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Archive for May, 2010

How Do I Feel Peaceful When I Know Someone is Angry or Upset with Me?

This question comes up often in my work with clients, and rightly so. There is much confusion about the distinction between co-dependency and the insecurity it fosters and healthy interdependence and the natural and appropriate concern and consideration of others that it contains.

Many spiritual teachers would say that no one can be truly upset with you. They would say that at best people can be upset by the stories they are telling themselves about you that are triggered by their assumptions and projections of who you are and who you should be and by their story that you are responsible for their needs in some way. Thus, when someone is “upset with you” they are merely upset that you are not living up to the projection and stories they have in their heads about what you should or shouldn’t do/say or be.

I will say that I find incredible peace and enjoyment in my relationships with others when, if I notice I’m starting to get angry, hurt or anxious, in relation to someone, I separate my “story” of what someone should or shouldn’t have done from the truth of what they actually did and seek to understand their motivation (ie. the needs they were seeking to meet); discuss with the situation with them from a place of seeking to understand and to be understood (rather than seeking to be ‘right’ and the other ‘wrong’); and (in most cases) come to a solution that truly meets both parties needs. In other words, the less I take other people’s behaviour personally and simply see it as their best attempt to meet their own needs in that moment, the happier I am in my relationships and resentments just don’t accumulate.

And, if we find that we have too many differences in values or beliefs in our relationship with someone, we can detach from that person from a place of loving and respecting them for who they are while simultaneously recognizing that we are not a match for partnership/friendship/peer relationship, etc. We don’t have to “reject” or “ostracize” the other person simply because we are not a fit. It is not either or; all-or-nothing.

In my experience, that philosophy only works when you have a few key pieces beneath your belt.

  1. You know what your values and principles are and you know that you are honoring them in your relationships with others (regardless of their perception or judgement of you).
  2. You are conscious of your intention in your interaction with others and you know that it is/was in alignment with your values and principles. (This provides you with the powerful gift of integrity which provides a sense of solidity, strength and peace that is unparalleled in the human experience).
  3. You have the courage and the skills to speak respectfully, clearly, and concisely about what you are feeling and about what you are witnessing in the other person, without taking it on (ie. are you mad at me?), and thus you trust yourself to seek to understand them first, and then to be understood by them (if necessary – I find that often when I truly understand someone else’s intent/thought process that is sufficient for me to let the situation rest).

Because you know what your values and principles are and because you know you acted from your best intention in your interactions with whomever you are relating to, you are not going to feel “bad” or “wrong” or immediately shameful when someone is upset or angry with you. Instead, you will feel a healthy concern for them and for the relationship between you two. You will communicate directly and clearly about what you’re witnessing, you’ll ask questions about what’s going on for the other person, and if you should discover that, unbeknownst to you, you did do something that did not honor your values and principles and did not meet needs for the other person, you’ll offer a full apology:

“I am sorry that I….. I understand how that impacted you (here you clearly state your understanding of the impact of your actions so the other person can hear that you really “get it” or so they can clarify if your understanding isn’t full)….I offer you my reassurance that I won’t do that again (if you can make that commitment – if not, be honest about what you can commit to and why)…Is there anything more that you need from me in order to completely step past this?”

We offer this apology only when we truly feel that we have compromised our own values and principles and acted from a place that is not our best self. We don’t offer this apology when we acted with integrity and it didn’t meet needs for the other person. In that case we offer a statement like this:

“I understand that what I did did not meet needs for X (trust, safety, reliability, friendship, etc.) for you and that you would like some reassurance that I will not do that again. I cannot commit to that. I would like to explain the reason that I did/said what I did/said and see if there is some way that we can both get what we need in ways that feel honoring to us both. Would you be willing to hear my perspective?”

What are we going to feel if the other person doesn’t say yes? Well, if we’re solid in our values and principles and the integrity of our actions, we’re going to feel acceptance, “Oh, well, let me know if you’d like to talk about this another time.”  We may feel some degree of sadness that the other is choosing to misunderstand us and that that means our relationship, at least for now, is compromised to some extent. This is not codependence. This is interdependence. If I were to panic, get hooked on having the other person’s approval and understanding, lose sight of my own values and principles and my own sense of the intention of my actions, in favor of this person’s judgement of me, that is co-dependence.

To be concerned about the quality of your bond with someone; to want to be understood; to desire to be given the benefit of the doubt; to want others to think fondly of you, is healthy, normal human behaviour. We are pack animals after all. We need each other for our survival, physically and emotionally (less and less intimately, as our society develops, but we need each other nonetheless).

Where it turns from healthy concern and interdependence to obsession and co-dependency is when you are willing to compromise your own values and principles and integrity to get someone to like you or to be “happy with you.” Here we have a problem, a big one. This is the place where we will feel anxious most of the time, where we will use food or alcohol or shopping or isolation or procrastination to cope with our feelings of insecurity/anxiety that are triggered by our unmet needs for acceptance and for self-esteem. You see, as long as I am even willing to consider compromising my values and principles (including my self-care) for someone else, I am diminishing my self-esteem, I am deepening my insecurity, and I am actually doing harm to any relationship in which I choose to do that. I am inviting abusive, dysfunctional people into my world.

We only feel uneasy or downright anxious/panicked within when we feel that we have needs that aren’t being met. So if we’re anxious about what’s happening in a relationship or what we think someone is thinking/feeling towards us, it is simply an indicator that we have needs in that situation that aren’t being met (they might be in our head or they might be real). We have to ask ourselves what we are telling ourselves about the needs we have that we believe must get met through this person. This is us putting our happiness and our power in someone else’s hands. We must remind ourselves immediately and frequently that there is never just one person who can meet certain needs for us. There is always an option for you to get needs met from more than one person.

Our responsibility in relationships with others is to honor our values and principles, and to communicate clearly and respectfully. If it seems someone is upset with us, our responsibility is to check in with ourselves as to whether we can identify something we did/said that compromised our values and principles in this relationship and if we can’t, identify any such action within 10 seconds of introspection, we must trust that our intention was good and that any action on our part that “hurt” someone else was either nothing to do with us at all or an unconscious oversight on our part, ie. an accident, a mistake, and we must forgive ourselves and are entitled to forgiveness from others. We let go any self-judgement and just ask the other person what’s up. (This is easy to do when we are clear in the integrity of our actions, less so when we know we have done something that compromised our values – in this latter situation we go to apology #1).

When you know that you honored, to the best of your ability, your values and principles in your actions; when you know that your intention was good and coming from your highest self, you have integrity, you have peace; you have strength within. From this place, you can hear that you inadvertently offended, hurt, angered, frightened someone and you can take full responsibility for that without feeling like you are a bad person, wrong or diminished in any way. Even if it turns out that, unconsciously, you did compromise your values in a certain action, you can take full responsibility and apologize for that without feeling at all diminished or bad. It was a mistake, you did not mean to do it or do it at all consciously. You acknowledge it, you learn from it, and you grow and move on.

A healthy interdependent person will offer empathy and compassion, trusting themselves to set clear boundaries about what they need and thus be able to communicate clearly and respectfully about what isn’t feeling okay to them without shame, blame, or rejection.  When you are clear on your values and principles and the intention behind your actions and you seek to understand the intention of others, you will find that any old co-dependent connections either quickly become interdependent ones or fall away and you are left with connections where people are more interested in taking responsibility for themselves and in having a warm and intimate connection with you than they are in controlling you and in being “right.”

Values, principles and best intention = Integrity = Peace

Have a great 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, Relationship with Self

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update for Week 21, 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 the CEDRIC Centre weekly update for Week 21.

At the Centre: This past week we have been busy with our individual clients, both in person (at the Centre) and on the telephone (around the world). We’ve been enjoying some wonderful sharing and healing; just amazing, supportive dialogue, among our web program members. You know, I always wanted to create a space where people who are working to overcome food and body image stress could connect safely, respectfully and achieve their goals with lots of tools and support. In fact, I had that vision in mind when I named the CEDRIC Centre (Community Eating Disorder and Related Issues Counselling Centre). It was the word ‘community’ that was most important to me as I wanted to make sure that others knew that they were not alone; that there was an entire community of men and women growing, healing, supporting each other, in a safe container with lots of practical tools. I feel very, very excited about the potential of this program and very fortunate to witness the healing that is taking place and the incredible support being offered between members.

Updates on CEDRIC in Vancouver and Victoria: This past weekend I was in Vancouver (yet again!) and found CEDRIC’s Vancouver home! We’re nice and central, just off major bus routes but in the most absolutely lovely home you can imagine! I can’t wait to meet with you there – but it will have to wait a bit as that space doesn’t become ours until September. This gives me lots of time to get my team ready (or rather, if I’m completely truthful! to get myself ready to be with my team less!!!). Current Michelle clients please note – I will be in Victoria 2 days a week and making space to meet with you then so I am not gone. And I will be accessible by telephone to my current distance clients and to any Victoria clients who want to work with me that way, too.

Sarah Atkinson will be taking over as primary therapist in Victoria and the rest of our team will remain as is. We have a wonderful group of therapists and body workers and admin support and I feel blessed to have them. As a team, we provide intensive healing programs to individuals from all over the world and enable them to heal from their stressful relationship with food, whether anorexia, bulimia, or overeating, quickly and completely. In fact, we had two healing plan graduates last week and, while I was sad to see them go, I was so thrilled with the peace and joy they exuded.

Education in the Community: I was at Camosun College this week, presenting to a group of professionals and students, and was very touched by the warm welcome I received and the gratitude expressed by attendees for my time. It is the mandate of the CEDRIC Centre to provide education and support for those struggling with a stressful relationship with food, and to that end, we make it a priority to speak at educational institutions to blossoming professionals and individuals at large to create more awareness about why people might develop disordered eating patterns and what to do to help them. There are very, very few resources in our province, our country, our continent…for healing from food and body stress, and we take our role as educators and supporters very seriously. We are committed to supporting you to experience complete and lasting recovery, and we have the programs, materials, and staff to make that a reality no matter how long you’ve been struggling or what you’ve tried before.

I hope you had a week filled with growth and happiness. But if not, remember, we are here to show you how to step free completely from your stressful relationship with food, quickly and forever.

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

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

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What are You Telling Yourself?

You know that precious time in the morning when you lie in bed or you’re brushing your teeth or in the shower and you start to feel excited and energized about the fantasy you’re having about how much you’re going to exercise (later that day, and every day thereafter), or how much you are or aren’t going to eat that day (and every day after)?

You know, those moments when you know what you need to do to be the physical form you want to be, and therefore (in your head anyway…) to be happy finally, once and for all.  Only problem is, if nothing has changed in your schedule and your inner thought process and self-regard since yesterday, all you are doing when you engage in those fantasies is setting yourself up to take a brutal beating from your Drill Sgt. when you crawl in to bed at the end of the day.

Think about it. If you weren’t able to find the time or the energy or the positive self-regard to make honoring choices about what you ate, whether or not and how much you exercised, and whom you spent time with and how you spent it yesterday, why on earth would today be any different? Unless you’ve actively changed your schedule and set reasonable goals based on the reality of how much energy you’ll have at the end of the day; learned to set boundaries about what you do and with whom (both at work and at home); committed to and gained skills for eating naturally (eat when hungry, stop when comfortably full)….why would anything be any different from yesterday?

Yesterday you wanted to be healthier. Yesterday you wanted to exercise. Yesterday you wanted to talk to so and so about such and such. Nothing has changed in your goals from yesterday to today. So if nothing has changed in your expectations of yourself but you weren’t able to honor them yesterday, you really are beating your head against a brick wall to continue to expect that of yourself today. It’s self-harm on a major scale to continue to expect something of yourself that you aren’t yet able to do consistently without changing your approach and gaining some new skills.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop. This is the old, Drill Sgt., irrational, motivation through criticism approach to healing and it hasn’t worked in your entire life so far, so it’s not going to work now. Accept it, let it go and actively seek a solution that does work. What would that be you ask?

Well, what does work is to take a look at what you are expecting of yourself on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in all areas of your life: primary relationship, kids (if you have them), family, friends, work, volunteer, school (classes/crafts, etc.), and your relationship with yourself.  What is it that your Drill Sgt. tells you you should be doing in each of those areas in order to finally be acceptable, loved, safe, and happy (oh, and don’t forget drop-dead sexy!).

Now stop for a moment and look at what you’ve written. How many hours in a day would you need to fulfill those commitments as your Drill Sgt. says you should in order to finally be “good enough?”  30? 50?…. When exactly are you supposed to get that perfect 8+ hours of sleep he expects of you?…Right.

Now what if you just stopped, breathed, really – stop and breathe – be here, now, with me. Notice what you are telling yourself right here in this moment about yourself, about your expectations, about how there’s no point doing this exercise…etc.

Take a moment and write out all the stories you’re telling yourself right now – even the one about how you don’t have time to write out all the stories you’re telling yourself …

Now, at the end of each story add the words “and that means.” Now see what pops into your head. Keep adding “and that means” to the end of each statement until you feel like there really is no further to go. Chances are you’ve just hit the jackpot of all-or-nothing thinking. Go on, try it. If you’re reading this article it’s because you recognize you need a hand in getting to a peaceful and easy relationship with food and with your body. Why bother reading the article and acknowledging you need help if you’re not going to try and do anything new? Usually, the answer to that question sounds something like: “Because I don’t’ really think I can change or that I will be successful…it’s better to not try because if I try and fail I’ll feel like crap – at least now I can still imagine it can work…”

Of course the only problem with that is that it’s not true! Nothing changes when you keep doing the same old same old. Our clients know firsthand that everything changes for the better, and quickly too, when they just say, “Enough already! I’ve got to do something!” and they reach out to us for some guidance, support and tools.

If you’re tired of the morning fantasy that turns to evening self-abuse, start now to write out the process above and give yourself the gift of seeing firsthand what you’re expecting of yourself. Then ask yourself: Within the context of a balanced life, where I have time for my self-care (and energy to follow through on eating well and exercising moderately), what is reasonable to expect of myself in each of the key areas of my life?

Do that for this week – let me know what comes up – and next week, we’ll talk about how to put that awareness into action.

Always remember, this process isn’t hard. It’s simple. What makes it seem hard is all the time you have spent shaming and berating yourself for not being perfect and the automatic default to bad body thoughts and the use of food to cope that ensues when we feel criticized and “not good enough.” It’s time to learn how to step free of the inner power struggle and start living.

Have a great week. Do your best with this piece. It will be worth your while.

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, Relationship with Self, workshops

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update for Week 20, 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

This past week was quite a whirlwind at CEDRIC with two weekend workshops (one facilitated by myself at the centre in Victoria and one at the Saanich Commonwealh Place, facilitated by Sarah Atkinson. Thank you Sarah!

And earlier that week I was in Vancouver for a guest appearance on the Fanny Kiefer show, Studio 4. It was a lot of fun and I hope that the segment helped lots of people to get clear on the distinction between using food to cope and simply enjoying food.

The 3-day weekend workshop was truly amazing. We had a full room, with a group of women that immediately bonded and supported each other to learn and share. It was wonderful! And what amazing weather!!!

This week is a long weekend in Canada so I’ll be spending some time just hanging out with my family and then on Tuesday I’ll be presenting at Camosun College to a group of students in their Health Professionals program.

I am amazed at how our web-based program base continues to grow each week. It is so inspiring to see how members are sharing and supporting each other with such great wisdom and compassion. It truly is the worldwide community for healing that I’ve imagined ever since I was in my early 20s and got the idea to start the centre. And it’s only just begun!

I hope that you have had a week of insights and growth and increasing peace within. If not, it’s time to reach out and join a workshop, our web program or come (or phone) for some individual support or a personalized intensive healing plan. Our success rate is second to none and our approach, however you work with us, is clear, simple and fast.

I hear often from people who have been reading our newsletter for a year or two before they attend a workshop or get some individual support who say, “If I had known I could have felt this peaceful and free this fast, I would have done this years ago!” I encourage you to learn from their learning. If you struggle in any way with food or body image – don’t wait to start truly healing; stop fiddling around with diets and exercise programs that don’t resolve the root of the problem; and if you’ve had counselling somewhere else before and you’re still struggling, it doesn’t mean you didn’t get something valuable or that you are as “good” as you’re going to get, it simply means that you are still missing some of the key tools for recovery that only the CEDRIC Method offers from 17 years of specialization and program development.

I wrote an article recently about the underlying thought processes that will keep you stuck using food to cope. I encourage you to read it, if you haven’t already, and begin to understand more about why you do what you do. Then you’ll likely feel much more energized as you freely step into this process of complete and lasting recovery!

One more note, we have a Phase II workshop in Vancouver June 11 – 13th. This workshop is for any individual clients and web program clients, anyone who’s read the book, and anyone who has attended a Phase I workshop and wants to fine-tune their core tools! Join me and put the finishing touches on your freedom from a stressful relationship with food. Peace awaits!

Have a great week,

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

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

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Complete Recovery: Step 7

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, 3 1/2, Step 4, Step um, I dunno…, Step 5 and Step 6.

Step 7: The final steps in the 3rd core tool

For the past 8 weeks we’ve been exploring the 3 core tools you and anyone else on the planet needs to completely free yourself from a stressful relationship with food. This week marks the final installment of the sharing of the tools. What you now have is a very complete and functional toolkit to begin to handle any life experience without restricting, overeating or purging.

Below you’ll see I’ve posted the full handout for you but if you’ve been following along you’ll be familiar with all the steps up to and including step # 5.  I encourage you to experiment with this most valuable tool at least once a day for the next 2 weeks, whether you feel like you need it or not! J It will make a huge difference in all areas of your life and make this process move along very rapidly for you.

It is quite common for people to get hooked in all-or-nothing thinking as they’re working through this process. I have mentioned that at the end of the handout so you can be reminded to be on the look out for it. But I also want to say that if you are feeling at all resistant/procrastinating in regards to using these basic tools, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it or that they don’t work, it simply means that your learned helplessness has kicked in and you’re telling yourself those old harmful all-or-nothing stories about how you can’t do it, you’re not capable, it’s going to take too long or be too hard for you to be successful. Every single client I’ve ever had got stuck in those stories and every client was able to get free by reminding themselves that those thoughts weren’t true, they were only learned helplessness (see the first 2 articles in this series) and they could just step free.

It is also quite common for people to need a few sessions to integrate and fine-tune these tools for their own personal situations. Please take advantage of the fact that you’re almost there and let yourself reach out for some support if you’re at all confused or just procrastinating on using the tools. This process is simple, it doesn’t have to take a long time and you can be completely free of your stressful relationship with food forever. Just use your tools.

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

List of Stressors Handout:

Note: This process needs to be written down the first few times, not done in your head. If you try to do it in your head, your Drill Sgt. and his all-or-nothing thinking will get in the way and you’ll end up feeling more stuck. When  you write out a list of stressors you will end the process feeling free and peaceful and will be able very soon to just do this process in your head automatically whenever you feel the slightest bit anxious – you won’t need to wait until you’re already overwhelmed and binging, purging or restricting to tune in and release yourself from the stress in your life.

1. Notice when you are engaged in any of the following coping strategies:

  1. feeling that anxious (P.L.A.) feeling in your tummy; or
  2. a sinking/depressed feeling; or
  3. when you are restricting; or
  4. thinking about binging or purging; or
  5. you are in the middle of binging or purging; or
  6. have just finished; or
  7. hearing critical thoughts in your head; or
  8. wanting to isolate; or
  9. wanting to procrastinate; or
  10. having a bad body thought; or
  11. wanting to act out in anger (towards yourself or others).

These are all coping strategies. They are nothing in and of themselves. They are signposts and they exist to let you know one thing and one thing only: You have needs that aren’t being met. The proper response to noticing any of these cues is to take the following steps to seek to understand what needs have been triggered for you and what action you can take to meet that need in a way that enhances your self-esteem and all aspects of your life.

And, if trying to be mindful of them all seems a tad overwhelming (as it did to me when I was first learning this process), just pick one or two to be on the lookout for – it will be enough, I promise.

2. When you notice any of those thoughts, feelings or behaviours kicking in just acknowledge aloud:  “I am kicking in to using one of my coping strategies and that absolutely, no exceptions, means I’m in all-or-nothing thinking. Every time!”

3. Ask yourself: “Just prior to me feeling that sinking feeling or kicking in to the coping strategy of binging and purging, what just happened or what was I just thinking that might be stressing me out?”  Invite yourself to make a note of the first 3 things that come to mind.

If you’re drawing a blank or you are absolutely convinced that the only thing that’s stressing you out is food and/or your weight, trust me, it isn’t! And try this: Consider the Matrix – past, present, and future – not just what is apparent to you in this moment. Ask yourself: “What was I just thinking about from my past or what might I have just been imagining in my future that could have triggered stress for me?”
Write down your answers (these are your stressors). If you still struggle to find an answer (and you may as you’ve likely been disconnected from your emotions and thoughts for some time), try this: Write down all of the key roles you have in your life (daughter, partner, individual, professional, volunteer, student, etc.) and identify the things that you are or aren’t doing in those areas that you have judgement of (things you should/shouldn’t be doing).

Allow yourself to identify your stressors using the tools above and just write one or two words to name them. This should be point form, bullets, not sentences at this point. We’re just getting out on paper a simple list of all the topic headings that may be triggering unmet needs and leading you to use one of the coping strategies above.

4. Now, for each one of your stressors ask yourself: “What is the story that I’m telling myself about this?” Ie. What should/shouldn’t be happening? What should or shouldn’t I or others have done? Where should or shouldn’t I be? Etc. etc.

5. For each story/stressor, ask yourself is there any all-or-nothing thinking in this story? (ie. can I formulate that story as a “should” statement?). If you’re not sure, or if the story feels true, just add “and that means” to the end of each statement in #4 and see what comes up – is there any all-or-nothing thinking in that story? Circle or put a mark beside the stories that are all-or-nothing.

6. Now, for each all-or-nothing story, come up with at least 3 alternative stories. Ie. what else could happen? How else could things go?

7. Then ask yourself, are any of those alternative stories equally or more likely than the original all-or-nothing one?

8. If yes, could you allow yourself to let go of the harmful all-or-nothing story?

9. If the answer is “No” just ask yourself: “What am I telling myself will happen if I allow myself to let go of this story? And is there any all-or-nothing thinking in that?” Then take steps 6 – 8 again and see what happens. I’ll bet you feel much more relaxed and peaceful.

10. If you feel anything other than lighter and clearer after this process it means that you’ve just bought in to some more all-or-nothing thinking and you need to begin again at step 3.

This process may take 15 – 30 minutes or less the first few times and soon (literally after a few go-rounds) will take just a few minutes as you begin to be able to identify more readily what’s really triggering you, zero in on the one key stressor in the moment and easily identify your all-or-nothing thinking.

Remember it is the old all-or-nothing thinking and learned helplessness that prevents you from moving forward into complete freedom and lasting change. It isn’t these tools – they work every single time to help you identify and let go of any all-or-nothing thinking and to take immediate and respectful action towards meeting your needs, whatever they might be.

Each time you run through these simple steps it gets easier and easier, and you will need to do it less and less as you start to shift from a default all-or-nothing mindset to a more open, possibilities mindset. Usually, after you’ve done a handful of them on paper (or computer), it takes just a minute to complete the full exercise in your head and free yourself from the sinking feeling of stuckness (learned helplessness) and the use of food to cope.

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 for Week 19, 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 and welcome to another fabulous week. This past week, I had the pleasure of appearing on Fanny Kiefer’s Vancouver show, Studio 4. It was a new experience for me and it was fun! You can catch a repeat of the show on Monday, May 17.

And, as you read this, I’ll be facilitating our May Victoria workshop. If you haven’t had a chance to come to one of our workshops, don’t despair, there are more workshops coming up in both Victoria and Vancouver.  I’ll definitely be keeping you posted!

Life – it has its ups, downs, ins, outs, “goods” and “bads.” Every day provides us with myriad opportunities for growth and myriad opportunities to change the way we think and behave. Circumstances repeat and each time they do; each time relationships end, each time we switch jobs, each time we move, each time we park at the grocery store parking lot, each time we arrive at our favorite coffee shop to find a long line and no seats….each time we experience the day-to-day events that make up a life, we are given an opportunity to think differently about them and about ourselves and therefore to feel and behave differently (remember your thoughts trigger your emotions which trigger your behaviour).

Our old all-or-nothing thinking Drill Sgt. will tell us that because we behaved this way at a certain time we always will or that it’s who we are and that we should just resign ourselves to suffering, while at the same time berating us for feeling the way we do and for behaving as we do. He beats us up with his words and then takes no responsibility for our emotional and behavioural reaction to his abuse. Does that remind you of anyone from your past or present? If so, even a little bit, you’ve just discovered the genesis of your Drill Sgt. and of your use of food to cope.

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been honoring my value of access to healing for all by providing you, for free, the 3 core tools that you need in order to recover completely and forever from any harmful coping strategy. I do hope you take advantage of your access to these tools, use them freely, everywhere, all the time, and share them around, too. And if you ever feel a little stuck or like the tools might not work for you, just remember this: The tools work every time you use them. No exceptions.

If you’re resistant to trying the tools just check in for any all-or-nothing stories in the form of that pattern of thinking I call “learned helplessness.” It sounds something like this: I can’t; It’s too hard; It’s going to take too long; Even if I am successful this time I won’t be able to really change forever; I’ll be the one person this process doesn’t work for…..etc. etc. etc.   If your mind goes there, just remember, everyone’s mind goes there. It’s part of the sickness. It’s part of having an eating disorder or of being an alcoholic, a drug addict, a gambler, a shopaholic, a workaholic, a clean freak, a perfectionist, a schizophrenic, a paranoid, a bi-polar, and anyone who is constantly anxious, depressed or completely numb. These are all just coping strategies and they share a common theme: Learned Helplessness.

You’re in good company. Most of the population of the planet has this harmful, debilitating mindset to some extent in some area of their lives. Most people have to unlearn those old ways of thinking and the harmful behaviours they have created before they can feel peaceful, free, alive, vibrant, passionate and worthy. With the CEDRIC Method, a handful of sessions or a weekend workshop is often enough to set you well on your way to complete freedom.

My team and I are committed to your complete and lasting healing from any stressful thinking and harmful behaviours. Let us support you to step free once and for all. Remember, your life is waiting.

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

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

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Complete Recovery – Step 6

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, 3 1/2, Step 4, Step um, I dunno…, and Step 5.

Step 6: More of the List of Stressors – Your simple key to freedom!

Hello All,

Continuing on with the theme from the past 6 weeks – here we go with more on the 3 core tools for complete and lasting recovery. My gift to you! I do hope you’re taking advantage of this opportunity to begin to explore these tools and see how they can benefit your life in all areas. If you’ve tried them once or twice and noticed subtle shifts, even for a moment, just imagine how profound those shifts will be once you have more familiarity and trust in these tools to alleviate any stressful thoughts and any need to use food to cope. If you can appreciate the power of these tools and want support to get “there” faster, just email or call and let us know – we’ll arrange a session for you or you can attend a workshop or join our web program. All are fabulous ways to create a life that is completely free from food and body image stress.

Last week I shared the first two steps and urged/encouraged/begged you to explore them before you went on to this week’s steps. I hope you did. But if not, just pick up with this week and if it feels like it’s not clicking, just let it be okay to go back to last week and do that for a day or two – it will suffice. Then come back to this week’s assignment and you’ll be good to go!

I’ve added the first steps that I shared with you last week here so you can see the flow of the process more clearly. So, if you’re savvy with the first 2 steps skip to 3, otherwise, take a mo’ and read them over before moving on – not a bad idea for us all to be repeatedly reminded of the basics.

So, encourage yourself to take 10 minutes each day to work down to step 5. Next week, I’ll share the last few steps with you and you’ll be good to go!  I really want to hear from you about your experience with these steps, particularly if you’re having a challenging time identifying the all-or-nothing in your thinking (stories). This is to be expected and is nothing at all to judge in yourself – we all struggle initially with separating the fact from the fiction, and that’s what I and my staff are here for.

List of Stressors Handout:

Note: This process needs to be written down the first few times, not done in your head. If you try to do it in your head your Drill Sgt. and his all- or- nothing thinking will get in the way and you’ll end up feeling more stuck. When  you write out a list of stressors you will end the process feeling free and peaceful and will be able very soon to just do this process in your head automatically whenever you feel the slightest bit anxious – you won’t need to wait until you’re already overwhelmed and binging, purging or restricting to tune in and release yourself from the stress in your life.

1. Notice when you are engaged in any of the following coping strategies:

  1. feeling that anxious (P.L.A.) feeling in your tummy; or
  2. a sinking/depressed feeling; or
  3. when you are restricting; or
  4. thinking about binging or purging; or
  5. you are in the middle of binging or purging; or
  6. have just finished; or
  7. hearing critical thoughts in your head; or
  8. wanting to isolate; or
  9. wanting to procrastinate; or
  10. having a bad body thought; or
  11. wanting to act out in anger (towards yourself or others).

These are all coping strategies. They are nothing in and of themselves. They are signposts and they exist to let you know one thing and one thing only: You have needs that aren’t being met. The proper response to noticing any of these cues is to take the following steps to seek to understand what needs have been triggered for you and what action you can take to meet that need in a way that enhances your self-esteem and all aspects of your life.

And, if trying to be mindful of them all seems a tad overwhelming (as it did to me when I was first learning this process), just pick one or two to be on the lookout for – it will be enough, I promise.

2. When you notice any of those thoughts, feelings or behaviours kicking in just acknowledge aloud:  “I am kicking in to using one of my coping strategies and that absolutely, no exceptions, means I’m in all-or-nothing thinking. Every time!”

3. Ask yourself: “Just prior to me feeling that sinking feeling or kicking in to the coping strategy of binging and purging, what just happened or what was I just thinking that might be stressing me out?  Invite yourself to make a note of the first 3 things that come to mind.

If you’re drawing a blank or you are absolutely convinced that the only thing that’s stressing you out is food and/or your weight, trust me, it isn’t! And try this: Consider the Matrix – past, present, and future – not just what is apparent to you in this moment. Ask yourself : “What was I just thinking about from my past or what might I have just been imagining in my future that could have triggered stress for me?”

Write down your answers (these are your stressors). If you still struggle to find an answer (and you may as you’ve likely been disconnected from your emotions and thoughts for some time), try this: Write down all of the key roles you have in your life (daughter, partner, individual, professional, volunteer, student, etc.) and identify the things that you are or aren’t doing in those areas that you have judgement of (things you should/shouldn’t be doing).

Allow yourself to identify your stressors using the tools above and just write one or two words to name them. This should be point form, bullets, not sentences at this point. We’re just getting out on paper a simple list of all the topic headings that may be triggering unmet needs and leading you to use one of the coping strategies above.

4. Now, for each one of your stressors ask yourself: “What is the story that I’m telling myself about this?” Ie.What should/shouldn’t be happening? What should or shouldn’t I or others have done? Where should or shouldn’t I be? Etc. etc.

5. For each story/stressor ask yourself is there any all-or-nothing thinking in this story? (ie. can I formulate that story as a “should” statement?). If you’re not sure, or if the story feels true, just add “and that means” to the end of each statement in #4 and see what comes up – is there any all-or-nothing thinking in that story? Circle or put a mark beside the stories that are all-or-nothing.

Take some time each day with these steps, I urge you, and you’ll notice a big difference in your overall anxiety and your urgency to use food to cope.

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

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CEDRIC’s Weekly Update for Week 18, 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

Welcome to another fabulous week of the CEDRIC Centre’s on line ezine!  This week’s article adds a few more pieces to one of the 3 core tools for recovery: The List of Stressors, and next week, we’ll finish it up and move on to a chat about perfectionism. Good stuff!!

I’m on TV this week!: This Wednesday, the 12th I’ll be on the Fanny Keifer show (Studio 4) in Vancouver on Shaw @ 9:00. A new experience for me!  I’ve done quite a few TV appearances to share information about disordered eating, overeating, dieting, orthorexia, and about the Centre’s services too. So the experience of being in front of the camera isn’t new or scary, not like it was the first time or two. I was just chatting with a client about the tendency we have to judge ourselves for feeling anxious or insecure in new situations. It is perfectly appropriate to feel some degree of anxiety and insecurity in new situations. Everyone does. And anyone who says they don’t is not being honest with you or with themselves. There certainly are different levels of anxiety, and some people may approach new situations with a fairly low level of distress while others may be downright panicked and may not even be able to follow through on their plans as a result. The difference, with no exceptions between Person A and Person B is the degree to which they still get hooked into old core beliefs, negative self-talk and worst case-scenario thinking.

The 3 core tools take care of any of those concerns in moments. You can’t expect to live life to the fullest and never feel at all anxious or unsettled. But you can expect that once you recognize that you are unsettled, you can use your 3 core tools, in moments to remove any old stories and future ideation (worst case scenario fantasies), and therefore be left with the natural, healthy appropriate niggle that any new situation calls for. This appropriate niggle is usually less than 10% of the distress that most people feel. 90% is the story, the future thinking and old crud that gets triggered simply because of the link you’ve formed, long ago, between feeling at all unsettled and automatically defaulting into learned helplessness (I can’t, I’m not good enough, It’s too overwhelming, etc.). That means, in a few short minutes, once you’ve mastered these tools you can bring yourself from overwhelmed and needing food to cope to pretty darned peaceful and enjoying the little anticipatory energy in your body when you’re in a new situation. Very fun!! Very freeing!!

Victoria May Workshop: Next weekend is the Phase I workshop in Victoria, the 14 – 16 from 10 – 5 each day. We have 2 spaces free if you’d like to come. Here’s a little more feedback from past participants to give you a sense of what you can expect from attending.

“The weekend workshops are amazing!  The Phase I is such a great way to learn/affirm the tools and help you focus on what you need to focus on.  The one tool that Michelle helped me with that REALLY made an impact for me in this workshop was the drilling down to determine the real reason or energy or thoughts behind the statements we make or those that are said to us – “and what’s important about that . . . ” I learned that it’s not about me, and that it’s ALL about me . . . depending on the situation.  That’s where I became VERY clear that, for me, it’s where my brain is at, and what my beliefs in myself are and what my story is.  The group situation was great – we all bonded very quickly – and everyone had ample time for individual work.”

“The workshop was amazing. Michelle is a gifted facilitator and I got so much more out of the workshop in 3 days then I had in 3 months of reading her book. I’ve been watching the forums (on the web program) for the past week and have felt very strong in my understanding of the issues being discussed and the underlying issues of PLA, Alexithymia, All-or-Nothing Thinking, etc.

I came away from the workshop feeling at peace for the first time in years.

There were 6 participants plus Michelle. Michelle was able to meet everyone’s individual need to be heard while translating their situation to include all of us. I remember thinking when I was sharing that I was using up too much group time (my Drill Sgt. was firmly entrenched), however, as the weekend continued and we shared outside of group time, it became apparent that we were all feeling the same self-doubt and were all benefiting from each others stories.

I was struck by the other participants; they were all intelligent, strong, beautiful and caring women who were deserving of all the good things that life has to offer. Yet, they struggle with the same demons that I struggle with; the nasty Drill Sgt, sky-high PLA, not trusting themselves to make ‘good’ decisions, etc. It became clear to me over the weekend that I was one of them, that I am as strong, as intelligent, as caring and maybe even as beautiful as they are. WOW!! That realization was worth the whole weekend.

I decided to join the online program to keep my focus on my recovery. I have attended countless work-related workshops and know that all the best intentions to implement whatever you’ve learned are quickly put on the shelf if there is no follow-up. I’m not willing to shelve any of the things I learned during those 3 days and I’m definitely not willing to shelve this peace that I feel.”

Have a fantastico week!!!

And a special welcome to all of our new web program members. Our online community is growing. The dialogue is fantastic, and I’m thrilled with how everyone is making the program their own! A dream come true!

Love

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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Eating Disorder Recovery Worksheets

Hello. Here are the eating disorder recovery worksheets for basic needs, the diet mentality and the matrix to help you in your understanding of some of the key concepts of The CEDRIC Method.

Understanding how your needs are influencing your emotions and your use of food to cope is key to stepping free of that harmful pattern once and for all. Basic Needs Worksheet

The Diet Mentality will help you to be able to see more clearly when your thinking is going sideways and to change the way you think about food. It is really hard to change a longstanding pattern if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and what you’re aiming for. This will help. The Diet Mentality Worksheet

And the Matrix worksheet is a great image and reminder that we cannot just look in the present moment for the cause of our stress or anxiety and desire to eat or restrict. We must also consider past experiences and future plans and how they may be impacting our emotions in the moment. The Matrix Worksheet

Once you understand the basics of what triggers you (basic needs, confused diet-mentality thinking, and stress of past and future as well as present day events) you can then begin to apply the core tools of the CEDRIC Method – The Drill Sgt. Dialogue and The List of Stressors to forever change the way you think and react to situations in your life.

There is no need for you to struggle feeling anxious and insecure in life or feeling crappy about your body or what you’re eating. Not any longer.

The solution is simple and fast and it just makes sense so you don’t have to talk yourself into it or force yourself to do it. You’ll soon be saying – OMG! That was soooo easy!

I’m here to help. Email and let me support you to rapid and lasting change.

Michelle Morand
mmorand@cedriccentre.com  (more…)

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Complete Recovery – Step 5

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, 3 1/2, Step 4, Step um, I dunno…

I figure we’ll just keeping going with the steps here and have fun with the new improved way to count to 3! 🙂

This week I’m going to share with you the first few steps in the 3rd core tool: The List of Stressors. You’ve got the 4-7-8, you’ve got the Drill Sgt. dialogue, and now (after the next 2 or 3 weeks anyway) you’ll have the List of Stressors and all that will remain in your healing is some practice and fine-tuning and tweaking of these tools for your own personal experience.

The feedback on these series of articles has been amazing – thank you!!! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them and learning so much.  To cement your learning and create the greatest likelihood of success for you with these tools I am going to take the liberty of offering you the List of Stressors in 3 segments. I find that if you can have a week or so to practice with the first few steps and then add a few more it all makes so much sense, it doesn’t seem at all overwhelming, you don’t get triggered into learned helplessness or all-or-nothing thinking and you actually use the tool a few times! 🙂 A few times is truly all it takes to begin to see major change in your head space, your emotions and your use of food to cope. It doesn’t have to be hard, remember? You just have to try.

When I’ve shared with you all of the steps over the next few weeks, I’ll post a full copy of the list of stressors handout for your to download so you can have it anywhere anytime. As always, feel free to share these tools with anyone anywhere, I just ask that you let them know where you got them. And feel free to forward the newsletter to as many people as you think would benefit from learning more about their own inner thought processes and their use of harmful coping strategies.

Okee dokee – let us begin!

The List of Stressors

Note: This process needs to be written down the first few times, not done in your head. Trust me. If you try to do it in your head, your Drill Sgt. and his all-or-nothing thinking will get in the way and you’ll end up feeling more stuck. When you write out a list of stressors, you will end the process feeling free and peaceful and will be able very soon to just do this process in your head automatically whenever you feel the slightest bit anxious – you won’t need to wait until you’re already overwhelmed and binging, purging or restricting to tune in and release yourself from the stress in your life.

For this week I encourage you to take the following steps towards complete and lasting freedom for eating disorders, dieting, and any other harmful coping strategy:

Notice when you are engaged in any of the following coping strategies:

  1. feeling that anxious (P.L.A.) feeling in your tummy; or
  2. a sinking/depressed feeling; or
  3. when you are restricting; or
  4. thinking about binging or purging; or
  5. you are in the middle of binging or purging; or
  6. have just finished; or
  7. hearing critical thoughts in your head; or
  8. wanting to isolate; or
  9. wanting to procrastinate; or
  10. having a bad body thought; or
  11. wanting to act out in anger (towards yourself or others).

These are all coping strategies. They are nothing in and of themselves. They are signposts, and they exist to let you know one thing and one thing only: You have needs that aren’t being met.

The proper response to noticing any of these cues is to take the following steps to seek to understand what needs have been triggered for you and what action you can take to meet that need in a way that enhances your self-esteem and all aspects of your life.

(And, if trying to be mindful of them all seems a tad overwhelming (as it did to me when I was first learning this process), just pick the one or two that you think will be easiest for you to notice – it will be enough, I promise)

  • Whenever you catch yourself doing, thinking or feeling any of these things, acknowledge aloud:  “I am kicking in to using one of my coping strategies and that absolutely, no exceptions, means I’m in all-or-nothing thinking. Every time!”

That’s it, that’s all for this week. I promise you if you keep trucking with your Drill Sgt. dialogue, your 4-7-8 (once or twice a day), and do these first 2 steps on the list of stressors, you’ll already notice a significant shift in your overall stress level and in your need for binging, purging, restricting, and any other harmful pattern.

Email with any questions or sharing about how you’re doing and we’ll add the next few steps next week. Practice these 2 steps to build a solid foundation for what is to follow. It will make a huge difference.

Have a great 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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