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The Process of Lasting Change

Process of Lasting Change

Repeated patterns are a window to your needs and the process of lasting change will help you address those needs. For every pattern you repeat, for example: overeating, purging, or restriction, there is a need which is being met within you. Your inability to change the undesirable pattern has nothing to do with lack of willpower or discipline. The pattern is merely a symptom of a deeper problem. If you direct your efforts only at attempting to eliminate the symptom without putting effort into understanding and dissolving its cause, you are setting yourself up for a very fatiguing and defeating battle.

Understanding the Process of Lasting Change

Awareness is the first step in changing any behaviour. You must first become aware that you are doing something which is detrimental to your values and life plan. Resistance is often your immediate reaction to becoming aware of what you are doing and why. This makes perfect sense. You have lived your life with a certain set of behaviours and beliefs. Given this, change, even if desired on some level, often feels less like innovation and more like annihilation of your entire existence as you know it. You wonder what will be left of you, your relationships and the life you know, when you have made the changes necessary to free yourself of this debilitating behaviour. This really means: when you are fully aware of the underlying need that led you to execute this behaviour, will you still choose the people and things you have chosen thus far? From this perspective, change can look very scary and the outcome very lonely. This is why so many of us have to hit our own personal “rock bottom” before we are ready to challenge old, harmful patterns of thoughts and behaviours. You must reach a place where you say, “I don’t care what the outcome is. Just make it stop!”

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Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, newsletter, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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Travelling with an Eating Disorder

Travelling with an Eating DisorderTravelling with an Eating Disorder – Part I

Travelling with an Eating Disorder – Part II

Travelling with an Eating Disorder – Part III

Part I

Traveling with an eating disorder packs a triple whammy for the already beleaguered spirit in desperate need of true rest and relaxation. Whether you struggle with dieting, overeating, purging or a general dissatisfaction with your physical form that prevents you from settling peacefully into the moment, a vacation can be a stress-filled experience that makes you want to just stay at home instead with the covers pulled high.

In this 3-part article, I will not deal with the obvious stress of the obligatory attempts at dieting in anticipation of any vacation that requires the baring of any skin above the elbow or knee. That is a topic for another day. Instead, I will address the 3 key ways in which traveling can challenge the tenuous grip most disordered eaters have on their relationship with food and weight: limitations/abundance of choice; change in routine; and the emotional impact of traveling. As I explore each of these confounding circumstances I will provide you with some suggestions on how to approach them in the most simple and life-enhancing way so you can relax and enjoy your well-earned vacation.

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Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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All or nothing thinking

All or nothing thinkingThis week we are reviewing the theme of ‘all or nothing thinking’ and the simplest way to help our readers to shift out of their old, deeply ingrained, all or nothing thought habits and into a more open, expansive and peaceful state of being and thinking.

In a nutshell, if you’re not feeling compassion for yourself and the others that you’re interacting with in that moment (whether in your mind or in reality), you’re in all or nothing thinking. It’s that simple.

You may want to read that last statement a few times to make sure it sinks in.  Then read on.

You can test this theory for yourself over the next few days any time you notice that you’re feeling anything other than peaceful.

Whenever you notice you’re feeling anxious or unsettled; judgmental of yourself or others; blaming; resentful; impatient; etc., or using your food coping strategy (which is a clear indicator that you’re overwhelmed) simply stop and ask yourself:

“What am I telling myself about this situation or person that is creating this distress?”

Then stop and think, really think, about what you just told yourself.  Is it true?  Are you certain?

You will always identify that you have just been telling yourself an all or nothing story.

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Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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The Logic of Binging

Logic of BingingHave you ever wondered why you, or some of the people you care about, seem to feel compelled to do things that they say they don’t want to? Do you ever find yourself doing things like overeating, or calorie-counting/dieting, or drinking a bit too much, or spending a bit too much, or procrastinating on things, or isolating rather than socializing? Well if you’d like to finally understand what’s really going on behind the scenes (in your head!) to make you behave in ways you know aren’t good for you or that will ultimately cause you stress, read on.

In order for you to completely understand why you do what you do and what you can do to begin to think, and therefore, behave, differently, I’ve put together a kind of step-by-step flow of logic that will help your brain shift out of confused, stuck thinking and into rational, reasonable thoughts that will influence you to behave in ways that will enhance all aspects of your life. ’Cause, let’s face it, you know that some of the things you do aren’t the best choices, you may even have tried to stop or cut back or make some big lifestyle changes. But if you haven’t understood what’s really driving you to do those things in the first place, you can’t be successful for long, and instead will likely feel more stuck and hopeless rather than inspired and confident.

If you’re at all a believer in the concept that your thoughts create your reality, the following logic flow will help you to feel more solid and grounded in clear thinking. This means you will be confidently more present in the world and able to enjoy your food, drink, exercise, free time, and socializing more while being less likely to use any of those substances and behaviours to cope with stress or emotions such as anxiety, anger, insecurity or sadness.

The following is a list of basic premises you must accept in order to heal from any stressful patterns of thinking and behaving and live life to the fullest. I encourage you to read this over on a daily basis for a week and you’ll be amazed at the shifts that occur in your relationship with yourself and with others, with little or no effort on your part.

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Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101, The Law of Attraction, Tips for Natural Eating

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The Secret to Making Your Dreams Come True

Making Your Dreams Come TrueToday, (11/21/11) for me, was one of those days that we might dream about for years and years, hoping it will come true but truly wondering if it ever would. Perhaps from our little girl selves at the age of 8 or 10, and then again, with greater emphasis and clarity in our teens, and then early 20’s and maybe during some dark times too, that dream would keep us plugging along, one seemingly cement-laden foot in front of the other.

Today I had the experience of educating a group of 160 nursing students on The CEDRIC Method. Now, that in and of itself is rather frickin’ cool! Getting to educate up-and-coming front line health care providers on a respectful, simple, effective way of perceiving and supporting their clients who may struggle with eating disorders or substance abuse issues is an incredible honour. Period. That’s a pretty cool day.

But, it gets better!

It was at a college that I went to many years ago. At that time I was a grade 10 drop out. A pot smoking, binging, isolating, depressed, anxious, insecure, totally – and I mean to-ta-leee – codependent young woman who couldn’t make eye contact with anyone without breaking out in hives!

I used to literally slink onto campus, keep my head down in class and try not to interact any more than necessary with any other students.

I could relate to the teachers amazingly well – even was asked and agreed to attend staff functions (aka pub crawls!) from time to time. But I felt so totally fat, gross, and just plain geeky with my peers (aka the cool people), that I didn’t make one friend in 4 years. Not one.

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Posted in: newsletter, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The Law of Attraction

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Making it Safe to Forgive

Making it Safe to ForgiveI had an experience earlier this week with my dear husband where I sure as heck didn’t practice what I preach!

We have a sensitive topic between us in regards to another dear family member and how best to support them through a difficult time.

We often need to agree to just set this topic aside and trust that we will come back to it and it will get sorted in the way we always do, respectfully, amicably, fairly.

This time around, I didn’t do so well with that!

We agreed we were not going to bring up that topic during our quality time together that day. I committed to that. I meant it. And then….as we talked of this and that….the conversation naturally segued into a discussion about this situation and what the best solution might be so everyone feels good about it.

I admit, I brought it up. In my defence, I was halfway through my second or third sentence about it before I realized I had shifted from one topic to that one.

What I would like to have done, and what I will do in the future, and have done in the past, would be to say “Ooops! Sorry, I didn’t mean to bring that up. I know we had an agreement not to. Can you forgive me? And can we start again?”

What I did instead was justify bringing it up (to myself) by thinking – “oh, this wasn’t intentional, it just ….happened.” And, “He’s not flipping out and telling me I shouldn’t be, so it must be fine, right?”

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Posted in: newsletter, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101

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The first step to thinking rationally (and never using food to cope again).

thinking rationally about foodThis week I want to share an article with you that will get you thinking in a whole different way.

If there are ever times these days, when you find yourself feeling stuck between agreeing with someone else’s perspective or holding your ground and honouring your thoughts / feelings / experience, then it is highly likely you’ve been trained to think in an all or nothing way that sounds something like this:

  • If I acknowledge any validity in what you are saying that means I am completely negating my perspective and that makes you “right” and me “wrong.”

Or, put another way:

  • If I let you know that I understand why you think and feel as you do that means I’m saying it’s right or okay and that means you won’t take the time to acknowledge or validate my perspective, nor will you see any need to grow or change (if your perspective/approach doesn’t work for me).  In other words if I acknowledge that I understand you it means I am agreeing with you and therefore I am agreeing to things continuing to be as they are; agreeing that you are “right” and therefore I am “wrong.” I’m not okay with how things are therefore I can’t acknowledge your perspective.  (This, by the way, is the mentality that leads to most of the divorces in our society).

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Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking, newsletter, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101

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How do I feel peaceful when I know someone is angry or upset with me? – Review

How do I feel peaceful when I know someone is angry


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.

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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101

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Making sure your basic needs are met – Review

Making sure your basic needs are met

The only reason you ever use food to cope, no exceptions, is because you have needs (See Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs Chart on the left) that aren’t being met in some area of your life and you’ve told yourself that you’re not allowed, not deserving, or just not capable of getting them met, no matter what you do. These stories you’re telling yourself lead you to feel depressed and anxious, lethargic and frantic, in other words, they overwhelm you.

And when you’re feeling overwhelmed about something you believe you can’t do anything to change or resolve, the only thing to do is to find a way to diminish or discount the impact of that thing: to numb out.

 

In comes your primary coping strategy.

Is it binging?

  • Is it restricting calories, certain kinds of foods, or times of eating regardless of whether you’re hungry or not?
  • Is it purging (through an hour or two of exercise, through laxatives, or vomiting)?
  • Is it an attachment to a certain weight or way of looking?
  • Is it drinking?
  • What about drugs; shopping; gambling; the pursuit of that perfect relationship?
  • Do you take responsibility for what others feel, or what others need?
  • Do you procrastinate to cope with overwhelming things?
  • Do you isolate yourself?
  • Do you avoid certain people or places?
  • Do you resist downtime?
  • Do you resist going to bed at a reasonable hour?
  • Are you a clean freak? Or just the opposite?

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Posted in: newsletter, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101, Tips for Natural Eating

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Virtual Workshops on Eating Disorders – 1 hr Teleclasses

Virtual Workshops on Eating Disorders Download the recorded one hour teleclasses with Michelle if you are unable to join in live.

The teleclass series highlight segments of our transformative weekend workshops. We designed these of course to reach as many people as possible, but particularly for those who don’t have access to the specific counselling we provide due to location, finances or just a state of readiness to ask for help.  The principles learned in the CEDRIC material not only help you deal with disordered eating, they can help anyone using a coping strategy they wish to stop, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. get closer to their goal by teaching them why they do what they do and how to retrain their brain on many levels.

You will find a variety of topics covered to help you attain the healthy relationship with food and body image that you seek.

These are great lessons to own and replay when you need a pep talk so please play them more than once and the repeated message will surely pay off!

To see the schedule, go to http://www.cedriccentre.com/mini-workshops-webinars-and-teleclasses

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Teleclass #1 (download)

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