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Published:November 28th, 2009 11:12 EST
Confessions of an Emotional Eater

Confessions of an Emotional Eater

By Melissa Zollo

Confessions Of An Emotional Eater:

How I Turned To My Imagination And Lost 25 lbs.

By Betsey Beaven

I felt as if I had been pushed out of an airplane in the middle of the night with no parachute to save me from my fall. With no way of knowing if I would survive the plunge, I felt myself slipping into darkness. I screamed out to the universe Help me, save me, I want to live. " Up until this moment, I thought I was in control of my life and knew who I was. I was wrong.

If anyone had asked me to describe myself, I`d have said, why, I am people pleasing Betsey, professional chef, restaurateur, co-author of several vegetarian cookbooks, hunter of wild mushrooms, and someone who grows her own food. For twenty-five years I prided myself on working ten hours a day helping to create healthy menus to feed and nourish others. In addition to running a vegetarian restaurant, I spent fifteen years intensely studying the therapeutics of homeopathy, working closely with a Naturopathic doctor, and learning the basics of good nutrition.

As I write this, it all seems like a lifetime ago and another person I`m describing. I can safely state for the record that while it was happening I lived in a one dimensional mindset. For years I turned off my feelings. Rather than deal with emotional baggage that trapped me in the past, I denied my emotions. My life became unmanageable as I struggled to control rather than look at how powerless I felt.

Johann von Goethe once said, There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action. " I woke up one morning and knew I could no longer live a lie. I could not accept one more negative message that imprisoned me in a false image of myself. 

Enter Melissa Zollo

I remember the day I first met Melissa Zollo. It was in the early nineties. She came to the holistic doctor`s office where I was working as a research assistant. I was in awe of how she conducted herself at the initial interview. Melissa was in the midst of dealing with and healing from a life threatening accident. I knew she was suffering and yet she never burdened anyone with the challenges she faced, nor did she project a picture of someone wanting to be saved or rescued by others. I had never seen that behavior from a patient before. She stood out from other patients. This Brooklynite had discovered the secret of being herself " even if that self was in pain. She was grateful for and knew the language of her pain. In an odd way, she was saying, I am one of the lucky ones. I know that my thoughts got me to where I am and they will get me out of this self-created hell. I am on my way to becoming the woman I always dreamed I could be. "

Melissa was involved with the true art of healing on such a deep level that it moved me in a way I had never experienced before. At that time she never spoke about her work. In retrospect, she was testing the limits of her knowledge and applying spiritual principles with a purpose and measured pace. Her course was an inner one. It appeared as if each step she took was its own triumph over fear and illness. Melissa was taking her bearings from a lighthouse that was within her.

Healing, An Inside Job

Up until this point in my life, my idea of healing was dependent on the use of remedies, herbs, and supplements. I had no idea about mental images (blueprints of the mind). I was clueless that my imagination was the most powerful instrument I could use for healing every aspect of my life.

It was around this time that I was going through an agonizing process. I realized that I wanted to leave the only business I ever knew. I could no longer live in fear of my business partner. I discovered that the walls of silence that I built into my personal relationship of twenty five years were smothering me. One morning I woke up and I left that evening with my clothes, some books, and a desk. I never looked back, or so I thought.

My Decent Into Food Addiction

From years of eating healthy foods, I swung into deprivation mode and stopped eating. This was not a personal victory over food and weight management. It was the beginning of my decent into food hell. Within six weeks of leaving, I lost 20 lbs. But then I suddenly shifted gears and became ravenously hungry. I started craving and devouring donuts, potato chips, Hershey bars, and every other conceivable junk food.

Fast food to me was what heroin is to a junkie.

With each day I became powerless over food, as repressed feelings of guilt, rage, and sadness exploded within me. I was in the beginning stages of a free fall into food addiction. I gained back the 20 lbs. I Iost and added another 25 lbs. As I stuffed down my cookies, cupcakes, and yes, even hot dogs, I felt as if I were feeding a voracious monster who feasted on my doubts and fears. I, who loved the burst and taste of eating a fresh picked juicy, ripe tomato now stood on line for fast food hamburgers. I went from playing basket ball, hiking five miles a day, and biking ten miles a day, to finding that the only exercise I did was reach for my chocolate chip cookies. I scoffed food down while driving my car, sitting at the computer, and always before bed. Fear had become my master and I had become a food junkaholic.

Past Memories and My Mother

When I was a child I remember my mother telling me stories of when she was pregnant with me. In her quiet, desperate way she would tell me how she ate chocolate ice cream every day of her pregnancy. She went on to talk about how she constantly grieved for her father who was dying at that time. Now fifty years later I was in hot pursuit of chocolate ice cream cones. I couldn`t get enough of them. Nothing I knew or had studied prepared me for the guilt, shame, sadness, and challenge I was now facing. Myself.

I knew I needed help.

Something within me kept nudging me to call Melissa but how could I call a patient? I was desperate and yet I didn`t trust any of the professionals and healers I knew. I, who thought that I was free because I took physical action and left unhappy relationships soon discovered that my mental and emotional habits were driving me down a highway and I did not know how to put on the brakes. At this moment, there was no lighthouse in my view. My sabotaging habits and misguided beliefs kept me in the same deep rooted negative cycle I had been tumbling in for years. If you are asking yourself what did I do, I ate and ate and ate.

The First Step --- The Phone Call That Changed My Life

I reached the point where I had enough of my self imposed misery. I summoned the courage and I called Melissa Zollo. I remember her compassionate voice and how she deep listened to me. In a calm but firm tone, she asked me, What do you want? " The words resounded throughout my brain, what did I want?

What did I want?

It was the first time in my life that someone addressed me as if I were visible and worthy of receiving. I didn`t know where the words came from but suddenly from the depths of my soul burst forth the words, I want to save my life. " Melissa slowly proceeded to talk to me about my state of consciousness, and the Healing Law of Imaging. She said, You`re entitled to have all the acceptance, happiness, love, and money that you desire. You are more than your body. The Living Spirit is within you. It is your birthright to have beautiful clothes, a comfortable home, and healthy nourishing food. You`ve been conditioned to mental error patterns that have locked you into beliefs in poverty and lack. You fed those habits and now you must create a new memory. The power to heal yourself is within you. What do you want to do? "

In a few minutes she made me aware of how I had been using or rather misusing my imagination and spiritual laws to frame the experiences I was having. She asked me, Are you ready to move out of the mental slum that you`ve grown accustomed to? " I answered, Yes! " My journey out of victimhood and misfortune had begun.

Conversations With Melissa Zollo

My conversation with Melissa was the turning point in my life. In order to put the process she spoke about into motion, I began to activate my imagination. I wanted to go on the journey to truth.

Bootcamp For The Mind

Time passed. Melissa left the doctor`s office.

  • In order to put away thoughts of addiction, and poverty, I began using Melissa`s Discover the Power of Imagination program and concentrated on creating a blueprint for success. Morning, noon, and night I fed myself thoughts of peace. Within a month, I attracted a beautiful cottage on an estate to live in. I also attracted a full time job and had money coming into my life.
  • For the first time in months I began to sleep.
  • I soon began consultations with Melissa. I attended her Image First Clinics and seminars, even driving five hours in a winter storm to get there. My soul was hungry for the information that she was sharing with other people.

I don`t think many of us understand just how much dirty mental laundry " we have accumulated and how we resist cleaning out our minds. For me, the process of clearing, rewriting, and sweeping away what needed and still needs to be removed seems endless at times.

I want to make it clear for those of you who may be discovering ideas on attraction via The Secret or any other gimmicky trends. It takes time to change your self. There is a profound difference between attracting results and healing your memory. I know because several years past before I had my first real aha " moment of what Melissa was teaching me.

Things I Learned From Melissa Zollos` Teleseminar On Food

My breakthrough moment with food came several years later while participating in Melissa Zollo`s teleseminar, I Can and I Will Heal My Emotional Relationship to Food.

  • I realized that up until this moment, what I affirmed I wanted I subsequently denied.
  • I also realized it wasn`t the food I was eating that was my problem, but rather the fact that I kept denying what I could not face -- my own success.
  • Painful feelings surface so that we can resolve them. Emotional Illness is a memory illness.
  • I learned that the healing process is always working to help us resolve our physical and emotional pain. It was time to listen and pay attention.

Something clicked within me.

  • I became clear. My belief in childhood rejection was determining the difference between health and sickness, and happiness and misery.
  • My weight gain was a spiritual problem, not a problem of calories, carbs, or proteins.
  • I was loveable and worthy right now. It was time to stop making excuses and put the past behind me, connect with the Healer Within, and stop beating myself up.
  • I was ready to get on the road to forgiveness!

Blueprinting Perfect Weight - Mastering My Thoughts

  • I discovered that my image was my lighthouse.
  • Suddenly, I began using the Discover the Power of Imagination audio program in a new and more focused way. I used the SunriseCD every morning to build a new belief into myself as a fit, trim, happy, and accepted person.
  • I used the Aloha CD to calm my frantic feelings that appeared automatically at times, urging me to eat junk food.
  • At night I reimpressed the new weight image of myself as I listened to the Sweet Dreams CD.

Success Leaves Tracks

  • Within a week I began a regime of exercise. All of a sudden, I was dancing, biking, running, and hiking.
  • Within two weeks I began feeling more joyful and my desire for junk food decreased and the weight started falling off me.
  • I found myself loving my body, including the fat " at the same time I was letting it go.
  • I lost 25 lbs in several months as a result of changing my blueprint, working with Melissa Zollo, and utilizing everything I knew about food.
  • My biggest success came the moment I was standing in line at the ice cream parlor licking a chocolate ice cream cone. Suddenly, as I was eating it I realized I didn`t want it. I remembered Melissa`s words, What do you want? " I wanted to throw it away! I went over to the garbage can, threw it out, and walked out the door. I haven`t had a chocolate ice cream cone in two years. I had reclaimed my life.

    Fitz Perls once said, Unless you give up your resentment to your parents you remain as a child. " I am no longer that little girl crucified to my mother`s image of who she thought I was. I have begun to forgive myself and my mother and I do it by changing my thoughts and feelings.

Imaging Creates Reality!

I now know that imaging creates reality and I create my own destiny. I am aware that like attracts like " and nourishing food, exercise, play, and sound sleep are essential if you are to have lasting weight results and experience good health.

Dreams Come True!

My dreams are suddenly coming true. That which I imagined is projecting into the world of effects. I am now a food writer and critic for a New England magazine. I have created my own food consulting business for restaurants. Everyday, I help people create new menus and eating plans as I offer them an alternative, seasonal guide to nutritious, delicious and holistic food choices. I am deeply grateful that I have begun to achieve deep-rooted changes and goals that will last for a lifetime. My healing journey out of darkness has begun and I am appreciating and valuing myself and my life like never before! And I am forever grateful to the Power Within me and for my conversations with Melissa Zollo.

Betsey Beaven is the Food Critic for Merrimack Valley Magazine. She is also a consultant for restaurants and the co-author of four vegetarian cookbooks.

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