Can Five Words Change Your Life?

Watch as Heidi explains how her epiphany (that light bulb moment when you realize that you have the tools and you CAN do it) changed her relationship with food forever.

Heidi’s magic moment was figuring out that her words, “It’s either this or that…” delineate the decision she can make every time she chooses to eat, chooses what food to eat, and in what portion size.

This is the gist of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for permanent weight loss. You slow down long enough to actively decide…do I want this OR would I prefer to stay the course and get closer to my goals? “That donut sure looks yummy, but fitting in my old favorite jeans will feel so much better.”  “I’m feeling anxious about this deadline; I want candy,” versus “I’m feeling anxious about this deadline; I’ll take a short run and get back to my work at 3 p.m. Running always calms me down.”

It doesn’t mean you won’t have treats. In fact we encourage you to plan for them and track them daily. It does mean you will DECIDE MINDFULLY each time you eat instead of eating on auto pilot.

Of course you won’t be perfect, so CBT teaches you to use compassion and get right back on track when you have a slip.

Are you paying attention to your words before you eat?

Can you put your epiphany into words? It just may win you a prize. Stay tuned for all the details next week!

Ellen Resnick is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and Redwood City, California. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and incorporates the use of mindfulness into the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotional overeating. She runs a holistic weight loss program called Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss, You can email Ellen at and follow her on Twitter at @thoughtfullellen.

Copyright © 2012 Ellen N. Resnick, LCSW


  1. Corina says:

    I remember the day an moment when I decided to quit smoking. I was making a calculus on how much I spend on cigarets and how much I spend on food for my dear dog Ina. The amount was a bit higher for the cigarets. I found it so unfair against Ina that I did not buy cigarets since. 7 years ago.

    1. ellenresnick says:

      Good for you and thank goodness for your dog Corina!

  2. The epiphany is an interesting idea here Ellen, certainly I have experienced a few of my own!… But how do you account for the role of the unconscious in this? Given that clinical experience would suggest that the unconscious has no time-line (unlike consciousness) one could argue that the epiphany is a short-term device of the conscious mind – a fantasy perhaps. And that given time (and new unconscious triggers) it may lose its ‘a ha’ value under the timeless weight of the unconscious (excuse the pun :-))?

    1. ellenresnick says:

      @otherside…the beauty of CBT and mindfulness is that we intentionally bring awareness to our thoughts that drive our behaviors. When we become aware of the thoughts that drive our behaviors we can consciously choose to behave in ways that align with our values (i.e. to be healthy, fit, more confident).

      Epiphanies are the thoughts that lead us to positive health behaviors, consciously. By using CBT techniques, people can discover both their conscious and unconscious sabotaging thoughts and replace them with helpful responses.

    2. ellenresnick says:

      @otherside…what epiphanies have been helpful to your health related goals?

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