Cedric Centre for Counselling Inc.


Archive for November, 2010

Loving Yourself Helps You Change

It’s clear that if you want to have success in letting go of using food to cope you have to first address the connection you have with yourself. You have to love and regard yourself positively before you’ll really care enough about yourself to change your coping behaviours and make honoring choices around food and friendship and self-care.

Now, loving yourself doesn’t mean settling or saying that you like where you are right now. Not at all. Loving yourself means that you believe you are worthwhile. You believe you are deserving of being the best that you can be. That is loving yourself.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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Self-Talk and The Drill Sgt.

Sometimes as we get caught up in the day-to-day busyness of life it is so easy to forget that the Drill Sgt. even exists. We’re so used to him running the show it just feels like “us.” So we may not even notice the criticism or the feelings of frustration, resentment, hopelessness, despair, loathing and disgust that may be a part of the Drill Sgt’s “motivation through criticism.”

It is important to commit to a few minutes each day when you’ll invite yourself to be conscious of your self-talk. Just a few minutes to try the techniques we’ve been exploring will make a huge difference in your use of food to cope and your life overall.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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An All-or-Nothing Learned Helplessness Story

Well, this was a pretty cool week for me, I must say (despite my example of poor parenting as outlined in my article this week: Reaction vs. Action). It all started with a big load of snow in Vancouver and in Victoria, and I got to play in it, shovel it, scrape it off the car and watch it falling from the warmth and comfort of my front room (with the fireplace all aglow).  Then, among other things, I went to the most gigantic Christmas craft fair I’ve ever attended, and I’m a total xmas craft fair junkie! It’s called “Circle Crafts” and it was held at the beautiful new convention centre at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Vancouver. It was so busy you had to wait and signal before crossing the aisle and there were 20 aisles!

My son, who was with me, totally touched my heart by using his allowance to buy an ornament for my husband, his sister and I. When he showed it to me I said, “Sweetheart, that’s so generous, thank you. Why are there only 3 little snow people on the ornament when there are 4 people in our family?” (He had had each of our names printed on it too – how sweet is that!) And he said, “I only had enough money for the one with 3 people so I didn’t put myself on it.” Awwww. Now that’s the Christmas spirit isn’t it? So, I’m in Christmas Craft Fair bliss. And then as I wandered up and down the aisles, I started to notice something. There truly was nothing that I needed.  There were lots of cool things and fun things and things I thought others might like, but I wanted for nothing.

That realization took me back, way back, to my early 20’s and a time when I felt so fat and frumpy and alone and isolated. I lived in an ugly little basement suite with bright – and I mean bright – blue carpet, no insulation in the walls, and yes, it even had dark faux wood panelling and a 70s wallpaper mural of the woods – brown and orange. Ahhh, it was lovely! Not!

But I digress, at that time in my life, I met a woman who changed my life. Her name was Marie Cochrane, and for almost 6 months, she was my counsellor.

Read the rest of this story of Michelle’s journey to recovery here


Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, newsletter

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Reaction vs. Action

Reaction vs ActionI had a rough moment yesterday with my dear sweet son. He’s 10. He and his friends at school have been dabbling in using the word “gay” in a derogatory way and he’s made a few statements these past few months that I chastised him for in that regard. I had talked with him on a number of occasions, following these comments about people’s right to their own sexuality, about tolerance, about prejudice, and how to explore his own thoughts and beliefs to decide why he is saying what he’s saying.

But….last night, I lost it. We were driving along on our way home from the grocery store and he mentioned that during class that day they were asked to make some notes about the qualities they would want in a babysitter (in preparation for them becoming potential sitters themselves). My son said that he wrote that he wouldn’t want anyone who is gay, bi, or lesbian to sit him. Well, I hit the roof! All these talks about respecting the rights of others, all these chats about tolerance and acceptance and consideration, all those heavy discussions about prejudice and the harm it does and he’s writing this??


Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, newsletter, Relationship with Self

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Core Beliefs Built on Trauma Don’t Serve You

Sometimes we resist seeing things a new or different way, despite much supporting evidence because we fear that if we let go of our story that means we have to say that events didn’t impact or harm us. Trust me, that isn’t so. You were clearly impacted by those events or you wouldn’t have had to use the coping strategy of co-dependency and  food and body image focus.

No one is disputing that you were impacted. What I’m saying is that instead of just being impacted once for each incident, which is traumatic enough, the old core belief that you carry only serves to re-injure you daily. You don’t deserve that and it does not benefit you in any way. It is my intention to support you to stop.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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The Coping Strategy Trap

By the time we wake up and realize that the coping strategy is in control of us, we have essentially built our world around it and our mindset believes it needs that behaviour in order to be okay.

But our coping strategies only ever get us “close” to happy, “close” to perfect, “close” to acceptable – they never get us all the way. The route to happy is in a whole other direction, and you must be willing to let go of your old coping strategy in order to get there. You just have to trust that there is another way and you have to be fed up enough that you’re willing to challenge the Drill Sgt. and your feelings of fear and try something new.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Zap Your Energy

Every negative thought we have drains our energy. Every time we think negatively about our bodies and our weight or about something we’re doing, saying, creating or that someone else is doing etc. we drain ourselves of our valuable resource of life energy. You need your energy to discover and fully embrace and live your passion. How can you do that when you are focussed on what isn’t working or on what you don’t like or don’t want?

Just try for one day to reframe any negative thought or judgement that you catch yourself having of yourself or others and you’ll notice you feel lighter and freer for just that one day of thinking more positively. When you catch yourself in a judgement or criticism say something like: “What do I want my life to be?” or “What do I want to bring into my life?” Remind yourself through a statement like that that “whatever you think about you bring about.”

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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The Way You Talk to Yourself is Powerful

The Authentic Self is the part of you that houses your feelings and your true essence. It is the real you. It is the one who is speaking when you are answering a question authentically about what you feel or what you need at any given time. It has the potential to be confident, courageous, secure and internally motivated. And it has the potential to be insecure, meek, fearful and a procrastinator. It all depends on how much trust your Authentic Self has in its worth and its right to have what it wants: to be peaceful and be happy. That’s why the communication you offer yourself internally is so important. You alone have the power to instantly change your world, simply by changing the way you communicate with yourself. That is a lot of power, and it is definitely worth learning how to access and utilize it.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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The Drill Sgt. and Co-Dependency

The Drill Sgt. is caught up in co-dependency. He’s caught up in needing everyone else’s approval first and foremost. Then and only then will he let you attend to any esteem or self-respect needs of your own. Well, you know firsthand that there is absolutely no way to meet everyone’s needs. There is always someone who will be unhappy or frustrated or want more or less, or something other than what you’re offering.

Understanding this point and how it impacts you is very important. You see, when you really get that your focus on meeting the needs of others is harming you and preventing you from meeting your own needs, thus forcing you to numb out with your food and body focus coping strategies, you will begin to allow for the possibility that you might better serve yourself and others by attending to your needs first.

Now as far as the Drill Sgt. is concerned, I have just committed a sacrilege. "Meet your own needs before you meet those of others?" He says. "That’s a sure path to ostracism, judgement and vanity." So of course he’s going to have some resistance and uncertainty about a new way of thinking. It’s time to ask yourself how well the old way of thinking is working for you.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre

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Conscious Competence

Conscious Competence

The healing journey begins with conscious awareness. We must be aware of what we’re doing in order to change behaviours, thoughts and feelings that are not serving our goals for health and happiness. Conscious Competence is a key step in this process.

Initially, frequently our awareness will come after the fact – after the binge or after the purge or after the bad body thought.

That’s not a failure or a sign of your ability to recover, it’s simply the natural process of changing human thinking and behavioural processes. Like it or lump it – that’s how it goes.

We start out in a place of unconsciousness and we don’t really even know what isn’t working for us.

Then we come to a place of consciousness about what isn’t working – for example, our way of perceiving ourselves and our relationship with food – but we still don’t seem to be able to change anything about it just yet. This is a very uncomfortable stage of change called “conscious incompetence.”

Even the term “conscious incompetence” makes our Drill Sgt. want to cringe and deny that anything is wrong – he’s such a perfectionist! But, hang in there. If you can allow yourself to admit that you do not have a perfect grasp on yourself when it comes to self-esteem and your relationship with food, then you can actually be successful in changing those patterns and step into a wonderfully esteem-enhancing place called “conscious competence.”

And as long as you don’t let yourself buy into the story that there is something wrong with you because you’re thinking and feeling and behaving as you are you’ll find it much easier to open yourself to getting help and change will come more rapidly.

Once you get tools and support to understand why you do those harmful behaviours or feel so anxious or insecure or depressed in the first place you can begin to change the way you think and respond to life.

This is the stage of conscious competence. In this stage your conscious effort is required in order for you to use new ways of thinking and behaving instead of the old default ones, but it gets easier each time and soon becomes your natural approach to life (unconscious competence) and the old one just doesn’t fit or make sense any more. 

If you’re ready for change and you want to make sure you’re not wasting your time or energy – reach out and let us help you.

Love Michelle

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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