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The Second Step to Complete Recovery

nextstep

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3.

Last week I encouraged you to stop twice a day, anytime, and just ask yourself the following questions:

“Am I feeling at all unsettled (or thinking of using my coping strategy or actually using it right now?)”

“What might be triggering that feeling or the need to check out?”

“What am I telling myself about that situation or about me?”

Based on the feedback I received from many readers this was powerful in and of itself. Many of you hadn’t even realized you were feeling anxious in that moment until you checked in and many of you had been planning to overeat, restrict or purge without even realizing the connection between those thoughts of numbing out and the anxiety you were feeling.

The feedback also showed that with just a little inquiry within, almost all the time, you were at least able to get in the ballpark of what was really triggering your anxiety and to see, very clearly, that it wasn’t your body and it wasn’t food. And I have some tools for you for those other times, so don’t worry.

Nice Work on the checking in and staying tuned!!!!! Well Done!!!

(P.S. If you haven’t done this piece for yourself yet go back and read the article from last week, give it a try for a day or two – that will be enough for you to have your own inner, gut proof, which is required for you to move forward – and then add this next piece.)

The most important part of this puzzle is already starting to take hold for those of you who tried the homework: You’re beginning to prove to yourself that your thoughts and actions around food and body image are triggered by anxious feelings that are unrelated to food and body image. Ahhhhhh, sigh of relief. There is a reason you do what you do and it’s not that you’re lazy or lack willpower or don’t care about yourself, it’s that you’ve been taught, way back when, to association feelings of anxiety with hopelessness and despair.  So you simply automatically check out with your coping strategy of choice when you feel at all anxious, whether about being five minutes late, or losing your job, the illness of a loved one, or missing the due date on a bill.

There was a time when things were happening to and around you that were not meeting needs for safety, respect, love, emotional and / or physical security. And at that time you were powerless because of your age, size, and stage of development in your thought processes and communication skills, as well as your dependence on your primary caregivers for shelter and food as well as love and belongingness and emotional support and encouragement.

In that old life, if your best attempts to get your needs met were not successful you had no other recourse. You simply did not get what you needed. It is very anxiety-provoking to be in a situation where you’re not getting what you need and where you are powerless to do anything about it. And if you’re a dependent child and this is happening, it is practically overwhelming. Anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD and ADD, dissociation, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, sex addiction and promiscuity, body image obsession and raging are all methods that human beings frequently default to, without conscious intent, as methods to communicate as best they can their overwhelm at the unmet needs for trust, respect, safety, love, acceptance, reassurance, reliability, etc., that they are experiencing at that time, or that have yet to be properly met since childhood. These are protective measures for the individual as well as solid statements, to anyone who understands that language, that at some key point, and still in some way, fundamental needs weren’t met.

The most important news is that, regardless of how your needs weren’t met in the past and who didn’t meet them, you can absolutely find ways that truly, 100% meet those needs in the present, with or without any communication with that person, acknowledgement from them, or reliving any of those old painful experiences.

The first place to start is last week’s assignment; begin to prove to yourself the irrefutable and causal relationship between you feeling anxious about myriad things in your life (past, present or future) and you immediately feeling stuck and hopeless and feeling the urgent need to check out with food in some way.

This week I want you to deepen that awareness and take it one step further by encouraging yourself to notice whenever you’re reaching for food (or thinking of binging, restricting or purging) or feeling that sinking, stuck feeling, or feeling anxious to just stop and ask yourself:

“Am I feeling at all anxious or unsettled right now?”

“What was I just thinking or experiencing that might have triggered me to feel anxious?”

“Was I at all thinking that there was no solution; that I was going to fail; that I wasn’t capable; that things were not going to go well; that bad things were going to happen?”

If so, I want you to just stop and think about this article. Think about the fact that because of your past, your anxiety automatically triggers you to feel overwhelmed and to feel the need to check out and then say to yourself:

“That’s my old, learned helplessness training. There was a time when I was powerless to meet my needs. But I am not powerless now, simply uninformed. And, even if I don’t know how yet, I know that there are people who can show me how to stop defaulting into stuckness and how to meet my needs in ways that don’t harm me. I trust that with some help I can figure it out.”

The solution is simple. And the sooner you prove the link to stress about general life stuff and the urgent need/desire to overeat, restrict, purge, drink, spend, etc., the sooner you can set about living the life you’ve always deserved!

It’s just around the corner.

Let me know how this week’s homework goes and if you’re ready for a hand in taking the next step let me know.

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC.

© Michelle Morand, 2010

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Eating Disorder Recovery: The First and Most Fundamental Step

step

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. In this article we are exploring the first and most fundamental step to eating disorder recovery.

If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3.

This week I want to briefly share with you a concept that is fundamental to you never again feeling at all inclined to harm yourself with restricting, overeating or purging, or in any other way for that matter. In fact, until you understand fully the connection I’m about to share with you, you will absolutely continue to struggle with the use of food to cope, with procrastination, with negative self-talk, bad body thoughts, and any others of the coping strategies that you commonly use over the course of a day.

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Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Free Yourself to Live Life to the Fullest – Educational Seminar

March 27, 2010 11 am – 1 pm

At The Ayurvedic Wellness Centre: 3636 W. 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC

Michelle Morand, Founder and Director

of The CEDRIC Centre Presents:

Do you or anyone you know engage in:

  • Food (overeating, restricing, purging)
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Relationship obsession
  • Isolation
  • Avoidance
  • Procrastination
  • Weight stress and preoccupation
  • Angry outbursts
  • Blaming or shaming others
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

This list identifies many coping strategies common to humans.

Chances are you (or someone you know) are engaged in a number of these harmful patterns each day.

What most of us don’t realize is that many of these coping strategies lead to increased stress and therefore, a greater need for more coping strategies to deal with that newly created stress as well as the old stress that has yet to be resolved.

In other words, use of these strategies is not a solution to any problem, it just creates more problems. But, if like most people, you’re not sure what to do to solve the underlying problem and how to stop turning to harmful ways of coping, you really don’t have much choice but to keep on doing what you’ve been doing and hope it resolves itself in time.

This solution isn’t likely to be successful, hence the millions of people in North America alone who struggle with chronic weight and substance abuse issues as well as anxiety and depression, not to mention the high divorce rate.

Join Michelle Morand, Author of “Food is not the Problem: Deal With What Is!” and Founder and Director of The CEDRIC Centre for Counselling, to learn why people turn to harmful coping strategies, and some very simple steps to create lasting change.

Saturday, March 27th, 2010 from 11am – 1pm for an introductory educational seminar and to find out how to begin to change old patterns and free your self to live life to the fullest in every way.

Contact Michelle Morand at The CEDRIC Centre for more information: www.cedriccentre.com

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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A New Beginning

beginningTwo weekends ago, I was in Vancouver with my husband Alex – Olympic Fever Reigned! Holy cow, what a hockey game!!!  While there, I treated myself to a trip to the Ayurvedic Clinic. I met with the physician, Dr. Shiva Varma, who I had met with a handful of times before, always with great success for whatever had been ailing me.

On this trip, I was going to see him for his thoughts on why my sleep hadn’t been so great the past month or so. He immediately assessed my situation perfectly, stating that the only problem I had was that I was feeling a sense of a lack of community in Vancouver as I plan my transition there and he encouraged/insisted that I join him and his team at his new, state-of-the-art, clinic in Richmond, as well as out of the centre in Kitsilano and begin to offer lectures, seminars and workshops there. So, of course, I said…”Yes! Thank you!!!!”

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Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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When I Use My Tools, They Work!

tools“When I use my tools, they work! Things are easier, more peaceful. I just don’t feel the need to use food to cope when I use my tools.”

I hear this a lot from clients. And it’s true.

However, from clients who are a little new with the process, there is usually a “…but” attached to the end of it and the rest of the statement sounds something like, “…it’s just so hard to use my tools.” Or “….it takes too long and I don’t have the time or energy to do anything other than eat.”  Or even “….what if they stop working? I need to hang on to my use of food to cope just in case my new tools stop working.”

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Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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