Posts Tagged all-or-nothing thinking

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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How Your ‘All or Nothing Thinking’ Impacts Your Eating and Weight

How Your ‘All or Nothing Thinking’ Impacts Your Eating and Weight


This article ‘How Your ‘All or Nothing Thinking’ Impacts Your Eating and Weight’ will help you to understand exactly that, and I’ll give you some specific examples for how you can start to trust yourself to think clearly and make choices that you really feel good about.

As I enjoy the peace, the safety, the trust and confidence I feel in my body and in my world, the warmth and love I share with my colleagues and friends, and the time…..yes, the time, it seems so long ago, that there was a time when I truly felt like I had no time. I wasn’t on death’s door by any means, but I sure lived as though a demon was chasing me. Before my own recovery from emotional eating (some may prefer to call it binge eating disorder or overeating, whatever you call it – that’s what I did – 24/7!), I lived in a state of chronic, high-level anxiety. I also felt so fat and ugly that I believed that if someone, anyone, saw me eating anything, they would judge me as fat and gross and bad, and they would be right. Of course, when I examine that story now, it’s just silly. What did I think? Did I think that because I had extra weight on my body I wasn’t allowed or entitled or needing of any food whatsoever? Well, actually, yeah. I did believe that I should just starve myself until I was “good enough” and then I could eat something. Of course I couldn’t actually sustain my self-imposed hunger strike for very long. It always ended, as it would for any human on the planet as studies have shown, with a great big binge. This is where my insecurity and low self-esteem turned into a full blown eating disorder with me trying to control my anxiety and insecurity through restricting food in the hopes that I would one day be thin enough to be acceptable and lovable and to never, ever, no matter what, be abandoned or rejected or judged by anyone. Of course, being thin was going to bring me the love and security and accolades that I so desperately sought. Everything would be better when I was thin. Right? Not exactly. (more…)

Posted in: 2013, All-or-Nothing Thinking, Uncategorized

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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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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part VIII ©

Get Free of the Diet Mentality

Hello! This is Part VIII in our How to Get Free of the 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, or 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. Last week I shared with you about what a diet mentality approach to exercise looks like and asked you to be on the lookout for it in your own approach to fitness/exercise and body image. This week I want to teach you about what a balance, life-enhancing and sustainable and, gasp… FUN, approach to exercise looks like. This is an approach you’ll enjoy so much you won’t even know you’re exercising! You’ll become one of those folks who just naturally enjoys moving their body and seeks to bring movement into their lives, not because they need to lose weight or feel crappy about their body, but because it’s fun and feels good. Really! (more…)

Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, The Diet Mentality Series

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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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The Drill Sergeant Dialogue – Video Format

Drill Sergeant DialogueThis week we instead of bringing you Michelle’s message in print, we are introducing our CEDRIC Video Blog. Please click on the image provided to hear a few minutes of Michelle explaining the importance of the ‘Drill Sergeant’ and some steps to take to retrain your thinking and have an immediate and powerful influence on your behaviour. I chose the ‘Drill Sergeant Dialogue’ to kick off our monthly video series because it is such an important concept to grasp.  Self-esteem is one of the very biggest areas to work on for complete recovery from your stressful relationship with food. It is the solid foundation from which the rest of our life practically falls into place. Just recognizing the dynamic of the ‘Drill Sergeant’ dialogue is helpful and I thought this clip explained it well.  After you watch it, you may find just having a quick flashback to Michelle encouraging you to deal with your D.S in a different way will help you adjust your thinking that much faster when you are being down on yourself. After absorbing the material at the weekend workshop myself, I practiced the process of rephrasing things to be more positive and encouraging and now when I want to quickly zap myself into coming from a positive place of love, patience, understanding with lots of great options in front of me, I just say “Be Kind.” Then I can quickly remember to adjust my thinking to override the negative thoughts.  It really does work if you practice the correct phrasing to play in your head to replace the negative stuff that is hindering you on so many levels.  After all positive breeds positive and vice versa. So do whatever you can to stay in the positive, even if it feels like just a baby step! Have a watch of the video and then really get to know your own ‘Drill Sergeant’ so you can integrate that well-meaning but confused aspect of yourself and truly support yourself in ways that are kinder, more patient, forgiving and encouraging. If you want to read more about the ‘Drill Sergeant’ just search that term on our blog and you’ll find lots of great articles that help you to change the way you relate to yourself. From there it’s a hop, skip and a jump to forever changing the way you related to food. Enjoy the Video Clip!  You can see more clips at CEDRIC’s YouTube Channel Janice

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

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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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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part II ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityThis is Part II in our Diet Mentality series. If you’re new to our community you can just start here or you can hop back two weeks to the discussion of The Diet Mentality and statistics and then look at last week’s key Diet Mentality point to make sure you’re up to speed. Either approach will be helpful. Just do what you can. Another key indicator that you’ve got some Diet Mentality going on is if you feel obligated to eat what is placed in front of you – whether or not you like it and whether or not it is too much. This might not seem like it has anything at all to do with dieting. But it has everything to do with the co-dependent mindset and all or nothing thinking that under pin The Diet Mentality. You see, if you are so concerned with what other people think or what they would feel that you would compromise your body’s needs and not be authentic about what you like or what you need it is highly likely that you do this in other areas of your life too. This is very dangerous as this way of being in the world creates great anxiety and insecurity because you really don’t trust yourself to take care of yourself and put your own needs first. This is, ironically, often why we start dieting, binging, purging or engaging in full blown eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder in the first place. (more…)

Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Others, Tips for Natural Eating

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Examining The Origins of Your Diet Mentality ©

Origins of the Diet Mentality

For the next few weeks in my articles, I’m going to be exploring each of the key points of what we call ‘The Diet Mentality.’  Each week I’m going to briefly explore one key characteristic of this harmful way of thinking and offer you a suggestion of something you can do that week to begin to directly address this issue if it something that you recognize in yourself.  For this week though we’re going to start with an exploration of where The Diet Mentality comes from and some background on diets in general: The Origin of Our Diet Mentality The Diet Mentality is a way of thinking that has been ingrained in us by messages we receive predominantly from our primary caregivers and our peers. These messages are then often reinforced and enhanced by teachers, coaches, advertisements and media messages, and from diet and exercise programs that we may have tried in the past or may currently be pursuing. It is easier to understand how we came to be where we are when we keep in mind that as children and adolescents, because we were limited by our brain’s inability to realize that not everything is about, or caused by, us, and because we had no other frame of reference than that of the family in which we were raised (and the community surrounding us), we had no contrast and therefore no ability to see clearly when our parents and peers, teachers and coaches were, themselves, confused in their thinking. We just believed that they were right and we followed blindly and innocently along. (For a more detailed article on brain development and its impact on our lives , and our relationship with food please see: http://www.cedriccentre.com/blog/lets-talk-about-your-brain/) (more…)

Posted in: 2012, Tips for Natural Eating

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Fear of Making Mistakes – Review

Fear of Making MistakesThose of us who use food to cope, or drugs, alcohol, shopping, procrastination, isolation, busywork, and even more socially-sanctioned strategies like over-exercise, co-dependency and workaholism, use those strategies in an attempt to distance ourselves from the constant sense of anxiety we feel within.
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. (more…)

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

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