Blame it on the chocolate

QUESTION: Masters, I have built a fat layer all over my body. I realize this is mainly to protect and to keep away other people because of a fear of intimacy. Now I´m in a safe relationship and environment but I can´t get rid of my fat because of an addiction to chocolate. Don´t I love myself enough? ~Jen, Finland

ANSWER: Chocolate is a fantastic, comforting substance that can make the world seem right when it is crumbling around you. It is not the culprit here unless you consume pounds of it every day. In small amounts it is even very beneficial for your body.

You padded yourself for so many years that belief systems got entrenched and still control your emotions. It is not just the chocolate but everything you do to make yourself feel good that is preventing you from reshaping your body. You are loving yourself the best way you have programmed yourself to behave. To change you will have to examine how you conduct your daily life and do some reprogramming.

Removing extra fat from a frame requires a reduced intake of calories as well as an increased amount of exercise or activity. It does have to do with how much you love yourself, because you are fighting years of built-in instincts and it is not easy. You must be willing to dedicate yourself to the task.

Start by keeping a journal. Document everything you place in your mouth and every amount of activity that burns those calories. Add extra walking to your day. Park farther away from the entrances to buildings; walk around the block at lunch time and after dinner. Join a health or athletic club and do aerobics or an organized sport such as swimming or tennis. Then you will be loving yourself more and seeing changes in how you think about yourself and your day.