Archive for Relationship with Self
I 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.
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.
Basic Statistics on Dieting Video and Why it so Rarely Works for Anyone.
This video will quickly provide you with some interesting Basic Statistics on Dieting, including how they can lead to eating disorders for our Video Blog.
Some of them will surprise you, others will be familiar. All of them will help you to understand why you’ve struggled with dieting and weight loss and body image.
Dieting for anything other than health reasons and from any mental attitude other than self-esteem and good self-care will fail. This is because if you’re not thinking about your long term health and overall self-esteem you will engage in diets that are extreme and therefore cannot be sustained for any length of time.
What we really need if we want to be successful in weight loss and in creating a relationship with food that makes us feel good mentally and physically is an approach to food and to self-care that comes first from trusting the cues that your body is sending you about how you feel and what that means about what you need.
In essence, good self-esteem is required before any change to a pattern in your life can be lasting. And good self-esteem comes from you taking the time to listen to how you feel emotionally and physically and responding respectfully and reasonably to those emotions and sensations. If you learn to do this – and it isn’t hard – you will have no problems with overeating, emotional eating, binging, eating disorders or weight loss ever again.
I know this from personal experience and I’ve seen it time and time again in my 20+ years as a counselling specialist helping people to stop binging and lose weight. It’s the same for those who struggle with anorexia or bulimia or other forms of restriction and confused relating to food.
Figure out what’s getting in the way of you feeling worthy of good self-care and worthy of love and acceptance from others, as you are and you’ll be your best, sexy, happenin’ self before you know it.
It isn’t hard, it doesn’t have to take long – you just need a good teacher and solid, simple, clear tools.
I can help. firstname.lastname@example.org email me and we can talk about how things are going for you and what you can do to quickly and simply get a grip on food and weight for good.
Once you’ve learned about the basic statistics on dieting, click on this link to purchase the full video or reach out to Michelle for an individual session or for more information on the best approach for you to completely step free for good from your stressful relationship with food and weight loss.
Just click on the image to hear a few minutes of an excerpt from Michelle’s presentation of ‘Sidestepping the Food Emotion Power Struggle’
One 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.
The anxiety that we feel is borne out of harmful all-or-nothing stories that I call “learned helplessness.”
The learned helplessness stories sound something like this:
- I can’t
- It’s too big
- It’s too much
- I’m not capable
- I won’t be able to do it
- I’m not allowed
And, those learned helplessness, all-or-nothing stories (that trigger our anxiety and our use of harmful coping strategies) are triggered by a naturally and appropriately occurring sensation in our bodies that I call “the niggle.”
The niggle arises when we have needs that aren’t being met.
If you used food to cope as a child (or any other of the strategies listed above), it is extremely likely that when you felt that little niggle inside that let you know you needed something and you tried to get that need met through your words or actions, you were unsuccessful, or perhaps even berated or shamed or physically harmed.
Why is it so Hard to be Honest?
One of the hardest things for people to do, especially people who have received any co-dependent training, is to hold themselves to the core value of honesty. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Read on to find out why honesty is so challenging some times and what you can do to start feeling more confident in your ability to be honest with everyone, all the time.
The answer to the question ‘Why is it so hard to be honest’ is twofold:
1. We often (usually) don’t even know what we truly feel and want and need. We might know something doesn’t feel right or good or okay but we have our inner critic immediately judging our feelings and so we mistrust our emotions just as we mistrust our hunger and fullness cues.
2. We are scared crapless to piss people off! Let’s just admit it! We don’t want to upset anyone. We don’t want to be the bad guy. We don’t want anyone saying anything about us that isn’t nice and warm and fuzzy. And so we bail on ourselves.
And just in case you’re still wondering if this applies to you: If you have any food and body image stress, or if you binge, or struggle with restriction (dieting or anorexia or orthorexia (an obsession with eating “clean”), or purging (through exercise, laxatives, or vomiting) or with drinking, drugs, too much t.v. or internet; feeling overrun by your relationships or frustrated in your career, you can guarantee that you have a high dose of co-dependent training.
I’ll bet you know something about goal setting. I’d actually be willing to bet that you’re very good at setting yourself goals each and every day about what you’ll eat, what you won’t eat, when, how much exercise you’ll do, how much sleep you’ll get, whose call you’ll return and how much you’ll get done at work or around the house. Chances are, you’re really skilled at setting goals. But…how often do you actually follow through with them? How often do you get to the end of your day feeling peaceful and relaxed that you achieved what you had asked of yourself that day?
If, more often than not, you reflect on your day, and hear the Drill Sgt.’s critical voice in your head pointing out your shortcomings, it’s a good indication that you did not achieve the goals you set for yourself that day. Same goes for those of you who wake up in the morning to the Drill Sgt. telling you what you will and won’t do that day to make up for what you did/didn’t do the day before.
Travelling with an Eating Disorder – Part I
Travelling with an Eating Disorder – Part II
Travelling with an Eating Disorder – Part III
Traveling with an eating disorder packs a triple whammy for the already beleaguered spirit in desperate need of true rest and relaxation. Whether you struggle with dieting, overeating, purging or a general dissatisfaction with your physical form that prevents you from settling peacefully into the moment, a vacation can be a stress-filled experience that makes you want to just stay at home instead with the covers pulled high.
In this 3-part article, I will not deal with the obvious stress of the obligatory attempts at dieting in anticipation of any vacation that requires the baring of any skin above the elbow or knee. That is a topic for another day. Instead, I will address the 3 key ways in which traveling can challenge the tenuous grip most disordered eaters have on their relationship with food and weight: limitations/abundance of choice; change in routine; and the emotional impact of traveling. As I explore each of these confounding circumstances I will provide you with some suggestions on how to approach them in the most simple and life-enhancing way so you can relax and enjoy your well-earned vacation.
This week we are reviewing the theme of ‘all or nothing thinking’ and the simplest way to help our readers to shift out of their old, deeply ingrained, all or nothing thought habits and into a more open, expansive and peaceful state of being and thinking.
In a nutshell, if you’re not feeling compassion for yourself and the others that you’re interacting with in that moment (whether in your mind or in reality), you’re in all or nothing thinking. It’s that simple.
You may want to read that last statement a few times to make sure it sinks in. Then read on.
You can test this theory for yourself over the next few days any time you notice that you’re feeling anything other than peaceful.
Whenever you notice you’re feeling anxious or unsettled; judgmental of yourself or others; blaming; resentful; impatient; etc., or using your food coping strategy (which is a clear indicator that you’re overwhelmed) simply stop and ask yourself:
“What am I telling myself about this situation or person that is creating this distress?”
Then stop and think, really think, about what you just told yourself. Is it true? Are you certain?
You will always identify that you have just been telling yourself an all or nothing story.