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Katharine’s Story of Recovery from Dieting and Binging

Katharine’s Story

This is the story of my client Katharine’s*recovery from dieting and binging. Katharine came to me for support after struggling for years with dieting and restriction and binging.

Her vicious cycle with food had triggered consistent and painful sensations in her stomach every time she ate, or even thought about eating, and it was therefore very difficult for her to trust when she was really hungry and to feel safe eating anything at all.

As I heard a bit more about her story and life experience overall it seemed likely that much of Katharine’s stressful tummy trouble was triggered by the perfect storm of stress and binging (which happens to be my area of expertise). I mentioned my hypothesis to Katharine but also that we couldn’t know for sure until she was able to eat naturally (wait until she was hungry, stop when full, have everything in moderation) and we could see what symptoms were left then.

At the beginning or our work together Katharine was naturally quite anxious about food and quite despairing of finding a solution given her years of struggling. After 10 individual sessions and one 3-day live event, she was able to step free. The whole process took her 2 1/2 months. 

Katharine’s Feedback:

“When I decided to sign up for Michelle’s workshop, I was ready to do just about anything and everything to CHANGE my relationship with food. After having read Michelle’s book and seen her a handful of times, I was at a point where I felt more conscious than ever about what was going on with me but I did not truly know what I could do to change it.

The workshop was the catalyst into real change. Knowing I had the entire weekend just to focus and work on this very real vital problem openly and honestly with professional guidance and with a group of wonderful people that have astonishingly similar stories to myself was, in and of itself, therapeutic. The brilliance of having such an intense and long period of time, is not only that you get to learn and practice the tools in real time, but also that you can come back with real life obstacles you encountered from the evening prior. This is invaluable because you can really begin to question certain things you do/think/feel that you might completely not see. And, since you are in a compassionate and supportive climate, you learn how to handle such personal revelations healthfully.

I had a few “aha moments” throughout the workshop that built upon each other over the course of the three days and it still amazes me how we all could get so personal and so deep about such sensitive issues in that group context. I exaggerate not when I say that this workshop truly changed my life. I have increasing awareness and compassion for myself in so many areas of my life ever since meeting Michelle, and while it might make you cringe in the short term to have to jump into three days of discussing some very difficult and painful subjects, the long-term gains are beyond priceless.

THANK YOU MICHELLE and LOVE and COURAGE to all those struggling with using food to cope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel: we are human and that means, by our very nature, WE CAN CHANGE!”

Thank you Katharine!

Naturally I’m thrilled that this was her experience and that her life overall is so much more peaceful and enjoyable.

That is my goal as a counsellor and my purpose in creating the CEDRIC Method and all the resources and programs that we offer.  Her experience is not unusual, it is  not an exception – and neither are you! If you’d like things to be different in your life – fast – reach out, tell me a bit about yourself and together we’ll put together a plan that will meet you where you’re at and take you where you want to go. Change is possible, and it can be fast when you’re using tools that work!

Michelle

 

*Name has been changed to respect the client’s privacy and this feedback has been presented with their approval. Her written portion, in quotations, is exactly as she sent it to me.

Posted in: and Binging, Anorexia and Bulimia, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating, workshops

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How to Stop Binging: The First Simple Steps

How to Stop Binging: The First Simple Steps

 

How to stop Binging, my article from last week, focussed on The Diet-Binge-Guilt cycle: Why we often binge in the first place and began a discussion of how to stop binging for good.

This week I’m going to enhance that discussion with a more detailed exploration of how our intention to limit the kinds (or quantity) of foods we eat can go sideways and, instead of supporting us to achieve our goals and have more self-esteem, our plans, more often than not, actually make us feel more anxious and depressed and more like a failure than we did the day before.

When we’re stuck in this Diet-Binge-Guilt cycle we feel lots of guilt and shame and hopelessness. The last thing we want to do is admit it to anyone, which makes it hard to get help and makes us want to withdraw from people and isolate. This often leads us to have increased social anxiety and insecurity in relationships and to lean even more heavily on those BAD foods to numb and soothe ourselves in order to simply make it through our day. Sound familiar?

My goal is to make sure you have a clear understanding of why it is you binge in the first place and exactly how to stop binging for good; not just for a day or a week, but really, truly, once-and-for-all good. You see, I know you can stop binging for ever because I have (decades ago) and I’ve helped many hundreds of men and women worldwide to stop for good too.

The best part about getting over binging and learning to trust yourself around food is that you now get to enjoy eating whatever you truly want and you no longer feel guilty or ashamed or like you need to exercise like crazy just to lose weight.

When you simply eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full, you will naturally lose weight (if you have weight to lose), there will be no need to diet or exercise your way there. Really.

And in order to live in that space (that may sound really impossible to imagine right now) you just need to understand how your thinking and your behaviour is getting in the way of your relationship with food, then you can side-step that whole power struggle once and for all and get on with living life for real and to the fullest.

Last week I explained how our plans for how to eat on any given day seem, on the surface at least, to be well-intended and you believe they will help you achieve your goals of weight loss; feeling in control of food; and feeling better about yourself overall.

Your initial self-commitment of the day may sound something like this:

“I’m not going to eat anything after dinner tonight because if I start I won’t stop and if I don’t binge or snack after dinner tonight I’ll feel lighter and less doped up tomorrow, have less negative self-chatter in my head, and ultimately, if I keep that up, I’ll lose weight and stop being so preoccupied about my body. Then I’ll feel better overall, have more self-esteem, start wanting to have sex with my husband or start dating a great new guy and life will finally be the way it should be.”

That’s definitely a motivating image! Who wouldn’t want that?!!

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Posted in: and Binging, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Tips for Natural Eating, Uncategorized

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Overcoming Your Love-Hate Relationship With Food

Overcoming Your Love-Hate Relationship With Food

Overcoming Your Love-Hate Relationship With Food

If you’d like to understand, once and for all, why you feel so frustrated about your weight and why your relationship with food is so stressful, this article will explain it all and give you a simple exercise to experiment with so you can start overcoming your love-hate relationship with food. Regardless of whether you are an emotional eater, a compulsive eater or struggle with an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder this article will help you understand a key piece of the puzzle of what you need to do to change how much room food takes up in your life and in your brain, for good! 

Last week I told you about the relationship between certain foods and your brain chemistry. I gave you the scientific data behind why you are naturally drawn to eat certain foods (like chips, bread, cheese, ice cream and chocolate) even though you know they aren’t the best for you nutritionally and won’t help you reach your weight loss goals. (If you prefer to watch a video rather than read, my video on sidestepping the food-emotion power struggle explains it all and then some.)

This week I want to introduce you to the real issue; the thing that is at the root of it all.

What is it that makes you want those foods, even when you’re not hungry, regardless of your diet plan or your intention to eat well and your true heart’s desire to lose weight and feel great in your body? 

Well, through my personal recovery from binge eating disorder and my 20 years as a specialist in the field of eating disorders, addictions, depression, anxiety and trauma, I came to see clearly that the cause of your overeating or diet dilemma, had very little at all to do with food and instead was triggered by some faulty wiring in the supercomputer that is your brain.

I am happy to say that, through the use of neural mapping and the marvels of brain imaging, science has since proven this to be true. 

So, we now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if you often eat more than you’re hungry for or binge or diet more than once or twice in your lifetime or struggle with anorexia, being eating disorder, or bulimia or other forms of eating disorders the fact is, right now you have in your brain, some mis-wiring and mis-firing that has created what I call ‘a confused stress response.’

This confused stress response is also present in those who find themselves dependent on alcohol, drugs, tv, the internet and other common human coping strategies.

As frustrating as this might have been for you until now, it is actually quite easy to change once you know what to do and how to do it. (more…)

Posted in: 2013, All-or-Nothing Thinking, and Binging, Anorexia and Bulimia, Brain Chemistry, Complete Recovery, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating, Uncategorized

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Tips for Happy Holiday Eating

tips for holiday eatingThe holidays can be stressful enough without adding stress about food to the mix.

On top of thoughts about family (some we may love dearly and some we’d like to never have to see again), friends, travel plans, money and gift stress, and increased time pressures we certainly don’t need anything else to fret about at what is supposed to be a most fun and peaceful time of year.

But if we are stressed about our relationship with food and uncomfortable with our weight, we naturally have another layer of stress, a chronic 24/7 chatter in our brain, that cranks up a few more notches at this time of year.

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Posted in: 2012, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating, Uncategorized

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Food and the Holidays

Are you eager to make it through the holidays without succumbing to the stresses of the season, without feeling restricted and without overeating and gaining weight? We’re revisiting ‘Helpful Tips for a Food-Stress Free Holiday Season’ to help you through all of the food and the holidays traps that people often fall into. 

If you’re a natural eater then the holidays are nothing special in terms of the abundance of food and the treats that are unique to this time of year.

If you’re someone who would define themselves as having to “watch their weight” or who has a stressful relationship with food, the holidays can be a particularly stressful time. Learning how to navigate stress without losing your grip on healthy eating is fundamental to enjoying the holidays fully and freely. The easiest way to make this your reality is to educate yourself on the ways that you might get tripped up in your use of food to cope this Christmas season and to have clear and effective strategies for turning yourself into a natural eater rather than a mindless eater.

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Posted in: 2012, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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The Diet Mentality Vs. Natural Eating – Podcast Format

Diet Mentality Vs. Natural EatingThe Diet Mentality vs. Natural Eating

For this week’s blog, we have a Podcast recorded by Michelle, in which she examines the dynamics of the Diet Mentality Vs. Natural Eating.

We’ve added a snippet of a written article on the subject of the Diet Mentality Vs. Natural Eating below – if you’d prefer to read just click on the article link and get access to a whole series of articles on the topic and tools for what to do to change your frustrating relationship with food for good.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast, just  click on the image to hear a few minutes of Michelle explaining the importance of changing your way of thinking if you have been stuck in The Diet Mentality vs. Natural Eating, and to start  listening more to your body instead of what some diet is telling you to eat and when to eat it, and more during the 11 minutes.

Enjoy!

Article Snippet:

Natural Eating 101 The Diet Mentality vs. Natural Eating

When you eat naturally, your body comes to its natural weight without rigorous exercise programs and without dieting or restricting. And it stays there.

With natural eating, you can have any amount of any food(s) around you at any time and you don’t feel the slightest urge to overeat/binge. You can have a cupboard full of your “bad” or “trigger” or “binge” foods and forget all about them; so much so that they go bad and you have to throw them out! Truly. I have experienced this transformation myself and I have heard this very same statement from hundreds of clients who now live natural eating every day. If your relationship with food is not that, you’ve definitely come to the right place and you are definitely ready for the CEDRIC Method.

This week we are going to talk about The Diet Mentality.  The following checklist is your own personal assessment tool to discern whether you have The Diet Mentality. Whether you engage in formal dieting (follow a program of some kind) or just don’t allow yourself to have certain foods because you need to lose weight, you are in The Diet Mentality. If you’ve been engaging in either of those approaches for more than 2 weeks, you will have already begun to lose your trust in your body’s signals of hunger and fullness and feel less comfortable just being around food and in your body. It’s ironic that this Diet Mentality that is meant to help us lose weight and feel better often sets us very quickly on a treadmill of food and weight preoccupation that can be very hard to get off of without support and guidance.

So, if this topic hits home with you at all and you’d like your relationship with food and your weight to feel more secure and confident and peaceful, I encourage you to stay tuned as we explore the key tools and information you need to step out of The Diet Mentality completely and forever and live in that peaceful place we call Natural Eating.

The following is a handout that I give to most of my clients as it helps them to identify certain ways of thinking and behaving that they may just think are normal or even a part of who they are but which are actually learned thoughts and behaviours that are a part of the harmful Diet Mentality.

Posted in: 2012, Natural Eating 101, The Diet Mentality Series, Tips for Natural Eating

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part V ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityHello!

This is Part V in our Diet Mentality series (visit The CEDRIC Centre blog for immediate access to all articles in this series).

If you’re new to our community, welcome! You’ll fit right in here if you are an emotional eater, find that you binge, restrict, or struggle with anorexia, bulimia or some other stressful way of relating to food and want to learn how to stop.

All righty! In the past few weeks we’ve covered:

  1. The perils of both just arbitrarily restricting the amount of food you’re “allowed” to have regardless of your true hunger levels; and
  2. Of feeling obligated to eat what is placed in front of you – whether or not you like it and whether or not it is too much.
  3. We’ve also addressed the stress of labeling foods as good/bad legal/illegal and the nasty consequences of doing so.
  4. And last week we talked about what happens when we get stuck in rules about when we can eat rather than just listening to our body’s natural cues of hunger and fullness.

Whew! We’ve covered a lot already and we’re only about half-way through the key characteristics of The Diet Mentality. No wonder it’s such a quagmire and that we need guidance and support to find our way out!  That’s what my team and I are here for. So read on and take another step toward the light.

This week’s Diet Mentality trait is a BIGGY!

You engage in all or nothing thinking regarding food and meals. Meaning:

You set strict goals and guidelines for yourself and if you waver from them at all or miss a step/day/meal you feel like a failure and make harsh judgements about your lack of willpower and inability to follow a plan. (more…)

Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, The Diet Mentality Series, Tips for Natural Eating

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality, Part IV ©

How to Get Free of the Diet MentalityWelcome, This is Part IV in our How to Get Free of the Diet Mentality series (visit The CEDRIC Centre blog for immediate access to all articles in this series).

If you’re new to our community and find that you binge, restrict, or struggle with anorexia, bulimia or some other stressful way of relating to food you’ve come to the right place to learn about why you do it and what you can do to stop once and for all.

So far in this article series we’ve discussed the perils of both just arbitrarily restricting the amount of food you’re “allowed” to have regardless of your true hunger levels, and of feeling obligated to eat what is placed in front of you – whether or not you like it and whether or not it is too much. And last week we talked about labeling foods as good/bad legal/illegal and the nasty consequences of doing so.

In case you’re not aware (because you’re new to our community and to this process), The Diet Mentality is at the core of your stressful relationship with food. It is the way of thinking and behaving with food that arises from confused thinking and stressful situations in your past, present and future. As long as you continue to believe that The Diet Mentality has any merit, you will continue to struggle with food and body image and with those underlying stressors that are triggering this way of thinking and behaving in the first place.

On that note, this week I want to educate you on another core trait of The Diet Mentality:

You restrict eating to certain times of the day – whether you are hungry or not. This means both eating at traditional mealtimes when you are not hungry and not allowing yourself to eat after a certain time of day despite feelings of hunger.

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Posted in: Complete Recovery, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, The Diet Mentality Series, Tips for Natural Eating

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part II ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityThis is Part II in our Diet Mentality series. If you’re new to our community you can just start here or you can hop back two weeks to the discussion of The Diet Mentality and statistics and then look at last week’s key Diet Mentality point to make sure you’re up to speed. Either approach will be helpful. Just do what you can.

Another key indicator that you’ve got some Diet Mentality going on is if you feel obligated to eat what is placed in front of you – whether or not you like it and whether or not it is too much.

This might not seem like it has anything at all to do with dieting. But it has everything to do with the co-dependent mindset and all or nothing thinking that under pin The Diet Mentality.

You see, if you are so concerned with what other people think or what they would feel that you would compromise your body’s needs and not be authentic about what you like or what you need it is highly likely that you do this in other areas of your life too.

This is very dangerous as this way of being in the world creates great anxiety and insecurity because you really don’t trust yourself to take care of yourself and put your own needs first. This is, ironically, often why we start dieting, binging, purging or engaging in full blown eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder in the first place.

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Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Others, Tips for Natural Eating

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part I ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityOne aspect of The Diet Mentality that you must be on the lookout for in order to step free of that old way of thinking and step into an effortless relationship with food and a natural weight for your body without dieting is the pattern of restricting the amount of food that you are ‘allowed’ to have.

In a rational, functional relationship with food, what you are physically hungry for is what you are ‘allowed’ to have. And the only one who ‘allows’ you is you. Not the other people you’re eating with; Not Jenny Craig; Not Dr. Bernstein; You!

Your primary responsibility where food is concerned is to wait until you are hungry to eat something. Your next responsibility is to learn to stay present while eating and to identify and listen to the cues of comfortable fullness you are eating naturally.  You are not responsible to buy into anyone else’s ideas of what you should have or how much.

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Posted in: 2012, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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