Posts Tagged anxiety

How to Stop Binging: The First Simple Steps

How to stop Binging, my article from last week, focussed on The Diet-Binge-Guilt cycle: Why we often binge in the first place and began a discussion of how to stop binging for good.

This week I’m going to enhance that discussion with a more detailed exploration of how our intention to limit the kinds (or quantity) of foods we eat can go sideways and, instead of supporting us to achieve our goals and have more self-esteem, our plans, more often than not, actually make us feel more anxious and depressed and more like a failure than we did the day before.

When we’re stuck in this Diet-Binge-Guilt cycle we feel lots of guilt and shame and hopelessness. The last thing we want to do is admit it to anyone, which makes it hard to get help and makes us want to withdraw from people and isolate. This often leads us to have increased social anxiety and insecurity in relationships and to lean even more heavily on those BAD foods to numb and soothe ourselves in order to simply make it through our day. Sound familiar?

My goal is to make sure you have a clear understanding of why it is you binge in the first place and exactly how to stop binging for good; not just for a day or a week, but really, truly, once-and-for-all good. You see, I know you can stop binging for ever because I have (decades ago) and I’ve helped many hundreds of men and women worldwide to stop for good too.

The best part about getting over binging and learning to trust yourself around food is that you now get to enjoy eating whatever you truly want and you no longer feel guilty or ashamed or like you need to exercise like crazy just to lose weight.

When you simply eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full, you will naturally lose weight (if you have weight to lose), there will be no need to diet or exercise your way there. Really.

And in order to live in that space (that may sound really impossible to imagine right now) you just need to understand how your thinking and your behaviour is getting in the way of your relationship with food, then you can side-step that whole power struggle once and for all and get on with living life for real and to the fullest.

Last week I explained how our plans for how to eat on any given day seem, on the surface at least, to be well-intended and you believe they will help you achieve your goals of weight loss; feeling in control of food; and feeling better about yourself overall.

Your initial self-commitment of the day may sound something like this:

“I’m not going to eat anything after dinner tonight because if I start I won’t stop and if I don’t binge or snack after dinner tonight I’ll feel lighter and less doped up tomorrow, have less negative self-chatter in my head, and ultimately, if I keep that up, I’ll lose weight and stop being so preoccupied about my body. Then I’ll feel better overall, have more self-esteem, start wanting to have sex with my husband or start dating a great new guy and life will finally be the way it should be.”

That’s definitely a motivating image! Who wouldn’t want that?!!

However, we forgot one tiny, wee, little detail.

We made the same promise yesterday…And the day before that…And the day before that…

In fact many of us have made that promise to ourselves every day for years (Moi included before I got a good solid grip and learned how to stop binging once and for all).

So much so that it begins to feel more like some ritual we need to do to get some peace from our nagging self-chatter. Sort of like, “If I can pretend / sort-of-believe that I’ll be ‘good’ today, then I can forget a bit about last night and feel like I can at least get out the door and look other people in the eye today.”

So…what’s up? What’s stopping you now from following through on your commitment to eat well and not binge? If you’re so miserable and you really want to stop binging, what’s preventing you from making it a reality?

Well, think of it this way:

Let’s say, hypothetically, that yesterday you promised yourself you weren’t going to binge at night. But, you did. Or at least you had something that you told yourself you weren’t supposed to have.

So, this morning you wake up and the first thing on your mind is how anxious you feel and how you failed yesterday and what you’re going to do food wise today to make sure you don’t do the same thing again tonight.

Right?

Well…ummm…isn’t that what you did yesterday?

So, what’s changed? Why would today be any different? Think about it for a mo’.

Nothing has changed between yesterday and today.

Your desire to not binge is the same; your commitment to changing is (with the addition of a little more inner frustration given yesterday’s failure) the same; your plan is the same…so why would today be any different?

Well, if you’re thinking reasonably and rationally it won’t be. Therefore, the wisest thing you could do would be to not make another commitment about not binging because there really is no legitimate reason for you to expect yourself to keep it, is there? That is, until you have reason to trust that you know how to stop binging.

Now before that voice in your head freaks out too much and your anxiety level goes through the roof and sends you rushing for the Pringles, hear me out:

Letting go of the commitment not to binge doesn’t mean giving yourself licence to binge. In fact it’s just the opposite.

This is key so I’ll say it again, and I invite you to say it out loud to yourself so you can hear it and see what pops into your head as you hear it:

Letting go of the commitment not to binge doesn’t mean giving yourself licence to binge. In fact it’s just the opposite.

You will prove this to yourself very quickly so don’t worry you don’t have to take my word for it or pretend to accept something that, right now anyway, seems like a very foreign concept.

It will help to remember that a big part of your urgent need for something to eat, in addition to the fact that you use food to manage your stress, is the restriction that you have placed around that food and your subsequent preoccupation with not being allowed to have it.

So, contrary to suggesting you just give up and binge your face off, what I’m actually saying is this:

1. Let’s be real. You haven’t been able to solve your problem with diets and restriction and promises so far. Despite your years of effort, hard work and focus, you still don’t know how to stop binging, so let’s just admit that what you’ve been trying doesn’t work, for anyone, and grant yourself permission, even for the next 3 months (as a little test) to move on to something that does.

2. Let’s figure out what it is that happens during your day and in your head that makes you bail on what we both know you really want, which is to eat sensibly, have a little fun with food, feel good about yourself, and be a natural healthy weight for your body without dieting and constant stress about food.

So here’s the plan to begin to experience significant and lasting change in your binging, overeating, emotional eating, eating disorder…whatever you want to call it:

1. Reassure yourself that you’re never going to (or at least for the next 3 months) make yourself promise not to binge anymore. Remind yourself that this doesn’t mean that you’re urging yourself to binge or setting yourself up to just let go and make overeating okay. It simply means that you’re allowing yourself to live in reality and see the truth about what you can and can’t do right now and that you’re no longer willing to cause yourself added stress and make yourself feel bad about yourself by setting goals that you have no way of keeping.

2. Acknowledge that you are committed to finding a solution to your binging, that doesn’t involve restriction (because, despite all of your efforts, that hasn’t worked yet in any lasting way remember).

3. Take action: The first step for how to stop binging is to learn how to figure out what it is that is actually triggering you (Hint –it isn’t the food!).

A simple exercise that I ask my clients to do at the start of our work together so that they can see for themselves what’s really triggering them to binge, and therefore stop beating themselves up, is this:

Invite yourself to notice a. when you’re thinking about eating and you’re not hungry or b. when you find yourself eating more than you’re hungry for.

When you notice this, don’t let yourself get stuck in judging yourself, simply ask: Just before I reached for food, what was I thinking or what just happened, separate from food, that might have made me feel anxious or unsettled at all?

Write your answers down so you can see, out of your head, what’s really going on for you and you will be amazed at how that one piece of information alone helps you to feel less stressed and overwhelmed right away.

Now we’re talking! You’ll very quickly be able to see the link between daily stress or stressful thoughts, and your desire for certain foods or to binge. And here’s where we come in…

4. Learn how to notice your triggers immediately and how to feel peaceful and confident in your ability to find solutions to any problems or stressors that present themselves in your life. This is actually surprisingly easy when you know what to do because most of our problems are actually caused by 2 or 3 simple factors. And once you know how to take care of those factors in one area of your life (like work or in a key relationship) you will naturally know how to do so everywhere in your life.

In fact, it is very common for me to be able to support people completely through their recovery from binge eating and from the underlying, triggering issues in 3 months of regular sessions.

Many people, perhaps even you, believe that change that lasts has to take a long time and be really hard. These beliefs often lead us to procrastinate on reaching out for help as we believe we don’t have the time or energy and that it will not work anyway, so why bother.

But the reality is, we only believe this pack of lies because we’ve been stuck trying to learn how to stop binging by focussing on food and not the real root of the problem. No wonder we haven’t been successful!

I can tell you with confidence that when people are given tools that work and the support to learn to use them well, their whole life can change, forever, in just a few minutes a day.

I have been working as a specialist with men and women who binge for 20+ years now. I know that you don’t need to struggle any longer and that change truly does happen quickly when you have simple tools that work and a guide who really understands what you need.

That’s what my team and I at The CEDRIC Centre provide you.

You can read some feedback from many CEDRIC Centre clients here if you’d like to get a sense for how simple this process is and how quickly it can change your life.

Love Michelle

Posted in: and Binging, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Tips for Natural Eating, Uncategorized

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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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What’s Causing Your Love-Hate Relationship With Food?

love-hate relationship with food, Woman making a decision Do you have a love-hate relationship with food? Do you love the taste of certain foods and find that once you start you can’t stop? Do you find yourself drawn to eating certain foods even when you know they’re not good for you and you’re going to feel crappy afterwards?Do you find that even when you know that eating as much as you are eating, or the kinds of foods that you’re eating, is only going to put fat on your body and make you feel bad about yourself, in that moment you just don’t care? …And then you beat yourself up afterwards? (more…)

Posted in: 2013, and Binging, Anorexia and Bulimia, Brain Chemistry

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Maryanne’s Recovery From Daily Binging and Purging

Read about how she transformed from Daily Binging and Purging to Peace and Freedom in 6 Months

Her Last Resort  Six months ago Maryanne called me, feeling totally down and stuck. A 30 year old, divorced mother of 2 children (10 and 12), she said, through tears, that I was her last resort. I’ve been at this work long enough, and have my own eating disorder history and longstanding recovery so I understood what that statement meant. It meant she was desperate. She’d tried every diet out there and maybe even some sort of residential treatment or ‘weight loss retreat.’ (more…)

Posted in: 2012, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, 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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Food, Brain Chemistry and Binging: Understanding the Link and the Solution

Brain Chemistry and BingingHello all, 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. (more…)

Posted in: 2012, and Binging, Brain Chemistry, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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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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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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Why is it so hard to be honest??

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.

    (more…)

    Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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    All or nothing thinking

    All or nothing thinkingThis 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. (more…)

    Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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