Archive for Complete Recovery

Complete Recovery – Step 3 and a Half

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog.  If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3. I received some wonderful feedback from you readers this past week about the last few articles I’ve written. Some of you posted them to the blog so I feel free to share them openly here. For future info if you are okay with me sharing your feedback with others you can still email to me directly as many of you do, just let me know in your email if I can share it as is, or anonymously, or not at all. If you don’t specify I won’t share it at all. And if your feedback comes in anonymously (ie. no email address etc.) I won’t share it as I feel an obligation to my readers to at least have a sense of whose feedback I’m sharing (ie. that you’re a person and not a corporation etc.). Here’s a great reminder from Judy:
“The idea of writing out your stressors at the moment when you have the overwhelming impulse to eat is a powerful tool indeed!  Who would have ever thought it could be so easy!  When I do this I am shocked by what sets me off, even sometimes things I wouldn’t have thought upset me so badly.”
And here’s a very affirming piece of sharing from Christy:
“Thank you so much Michelle, I always want to send you some cash after I read your articles because they are so valuable.  I too had eating disorders like yours and can identify completely.  I eventually got help at Mental Health here in Victoria, but after that, I was ready for your Centre.  I am forever grateful for your Centre, the time I spent there with Karen and the group I was in, and your ongoing support.  On my journey, I have found Echart Tolle, whose philosophy complements your teachings.  The new thing I am experiencing is being able to make mistakes.  If I were to judge myself, I would say that I am making mistakes that I should have made back as a teen, but as long as I am making them now and learning from them, I can move ahead out of my rut.  In particular for me is asking for or accepting money in return for my work, which is difficult because of my diminished sense of self-worth.  By not numbing out with food after selling myself short, I am able to feel the pain of my mistake, comfort myself without food and learn from it. Again, thank you for your excellent and all too rare insight, clarity and dedication.  If there is a way I can donate to the Centre in return for your free emails, please let me know.  Yours truly, Christy Gain.”
Thank you Christy, and Judy.  I appreciate your feedback and sharing very much. The greatest gift you can give me and the Centre is your continued health and commitment to being the best that you can be. Your freedom from food stress is what puts the bounce in our step. Just keep enjoying the articles, contributing when you feel compelled to share, and if you feel so moved, share with others, out there in your day-to-day world, our newsletter and about the success you’ve experienced with our support and tools. That would be perfect!

All-or-Nothing Thinking 101 Continued

I speak about all-or-nothing thinking so often with clients and at educational events that I am very often reminded by the questions that attendees will ask during or after a presentation or session, that most people really don’t know what all-or-nothing thinking is.  I mean of course you can get a sense of it from the title: “all” or “nothing.”  You might assume from that phrase that we are talking about extreme thinking, absolutes, good and bad, right and wrong, only one possible approach or solution, some rigid and perhaps even, self-righteous thinking, and you would be absolutely (no pun intended) right. However, if I asked you to give me an example of all-or-nothing thinking or show me places where it continually catches you and messes up your day, could you? Now if you’re starting to squirm a little, don’t worry, you’re in great company. You see, the all-or-nothing thinking is the culprit. It is the cause of your current suffering and very likely, a major contributor to your past suffering and to any future suffering you’re imagining experiencing. Thus, learning how to identify and step clear of your all-or-nothing thinking is key to you living the quality of life you desire in all ways, including a complete removal of the use of food to cope and any stressful food and body focus. It is very simple to learn to let your old all-or-nothing thinking go, but as I said last week, it’s a really tough thing to do on your own because the old brain is slippery and even when you begin to explore you thoughts with the intent of routing out the all-or-nothing, you will often find, without support, that you were unsuccessful. This leaves you feeling more stuck and defeated than before and perhaps, turning to food to cope with your frustration. Unfortunately, many people never stop to consider that it wasn’t that exploring their thoughts more consciously didn’t work, it’s just that a new all-or-nothing thought snuck in, and without an external observer, or a very clear, step-by-step process that you commit to writing out so you can see your thoughts more clearly, the new all-or-nothing thought comes in like a whisper, completely unnoticed and you buy it hook, line and sinker and are back to feeling stuck and hopeless. Hence, it is key to make sure you’re using your tools for attending to all-or-nothing thinking properly and that you’re not getting caught in a more subtle all-or-nothing thought once you have learned to catch the more surface/obvious ones. I am sure I’ve mentioned before that I have had clients who have been purging, binging and restricting for decades completely cease these behaviours in a matter of  5-10 sessions (that’s 2-3 months), never to begin again. And it is important to note that these many men and women did not just “stop” the behaviour, they truly felt no pull, no compulsion. They were completely free of the food and body stress that had plagued them for years. That is the most important part to me, to be honest. I am not at all content for a client to just stop behaviourally using their coping strategy. That’s still not success as far as I am concerned. Complete and lasting recovery looks like not even thinking about it and like feeling completely at ease in your body and around any food any time.  That’s what we call success and learning to identify and attend, respectfully, to your all-or-nothing thinking is a key component of that complete and lasting success. It’s easy, you just have to learn how and have some support to do what I call “fine-tuning and tweaking” to ensure you feel confident in your ability to know when and how to use your tools. Let me share some examples of all-or-nothing thinking with you so you can begin to look for them in your own thinking and release yourself from their grasp. Next week we’ll explore this even further. Maryanne was planning all day to go to the gym after work. She had committed herself to it in the morning and had been reminding herself of that commitment throughout the day. By 5:00 however, her energy was down and she just wanted to go home after a long and stressful work day. She battled with herself all the way home, trying to pressure herself to go to the gym.  But before she knew it, she found herself in her home and in the fridge, all night.  Maryanne was a victim of all-or-nothing thinking. And not just during the day at work, but on her way home, and all night at home. Here’s how:
  • Maryanne didn’t feed herself much throughout the day because she was trying to make up for the extra food she had consumed the night before so she restricted and did not listen to the needs of her body for food. Now she feels more fatigued than she otherwise would have been simply because her body is drained of fuel. “I ate too much yesterday so I have to restrict today, no matter how hungry I feel I’ll only eat X, and no matter what I’ll go to the gym and work off some calories too.”
  • Here Maryanne is so stuck in her all-or-nothing that without knowing it, she sets herself up in the morning to not have enough energetic resources to follow through on her gym plans. The same thing she did yesterday, and the day before… Thus, in her Drill Sgt.’s mind, she has demonstrated yet again her laziness, lack of willpower, and lack of trustworthiness.
  • The statement: “I ate too much yesterday” may be true. Only Maryanne can say if she felt that familiar overfull and lethargic feeling we get from having too much to eat in one sitting. But every statement after that is all-or-nothing:
  • “So I have to restrict.” Here our Maryanne is so stuck in the diet mentality that she believes that the only solution to having had extra calories the night before is to make herself go hungry for some of the day today. This is called the diet- binge-guilt cycle. She’s unwittingly setting herself up for a binge by restricting and not honoring her body’s need for consistent fueling throughout the day.  At some point her body’s basic need for survival and sustenance is going to hormonally override her mind and its need for a certain pant size. She’s doomed before she even leaves the house to repeat her diet-binge-guilt pattern today unless she begins to let go of the all-or-nothing story “I have to restrict,” and instead says something like: “I overate yesterday. My body doesn’t feel as good as it could today as a result. Let’s take a moment to figure out what might have triggered me (out comes my list of stressors) and today I’m going to eat smaller amounts throughout the day when I notice I’m hungry, stopping when I’m comfortably full, and that means I’ll have more energy at the end of my day to do some exercise and I won’t feel so ravenous and exhausted when I get home that I want to eat everything in the house and then some.”  (This is such a mature, balanced, self-caring approach to food and life. It is so self-respecting and can only lead to a more enjoyable day and a less stressful night. Yay Maryanne!)
  • “No matter how hungry I feel I’ll only eat X.” Here, Maryanne is missing the mark entirely. She’s focusing on the food and not on the “why” she overate the day before. She overate the day before for 2 simple reasons, she uses food to cope and she was stressed (in large part because of her forced restriction and self-judgement), and because was approaching food with severe all-or-nothing thinking (ie. good and bad foods; until I weigh X I’m not allowed to eat Y, etc.) rather than simply asking herself the following questions that just naturally arise in the minds of those people who don’t struggle at all with food stress: “Am I hungry?” yes? “What do I feel like having?” Ok, let’s have that. “Am I full?” Yes? “Okay, time to stop, man that was good!” Quiet mind, no Drill Sgt., easy peasy.
  • Maryanne made her day end just like the day before because she was still focusing on food in a diet mentality way and restricting herself rather than just encouraging herself to learn to identify and manage her stress about other things more directly and to practice the simple steps of eat when hungry stop when full everything in moderation you can always have more later.  Ah, well, there’s always tomorrow!  Wait! That’s all-or-nothing too Maryanne! You don’t have to wait till tomorrow. You can start now to wait until you get hungry to eat and then to listen to your body about fullness cues while more consciously attending to any stressors that might be triggering you to feel overwhelmed or want to numb out or judge yourself.
  • “No matter what, I’ll go to the gym and work off some calories.” Here, Maryanne has set herself up, big time. This all-or-nothing story leaves no room for anything to change or for her energy to be low. She either goes to the gym or she hears about it from her Drill Sgt. all night. She could have said, “I’d really like to fit in some exercise today, what do I need to do in the way of self-care today at work to make sure I have the energy for that?” That would have worked much better. Or even, “I don’t feel like going to the gym now, I’m too pooped for a full workout, I think I’ll just get off the bus earlier and walk a few extra blocks for my exercise today.”  Ahhhh, so much more honoring than either forcing oneself to exercise a fatigued and undernourished body or just going straight home and pigging out. Balance, respect, big-picture living, rather than rigid, stuck, all-or-nothing. Simply by noticing when she’s feeling anxious or stuck or resistant and checking in for any all-or-nothing thinking (any shoulds, must-haves, must-dos or must happen a certain way or else) Maryanne has so, so many chances all day long to turn her day around and to care for herself and to arrive home feeling more balanced and less stressed, frantic, and desperate for food or to numb out.
You see, it’s not all-or-nothing. If you miss an opportunity to catch some all-or-nothing thinking, you’ll get another one. What matters isn’t that you missed that first one but that you don’t keep spiraling into all-or-nothing and say, “Well, I screwed that one up. I guess I’m screwed for the day – I’ll just start again tomorrow,” but instead say, “Well, that was some all-or-nothing thinking back there, what else could I have done in that situation or in response to that thought? Let’s do that next time.” Life is for learning. If we don’t permit ourselves to learn from our missteps and to cut ourselves some slack when we aren’t perfect and instead, default into old training, we make it unsafe for us to learn and grow. There’s no purpose or value in that whatsoever. It only cements you in your current half-life. I could take you through Maryanne’s thoughts on the drive home, her thoughts when she gets home, her thoughts as she eats, her thoughts as she lies in bed, etc., but they would all have a similar flavor (no pun here either!). Be on the lookout for your own stuck, sinking, anxious feeling and ask yourself what you were just telling yourself. Look for any shoulds/musts, etc., and if you find them, which you absolutely will, see if you can begin to simply say, “That’s all-or-nothing thinking. It’s what keeps me stuck. What is another way of thinking about or of approaching this situation that could also be a possibility?” Play around with that and we’ll fill it out a bit more for you next week. And if you’re just joining this series of articles I urge you to head back to Step 1 and read it and Step 2 before you explore this piece. It’ll only take a few minutes and will make this process much more successful for you. Have a fabulous week! Love The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC. © Michelle Morand, 2010

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

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The Third Step to Recovery

Third Step This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3. All-or-Nothing Thinking 101 After exploring Step 1 and Step 2 as outlined in the last 2 articles from me it is highly likely that you are more tuned in than ever before to:
  1. The signals that let you know that you’re feeling anxious;
  2. The fact that when you’re anxious it’s not a bad thing, it simply means you have needs that aren’t being met in that moment; and
  3. The absolute causal relationship between feeling anxious because your needs aren’t met and your immediate focus on food and body in a stressful, self-harming way.
If you haven’t got a sense of trust that that is the pattern; if you don’t yet know in your gut that this is the mechanism by which your food stress gets triggered and remains in your life, you must, for your own healing and freedom, read Step 1 and Step 2 and explore those exercises for a few days at least. This process doesn’t work if you just listen to me – you have to prove to yourself, to that very doubtful, critical voice within, that the problem isn’t you, it’s your training in how to respond to (or not) your appropriately occurring feelings and needs. Without your own confidence, through experience, in this process you won’t bother to do the next steps of homework and you’ll just come away from this process believing you tried and it didn’t work – which is the farthest thing from the truth. This process works 100% every single time. It can’t not work.  We are helping you to learn to apply rational adult thought to all areas of your life and when you do that, you naturally feel more adult, less fraudulent, more relaxed and peaceful in your own skin and genuinely capable and desiring of taking great care of yourself.  Once you begin to really “get” the process, the speed of your recovery is up to you in terms of how often you use your tools and therefore, how long it takes for them to become second nature in the way the old “if I feel anxious, let’s numb out” mentality is currently second nature to you. Where my team and I come in is to help speed you on your journey with support that is specific to you and your unique life experience; we provide examples and tools that are just right for where you are and what step you’re on.  But the basic mechanism is the same for all people and I’m sharing it with you these past two weeks and for the next two or so because I want you to understand completely what’s going on when you reach for food and you’re not hungry or don’t allow yourself to eat when your body needs nourishment. If this article resonates with you, then it’s time to allow yourself to get a little support and to finally step completely free of food and body stress. I have found, through my own longstanding and complete recovery from binge eating/exercise bulimia and the underlying triggers that led me to that coping strategy in the first place, that it is much easier to change a behaviour when you truly believe you can. That means, if you don’t understand why it is you do what you do, you are likely to blame yourself and see yourself as faulty and feel stuck and keep trying the same old thing. I remember the feelings of despair that used to overtake me after a binge. That sense of waking to reality to discover that I’d just done, yet again, the very thing I promised myself all day that I wouldn’t do. Every single day my trust with myself was compromised in this way and every single night I felt that familiar sense of urgent need for numbing and shortly after, the despair and depression of failure. I also remember that the only thing that brought me any sense of light, however momentarily was falling asleep to the story that tomorrow I would be different, tomorrow I would stick to my diet, tomorrow I would not over eat, not a bite more than I needed, maybe I’d even undereat and exercise to make up for tonight and in a few days the damage would be undone…….zzzzzzzzzzzzz. And then waking up to the anxiety in the pit of my stomach that signaled memories surfacing from last night, the bloating, the ‘fatness’ and feeling gross in my body, the self-loathing as I got dressed in one of the very few outfits that fit me at all – something resembling a red potato sack if I recall correctly.  The self-beratement and shame followed me through my morning preparations and on the skytrain to work and as I sat down at my desk, I was already so unhappy (yet externally smiling widely earning me the nickname of “sunshine” from my co-workers…if they only knew!), and, at that point, nothing had even really happened that day. I had no room for anything to transpire between me and the world as I was already maxed out from my own past pain and present self-loathing and ineffective solutions, yes, I remember that sense of stuckness, hopelessness and despair very, very well. By coffee break I was across the street getting a giant cinnamon bun and consuming it so quickly, so as not to be observed. Who did I think they thought I was buying it for? And why did I think anyone ever cared about what I ate?….because my family had been extremely preoccupied with what I ate and what I looked like, my weight and acceptability appearance-wise, it never occurred to me that my family had distorted priorities and confused ways of being. I assumed everyone was like them, just perhaps a little quieter about their judgement. For the record, my years of recovery and 17 years as a specialist in this field have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only people who care what you eat and what you weigh are people who are as confused and preoccupied with food as you are – and believe me, you do not want to try to live your life to make them happy – that’s their job. Your job is making you happy! And it’s much, much easier to do than you can imagine. You just have to try something that works rather than variations on a theme that never will. Where was I, oh yes, coffee break. Well, you get the point. The day did not go well as long as I was focusing on food and what I weighed and looked like rather than on why I felt so bloody shitty all the time. I just assumed I felt crappy because I was crap and would always feel that way. I believed, because of my familial training, that if I looked a certain way I could at least fake it and perhaps lead some semblance of a decent life. Only problem of course was that I had some very confused perspectives on myself and on others that led me to feel anxious most of the time whether alone or in a giant group of people and the way I dealt with my anxiety was the same way you do: I ate, I restricted, I purged through excessive exercise (at times). Now if I’m telling myself  I need to lose weight and stop overeating in order to be peaceful and happy and finally “acceptable” but the thing that I do when I feel anxious about anything is eat, I’m stuck. It wasn’t the food that had me stuck either. Not at all actually. It was my all-or-nothing thinking. I was absolutely fixated on only one possible explanation (I was lazy, lacked willpower, flawed and faulty) and, in my mind, only one possible solution: Keep trying the thing you’ve been trying for years that had never worked because it’s you that’s the problem and not the diet! So you see. The underlying all-or-nothing story that I was the problem never allowed an opportunity for me to even open my mind to the possibility that something else was actually the problem. That perhaps there were actually things that were legitimately painful or stressful and that perhaps the calming and soothing and numbing of myself with food would naturally shift if I learned how to identify and attend to those other stressful things. Perhaps even my self-esteem would increase and I genuinely wouldn’t feel so faulty and bad after I got to see myself being successful in taking care of some of those stressful situations in ways that were dignified and respectful and led to a solid sense of closure. This would mean I would feel less and less anxious and insecure and therefore need food to cope less and less, naturally! Well of course that’s exactly what was true and exactly what happened. And that’s what happens for all our clients. But I couldn’t make that shift myself because of the annoying dichotomy that the mind that actually needs to make the choice to try something new is absolutely imbedded in the story above: I’m flawed, it’s me, it always will be, I’ll never get it right, so why bother trying.  I just couldn’t clearly see where I was going wrong and why I always ended up right back where I had promised myself I wouldn’t. I needed someone outside of me to catch my thoughts for me and show me where I was taking that nasty wrong turn at Albuquerque again. Someone to help me step out of my old perspective of fear and self-doubt and into the present moment, into reality, where there truly are a multitude of possibilities to every single situation, regardless of what your old all-or-nothing mindset tells you.  As Albert Einstein so wisely said: No one can solve a problem with the same mind that created it in the first place. Back then, the cycle of anxiety – binging/restricting – feeling guilty and shameful and loathing of myself and feeling greater anxiety was at play in my brain 24/7. Of course I still believed that the solution lay in controlling my food and in me looking a certain way. I never once had any other notion put to me.  There were no other solutions presented, and believe me I searched! My psychiatrist (only went once); psychologist (likewise); 3 separate GPs; and countless diet centres; OA; etc., etc., ALL FOCUSED ON THE FOOD! ARGH! Even the “experts” were steeped in all-or-nothing thinking! I knew in my gut that what they offered wasn’t the answer but no one could tell me what was. I was blessed to stumble upon a lady who had been a psychiatric nurse and seen many women and men on her ward with eating disorders who were drugged, given diets and sent home, only to return shortly thereafter. She realized something was missing in this treatment and began to explore other options. She helped me to understand some of the basic principles of natural eating and showed me how to notice when I was coping with food and gave me a few tools to begin to do things differently. It was such an eye opener. In the 17 years since then, I have committed my life to making your complete recovery easier, speedier and most importantly, lasting. The last thing you need is another process that doesn’t work. You need something that works like a hot damn, right away.  And that’s what our program does.  I wrote an article a while back called: When I use my tools they work! I wrote that article because that’s the feedback I get every single time from clients. This stuff works. The process I have created for you relies on you exploring step 1 and step 2 from the previous week’s articles (or reading my book, joining our web program, etc., to get the full tool kit) and then, when you have proved, beyond doubt to yourself, that there is something more going on that laziness and lack of willpower on your part, you’re ready to take the next step and begin to actively explore change where it needs to happen first: What is really making you anxious and what can you do about that, fast! So, as always, email your questions and feedback and stay tuned for next week when we explore all-or-nothing thinking in greater detail and I’ll give you specific examples from many clients sharing how all-or-nothing impacted them and how it doesn’t anymore. For now, be on the lookout for the desire to use food to cope, and the accompanying feelings of anxiety and when you notice them, just stop for a moment and ask yourself what it is you were just thinking. Continue to prove the connection between some stressor in your life and your current, automatic default to food focus. Have a productive week! Love The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC. © Michelle Morand, 2010

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

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The Second Step to Complete Recovery

nextstep This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3. Last week I encouraged you to stop twice a day, anytime, and just ask yourself the following questions: “Am I feeling at all unsettled (or thinking of using my coping strategy or actually using it right now?)” “What might be triggering that feeling or the need to check out?” “What am I telling myself about that situation or about me?” Based on the feedback I received from many readers this was powerful in and of itself. Many of you hadn’t even realized you were feeling anxious in that moment until you checked in and many of you had been planning to overeat, restrict or purge without even realizing the connection between those thoughts of numbing out and the anxiety you were feeling. The feedback also showed that with just a little inquiry within, almost all the time, you were at least able to get in the ballpark of what was really triggering your anxiety and to see, very clearly, that it wasn’t your body and it wasn’t food. And I have some tools for you for those other times, so don’t worry. Nice Work on the checking in and staying tuned!!!!! Well Done!!! (P.S. If you haven’t done this piece for yourself yet go back and read the article from last week, give it a try for a day or two – that will be enough for you to have your own inner, gut proof, which is required for you to move forward – and then add this next piece.) The most important part of this puzzle is already starting to take hold for those of you who tried the homework: You’re beginning to prove to yourself that your thoughts and actions around food and body image are triggered by anxious feelings that are unrelated to food and body image. Ahhhhhh, sigh of relief. There is a reason you do what you do and it’s not that you’re lazy or lack willpower or don’t care about yourself, it’s that you’ve been taught, way back when, to association feelings of anxiety with hopelessness and despair.  So you simply automatically check out with your coping strategy of choice when you feel at all anxious, whether about being five minutes late, or losing your job, the illness of a loved one, or missing the due date on a bill. There was a time when things were happening to and around you that were not meeting needs for safety, respect, love, emotional and / or physical security. And at that time you were powerless because of your age, size, and stage of development in your thought processes and communication skills, as well as your dependence on your primary caregivers for shelter and food as well as love and belongingness and emotional support and encouragement. In that old life, if your best attempts to get your needs met were not successful you had no other recourse. You simply did not get what you needed. It is very anxiety-provoking to be in a situation where you’re not getting what you need and where you are powerless to do anything about it. And if you’re a dependent child and this is happening, it is practically overwhelming. Anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD and ADD, dissociation, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, sex addiction and promiscuity, body image obsession and raging are all methods that human beings frequently default to, without conscious intent, as methods to communicate as best they can their overwhelm at the unmet needs for trust, respect, safety, love, acceptance, reassurance, reliability, etc., that they are experiencing at that time, or that have yet to be properly met since childhood. These are protective measures for the individual as well as solid statements, to anyone who understands that language, that at some key point, and still in some way, fundamental needs weren’t met. The most important news is that, regardless of how your needs weren’t met in the past and who didn’t meet them, you can absolutely find ways that truly, 100% meet those needs in the present, with or without any communication with that person, acknowledgement from them, or reliving any of those old painful experiences. The first place to start is last week’s assignment; begin to prove to yourself the irrefutable and causal relationship between you feeling anxious about myriad things in your life (past, present or future) and you immediately feeling stuck and hopeless and feeling the urgent need to check out with food in some way. This week I want you to deepen that awareness and take it one step further by encouraging yourself to notice whenever you’re reaching for food (or thinking of binging, restricting or purging) or feeling that sinking, stuck feeling, or feeling anxious to just stop and ask yourself: “Am I feeling at all anxious or unsettled right now?” “What was I just thinking or experiencing that might have triggered me to feel anxious?” “Was I at all thinking that there was no solution; that I was going to fail; that I wasn’t capable; that things were not going to go well; that bad things were going to happen?” If so, I want you to just stop and think about this article. Think about the fact that because of your past, your anxiety automatically triggers you to feel overwhelmed and to feel the need to check out and then say to yourself: “That’s my old, learned helplessness training. There was a time when I was powerless to meet my needs. But I am not powerless now, simply uninformed. And, even if I don’t know how yet, I know that there are people who can show me how to stop defaulting into stuckness and how to meet my needs in ways that don’t harm me. I trust that with some help I can figure it out.” The solution is simple. And the sooner you prove the link to stress about general life stuff and the urgent need/desire to overeat, restrict, purge, drink, spend, etc., the sooner you can set about living the life you’ve always deserved! It’s just around the corner. Let me know how this week’s homework goes and if you’re ready for a hand in taking the next step let me know. Love The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC. © Michelle Morand, 2010

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Eating Disorder Recovery: The First and Most Fundamental Step

step This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. In this article we are exploring the first and most fundamental step to eating disorder recovery.

If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3. This week I want to briefly share with you a concept that is fundamental to you never again feeling at all inclined to harm yourself with restricting, overeating or purging, or in any other way for that matter. In fact, until you understand fully the connection I’m about to share with you, you will absolutely continue to struggle with the use of food to cope, with procrastination, with negative self-talk, bad body thoughts, and any others of the coping strategies that you commonly use over the course of a day. (more…)

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