Dr. Phil's Plan for Weight-Loss Success

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Weight Loss, Family, and Marriage

Q: Your new book emphasizes the importance of making your spouse and children a priority. How does being overweight affect your family?

Dr. Phil: Your ability to participate in their lives is greatly diminished. You've got less energy and stamina and higher levels of fatigue, so you are far less willing to play with them, walk the dog with them, get out to the park and run around with them. So some of the core things over which family members bond are being compromised because you can't get in the game. There's no way that's not going to erode the relationship between you and your child.

Also, there's a clear family dynamic in being overweight and obese. I grew up in the South, and the first thing my mother and grandmother would do when you came over was feed you. They love you with food. If your lifestyle is too focused on food and the center of your family is the kitchen, everybody will hang out there and nibble and graze.

Q: How does being overweight affect communication and intimacy between husband and wife?

Dr. Phil: If a spouse feels unattractive and unappealing, his or her sexual confidence typically takes a beating. Since it's often too dangerous to admit feelings of sexual inadequacy, people tend to avoid the situation and argue over "safer" topics like money, kids, and so on. And that's not a good thing.

Continued on page 3:  Food and Coping


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