Thousands of listeners seek Bob's expert advice each day, but one caller in particular recently stood out for her honesty and commitment to getting fit. Bob talks to Jayme, a 30-year-old newlywed, about her lifelong struggle with weight, her underlying emotional issues and how she can begin to change her life for the better. Raised by her mother and stepfather, Jayme says her problems with weight began at an early age. She tells Bob that her family wasn't especially close, and although she didn't realize it at the time, she took comfort in food. At age 7, she says she would hide Twinkies under her pillow. In her teens, Jayme says her weight continued to steadily climb. "I was the fat girl growing up," she says. From ages 16 to 22, Jayme says she was involved in a mentally and physically abusive relationship. "I turned to the first person who gave me the least bit of attention, and he took advantage of me," she says. Triggers such as depression, sadness and boredom caused Jayme to reach for food. "There's a big emotional misuse of food," Bob says. Jayme says she finally found the courage to leave her abusive relationship. Then, six months ago, Jayme found love and married her husband, who she says is her best friend. Although now in a loving relationship, she says she still struggles to overcome her emotional eating. "We are best friends, but we're also each other's worst enemy in a way," she says. "He also has a weight issue, so we struggle. On the one hand, we're very supportive of each other and we don't judge, but that can also be tough." Having weighed 297 at her heaviest, Jayme lost 110 pounds but then reached a wall. Now, she tells Bob she's trying to lose 70 more pounds. Bob says Jayme is well on her way to leading a healthier life through opening up about her past and being honest about her feelings. Instead of reaching for food, Bob advises Jayme to focus on adding positive activities into her life, such as strengthening meaningful relationships or journaling. "When you start replacing that food with proactive things that benefit your life, that's enormously powerful," he says.
Published on June 18, 2007