The holidays may not seem like an ideal time to watch one’s weight, but for those working to end a lifelong battle with food addiction, there are no vacations. Teri Quatman, professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, and exercise physiology and nutrition expert Susan Martin, have developed an innovative method to treat compulsive over-eaters and veteran dieters, focusing on uncovering the “why” behind the foods people eat to better understand, and ultimately overcome, their addiction to food. Their program is called “Getting Real.”
Seven Bay Area women, many of whom are obese and pre-diabetic, have been meeting once a week for nearly a year as part of the Getting Real program. “Within the group, the women have lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the years. Short-term diet programs will not work for them. These women need a long-term program that will not only teach the physiological impact of over-eating, but help identify the psychological triggers that drive them to eat in the first place. That’s what we’re here to do,” said Quatman.
Getting Real is not a fad diet. There are no scales, no prescribed menus, no weight goals looming over the participants’ heads. This program is about identifying the sources that trigger the urge to over-eat, teaching what physiological impact over-eating has on one’s body, and connecting with people who are going through similar experiences. “We teach our clients how to exercise their emotional muscles so they are strong enough to treat their addiction and soothe their body,” says Quatman, who experienced her own battle with being overweight as a young adult.
The group meets each Tuesday in Cupertino. If you would like to interview Teri Quatman, Susan Martin, or any of the Getting Real participants, please contact Karen Crocker Snell at 408-554-5126.
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