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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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Maryanne’s Recovery From Daily Binging and Purging

Read about how she transformed from Daily Binging and Purging to Peace and Freedom in 6 Months

Her Last Resort 

Six months ago Maryanne called me, feeling totally down and stuck. A 30 year old, divorced mother of 2 children (10 and 12), she said, through tears, that I was her last resort. I’ve been at this work long enough, and have my own eating disorder history and longstanding recovery so I understood what that statement meant. It meant she was desperate. She’d tried every diet out there and maybe even some sort of residential treatment or ‘weight loss retreat.’

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Uncategorized

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Podcast: When I Use My Tools, They Work

When I Use My Tools, They Work

Listen to the Podcast  or if you prefer the written version, Read the Archived Article.

I’ve posted a snippet of the article here for you to read. Just click on the link to read or listen to more:

“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. That last statement, “…what if they stop working…” if you’ve ever thought it, is a great indicator that your Drill Sgt. is in charge of your healing in that moment and not your adult self.  The all-or-nothing thinking; The doubt; The belief that coping with food actually helps you in any way and would be a good thing to hold on to are all indicators that your mind has kicked into one of the basic characteristics of the Drill Sgt.: Learned Helplessness.

In essence you’re saying to yourself “I don’t really think anything but food can make me “feel better” and I don’t really think I can learn to resolve my underlying stressors so I have to keep my numbing tactics at the ready.”

If that’s the mindset that you are bringing to this process – which it is – because no one who uses food to cope ever does so from any place other than learned helplessness – this process can feel hard and like it takes a long time. My role in your life is to shift you out of that stuck, all-or-nothing headspace asap and get you into a possibilities mindset where you genuinely realize the many options in each situation and you don’t default into that stuck, sinking feeling that makes you believe the only solution is to restrict, or binge, or purge.

Common learned helplessness statements sound like this:

  1. I can’t do anything about X;
  2. Life will always be like Y;
  3. I will always be stuck/lonely/unhappy/insecure;
  4. Change is too hard;
  5. It’s too overwhelming;
  6. There’s too much to do;
  7. Others will be upset with me;
  8. I don’t even know where to begin;
  9. I can’t!!

When you think of not using food to cope and you feel sad and scared and disappointed, it’s only because the part of you that is thinking about using food to cope in that moment is the part of you that believes that you can not truly feel peaceful and nurtured and safe and comforted without food. Thus it imagines that what’s really going to happen when you use your tools instead of eating is that you’ll still feel anxious and overwhelmed but you won’t let yourself comfort yourself with food. So of course it resists using the tools. Who wouldn’t!

That’s the same part of you that believes that using your tools is a lot of work, that it’s hard and that it won’t actually lead to any lasting change anyway. We call that the Drill Sgt. and his characteristic “learned helplessness.”  

Read more of Tools for How to stop binging, overeating, emotional eating and dieting.

Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, Audios, Podcast, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Self-Checklist

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Why Do Those Foods Keep Calling My Name?

Foods Keep Calling My NameWhat we eat often reflects our culture, our family heritage, our self-esteem and our self-awareness.

Our diet can also be used to directly manipulate the state of our chemistry and hormones.

For example reducing our intake of certain foods will have a direct and positive impact on the severity of our PMS and menopausal symptoms.

Adding certain foods to our diet that balance specific hormones will also have a positive effect on a variety of hormone related human concerns such as depression, anxiety, and again menstrual or menopausal symptoms.

In other words, in addition to fuelling our body for growth and repair functions, certain foods influence the release of certain hormones which in turn have a direct and often immediate influence on our moods.

Chief among these mood inducing hormones is dopamine. Dopamine is the ultimate feel good chemical. It powers the brain’s pleasure centre creating sensations of happiness, calm, and soothing. So, it’s no coincidence that every drug that humans are drawn to abuse (including binge foods) triggers the release of dopamine.

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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Committing to Natural Eating ©

Committing to Natural EatingI want to share a tool I discovered to deal with the guilt I felt about eating.  But, before I do, I must digress for a moment and ask you if you have ever been in a relationship with a person that commits to doing something and then does not follow through?  If you have, then you know that your relationship with that person weakens because with each breach of commitment, it indicates that they cannot be trusted.  We are inclined to ask ourselves to overlook “small” things and not to be “too sensitive” or “needy” or “demanding”. We force ourselves to detach from our own authentic self and his or her appropriate feelings. We align more with the untrustworthy person than we do with ourselves.

What message do you think this sends us about our perception of our own worth and about our perception of the validity our feelings?  Well, it simply reinforces that old story about you not being good enough or deserving enough of honesty and integrity in your relationships on all levels. It sets you up to expect relationships to lack follow through and to force yourself to accept less than you deserve and need in the way of trustworthiness.

I want to make you aware of the feeling you get when someone breaks a commitment, regardless of how small or large it is.  It is the same feeling each time you tell yourself that you are going to eat a certain thing or not eat a certain thing, or that you are going to eat only a certain amount or only at a certain time and you don’t follow through on that commitment.  You are breaching your own trust in yourself, undermining your own self-esteem and sense of safety within you.

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part IX ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityHello!

This is Part IX in our Diet Mentality series. Can you believe it!!? We’ve almost covered all the key points of the diet mentality and now you’ve got some clear and specific suggestions of what to do to change and let go completely of each of them.

In case you’re new to our community you should know that my mission statement as an author/educator and counsellor is to ensure that anyone who wants to change their stressful relationship with food, regardless of where they live or their financial situation, gets the tools they need to step free!  So this series is just another in a long line of articles, stemming back over 10 years, that I have written every week to provide you with tools and information to change your relationship with food.

The CEDRIC Centre and our counselling and support team offer personalized healing retreats, individual counselling and group support, workshops, an interactive web based program and books, workbooks and many other resources like cd’s and video clips to help you step free completely from any stress around food and body image.

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Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part VIII ©

Get Free of the Diet Mentality

Hello! This is Part VIII 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, welcome! You’ll fit right in here if you are an emotional eater, or 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.

Last week I shared with you about what a diet mentality approach to exercise looks like and asked you to be on the lookout for it in your own approach to fitness/exercise and body image.

This week I want to teach you about what a balance, life-enhancing and sustainable and, gasp… FUN, approach to exercise looks like.

This is an approach you’ll enjoy so much you won’t even know you’re exercising! You’ll become one of those folks who just naturally enjoys moving their body and seeks to bring movement into their lives, not because they need to lose weight or feel crappy about their body, but because it’s fun and feels good. Really!

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, The Diet Mentality Series

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part VII ©

Get Free of the Diet MentalityHello!

This is Part VII of The Diet Mentality Series, (visit The CEDRIC Centre Blog for immediate access to all articles in this series).

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

Over the past 2 months now we’ve been exploring in detail each of the key aspects of thinking and behaving that make up what we at CEDRIC call The Diet Mentality.

Last week we covered the topic of weight and how our attachment to a certain size or weight impacts us. I asked you to contemplate a brief series of questions to do your own inner exploration of this topic and from the feedback I received you learned a lot! Good on ya!

This week we are going to begin a little exploration on another of your favorite diet mentality topics: Exercise! Don’t ya just love it!!!

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, The Diet Mentality Series

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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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