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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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What’s Causing Your Love-Hate Relationship With Food?

love-hate relationship with food, Woman making a decision

Do you have a love-hate relationship with food?

Do you love the taste of certain foods and find that once you start you can’t stop?

Do you find yourself drawn to eating certain foods even when you know they’re not good for you and you’re going to feel crappy afterwards?

Do you find that even when you know that eating as much as you are eating, or the kinds of foods that you’re eating, is only going to put fat on your body and make you feel bad about yourself, in that moment you just don’t care? …And then you beat yourself up afterwards?

(more…)

Posted in: 2013, and Binging, Anorexia and Bulimia, Brain Chemistry

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Laura’s Story: Help for Anorexia, Orthorexia, and Chronic Dieting

Laura was 19 when she first came to see me for help for anorexia, orthorexia and chronic dieting. She was wafer thin, and with the exception of her face and hands, every inch of her yellowed skin was covered in layers of thick clothing. It was June.

She sat across from me, arms folded, legs crossed, eyes firmly attached to a spot on the floor that seemed to have captivated her interest rather keenly for a tiny speck of lint. Her opening volley, which she directed generally towards my side of the room through clenched teeth, was something along the lines of:

“I’m only here because my mom thinks I have a problem and she said if I came to see you once she’d lay off and leave me alone.”

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, Anorexia and Bulimia, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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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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‘Here’s a little trick for bad body thoughts and self-consciousness around weight/body image.’

A Snapshot of Your Daily Life (And What to do to Make it Better)

We’ve all been there! You wake up feeling that same old anxiety begin to wash over you. Then you become conscious of your thoughts and they’re a churning blend of everything you need to do that day, all that you didn’t do (or didn’t do right) yesterday, and of food and of your body.

Even if you had a ‘good’ day yesterday and ate what you were ‘supposed’ to, that voice in your head is telling you: “You’re still not there yet! You’d better not screw up today!” And even if you somehow managed to get ‘there’ and you’re the weight and body size you’ve always told yourself you’re supposed to be, because you got there through restriction and behaviours that are neither life-enhancing nor sustainable, that voice in the back of your head is saying “It won’t last!”

And you haven’t even made it out of bed yet.

(more…)

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

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How to Let Go of Self-Judgement

How to Let Go of Self-Judgement

Hi Everyone,

The easiest way to let go of self-judgement and set about the sometimes challenging but also fun and exciting experience of truly living life to the fullest, is remind yourself daily of the following premises until they simply become the way you live your life; no reminder necessary.

  1. The truth of human nature is that there is always a valid reason for why we feel and behave as we do.
  2. Your feelings are always perfectly appropriate for what you are telling yourself about the situation or person that seems to be triggering them.
  3. Your behaviours are always just a reaction to what you’re feeling, which, as I’ve said above, is just your natural response to what you are thinking/how you are perceiving the situation at hand.
  4. Therefore, it makes no sense whatsoever to judge or shame yourself for how you feel or what you do.
  5. What does make sense however is to learn:

a)     To immediately identify what you’re thinking (ie. what’s triggering you to feel and behave as you are) and then;

b)     How to quickly assess whether your perception is accurate or not, or whether you need more information to decide.

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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Food, Brain Chemistry and Binging: Understanding the Link and the Solution

Brain Chemistry and BingingHello all,

Welcome! I’m going to bet that you’re reading this because you’re frustrated with your relationship with food and you want to be able to simply eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Also, you would like to maintain a natural weight for your body without stress and without rigorous exercise regimes. Right?

If this described your thoughts, then, you’re going to love the next series of articles. If you’re just joining me I urge you to take some time over the next few weeks and read the series on The Diet Mentality that I just completed. It will be extremely helpful to you.

For the next 6 weeks (or so) I’ll be sharing with you, a little each week, about certain foods and how they impact our brain and body chemistry.

After reading this series of articles you will have a better understanding of why you feel drawn to have certain foods at certain times.

Frequently I say to my clients that empathy (understanding) is the key to lasting change. This is because once we understand what’s going on, we automatically have genuine compassion and patience for ourselves, coupled with a willingness to change our behaviour and a sense of hope and trust that our efforts will be worthwhile.

In other words, once we understand why we’re doing what we’re doing we can set about finding a solution that truly will provide the results we seek.

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, and Binging, Brain Chemistry, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part VI ©

How To Get Free Of The Diet MentalityHello!

This is Part VI 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 we’ve 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.
  5. My last article discussed the biggie of engaging in all or nothing thinking regarding food and meals.

This week we’re going to explore the topic you love to hate: Your weight!

In the diet mentality perspective on life your weight is the central focus of your life.

You base decisions about what you can have, do and be on how much weight you have lost or gained.

Therefore, if you have gained a bit you feel deserving of punishment and will attempt to restrict yourself or isolate yourself.

If you have lost weight you feel more deserving of “treats” and feel more positive self-regard.

The truth is, once your self-esteem becomes attached to a number on a scale or a particular pant size you’re in big trouble. This is because now you’re attaching all your worth to one thing which makes any human obsessed about that one thing, which means we get in there and micro-manage that one thing and pretty soon we forget how to just be normal and natural and let our body do what it naturally does (eat when hungry, stop when full and be a natural healthy weight without effort).

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Relationship with Food, The Diet Mentality Series

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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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