening, and those who experience the spiritual deepening lose 7 times more weight. Right this minute I want a pinwheel cookie, the kind with the chocolate on the outside that looks like paint and tastes like plastic. I’ve loved them as long as I can remember, and I want some so much that I can already see myself putting my computer to sleep and going downstairs to the kitchen to find them. I know exactly which drawer they’re in. This sounds like a trivial situation. And it is — and it isn’t. We face these desires all the ti …

Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D., author of The Solution: Never Diet Again, (Regan Books) is an associate clinical professor of family and community medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

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