When Matthew Moore sent an email to coworkers asking for volunteers to try the Cooking Light Diet and report back, I was quick to raise my hand. I would love to lose some weight. I am overweight (and underactive), and it would be good for me to make some lifestyle changes. But for me, there’s more to it than that.

I may very well be the Queen of Emotional Eating. Over the past couple years, I have gone through some very tough times. (To read more about that, check out my story in our November issue, “Love, Loss, and Fruit Salad.” The title may give you a hint.) I have been in a bit of an emotional quagmire for a while, and for me, that has meant ridiculous, overindulgent eating. I’ve been eating like a teenager, but with the metabolism of a 44-year-old. For me, indulging when I’m upset is like having someone pat me on the head and say, “There, there.” Or, as a good friend of mine who was going through some tough stuff in her own life once said, “When everything in your life is going straight to hell, you can still eat lots of good food and think, ‘Well, at least there’s that.’” We were discussing our emotional eating over a mountain of chips and a vat of queso.

I would love to lose some weight, and I think I will, but right now, I am focused more on trying to cook decent, adult meals for myself on a regular basis. Healthy regulation is the name of the game, and in addition to participating in the Diet, I am trying to include some other good-health habits, such as getting to bed at a decent hour. (For the record, I am doing much better with the Diet than with the sleep thing.)

After a couple of years of indulging my every craving to try to cheer myself up, I’m now trying another strategy: I’m trying to convince myself that my health and quality of life are worth it for me to take control of my habits and eat foods that not only taste good but are also good for me. I think the Cooking Light Diet, with its fantastic meal-planning tools, is the perfect thing for the job. Who’s with me?

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