Norris Chumley is the creator of "The Joy of Weight Loss," a spiritual lifestyle plan that encourages people to transform their lives inside and out through deeper connections with a Higher Power. Click here to learn more about Norris and his program and visit his website.

If you have questions for Norris, send them to:

I have a secret binge, which I can't control, but it controls me. What can I do? --Cardinal

Dear Cardinal, you are not alone. Most people who struggle with weight problems have some specific binge item. It's important, because it could well be a major source of comfort; a kind of anesthesia from life, or a vehicle for pleasure or coping which gets you through the tough times. Therefore, I do not recommend just dropping it instantly. You need something, but preferably something which will give you that sense of happiness and well-being with no negative side-effects. A most common need that everyone shares is the need for love. Your binge item may be a substitute for love, or perhaps merely a habit, and a symptom for a deeper unmet need. What I'm getting to here is: try to be a detective in your life. Try to find out what you are truly craving. Do you need more rest? Do you have financial problems? Is there a relationship in your life that provides love and care? Are you valuable to others, and are you valued by others? Most of all, take a lot of time and T.L.C. to work on these mysteries, and don't forget to ask for God's help often in the process.

This might sound silly, but how do I surrender everything to God or a Higher Power? I pray to give things up, but don't know if that is enough. I think I am scared if I let go of everything I might lose myself and all that I define myself as. --daytec

Dear Daytec, I appreciate your modesty, but you ask the most central, most important question of all and it is not at all silly. The key to all religious knowledge and spiritual practice is surrender. I sense you answer yourself in the way you state this question: "I pray to give things up..." That sounds to me you have the desire to surrender; now you just need to simply do it. May I suggest that you actually just "give up." Refrain from thinking and acting on your own, thinking that you have ultimate power to control everything in your life.

The act of surrender is very simple -- you accept that you are not alone in life, that there is something more, a power which created you, is you, is bigger than just you. You realize that by thinking you are separate from this Power, this Creator, you actually make yourself seperate. Surrendering is uniting with God, or Higher Power, or the Creator, and letting Him (or Her, or It) guide you in all that you do.

Each major religion has a prophet, or mediary for surrendering, which may be helpful. Or you may go directly to God, as you see best. As a Christian, I surrender to God through Jesus Christ. I say a prayer all day long, every day, "Lord Jesus, I am Yours." or "Lord Jesus, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me" (which is an ancient Orthodox prayer). If you are Jewish, surrender in prayer to God, via Moses. If Muslim, surrender to Allah. If Hindu, pray through Vishnu or Shiva. If you are not religious, but consider yourself Spiritual, surrendering to a Higher Power or even Spirit may be helpful. I believe there is One God, and God is present in all faiths.

Most of all, please remember you're not actually giving anything up in the act of surrender, other than your separation from God. Through surrendering, you are uniting with All There Is, and taking a tremendous, impossible burden off your shoulders. You are putting your life into God's hands, which is a very beautiful, loving gift. After all, your life is a gift from God and it's a divine act to be able to return the gratitude. Congratulations on a wonderful question.

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