The Enchanted Self           — by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

By Guest Author, Bernice Becker

Here is an essay I wrote last year about food. I hope you enjoy it.

Comfort foods.  What are they?  What do they do?  Let me tell you.  They help you to feel better until the feelings wear off. 

Usually the foods that are tasty are those with sugar and fat.  They are the calorie laden foods that affect your body in less than healthy ways.

When one chomps on a delicious piece of chocolate fudge cake one will desire more and more!  These urges are difficult to stop.

Then a day of reckoning finally comes. Perhaps you are annoyed when you try to pull up the zipper of your skirt and you have to use a large safety pin, hoping it stays put, as the zipper doesn't close.

Maybe you decide you have the courage to go to Weight Watchers but you are afraid of the White Monster.  Do you know what the White Monster is?  It is the SCALE.  You are afraid to get on it as you know that you have gained weight.  You sigh, "This scale is way off.  I guess they didn't balance it."  No one answers because everyone knows the scale is balanced.  Why hurt your feelings?

Then come the months of saying to oneself, "I know I must cut down on the rich food."  But you don't.   Maybe you don't because in many cases it is not what you eat but 'what eats you.'

But there is good news.  Food is not the only way to use our mouths to comfort us.

There is actually another kind of 'food' that we use our mouths for, that comforts body, mind and soul and not a pound is added to our body fat. 

That kind of wonderful non-caloric 'food' can be a pleasant conversation.  You indulge in it with a stranger and instead of gaining weight, you gain a new friend.  The 'food' might also come in the form of a wonderful movie.  You watch the movie, laughing, enjoying, listening and suddenly 'what eats you' fades into the background.  You are in a great mood.

Or perhaps you offer to help someone and you use your mouth for one of the greatest gifts of all--doing a good deed.  Maybe you drive and the other person does not.  Your invitation to take her shopping makes her day.  She is grateful and you are filled up, not with candy but with good feelings.

So you see, when one requires a lot of comfort food, something is missing.  Being a widow, I know that.  But why don't you make an effort to find comfort elsewhere.  I have and it works.

Oh, my it is late. Time to go to bed.  I'll get into my bed with my cozy comforter and watch a good comedy.  Then I'll doze off, very content and comforted. 

However, I'm still looking for excitement.  I'll be hoping for an exciting dream that might come true!

— © Mrs. Bernice Becker, Grandma Feel Good.   Mrs. Becker's book is available at, and

— Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

In private practice since 1981, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, psychologist and originator of The Enchanted Self, has committed to bring the keys of enchantment to the world.

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