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Archive for April, 2010

Celebrating client successes. Be inspired…

What an amazing week – or should I say month, or should I say year?! Wow! There has been so much amazing growth for our clients. The amazing feedback just keeps coming. I’d like to share a little of it with you for those of you who are still feeling some reluctance to diving in to this process. It is so important for you to know how fast and how simple this process can be. It’s all the old diet mentality stuff that takes a long time and provides no real, lasting change. The process of healing that we teach our clients at the CEDRIC Centre doesn’t have to take long and provides true, lasting success.

For example:

This morning I had a client in my office who started this process 1 ½ months ago, we’ve had 8 sessions total. After years of struggling and feeling insecure and “less than” and dieting and overeating and dieting and overeating, she’s already had 2 weeks of feeling on top of the world! She wore a beaming beautiful smile. She’s feeling warmer and more loving towards herself, and not feeling that urgent compulsion to eat, and she’s just getting started!!! Imagine what the next 2 months will bring, and beyond!! Oh yeah!!!!

This is not the exception. It is the norm, when people just get started receiving support and start learning how to use the tools. Fast, lasting, complete healing.

I also just received an email from a participant from the last weekend workshop (7 days ago) about the amazing success she’s having in her relationships and with food – no overeating or even feeling drawn to it in a week. When was the last time you had a week where you didn’t even feel drawn to overeat? Where as soon as you felt at all anxious you knew exactly what to do to take care of yourself and to let that anxiety go without using food to cope?  A few sessions or a weekend workshop were all these women needed to achieve that long sought after peace and solidity.

This process doesn’t have to take a long time or cost you a tonne of money. Those are just old stories, or perhaps they are your own lived experience from other things you’ve tried. You can let those stories go now, and just dive in and be completely free in a few short days at our next Phase I workshop (May 14 – 16th) or a few weeks through our worldwide individual counselling. What suits you best?

Here’s one more email I received this week from Lisa who feels solid and secure in her new approach to food through the tools she learned in our work together. Lisa took part in a weekend workshop and did some phone sessions with me to supplement her learning. Now, after decades of feeling controlled and overwhelmed by food she has this to say:

“I am doing really well with the tools that you have given me.  I have not used food to cope in a major way for at least 5 weeks now (I have allowed it to just become a part of my life that I haven’t even written down a ‘start date’ – which is something I definitely would have done before, especially with a diet mentality).  I’ve had a couple of times where it was very, very minor but that’s about it.  I have changed (I guess I just needed to give it a little more time and also allow myself to really try).  I am making really good choices for myself now.  There are things that you have taught me that I can honestly say I think about at lest 1x/day.

I have learned from you, that if I have to ask myself if I am hungry, it is quite likely I’m not so I just ask myself how am I feeling, etc. (I’m sure you know the drill!)

In asking that question to myself, I have allowed it to be okay that when I’m not hungry but want food that I don’t choose food (because it never leaves me feeling good about myself) but that I also don’t choose to “figure out what’s going on” …. I decide to just let it go.  That has honestly been so freeing.  Even in writing this to you I am genuinely reminded that these scenarios just don’t seem to come up like they used too.  I can’t even remember the last time I even thought about using food to cope.

I do remember last night though when I had my snack and wanted a piece of chocolate.  I had a piece of chocolate and I took my time eating it (it was good chocolate), and I really enjoyed it.  What’s cool for me is that somehow (with all of the info you have given), it has clicked in my brain that the chocolate last night is a treat not a meal!

This one has helped me so much.  I remember eating lunch the 2nd time with you and everyone was discussing what they were going to have… I wanted one of everything!  You, on the other hand, were like, ‘Oh whatever, I guess I’ll have this …..’ You knew this was not your last meal, it was food to give your body energy, etc.  I have that now.  I have that natural – it’s food to give me energy!  The last time we went to Boston pizza with the kids (thrilling, eh?) I ordered what I wanted, there spinach salad (you know the kind with eggs, bacon, cheese – really yummy).  The only reason I am saying specifically what I ate is because my other me would have really, really wanted the spinach salad but wouldn’t have ordered it because I would have wanted one of everything, etc. – basically lived like it was always my last meal and when eating out at restaurants or at parties I would let myself use food to cope in such a HUGE way because well, we’re out and it’s a treat (hahaha, a treat that happened 1-2 x/week for sure)

Anyway, I won’t go on and on I just want you to know that you have helped me more than my words could ever say. The day I went online and looked up overeating or something like that online … I will forever be grateful that Cedric Centre popped up and that you are the person behind it all.  I think of you so often.  I know we don’t ‘know’ each other but with a sincere heart, a thankful mind, a grateful partner (that has the woman back in his life he knew was there), kids that are just sooooooooooo happy ’cause well you know the reason….. THANK YOU just isn’t enough.

Thank you.

Lisa AND her family AND her friends!”

Thank you ladies!!  I am always so incredibly thrilled to receive your sharing about how these tools have changed your life. They certainly changed mine and led me to complete and lasting healing from binge eating disorder and exercise bulimia (also known as overeating and exercising like a fiend to keep my weight somewhat stable).

We’re having a great experience of learning and sharing on our web-based program too. So if you’re wanting to start out a little more anonymously, and/or economically, I encourage you to join. It’s just $33.00 a month and provides you with all the support and tools you need to never use food to cope again, and to be a natural weight for your body without effort.

This week the article is on the List of Stressors. The last tool to be shared in the core tool series. The first being the awareness of your sensations of anxiety and the use of the 4-7-8 breathing exercise; the second being the fabulous Drill Sgt. Dialogue that provides such an immediate sense of integration and inner peace!!; and now, the final piece in the healing triad – the list of stressors. Enjoy, explore, and take advantage of the workshops, counselling or web program to cement and expedite your healing! It is completely unnecessary to struggle with food and body image stress for one more week.

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.

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

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update for Week 17, 2010

CEDRIC Centre Weekly UpdateWelcome to the CEDRIC Centre’s blog. This is the best place online to make lasting and complete changes to your stressful relationship with food, as well as any other stressful circumstances whether in relation to your self-regard, your relationships or your career.

Many would say that we are the experts in getting you from “I’m stuck” to unstuck.

Our very simple, quick, and effective method for removing all the barriers to your success, while simultaneously teaching you new ways of approaching food and other stressors, works for every harmful coping strategy and for every age, male or female.

So whether you overeat, restrict, purge, drink, procrastinate, get stuck in harmful or unsatisfying relationships, feel unfulfilled in your career, or struggle with family connections, our method will show you, simply and speedily, how to create the change you seek in all areas of your life.

Don’t waste another day feeling stuck and stressed out. Regardless of what you may have tried in the past, I can guarantee you, you’ve never tried this because if you had, you wouldn’t still be seeking a solution. Guaranteed!

CEDRIC’s Weekly Update

Hello All!

Welcome to The CEDRIC Centre weekly update for the week of April 26th, 2010.  It’s Michelle Morand, CEDRIC founder and director here.

Our Vancouver Workshop Delivered: This past weekend I had the great experience of facilitating our transformative Phase I workshop for a group of amazing women in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Thank you ladies for your openness and willingness to share and to experiment with the tools you learned.

Here are some wonderful comments I received. Thank you again, ladies!

“Thank you for your patience and kindness of teaching me tools which I will be able to use in my life. I have already noticed a shift in my being.”

“I will be recommending this course to all my friends and family who need it.”

“I learned that there is a reason why I overeat and that is enough to change my behaviour of overeating right now!”

“Lots of good information has been provided during these 3 days and the opportunity to practice. I really liked the one-on-one opportunities to work with you.”

“You are a really good therapist and person: Genuine; warm; knowledgeable; caring and skilled.”

“You are a gifted facilitator with an amazing ability to keep the group focused and learning from each other.”

Meet me in Vancouver at the Wellness Show: This coming weekend I will be in Vancouver again for the Wellness Show at the Convention Centre at the Pan Pacific Hotel. I will be presenting on Saturday @ 5:45 and on Sunday @ 11:00. If you know anyone who would benefit from learning more about why they do what they do, whether it’s procrastinate, engage in an eating disorder, restrict, purge or overeat, engage in the diet-binge-guilt cycle, drink or use drugs to cope, or simply just not take as good care of themselves as they “know” they should, I do hope you’ll encourage them to join me for this presentation.

CEDRIC in the News: On top of that, if you watch Fanny Kiefer’s Studio 4 show on Shaw in Vancouver, you’ll be seeing me on Wednesday the 12th of May @ 9:00 am.  How fun is that!?  We just had the gift of a Globe and Mail article last week and a Victoria Shaw TV special on Orthorexia.  It really is very exciting to see the increasing public awareness that our holistic model of treatment for eating disorders and related concerns is generating in the media.

Our Victoria May Workshop: We have a Phase I workshop, May 14 – 16th that still has some room for a few participants if you’d like to join me in Victoria. And as always, our innovative and comprehensive web-based support program is available to you 24/7.

Virtual Private Counselling: We offer individual therapy from anywhere in the world via telephone or Skype and welcome the opportunity to support you to heal completely and forever from the stress of the use of food to cope.

Have a beautiful week!

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The CEDRIC Centre Weekly Update, workshops

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Complete Recovery – Step um, I dunno…

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 33 1/2 and step 4.

Okay, okay, as many of you noticed, we had step 4 last week in the “Three Steps to Recovery” series!  I was going to call it step 3.75 but figured it would be easier to just call it step 4. The truth is there are only 3 core tools to this whole entire process of recovery from any harmful coping strategies. It’s just that it takes more than 3 articles to lay them out for you in the most effective way.

So perhaps we should consider renaming this series “The key steps to learning the 3 core tools” or some such thing. The most important thing isn’t my ability to number or name my articles (thank goodness!). I’m sure you’ll agree that the most important thing is that the steps are clear and that the tools work. So bear with me in my inconsistencies in naming and numbering and just continue to experiment on your own with the tools and thoughts put forth and see for yourself how the 3 core tools change your life forever.

Last week I shared with you one of the 3 core tools. It’s a great little gem that I call “the Drill Sgt. dialogue.”  How’d it go?  We had a great chat on the web program forum about the Drill Sgt. dialogue and how to use it.  It really is amazing to see how just learning how to listen to and communicate with your inner critic leads so quickly to a greater sense of empathy and compassion for yourself and thus to a greater sense of strength, integrity, peace and ……yes, of course, to a lessened need for food to cope.

You see when we truly understand why we do what we do, instead of just judging ourselves as flawed and stupid, and therefore, worthy of harm and unworthy of love, we immediately begin to feel compassion for ourselves – we don’t even have to think about it, it just happens. And, no human being who is feeling compassion for themselves can harm themselves.

Regardless of whether you engage in formal diet programs or your own special creation, or have been diagnosed with an eating disorder such as anorexia (restrict), binge eating disorder (overeat), bulimia (purge), or are somewhere in between in that place we call the diet-binge-guilt cycle, if you’re thinking you can completely overcome your use of food to cope without first integrating your inner critic and learning how to experience genuine empathy and compassion for yourself, you are mistaken. And the sooner you accept that fact and set about your Drill Sgt. dialogues, the sooner you’ll be emailing me to say you’re completely free of any thoughts and behaviours relating to food and body image stress!  X my heart!

It is so darned ironic that the thing we need most to do to get what we most want is exactly the thing we most resist doing. This is the case with each of the 3 core tools: The 4-7-8 breathing exercise; The Drill Sgt. dialogue; and The List of Stressors. We resist connecting with ourselves, relaxing, offering ourselves compassion and empathy, and freeing ourselves from harmful old thoughts and paranoid thinking like those things are poisonous. And, they are poisonous; to our disordered eating and low self-esteem; to our co-dependence; to our depression; our anxiety; our mastery of procrastination and isolation; and to our relationship with drugs and alcohol and abusive, controlling people.

But, hey, I’m all over a new way of thinking and behaving that extinguishes any of those old harmful coping strategies, providing it leaves good stuff in its wake. The 3 core tools leave nothing but good stuff! Good relationships, good feelings overall and a solid ability to stay grounded and clear in the face of stress and unexpected or painful experiences are delivered consistently when we offer ourselves compassion, empathy, self-care, and a regular reality check for our thinking.

Ironically, the only reason we resist releasing this “poison” on our disordered eating and all-or-nothing Drill Sergeant is that we are still mostly operating from our old all-or-nothing mind which tells us that anything other than criticism and more whip-cracking is doomed to fail. We fear loving ourselves. We fear being kind and gentle with ourselves. We are afraid to be real and soft and vulnerable because we don’t know that we can simultaneously be strong and solid and vibrant and confident and secure. We still think it’s all-or-nothing, and that if we give up our “strength” (ie. our rigidity), we’ll be weak. It’s not like that at all. We let go of our rigidity and we become flexible, not weak.  We become stronger and more solid and peaceful and happy and alive than we’ve ever been before and we feel safer and more secure in ourselves, in our body, our relationships, our careers, and our world than ever before.

The only way out is through. And in the case of disordered eating, diet mentality and any other forms of self-harm, through looks like empathy and compassion, self-appreciation and self-care. Loving yourself is so easy. Hating and harming yourself is hard and takes a lot of energy – and, what’s worse is that it’s no fun!  Life is for living. Smile, laugh, start living! Have courageous conversations, starting with yourself. Your Drill Sgt. is waiting, so’s your life.

Next week the list of stressors!

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 Self

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update – Week 16, 2010

CEDRIC Centre Weekly UpdateWelcome to the CEDRIC Centre’s blog. This is the best place online to make lasting and complete changes to your stressful relationship with food, as well as any other stressful circumstances whether in relation to your self-regard, your relationships or your career.

Many would say that we are the experts in getting you from “I’m stuck” to unstuck.

Our very simple, quick, and effective method for removing all the barriers to your success, while simultaneously teaching you new ways of approaching food and other stressors, works for every harmful coping strategy and for every age, male or female.

So whether you overeat, restrict, purge, drink, procrastinate, get stuck in harmful or unsatisfying relationships, feel unfulfilled in your career, or struggle with family connections, our method will show you, simply and speedily, how to create the change you seek in all areas of your life.

Don’t waste another day feeling stuck and stressed out. Regardless of what you may have tried in the past, I can guarantee you, you’ve never tried this because if you had, you wouldn’t still be seeking a solution. Guaranteed!

CEDRIC’s Weekly Update

Hello and welcome to another weekly update of CEDRIC Events!

Our Spring Workshops: It’s CEDRIC founder Michelle Morand here. Our work in Victoria and Vancouver as well as far and away in the world has going well. I’ve been in Vancouver this past weekend and will be again this weekend and next for CEDRIC events. This weekend coming up (April 23 – 25th ) is our Phabulous Phase I workshop where a group of people who are ready to completely step free of using food to cope will be joining me for 3 days of intensive education and practice to create lasting change in their relationship. No need to diet ever again! Yay!

The next Phase I workshop is May 14 – 16 in Victoria, BC. Just email me if you have questions or want to attend!

More Vancouver Events: Next weekend (May 1 & 2) I’m facilitating 2 workshops at the Health and Wellness show. See last week’s update for details on times and places. If you’re at all interested in not using food to cope anymore and in freeing yourself from procrastination, you’ll want to attend.  I’ll be signing books and sharing a little information on the CEDRIC Centre as well.

More Victoria Events: Sarah Atkinson, my right hand here in Victoria, is deep in her facilitation of our latest 12-week group. She’ll also be facilitating a 4-hour workshop in Victoria the weekend of May 14th at the Commonwealth Place to introduce people to the core tools of the CEDRIC approach and show you how quickly you can overcome your overeating and/or restricting. Again, just email or call with any questions if you’d like more details.

Our Web-Based Program is Flourishing – Please Join Us!: We’ve had such a wonderfully overwhelming response to our web-based program and the group forums are filled with such great sharing and support, questions and learning, that we are choosing to extend our special rate of $33.00 per month with no initial sign up fee indefinitely. The whole purpose of the Cedric Centre, when I began to conceptualize it in the early ‘90s and when I opened the doors in 1999, was to create a solid sense of community and support worldwide for people who use food to cope and want to step free if it.  The technology of the Internet and online classes, downloads, and teleclasses has finally caught up with my vision and I am so thrilled to see how people are embracing this option to receive education and support from me and from each other, any time anywhere.

Our next web program teleclass is Wed. April 21, @ 5:00 Pacific time so if you’ve been thinking of joining, I encourage you to do so before then so you can join the call. You can also email me any questions you’d like to hear answered beforehand and I’ll answer them on the call in case you can’t attend or are just too shy to ask.

It’s raining here in Victoria but it’s warm and fresh. Spring has sprung. I hope the same is true for you, wherever you are. And I hope you welcome the sunshine into your life as best you can. You deserve light and warmth and lots of love and appreciation.

Springtime Reflections: If you’re at all concerned or frustrated by the coming warm weather and thus, mandatory skin exposure (or death by heatstroke), I encourage you to read this article that I wrote awhile back about spring and summer and the use of food to cope.

Have a fantastic week and don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter if you’re just visiting so that you can get my tools for recovery article that comes directly to your in box every Saturday morning.

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The CEDRIC Centre Weekly Update

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Complete Recovery: Step 4 Befriending The Drill Sgt.

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3 and 3 1/2.

So, who couldn’t relate to Maryanne and her all-or-nothing thinking from last week’s article? And that was just the first part of her day!  If you use food to cope, the chances are very, very good that you experience constant 24/7 chatter in your head about everything you’ve ever done, are doing, and are even possibly thinking of doing from the perspective of the all-or-nothing Drill Sgt. This chatter isn’t warm, fuzzy, self-loving, reassuring chatter just to keep you company as you move through your day. No. Unfortunately this chatter is loud, nasty, critical, constantly assuming the very worst about you and your capabilities and encouraging you to compromise your authentic feelings and needs so as not to stand out, attract attention, hurt anyone’s feelings, etc.

This voice that I refer to as The Drill Sgt., is doing its very, very best to try to keep you out of harm’s way. It does this, unfortunately, by both ruminating on every little thing you’ve ever done that didn’t (seemingly) go perfectly, and by obsessing about everything that might possibly go wrong in the future.  The underlying belief that he’s operating from is that if he can consistently remind you of everything you’ve done “wrong” and everything you might do “wrong” you will be safe and never, ever make a mistake again. Thus you will be safe, you will be perfect, you will be loved, and life will be one long blissful ride. Well…..maybe in Hollywood movies but in reality mistakes are for learning, second chances must be given by ourselves to ourselves in order for us to learn and to grow. It is inappropriate and abusive to expect anyone to be perfect. It is inappropriate and abusive to not allow people to make mistakes and learn from them. Your Drill Sgt. was raised in an environment where the models also believed in this rigid, right/wrong, all/nothing, no-second-chances approach to life and love. He’s just doing exactly what he was taught to, bless his little well-intentioned heart.

Now, consider Georgette. Georgette is your “friend.” You’ve known her since you were infants. You’ve grown up together, and though there are times you might like to, you can’t really even imagine life without Georgette. Georgette isn’t a very open-minded, forward-thinking, positive person. She’s had some painful experiences in her life and she continuously defaults to looking on the dark side and worst case scenario of everything. She’s a bit of a drag. Georgette is constantly reminding you, every time you spend time with her, of all the things you didn’t do perfectly and of the choices you made that didn’t meet needs for her. She refers to them as your mistakes and failures. Every single one you’ve ever made comes up again and again, a la Georgette. She seems to delight in telling you about all the things that you’re likely to do wrong in the future or that others are going to think and feel and do in relation to you, as well as sending you little “warning” and “reminder” emails, texts, voicemails, tweets, Facebook messages, and notes, so that every where you go, you are reminded about all the things that haven’t worked perfectly in your life (from your Georgette’s perspective).

To put it mildly, Georgette is a drag. And she definitely needs help to begin to see the world in a more positive light, or at least to keep her ruminations and worries to herself. If Georgette were an ex-partner you’d have called the police and got a restraining order (hopefully). If she were a sibling or a parent you’d have created your life in such a way that you spent little or no time with them. You’d have blocked her #, blocked her emails, taken her off your twitter and Facebook friends, and you might even have another friend cruise the house for the little notes so you don’t have to see them.

Well, if you use food to cope, Georgette is alive and well, 24/7 in your head. And she needs a wee talking to. Georgette (ie. Your Drill Sgt.) needs to hear that the way she’s speaking to you does nothing to help you in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t prepare you, it undermines you. It doesn’t strengthen you and toughen your skin. It wears you down, makes you insecure and makes you easy prey for bullies and creeps, and passive-aggressive meanies.  In other words, it creates a greater likelihood that those old painful and harmful situations will be repeated and that you’ll be even less able to protect and care for yourself in ways that honor you and maintain your dignity. Thank you, Georgette! The 24/7 reminders of what you’ve done “wrong” and of what is therefore “wrong” with you are simply your own inner personification of your primary role models for nurturing and care. Think about it.

Who were the key people in your life and how did they express their concern about you and your behaviours? How did they educate and guide you when they saw you making a mistake or struggling in some way? Did they criticize you? Did they judge you? Did they shame or ridicule you? Did they neglect you, give you the silent treatment; withhold love and affection? How well did they let you know that mistakes are a part of life, a part of learning? Did they make sure you knew that they loved you and that you were perfect just as you were? Did they reassure you that you were competent, capable, intelligent, lovable, worthy of care and affection?

The way that the key people in your life ‘cared’ for you, naturally becomes internalized by us as the vulnerable little people in their care, as “what we deserve,” “what is true,” and therefore “what we must just continue to accept in the form of treatment from others and from ourselves.”  Thus your inner Drill Sgt. (your own Georgette), springs to life. Your Drill Sgt. speaks with great power and authority. You likely never even question the validity or necessity of his perspective and ramblings. You’ve been trained for many years to accept that kind of talk and the chronic anxiety and depressed feelings it triggers.

You’ve developed a fairly ingenious coping strategy (a few of them likely) to find a way to have a moment or two, here and there, of “peace” from the Drill Sgt.’s negative judgements and ruminations:

  • You’ll focus on food;
  • You’ll isolate from others (the Drill Sgt. is less triggered when the threat of another’s judgement isn’t as great);
  • You’ll procrastinate on doing tasks that the Drill Sgt. will judge you for or that he has said you won’t likely do well on;
  • You’ll perhaps use alcohol or certain prescription or illegal drugs to distance from the anxiety and depression that his negative rantings trigger;
  • You’ll avoid certain events or situations that some part of you thinks might be fun or really wants to try (because you can’t guarantee you’ll be perfect at them and you don’t want to hear from the Drill Sgt. and feel the anxiety and sadness his rantings trigger);
  • You’ll spend money you don’t have or buy things you don’t need (or both) just to keep you occupied;
  • You’ll preoccupy yourself with other people’s thoughts, feelings and needs and compromise your own needs for self-care and consideration in order to make others happy, or to avoid upsetting them. 

These are just a few of the common coping strategies that you might use. Most humans will use some of these, here and there, throughout their lives when they feel anxious or overwhelmed in a certain situation. It’s when the overwhelm and anxiety never stops that we begin to rely on these ways of being more and more and they begin to take over as our only way of getting through the day. This is when we would be labeled as having an addiction. And we do it, all of us, with no exceptions, to try and shut out the 24/7 chatter of the Drill Sgt. and his negative all-or-nothing, judgemental thinking. His chatter makes us so anxious, depressed and overwhelmed that we need to find a way to tune him out. We don’t know any other way than to numb or distract ourselves. Hence, we end up with two problems instead of one. Now we have a harmful coping strategy that we default to whenever we feel at all anxious or unsettled, even if appropriately so, and we still have the nasty inner chatter of the Drill Sgt. and those harmful old core beliefs that he keeps on feeding us minute after minute.

The good news is, you can take care of both pieces simultaneously. The Drill Sgt. dialogue is your tool for attending to the Drill Sgt. chatter in your noggin. And the List of Stressors is your tool for attending to the urgent desire for the use of food to cope or any other of your coping strategies.

Let’s explore the Drill Sgt. dialogue today and we’ll look at the List of Stressors next week.

The Drill Sgt. dialogue is a very simply, super quick tool that does two things simultaneously:

  1. It proves to you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that regardless of how it seems on the surface, the Drill Sgt.’s intention is always, always, no exceptions, positive.  He means well. He’s just very dysfunctional in his delivery of his message of caring and concern and support. Trust me.
  2. It also is the fastest and easiest way to educate that critical voice in your head on a more effective approach to supporting and encouraging you, and therefore, serves to integrate the Drill Sgt., in his more positive and supportive approach, into the rest of your being. This means you no longer feel fragmented, broken, small, fraudulent, bad, wrong, flawed, etc.

The strength you will feel when you integrate your Drill Sgt. and truly feel whole, perhaps for the first time, in your conscious awareness, is amazing. It creates a sense of safety and peace within the core of your being that cannot be shaken by anything that happens outside of you regardless of what or who it is doing or saying whatever.

The Drill Sgt. dialogue goes like this:

  1. You hear your Drill Sgt. saying something critical about what you have done, what you are doing or thinking, or what you might do or think.
  2. You say: “What is your intention in saying that?” or “Help me to understand what is it you’re seeking to achieve in saying that?” (whichever one suits you best)
  3. Your Drill Sgt. responds with his rationale for making that comment. And to whatever he says you say:  “What is important about that?”
  4. He responds.  And you say, to whatever he responds: “And what is important about that?”
  5. He responds.  And you say, to whatever he responds: “And what is important about that?”
  6. He responds.  And you say, to whatever he responds: “And what is important about that?”
  7. He responds.  And you say, to whatever he responds: “And what is important about that?”
  8. Are you getting the picture? You just keep saying “And what is important about that?” until you feel a shift within you. You will know it when you feel it. You will experience a sense of release within and an “ah-ha” in your being. You get it! You understand! You understand what the Drill Sgt. was really trying to say, what he was really trying to achieve in his criticism and judgement and because you understand you don’t feel angry, you don’t feel hurt, you don’t feel shut down or anxious, you don’t want to eat. You simply want to say: “I appreciate your intention, thank you, and saying that to me isn’t a helpful or constructive way of achieving that goal. Next time how about just saying….”
  9. Your Drill Sgt. says, “Okay,” and you move on until the next Drill Sgt. comment, and you repeat. The more diligently you attend to the Drill Sgt. in this way, the faster he gets it and the faster you get to that place of true integration, strength and confidence.

Here’s an example for you:

Maryanne hears her Drill Sgt. saying: “You can’t even think of looking for another job until you lose weight.”

She asks him: “What is your intention in saying that?”

He replies: “Well, no one is going to hire you until you lose weight, you’re too fat.”

She asks: “What is important about me not being fat?”

He replies: “You look bad.”

She asks: “What is important about me not looking bad?”

He replies: “People will judge you.”

She asks: “What is important about people not judging me?”

He replies: “If people judge you, you will be rejected.”

She asks: “What is important about me not being rejected?”

He replies: “If you get rejected you’ll feel bad.”

She asks: “What is important about me not feeling bad?”

He replies: “You won’t be happy.”

She asks: “What is important about me being happy?”

He replies: “Well, then you’ll feel good about yourself.”

At which point you authentically say something like: “Wait a minute. You’re telling me that every time you tell me I can’t do something because I’m “too fat” you’re really just wanting to protect me from rejection so I’ll feel happy and good about myself?”

Your Drill Sgt. says: “Yes”

You say: “I appreciate your intention is to make me feel happy, but the way you’re going about doing that makes me feel worse and it makes me want to numb out with food which makes me even less happy. Next time you want me to be happy and you’re concerned I’m about to do something that might lead to a painful situation, can you just say: ‘I’m worried that you might get hurt, I want you to be happy.’”

D.S.: “Okay – no problem.”

You: “Thank you.” Big sigh of relief and relaxation.

Have a great week, enjoy experimenting with this fabulous tool for integration and self-awareness.

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

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update – Week 15, 2010

CEDRIC Centre Weekly UpdateWelcome to the CEDRIC Centre’s blog. This is the best place online to make lasting and complete changes to your stressful relationship with food, as well as any other stressful circumstances whether in relation to your self-regard, your relationships or your career.

Many would say that we are the experts in getting you from “I’m stuck” to unstuck.

Our very simple, quick, and effective method for removing all the barriers to your success, while simultaneously teaching you new ways of approaching food and other stressors, works for every harmful coping strategy and for every age, male or female.

So whether you overeat, restrict, purge, drink, procrastinate, get stuck in harmful or unsatisfying relationships, feel unfulfilled in your career, or struggle with family connections, our method will show you, simply and speedily, how to create the change you seek in all areas of your life.

Don’t waste another day feeling stuck and stressed out. Regardless of what you may have tried in the past, I can guarantee you, you’ve never tried this because if you had, you wouldn’t still be seeking a solution. Guaranteed!

CEDRIC’s Weekly Update

Hello all!

Our April Vancouver Workshop: We have one more week to go before our Vancouver Phase I workshop (April 23 – 25th). This event is being held in the heart of downtown Vancouver (W. Hastings and Granville) in a lovely old building. It’s a quiet, private setting for our group to spend 3 days exploring all the aspects of why you use food to cope and most significantly, how to stop once and for all! Freedom is just around the corner. So if you’re ready to stop feeling stuck and to start living, here’s your chance! Call or email any time for more information.

Meet Me in Vancouver in May: I’ll be presenting two workshops the weekend of May 1 and 2nd, 2010 at the Health and Wellness show at the Convention Centre at the Pan Pacific hotel in downtown Vancouver. Saturday @ 5:45 my presentation teaches you some very simple and effective strategies for overcoming any barriers to optimum health. Sunday @ 11:00 I’ll be presenting an introductory education on why people use food to cope and how to stop. If you know anyone who may benefit from these events and from learning a bit more about how to step completely free from food and body image stress, send them this link and encourage them to join me for a seminar and book signing!

Our May Victoria Workshop: also have a Phase I weekend workshop coming up in beautiful Victoria, BC, the weekend of May 14 – 16th. These events are Friday through Sunday from 10 – 5 each day. Check out this link for more details and please email or call any time for more information.

Watch for this week’s article: This week our tools for recovery article offers you a deeper look at the annoyingly insidious pattern of thought called all-or-nothing thinking. In my experience, the more adept you become at noticing when you’re in all-or-nothing thinking, the easier it is for you to catch it and not get hooked. This means you feel safer, more peaceful, more confident and competent in all areas of your life and that means you don’t need to use food to cope or any other harmful coping strategy like drugs, alcohol, isolation, procrastination, shopping, or co-dependence! Freedom! Yay!!!

It is so incredibly doable and so much faster and easier than you might imagine to completely step free of any harmful coping strategy. Don’t wait any longer. Call or email and start truly living today.

Have a fabulous week!

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The CEDRIC Centre Weekly Update

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Complete Recovery – Step 3 and a Half

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.

I received some wonderful feedback from you readers this past week about the last few articles I’ve written. Some of you posted them to the blog so I feel free to share them openly here. For future info if you are okay with me sharing your feedback with others you can still email to me directly as many of you do, just let me know in your email if I can share it as is, or anonymously, or not at all. If you don’t specify I won’t share it at all. And if your feedback comes in anonymously (ie. no email address etc.) I won’t share it as I feel an obligation to my readers to at least have a sense of whose feedback I’m sharing (ie. that you’re a person and not a corporation etc.).

Here’s a great reminder from Judy:

“The idea of writing out your stressors at the moment when you have the overwhelming impulse to eat is a powerful tool indeed!  Who would have ever thought it could be so easy!  When I do this I am shocked by what sets me off, even sometimes things I wouldn’t have thought upset me so badly.”

And here’s a very affirming piece of sharing from Christy:

“Thank you so much Michelle, I always want to send you some cash after I read your articles because they are so valuable.  I too had eating disorders like yours and can identify completely.  I eventually got help at Mental Health here in Victoria, but after that, I was ready for your Centre.  I am forever grateful for your Centre, the time I spent there with Karen and the group I was in, and your ongoing support.  On my journey, I have found Echart Tolle, whose philosophy complements your teachings.  The new thing I am experiencing is being able to make mistakes.  If I were to judge myself, I would say that I am making mistakes that I should have made back as a teen, but as long as I am making them now and learning from them, I can move ahead out of my rut.  In particular for me is asking for or accepting money in return for my work, which is difficult because of my diminished sense of self-worth.  By not numbing out with food after selling myself short, I am able to feel the pain of my mistake, comfort myself without food and learn from it.

Again, thank you for your excellent and all too rare insight, clarity and dedication.  If there is a way I can donate to the Centre in return for your free emails, please let me know.  Yours truly, Christy Gain.”

Thank you Christy, and Judy.  I appreciate your feedback and sharing very much. The greatest gift you can give me and the Centre is your continued health and commitment to being the best that you can be. Your freedom from food stress is what puts the bounce in our step. Just keep enjoying the articles, contributing when you feel compelled to share, and if you feel so moved, share with others, out there in your day-to-day world, our newsletter and about the success you’ve experienced with our support and tools. That would be perfect!

All-or-Nothing Thinking 101 Continued

I speak about all-or-nothing thinking so often with clients and at educational events that I am very often reminded by the questions that attendees will ask during or after a presentation or session, that most people really don’t know what all-or-nothing thinking is.  I mean of course you can get a sense of it from the title: “all” or “nothing.”  You might assume from that phrase that we are talking about extreme thinking, absolutes, good and bad, right and wrong, only one possible approach or solution, some rigid and perhaps even, self-righteous thinking, and you would be absolutely (no pun intended) right.

However, if I asked you to give me an example of all-or-nothing thinking or show me places where it continually catches you and messes up your day, could you?

Now if you’re starting to squirm a little, don’t worry, you’re in great company. You see, the all-or-nothing thinking is the culprit. It is the cause of your current suffering and very likely, a major contributor to your past suffering and to any future suffering you’re imagining experiencing. Thus, learning how to identify and step clear of your all-or-nothing thinking is key to you living the quality of life you desire in all ways, including a complete removal of the use of food to cope and any stressful food and body focus.

It is very simple to learn to let your old all-or-nothing thinking go, but as I said last week, it’s a really tough thing to do on your own because the old brain is slippery and even when you begin to explore you thoughts with the intent of routing out the all-or-nothing, you will often find, without support, that you were unsuccessful. This leaves you feeling more stuck and defeated than before and perhaps, turning to food to cope with your frustration. Unfortunately, many people never stop to consider that it wasn’t that exploring their thoughts more consciously didn’t work, it’s just that a new all-or-nothing thought snuck in, and without an external observer, or a very clear, step-by-step process that you commit to writing out so you can see your thoughts more clearly, the new all-or-nothing thought comes in like a whisper, completely unnoticed and you buy it hook, line and sinker and are back to feeling stuck and hopeless.

Hence, it is key to make sure you’re using your tools for attending to all-or-nothing thinking properly and that you’re not getting caught in a more subtle all-or-nothing thought once you have learned to catch the more surface/obvious ones.

I am sure I’ve mentioned before that I have had clients who have been purging, binging and restricting for decades completely cease these behaviours in a matter of  5-10 sessions (that’s 2-3 months), never to begin again. And it is important to note that these many men and women did not just “stop” the behaviour, they truly felt no pull, no compulsion. They were completely free of the food and body stress that had plagued them for years. That is the most important part to me, to be honest. I am not at all content for a client to just stop behaviourally using their coping strategy. That’s still not success as far as I am concerned. Complete and lasting recovery looks like not even thinking about it and like feeling completely at ease in your body and around any food any time.  That’s what we call success and learning to identify and attend, respectfully, to your all-or-nothing thinking is a key component of that complete and lasting success.

It’s easy, you just have to learn how and have some support to do what I call “fine-tuning and tweaking” to ensure you feel confident in your ability to know when and how to use your tools.

Let me share some examples of all-or-nothing thinking with you so you can begin to look for them in your own thinking and release yourself from their grasp. Next week we’ll explore this even further.

Maryanne was planning all day to go to the gym after work. She had committed herself to it in the morning and had been reminding herself of that commitment throughout the day. By 5:00 however, her energy was down and she just wanted to go home after a long and stressful work day. She battled with herself all the way home, trying to pressure herself to go to the gym.  But before she knew it, she found herself in her home and in the fridge, all night.  Maryanne was a victim of all-or-nothing thinking. And not just during the day at work, but on her way home, and all night at home. Here’s how:

  • Maryanne didn’t feed herself much throughout the day because she was trying to make up for the extra food she had consumed the night before so she restricted and did not listen to the needs of her body for food. Now she feels more fatigued than she otherwise would have been simply because her body is drained of fuel. “I ate too much yesterday so I have to restrict today, no matter how hungry I feel I’ll only eat X, and no matter what I’ll go to the gym and work off some calories too.”
  • Here Maryanne is so stuck in her all-or-nothing that without knowing it, she sets herself up in the morning to not have enough energetic resources to follow through on her gym plans. The same thing she did yesterday, and the day before… Thus, in her Drill Sgt.’s mind, she has demonstrated yet again her laziness, lack of willpower, and lack of trustworthiness.
  • The statement: “I ate too much yesterday” may be true. Only Maryanne can say if she felt that familiar overfull and lethargic feeling we get from having too much to eat in one sitting. But every statement after that is all-or-nothing:
  • “So I have to restrict.”
    Here our Maryanne is so stuck in the diet mentality that she believes that the only solution to having had extra calories the night before is to make herself go hungry for some of the day today. This is called the diet- binge-guilt cycle. She’s unwittingly setting herself up for a binge by restricting and not honoring her body’s need for consistent fueling throughout the day.  At some point her body’s basic need for survival and sustenance is going to hormonally override her mind and its need for a certain pant size. She’s doomed before she even leaves the house to repeat her diet-binge-guilt pattern today unless she begins to let go of the all-or-nothing story “I have to restrict,” and instead says something like: “I overate yesterday. My body doesn’t feel as good as it could today as a result. Let’s take a moment to figure out what might have triggered me (out comes my list of stressors) and today I’m going to eat smaller amounts throughout the day when I notice I’m hungry, stopping when I’m comfortably full, and that means I’ll have more energy at the end of my day to do some exercise and I won’t feel so ravenous and exhausted when I get home that I want to eat everything in the house and then some.”  (This is such a mature, balanced, self-caring approach to food and life. It is so self-respecting and can only lead to a more enjoyable day and a less stressful night. Yay Maryanne!)
  • “No matter how hungry I feel I’ll only eat X.”
    Here, Maryanne is missing the mark entirely. She’s focusing on the food and not on the “why” she overate the day before. She overate the day before for 2 simple reasons, she uses food to cope and she was stressed (in large part because of her forced restriction and self-judgement), and because was approaching food with severe all-or-nothing thinking (ie. good and bad foods; until I weigh X I’m not allowed to eat Y, etc.) rather than simply asking herself the following questions that just naturally arise in the minds of those people who don’t struggle at all with food stress: “Am I hungry?” yes? “What do I feel like having?” Ok, let’s have that. “Am I full?” Yes? “Okay, time to stop, man that was good!” Quiet mind, no Drill Sgt., easy peasy.
  • Maryanne made her day end just like the day before because she was still focusing on food in a diet mentality way and restricting herself rather than just encouraging herself to learn to identify and manage her stress about other things more directly and to practice the simple steps of eat when hungry stop when full everything in moderation you can always have more later.  Ah, well, there’s always tomorrow!  Wait! That’s all-or-nothing too Maryanne! You don’t have to wait till tomorrow. You can start now to wait until you get hungry to eat and then to listen to your body about fullness cues while more consciously attending to any stressors that might be triggering you to feel overwhelmed or want to numb out or judge yourself.
  • “No matter what, I’ll go to the gym and work off some calories.”
    Here, Maryanne has set herself up, big time. This all-or-nothing story leaves no room for anything to change or for her energy to be low. She either goes to the gym or she hears about it from her Drill Sgt. all night. She could have said, “I’d really like to fit in some exercise today, what do I need to do in the way of self-care today at work to make sure I have the energy for that?” That would have worked much better. Or even, “I don’t feel like going to the gym now, I’m too pooped for a full workout, I think I’ll just get off the bus earlier and walk a few extra blocks for my exercise today.”  Ahhhh, so much more honoring than either forcing oneself to exercise a fatigued and undernourished body or just going straight home and pigging out. Balance, respect, big-picture living, rather than rigid, stuck, all-or-nothing. Simply by noticing when she’s feeling anxious or stuck or resistant and checking in for any all-or-nothing thinking (any shoulds, must-haves, must-dos or must happen a certain way or else) Maryanne has so, so many chances all day long to turn her day around and to care for herself and to arrive home feeling more balanced and less stressed, frantic, and desperate for food or to numb out.

You see, it’s not all-or-nothing. If you miss an opportunity to catch some all-or-nothing thinking, you’ll get another one. What matters isn’t that you missed that first one but that you don’t keep spiraling into all-or-nothing and say, “Well, I screwed that one up. I guess I’m screwed for the day – I’ll just start again tomorrow,” but instead say, “Well, that was some all-or-nothing thinking back there, what else could I have done in that situation or in response to that thought? Let’s do that next time.”

Life is for learning. If we don’t permit ourselves to learn from our missteps and to cut ourselves some slack when we aren’t perfect and instead, default into old training, we make it unsafe for us to learn and grow. There’s no purpose or value in that whatsoever. It only cements you in your current half-life.

I could take you through Maryanne’s thoughts on the drive home, her thoughts when she gets home, her thoughts as she eats, her thoughts as she lies in bed, etc., but they would all have a similar flavor (no pun here either!). Be on the lookout for your own stuck, sinking, anxious feeling and ask yourself what you were just telling yourself. Look for any shoulds/musts, etc., and if you find them, which you absolutely will, see if you can begin to simply say, “That’s all-or-nothing thinking. It’s what keeps me stuck. What is another way of thinking about or of approaching this situation that could also be a possibility?”

Play around with that and we’ll fill it out a bit more for you next week. And if you’re just joining this series of articles I urge you to head back to Step 1 and read it and Step 2 before you explore this piece. It’ll only take a few minutes and will make this process much more successful for you.

Have a fabulous week!

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 Self

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Complete and Lasting Recovery From Your Stressful Relationship With Food

Complete and lasting recovery from your stressful relationship with food is not only possible, you can expect it with CEDRIC`s unique and supremely successful method. Simple, fast, effective, anytime and anywhere in the world.

The Pervading Belief

There seems to be a pervading belief in our society that emotional eating, and eating disorders are problems that take a long time to overcome and that even with long term therapy and drugs etc., you can really only ever hope to manage your symptoms: Restricting and overeating food, binging and purging, bad body thoughts, anxiety and depression. In other words, our society, including many mental health professionals, carries the belief that once you have a stressful relationship with food, you’ll have it for life. Many clients who come to work with us at The CEDRIC Centre have even been told that directly by their doctor or psychiatrist, or by well meaning friends and family. How inspiring is that? How motivated would anyone be to seek help and to try to generate change when the story they’re told is that it won’t really ever work?

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update – Week 14 2010

CEDRIC Centre Weekly UpdateWelcome to the CEDRIC Centre’s blog. This is the best place online to make lasting and complete changes to your stressful relationship with food, as well as any other stressful circumstances whether in relation to your self-regard, your relationships or your career.

Many would say that we are the experts in getting you from “I’m stuck” to unstuck.

Our very simple, quick, and effective method for removing all the barriers to your success, while simultaneously teaching you new ways of approaching food and other stressors, works for every harmful coping strategy and for every age, male or female.

So whether you overeat, restrict, purge, drink, procrastinate, get stuck in harmful or unsatisfying relationships, feel unfulfilled in your career, or struggle with family connections, our method will show you, simply and speedily, how to create the change you seek in all areas of your life.

Don’t waste another day feeling stuck and stressed out. Regardless of what you may have tried in the past, I can guarantee you, you’ve never tried this because if you had, you wouldn’t still be seeking a solution. Guaranteed!

Latest Happenings

Well! Last week was lovely for me personally as my husband and son celebrated their birthdays at a family dinner. The 4-day weekend for Easter break was a very special treat for me as I rarely take that full weekend off. We enjoyed our standard Easter Sunday egg hunt with our dear friends and their children, this time we had the hunt outside and a fun treasure hunt inside. It was lovely to just hang out with my children and putter (a very rare opportunity!). Of course the puttering included a few games of laser tag for my son’s birthday, meal prep for the big dinner, and the usual laundry, dishes, rides for kids here and there, and the sorting out of smallish family issues. It was, upon reflection, a very busy weekend! Yet, I feel relaxed, peaceful and very content as I sit at my computer on Tuesday morning and prepare for my day.

I think the trick to experiencing a state of peace most of the time is to become adept at recognizing the cues that tell you when you’re feeling not-peace. Cues like a little butterfly or a whole herd of buffalo in your tummy; a tight chest; holding your breath; tension in your shoulders and neck and/or jaw; focusing on food and body image either through overeating or restricting; a very busy mind that is either ruminating on a problem or jumping willy nilly from one thought to another are all indicators that you’re feeling unsettled/anxious and therefore, not peaceful.

Once you recognize that you are doing any of the above and are therefore feeling unsettled, the practice of simply acknowledging that you’re not peaceful will bring you more into the present moment. This instantly creates a greater sense of peace and strength in you as you are more grounded in the here and now. And from this place it feels much safer and easier to simply check in about what might be creating the distress. My latest series of articles speaks more to this process, and this week’s article offers you a deeper and more specific education into the primary culprit within you; all-or-nothing thinking.

As for goings on this week. Sarah continues her Monday night group with a great group of women. I’m excited for them and all of the learning that will come their way over the next 12 weeks.

Upcoming Victoria and Vancouver workshops

I’m busy preparing for our Vancouver Phase I workshop on the 23 – 25 of April (10 – 5 each day). It’s being held downtown at the private office of a colleague of mine, at a lovely character building on the corner of Granville and W. Hastings. If you are tired of food and body distress taking up more of your time than you’d like and robbing you of the quality of life you’d like to have, this event is the event for you. There is no reason to keep feeling stuck and like time’s a wastin’ when in 3 days you can “get” it and move on with a whole new perspective and a whole new set of tools to handle anything life brings your way.

If you’d prefer a Victoria event we are offering our next Phase I in Victoria on May 14 – 16th.

Our Food is Not the Problem Online Program

Also, our amazing web-based program for complete recovery is being offered with absolutely no sign up fee this month. You can start your healing today for the simple monthly membership fee of $33.00! Current participants claim that the daily centering exercises alone are worth well over the full cost of the program but you get so much more than the brief daily meditations. Have a snoop and see all of the tools and resources that are available to you as a member of our innovative program. Email me if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

Upcoming Events – Come and meet me in person!

  • The weekend of April 30 – May 2 I’ll be at the Wellness Show at the Convention Centre at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Vancouver.
  • Saturday the 1st of May @ 5:45 pm I’ll be presenting a seminar called: Practical and Effective Tools for Overcoming Emotional, Psychological and Physical Barriers to Optimum Health.
  • Sunday the 2nd @ 11:00 am I’m presenting a talk called: Food is Not the Problem: Deal With What Is! where I’ll outline the basics of complete recovery from any stressful connection with food and/or body image.

If you’re interested in complete and lasting recovery from a stressful or unsatisfying relationship with food and with your body, consider joining me for one of the above events or contacting us for an individual counselling session or full semi-residential healing plan. We truly do offer something for every one of every age, financial consideration and level of need.

Contact us today and let us know what you would like to see happening differently in your world. We’ll tell you how we can help you make that vision a reality.

Have a wonderful week!

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The CEDRIC Centre Weekly Update

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The Third Step to Recovery

Third Step

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.

All-or-Nothing Thinking 101

After exploring Step 1 and Step 2 as outlined in the last 2 articles from me it is highly likely that you are more tuned in than ever before to:

  1. The signals that let you know that you’re feeling anxious;
  2. The fact that when you’re anxious it’s not a bad thing, it simply means you have needs that aren’t being met in that moment; and
  3. The absolute causal relationship between feeling anxious because your needs aren’t met and your immediate focus on food and body in a stressful, self-harming way.

If you haven’t got a sense of trust that that is the pattern; if you don’t yet know in your gut that this is the mechanism by which your food stress gets triggered and remains in your life, you must, for your own healing and freedom, read Step 1 and Step 2 and explore those exercises for a few days at least.

This process doesn’t work if you just listen to me – you have to prove to yourself, to that very doubtful, critical voice within, that the problem isn’t you, it’s your training in how to respond to (or not) your appropriately occurring feelings and needs.

Without your own confidence, through experience, in this process you won’t bother to do the next steps of homework and you’ll just come away from this process believing you tried and it didn’t work – which is the farthest thing from the truth.

This process works 100% every single time. It can’t not work.  We are helping you to learn to apply rational adult thought to all areas of your life and when you do that, you naturally feel more adult, less fraudulent, more relaxed and peaceful in your own skin and genuinely capable and desiring of taking great care of yourself.  Once you begin to really “get” the process, the speed of your recovery is up to you in terms of how often you use your tools and therefore, how long it takes for them to become second nature in the way the old “if I feel anxious, let’s numb out” mentality is currently second nature to you.

Where my team and I come in is to help speed you on your journey with support that is specific to you and your unique life experience; we provide examples and tools that are just right for where you are and what step you’re on.  But the basic mechanism is the same for all people and I’m sharing it with you these past two weeks and for the next two or so because I want you to understand completely what’s going on when you reach for food and you’re not hungry or don’t allow yourself to eat when your body needs nourishment. If this article resonates with you, then it’s time to allow yourself to get a little support and to finally step completely free of food and body stress.

I have found, through my own longstanding and complete recovery from binge eating/exercise bulimia and the underlying triggers that led me to that coping strategy in the first place, that it is much easier to change a behaviour when you truly believe you can. That means, if you don’t understand why it is you do what you do, you are likely to blame yourself and see yourself as faulty and feel stuck and keep trying the same old thing.

I remember the feelings of despair that used to overtake me after a binge. That sense of waking to reality to discover that I’d just done, yet again, the very thing I promised myself all day that I wouldn’t do. Every single day my trust with myself was compromised in this way and every single night I felt that familiar sense of urgent need for numbing and shortly after, the despair and depression of failure.

I also remember that the only thing that brought me any sense of light, however momentarily was falling asleep to the story that tomorrow I would be different, tomorrow I would stick to my diet, tomorrow I would not over eat, not a bite more than I needed, maybe I’d even undereat and exercise to make up for tonight and in a few days the damage would be undone…….zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And then waking up to the anxiety in the pit of my stomach that signaled memories surfacing from last night, the bloating, the ‘fatness’ and feeling gross in my body, the self-loathing as I got dressed in one of the very few outfits that fit me at all – something resembling a red potato sack if I recall correctly.  The self-beratement and shame followed me through my morning preparations and on the skytrain to work and as I sat down at my desk, I was already so unhappy (yet externally smiling widely earning me the nickname of “sunshine” from my co-workers…if they only knew!), and, at that point, nothing had even really happened that day.

I had no room for anything to transpire between me and the world as I was already maxed out from my own past pain and present self-loathing and ineffective solutions, yes, I remember that sense of stuckness, hopelessness and despair very, very well.

By coffee break I was across the street getting a giant cinnamon bun and consuming it so quickly, so as not to be observed. Who did I think they thought I was buying it for? And why did I think anyone ever cared about what I ate?….because my family had been extremely preoccupied with what I ate and what I looked like, my weight and acceptability appearance-wise, it never occurred to me that my family had distorted priorities and confused ways of being. I assumed everyone was like them, just perhaps a little quieter about their judgement.

For the record, my years of recovery and 17 years as a specialist in this field have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only people who care what you eat and what you weigh are people who are as confused and preoccupied with food as you are – and believe me, you do not want to try to live your life to make them happy – that’s their job. Your job is making you happy! And it’s much, much easier to do than you can imagine. You just have to try something that works rather than variations on a theme that never will.

Where was I, oh yes, coffee break. Well, you get the point. The day did not go well as long as I was focusing on food and what I weighed and looked like rather than on why I felt so bloody shitty all the time. I just assumed I felt crappy because I was crap and would always feel that way. I believed, because of my familial training, that if I looked a certain way I could at least fake it and perhaps lead some semblance of a decent life.

Only problem of course was that I had some very confused perspectives on myself and on others that led me to feel anxious most of the time whether alone or in a giant group of people and the way I dealt with my anxiety was the same way you do: I ate, I restricted, I purged through excessive exercise (at times).

Now if I’m telling myself  I need to lose weight and stop overeating in order to be peaceful and happy and finally “acceptable” but the thing that I do when I feel anxious about anything is eat, I’m stuck. It wasn’t the food that had me stuck either. Not at all actually. It was my all-or-nothing thinking. I was absolutely fixated on only one possible explanation (I was lazy, lacked willpower, flawed and faulty) and, in my mind, only one possible solution:

Keep trying the thing you’ve been trying for years that had never worked because it’s you that’s the problem and not the diet!

So you see. The underlying all-or-nothing story that I was the problem never allowed an opportunity for me to even open my mind to the possibility that something else was actually the problem. That perhaps there were actually things that were legitimately painful or stressful and that perhaps the calming and soothing and numbing of myself with food would naturally shift if I learned how to identify and attend to those other stressful things. Perhaps even my self-esteem would increase and I genuinely wouldn’t feel so faulty and bad after I got to see myself being successful in taking care of some of those stressful situations in ways that were dignified and respectful and led to a solid sense of closure. This would mean I would feel less and less anxious and insecure and therefore need food to cope less and less, naturally!

Well of course that’s exactly what was true and exactly what happened. And that’s what happens for all our clients. But I couldn’t make that shift myself because of the annoying dichotomy that the mind that actually needs to make the choice to try something new is absolutely imbedded in the story above: I’m flawed, it’s me, it always will be, I’ll never get it right, so why bother trying.  I just couldn’t clearly see where I was going wrong and why I always ended up right back where I had promised myself I wouldn’t.

I needed someone outside of me to catch my thoughts for me and show me where I was taking that nasty wrong turn at Albuquerque again. Someone to help me step out of my old perspective of fear and self-doubt and into the present moment, into reality, where there truly are a multitude of possibilities to every single situation, regardless of what your old all-or-nothing mindset tells you.  As Albert Einstein so wisely said: No one can solve a problem with the same mind that created it in the first place.

Back then, the cycle of anxiety – binging/restricting – feeling guilty and shameful and loathing of myself and feeling greater anxiety was at play in my brain 24/7. Of course I still believed that the solution lay in controlling my food and in me looking a certain way. I never once had any other notion put to me.  There were no other solutions presented, and believe me I searched!

My psychiatrist (only went once); psychologist (likewise); 3 separate GPs; and countless diet centres; OA; etc., etc., ALL FOCUSED ON THE FOOD! ARGH! Even the “experts” were steeped in all-or-nothing thinking! I knew in my gut that what they offered wasn’t the answer but no one could tell me what was.

I was blessed to stumble upon a lady who had been a psychiatric nurse and seen many women and men on her ward with eating disorders who were drugged, given diets and sent home, only to return shortly thereafter. She realized something was missing in this treatment and began to explore other options. She helped me to understand some of the basic principles of natural eating and showed me how to notice when I was coping with food and gave me a few tools to begin to do things differently. It was such an eye opener.

In the 17 years since then, I have committed my life to making your complete recovery easier, speedier and most importantly, lasting. The last thing you need is another process that doesn’t work. You need something that works like a hot damn, right away.  And that’s what our program does.  I wrote an article a while back called: When I use my tools they work!

I wrote that article because that’s the feedback I get every single time from clients. This stuff works. The process I have created for you relies on you exploring step 1 and step 2 from the previous week’s articles (or reading my book, joining our web program, etc., to get the full tool kit) and then, when you have proved, beyond doubt to yourself, that there is something more going on that laziness and lack of willpower on your part, you’re ready to take the next step and begin to actively explore change where it needs to happen first: What is really making you anxious and what can you do about that, fast!

So, as always, email your questions and feedback and stay tuned for next week when we explore all-or-nothing thinking in greater detail and I’ll give you specific examples from many clients sharing how all-or-nothing impacted them and how it doesn’t anymore.

For now, be on the lookout for the desire to use food to cope, and the accompanying feelings of anxiety and when you notice them, just stop for a moment and ask yourself what it is you were just thinking. Continue to prove the connection between some stressor in your life and your current, automatic default to food focus.

Have a productive week!

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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