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Archive for January, 2011

Steve-o

CEDRIC Centre - Grieving for Steve-oLast Monday, the 17th of January, 2011, my step-father Stephen Patton died suddenly. All last week I was actively engaged in supporting my mom, family members (my son was so very close to Steve or Steve-o as I called him) and myself through the process of funeral arrangements, services, wills and other related bits and pieces. And don’t let me forget – grieving.

I think you might like to know that I didn’t feel the slightest bit compelled to use food to cope or alcohol etc., etc., rather I felt grounded, centred, grief-stricken, grateful to have known Steve-o and to have had the many wonderful moments with him that I did.

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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, newsletter, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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The Body-Mind Connection

Learn to love your body by appreciating the gift of life, the gift of health and your ability to enhance and optimize your health. Have compassion and understanding for how your body came to be as it is. It didn’t get there on its own. It got there because of your need to use food to cope, not the other way around. If you are ready to begin to see your body in a different light, we are here to support you to heal.

During the healing process, we will Identify underlying triggers. Once you heal them, you will come to a natural weight for your body, free from anxiety and distress about food and body image. Imagine a life without limits and total comfort with who you are, inside and out. This is our goal for you.?

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Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa (Physiological)
  • Over-excessive concern with body image
  • Extreme weight loss due to reduced food intake
  • Feelings of being fat in spite of increasing thinness
  • Obsessive Behaviour: With food, with dieting, and with exercising
Other physiological symptoms may include: weakness, swelling of the neck, cessation of menstruation, low pulse and blood pressure, ulcers, loss of tooth enamel due to repeated vomiting, thyroid dysfunction, insomnia, hormone and electrolyte imbalances, potassium deficiency, and others.
 
Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa (Psychological)

  •  Loss of self-esteem
  •  Fears of growing up
  •  Difficult parent/child relationships
  •  Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority
  •  Peer and parent pressure
  •  Perfectionism
  •  Deep feelings of guilt and shame

Anorexia is also often accompanied by extreme over-activity, panic, anxiety, and sometimes drug abuse.

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When I Use My Tools, They Work!

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

Okay, for starters, under what circumstances could increased awareness and compassion for yourself and others ever stop working for anything? They are the key to the happiness in every single happy person.


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The CEDRIC Philosophy

At The CEDRIC Centre we believe:

  1. Food is not the problem.
  2. Food is just a coping strategy; regardless of whether you overeat, under eat, or binge and purge.
  3. Until you identify and heal the underlying concerns from your past, your present and/or your future that are triggering you to use food to cope you will continue to overeat, restrict or purge.
  4. Any effort to control your use of food through restriction, without a clear understanding of why you are using food to cope in the first place, can not be successful for any length of time.
  5. Complete and lasting recovery from restriction, overeating, and bingeing is possible. Regardless of how long this pattern has been a part of your life, you can anticipate achieving complete freedom from the use of food to cope.
  6. A natural relationship with food means you eat when you are hungry and you stop when you are full. Barring any medical condition, it is impossible to be anything other than a natural and healthy weight for your body if you are eating in response to your body’s natural signals of hunger and fullness.
  7. Our goal is to support you to achieve a natural relationship with food and to heal the underlying triggers that have led you to use food to cope in the past.


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Food Focus is Directly Related to Emotional Pain

When we focus on calories and losing weight, we keep ourselves in a state of denial about painful experiences in our lives. We have a strong need for acceptance from others and will go out of our way to please others, even if it means sacrificing ourselves. This need for acceptance, coupled with feelings of low self-worth, keeps us stuck in a world of perfectionism, where our primary focus is on our body, how unacceptable we perceive it to be, and what life will be like when we finally have the body we desire.

As long as we believe that our body is the source of our unhappiness, we are able to stay in denial about the underlying causes of our distress with an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa. What we fail to understand is that we are capable human beings, who can safely be responsible for our emotions and experiences, and who can learn to show respect for ourselves and our needs, without losing the support and respect of others.


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Oneness and Peace

If we’ve never felt the sense of peace and flow that comes from being completely in the moment through meditation, prayer, or some activity which has captured our full attention, it is likely that we will confuse the sense of connectedness and happiness that we can sometimes feel with friends, family and peers with the sense of oneness and peace that comes from a higher, spiritual connection. It is this confusion that inevitably leads us to believe that in order to be happy and to feel peaceful we need the approval of someone outside of ourselves.

This mindset makes us exceptionally vulnerable. In order for us to feel truly happy and confident and secure in ourselves and in our world, we must come to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are capable of meeting our own needs for connectedness, peace and happiness.

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Reset Your Inner Alarm

Reset Your Inner Alarm

Want to stop automatically reacting to stress by binging and feeling insecure and crappy about yourself. Then try the Reset Your Inner Alarm exercise.

What sense would it make if every time your alarm went off to wake you in the morning, you said “Oh, there’s my alarm. I guess that means I’ll go back to sleep?” Not much sense in that at all.

Well, every time you notice you’re feeling anxious or depressed or starting to think about using food to cope and then actually restrict, binge, or purge, you are doing exactly that.

You are, in essence, noticing the alarm (your anxiety, your depressed feelings, your thoughts of using a coping strategy) and then going back to sleep through numbing out and focusing on food.

That’s why, despite your strong desire for things to be different you find yourself staying stuck going round and round in circles with food and weight loss struggles.

How about you try this instead?

The next time you notice a. you’re hungry but aren’t letting yourself eat or b. you aren’t hungry but you’re wanting to eat or you’re binging and can’t stop, just ask yourself – 

a. What’s going to happen if I allow myself to eating something now? Is that the only thing that could happen? What else could possibly happen? What would I like to see happen?

b. What’s going to happen if I don’t have something now or if I stop eating now? Is that the only thing that could happen? What else could possibly happen? What would I like to see happen?

Take the time to start to notice the stories you are telling yourself about food and about you and to question them – that will make it almost effortless to side-step them and begin to relate normally to food. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, everything in moderation and handle stress from other aspects of life in rational, functional ways not by denying your body food or by force feeding yourself.

Make it safe to check in and try this experiment by reassuring yourself that no matter what the answers to your questions are you are not going to force yourself to do anything any differently. If you naturally want to eat or stop eating that’s fine, if you don’t that’s fine too. The key for now is to start to understand what is driving you to do what you say you don’t want to do.

The behavioural change will come naturally once you have developed a good understanding of yourself.

I’m here to help. Reach out for some individual sessions or for some information on our workshops and web program. Change is speedy and simple when you have a supportive, knowledgeable guide and simple tools to follow. And that’s what I will provide for you.

Love Michelle

mmorand@cedriccentre.com

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Unmet Needs Drive the Anxiety Train

Folks, you are anxious for a reason. It’s not because you’re too sensitive. It’s not because you’re crazy or bi-polar or borderline or schizophrenic or suffering from “panic disorder.” Any of those clusters of symptoms are really just your best way of coping with the unmet needs in your life and the anxiety and grief they produced.

The solution will never ever be found in judging yourself and masking or numbing your symptoms. But first, some part of you must be willing to acknowledge that perhaps, even if you’re not entirely sure how as you think about it now, you have or at least had as a child, a perfectly valid reason for feeling like some key needs weren’t met.

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Saying I Love You Part Deux

Saying I Love YouWell! You guys/gals are totally awesome!!!!

I have received such incredible sharing this week in regards to your efforts in the challenge I gave you in last week’s article about: Saying I love you, Thank you, and I’m Sorry.

First off, I am so excited and touched and thrilled and happy for you that you accepted this challenge as you did. It takes a great deal of courage to be willing to look within at old patterns and to then take action to change what needs a tweak (or a major overhaul)! It takes great courage but it’s so incredibly worth it.

The wonderful thing is that those of you who took the plunge and challenged yourself to say “Thank you” and “I’m Sorry” and “I love you” all learned such amazing things about yourself and gave yourself the gift of deeper connections with others. Woohoooo!!!

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