Help for Overeaters and Chronic Dieters
By Jennifer McLarty
Apr 06 2005
Aileen Pickard has waged war against her body for nearly 50 years.
A compulsive over-eater and chronic dieter, the five-foot-two Salmon Arm resident has weighed as little as 115 pounds and as much as 250.
In her darkest moment, she could eat a dozen doughnuts, a pint of ice cream and a loaf of bread and still not feel full.
But last year, Pickard turned a corner after attending an emotional eating seminar hosted by Victoria ‘s Cedric Centre that there is help for overeaters.
The workshop helped identify the underlying reasons for her pattern of bingeing and dieting, and point her in a new direction of healthy eating.
“Food has always been a comfort – a friend. I used it to fill a void that really had nothing to do with eating at all,” said Pickard, 55.
“When I went to the Cedric Centre that was my last attempt. At first I didn’t believe what I was being told – that I could give up dieting. But I was willing to listen because nothing else had worked.”
The emotional eating seminar, facilitated by Cedric Centre founder Michelle Morand, will run again this weekend, April 8 to 10, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Its focus is helping women get to the root of their destructive eating habits, and teaching them that food isn’t the real problem.
Morand subscribes to the theory of natural eating – consuming what you want until you’re full, then letting your body find its own unmanipulated weight.
The concept can be tough to swallow for many women. But according to Morand, positive change is fleeting until the binge-diet cycle is broken.
“Many of our clients have spent years trying to treat their unbalanced relationship with food by using diets, only to find they gain more weight and become more unhappy with their bodies,” said Morand.
“Are you tired of dieting? Are you tired of feeling bad about your body? Do you have an unhealthy relationship with food that doesn’t meet the criteria of a clinical eating disorder? Then this would be an appropriate seminar for you.”
One year after attending the Cedric Centre workshop, Pickard has made peace with her body and started to lose weight.
She credits the Cedric Centre with her breakthrough, along with the discovery her weight problem has been exacerbated by a lazy thyroid.
She is now on medication, and practicing natural eating.
“When I’m in a stressful situation, I don’t even think about food now, which is a huge improvement for me,” said Pickard. “It’s still early days, but I I’m listening to my body and I feel I’ve really turned a corner. So, it is true that there is help for overeaters being provided, its just a matter of knowing where to look and whom to ask.
“It’s a momentous step in what’s been a lifelong journey.”