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I know I'm an emotional eater. If I weren't, if I could stay on a controlled food intake, then all those other diets would have worked for me. But I eat in response to a feeling. And I can't stop those feelings from happening. Have you noticed that virtually every "eater" you know has been described as "sensitive"?

I knew I wasn't going to stop eating, that food was urgently important to me. The problem was that food hadn't been working for me, and I had learned how vital that was. I had to make it work.

I still had that old diet consciousness, which dictated that the only way I could give myself permission to blow my diet was by telling myself that tomorrow I'd go back on it. It was inconceivable to me that I could be on anything other than a strictly controlled eating regimen and not mushroom to three hundred pounds.

But everything I was reading and studying, everything I was pulling together, was telling me otherwise. I had to try.

I had to create a diet that would be a permanent way of life, a diet that would include every food I'd craved during all those miserable years growing up. Surely enzymes were the key. Fattening had to mean something more than calories. Calories, I had learned, simply represented energy. My research on enzymes made me realize that fattening had to do with indigestibility. How well our body processes the food we eat and how those foods get clogged in our systems.

I began eating one food at a time, having discovered that most enzymes can't work simultaneously and that many cancel one another out in our digestive systems. I also discovered that if I didn't have too many foods, tastes, or textures at once, I was less likely to overeat I like to compare the mouth of an eater to the keys of a finely tuned piano, each bite ringing out a different note. The harmony goes on—the tune is endless.