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Plus Sized Debate

Hello out there.

There’s a news story that came out a little while ago that I have been reflecting on. I’ve attached the link for you if you’d like to check it out.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22508670

I wanted to share with you the thoughts that it brought up for me about the Plus Sized Debate that currently rages in our world. 

Plus Sized Debate

Start feeling good enough and stop binging and stressing about food and weight loss.

This link will connect you to an article by a ‘plus-size’ model about clothing sizes and our cultural body image / weight obsession.

I am glad she’s speaking up and challenging the status quo and I also question the definition of this woman as a ‘plus-size’ model. 

I personally look at this woman and struggle to label her as plus-sized in any way. She looks simply healthy and balanced to me.

Maybe I have a distorted idea of what plus sized means…I guess if we look at it literally ….plus = more…but more than what? Is it the fashion industry ‘what’…which we already know is notoriously dysfunctional and promotes the notion of bone-rack-at-any-cost? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being ‘plus’ that.

Are they referring to the fitness crazed 6-pack-ab, eating clean and lean crowd…not balanced. Not sustainable for most truly and a large proportion of my clients come from this population – dietitians, nutritionists, fitness trainers and coaches, body builders, athletes. Clearly folks can look ‘fit’ but be far from it in terms of balanced self-care. Remember this if you’re looking at your friend the fitness nut and feeling envious of her slim/toned body. Look deeper – how does she really feel about herself; how is her self-confidence; is her fitness focus about true enjoyment and health and wellness or about needing to be thin.  You can be fit and toned and sexy without being a fitness buff and you can look great without having to diet or micro-manage calories and fat grams.

Maybe ‘plus-size’ to some means ‘bigger than normal people’….but, um…what’s normal? different bodies, different genetic heritage and different interests are naturally going to produce different norms (is a pro-skater plus sized because her thighs are bigger than others?).

I suppose in reality, try as we might to avoid it…the ugly truth is that for most folks the term ‘plus-size’ conjures immediate connotations of being overweight. Why do we need the ‘plus’ in the size – can’t there just be different sizes? Again, ‘plus’ what?

I find the same confounding thinking in folks who get stuck on being ‘good enough’.  There is no way, ever that you can be ‘good enough.’ It isn’t a thing or a place you can get to. The term ‘good enough’ on its own means absolutely nothing. You have to qualify it: Good enough for what? Good enough for whom?

Then you get the light bulb moment –  Good enough for my mom; for my ex; for the job I want; to travel to France etc.

Once you qualify who or what you’re striving to be good enough for you can begin to ask yourself some very valuable and freeing questions:

  • What, in the first place, makes me think that this person or situation is the accurate determiner of my worth/good enough-ness?
  • What makes them ‘right’ and me ‘wrong’?
  • What specifically is the criteria that I believe would make me ‘good enough’ for this person or situation?
  • Is it true that I am not that now?
  • Is it true that I can’t be that if I wanted to and spent some time gathering the tools/skills/knowledge etc.?
  • Would I really want to spend my precious life moments trying to be ‘good enough’ for that person/thing?
  • If I weren’t so busy trying to make others think I’m ‘good enough’ what would I really like to be ‘good enough’ at/for?

I could go on – it’s a very key piece of the healing/recovery/stop-overeating puzzle and it is a discussion and process I explore with every single client at some point in their work with me.

From my past experience, I can completely relate to not feeling ‘good-enough’ and to the chronic insecurity and depression that we live in when we feel that, at our core, there is simply something fundamentally wrong with us. There must be something wrong with us, we presume, otherwise wouldn’t so-and-so have loved us? Wouldn’t so-and-so have been kind to us? Wouldn’t we have been given such-and-such opportunity?

Not necessarily – there are many other possible explanations for why so-and-so did what they did that aren’t about you at all. But that’s a topic for another day.

Back to being Plus-sized: I used to eat my feelings (and anything else I could get my hands on). That only made me feel worse – fat, gross, ugly, stupid – I used to call myself that everyday and then some.  I weighed 40+ pounds more than I naturally do now. (I’ve been my natural weight for 2 decades with no dieting or exercise regimes and haven’t weighed myself since ….I dunno when.)

I’m 5’4 and I weigh 125-130-ish lbs depending on the time of year and how active I am – yes my weight naturally fluctuates over the course of the year, and it doesn’t stress me out – my clothes fit me all year round, through the winter I’m less muscly and through the summer more naturally toned – I don’t diet and I don’t calorie count or ‘watch’ what I eat.

I pay attention to how I feel physically and emotionally. I engage in activities that I truly enjoy such as kayaking, mma, an occasional jog, hiking, swimming (in the ocean when the weather is right), snowboarding…etc. – it all depends on the season and the weather – the point really is that it’s all stuff I enjoy and there’s a variety of activities that I feel drawn to explore depending on the variables of season, weather, how much time I have etc.

I respond to my emotions by respecting them and exploring them and, if I’m having a feeling that I don’t want to keep having, I take the time to figure out what triggered it and what I can do to resolve that. This makes me feel like I can trust myself to respect myself and like I can always find a solution to the problems in my life. I didn’t used to feel that way at all – I felt constantly anxious and like everything was insurmountable, and my fault to boot. Somehow I believed that if I was just thinner, these things wouldn’t happen.

The way I see it now, feelings are signs for me to explore how I’m thinking and what’s happening in my life. There is always a solution to whatever is bugging me that will make me feel better about myself and help me to feel peaceful and confident.

If I can eat what I’d like, exercise moderately =have fun/play/dance/kayak/walk the dog, and not have to watch what I eat or weigh myself 5 times a day like I used to ‘to keep myself in check’, I believe everyone can. 

I didn’t used to think I could be happy with myself unless I was eating a certain way or weighed a certain number on the scale or took a certain pant size. And I made that a self-fulfilling prophesy for quite a few years – I was miserable, insecure, anxious, isolating, and binging and dieting my face off. And I kept gaining weight. I felt powerless and frustrated. I started every day by staring at and judging my stomach rolls while simultaneously hopping on the scale hoping that the binge I had last night hadn’t had a lasting impact and that the attempts I made at dieting during the day had at least some effect on the ‘bottom’ line. Inevitably I was doomed – even if, by some miracle, I had lost weight it would be 1/8th or 1/4 of a pound – no where near the 40+ pounds I needed to lose in order to be ‘good enough’.

This naturally led to yet another day of me feeling anxious and insecure and creating a desperate need for binge food while at the same time promising myself I wouldn’t do it again!!! Yep, many years of my life were spent that way.

At that time in my life I was plus-sized. I had to shop in ‘special’ stores, of which, 20+ years ago, there were 2 in all of Vancouver BC. How’s that for the fashion industry delivering a message about my body?

Today, by anyone’s standards I think, I’m a reasonable weight for my body but I still have to buy large undies! It is what it is to me now – I need undies that are comfy and don’t give me panty lines – and these are often a size large – big whoop. But back in the diet mentality days of my life, I’d prefer to chafe and struggle to breathe over buying anything with a ‘large’ tag on it. I’d be mortified. It truly felt like the biggest and worst thing a person could ever be: Large! (insert scary organ music here!!)

But that wasn’t me thinking. That was what I had been taught to think by my parents and their distorted, diet mentality approach to life. I just hadn’t even entertained the possibility that they may have been confused or downright irrational in their approach to happiness and self-esteem. 

Among those who have yet to truly feel ‘good enough’ for themselves,  there is often a desperate need to de-exist (I’m sure that’s a word…) Why are people so eager to be a size zero? What do they believe that will mean?

Are they thinking: ‘I’m finally good enough, attractive enough, lovable enough, sexy enough because I’m so small no clothes will fit me? ‘ 

How does that number on your pants correspond to your worth or love-ability as a human being?

Um….it doesn’t – unless you’re trying to make someone with a small brain and huge judgement finally see you as ‘good enough’ – which I recommend strongly against.

Someone who is truly that ignorant of what true love and true acceptance are about will never be able to be rational enough to have a healthy relationship with you in the first place (probably why you feel so insecure around them in the first place – they can’t meet your needs for reassurance and acceptance because they don’t have a clue how! Not because you aren’t worth it!).

You’ll never be able to feel truly loved by them because they don’t even understand the term. So, move on if that’s you. Even if it’s your mom or dad or auntie or grandma doing the slamming – If they are not simply concerned for your health and happiness and demonstrating they love you and accept you as you are – move on – fast. 

The need to be accepted and loved is a perfectly healthy human need – persisting in trying to find acceptance and love from folks who judge your worth by your weight is not healthy or helpful and will never, ever, be successful.

You truly do deserve better – but you won’t find it if you keep beating your head against that brick wall. And if you’re out there buying it – thinking there is something not lovable or good enough about you and that’s why they aren’t more loving or warm or considerate or accepting of you it’s time for you to learn how to think for yourself and to build real self-esteem and to prioritize values like respect, dignity, compassion, self-care, reliability, integrity and trustworthiness (to yourself and others).

This clear thinking makes you feel more confident and less anxious and naturally leads you to feel excited to take better care of yourself. 

Self-esteem means you trust your ability to think clearly and reasonably and you have to have confidence in your perspective. That is the foundation for good self-esteem and a happy life and it also naturally leads to the ability for you to change, effectively and respectfully, the things you see in yourself and in your world that don’t make sense.

Then instead of waiting for everyone around you to feel secure enough in themselves to be able to give you the love you desire, you are naturally, fully, giving it to yourself and through your behaviour you are naturally teaching others how love really looks and feels, at any size.

In the U.K. there is a current initiative to change all the mannequins in clothing shops to a size 16 (from, I think, a size 6)  because the real average size of women in that region is much more 16 than 6. I believe it’s long overdue that a more accurate form of the average female in any region be modelling clothing, jewelry and anything else that requires modelling to sell.

In my opinion, if folks are naturally a 16 or 20 or 2, so what? Are they nice? Are they honest, trustworthy reliable folks with a good work ethic? Are they capable of rational thought and action? If so, I love them!

If someone has extra weight on their body because they eat when they aren’t hungry to try and pass the time or calm their nerves or soothe or nurture themselves I help them to feel happy and peaceful and confident in themselves for real – ie. without needing food to make that happen for a moment.

Whatever the number on their pants or on the scale when they reach that sense of inner confidence and strength and genuine happiness has truly no bearing on their deservedness for love and caring or on their intellect or ability.

I say, unless we know how the person we are looking at achieves their current weight or maintains a certain look, we cannot begin to offer comment on the healthiness or appropriateness of their appearance.  I’ve had way too many clients over the past 20 years who are starving themselves or vomiting many times a day to maintain a certain weight while the people around them praise them for their will-power, slimness, and small size. Ya never know what goes on behind closed doors.

For me, I’m far more interested in how happy and confident and secure in yourself you are than in the size of dress you just bought – ‘plus’ or otherwise. 

And I know that anyone who is capable of a truly healthy, loving relationship of any kind is going to think the same.

What do you think? Let’s discuss the thoughts that come up for you when you consider these concepts.

Love Michelle

Posted in: 2014, All-or-Nothing Thinking, and Binging, Anorexia and Bulimia, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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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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Tips for Happy Holiday Eating

tips for holiday eatingThe holidays can be stressful enough without adding stress about food to the mix.

On top of thoughts about family (some we may love dearly and some we’d like to never have to see again), friends, travel plans, money and gift stress, and increased time pressures we certainly don’t need anything else to fret about at what is supposed to be a most fun and peaceful time of year.

But if we are stressed about our relationship with food and uncomfortable with our weight, we naturally have another layer of stress, a chronic 24/7 chatter in our brain, that cranks up a few more notches at this time of year.

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating, Uncategorized

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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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CEDRIC Centre 2013 ‘Master Series’ Workshop Schedule

2013 ‘Master Series’ Workshop Schedule

2013 ‘Master Series’ 3-day Weekend Workshop Schedule

Hours: All workshops run from Friday to Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

Cost: All workshops cost $636.00 + tax with payment plans available.

Vancouver Workshops with Michelle Morand, MA, RCC:

‘Master Your Brain – Master Your Behaviour’

Dates: ; Feb. 22nd to 24th; May 17th to 19th; Aug. 9th to 11th; Oct. 18th to 20th

‘Mastering Balance: Creating Solid Self-Esteem and True Inner Peace’

Dates: March 15th to 17th; June 21st to 23rd; Nov. 15th to 17th

‘Mastering Relationships: The Relationship Equation’ – July 26th to 28th; Dec. 6th to 8th

Venue for all Vancouver Workshops: Century Plaza Hotel,  1015 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B6

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Victoria Workshops with Dawn Cox, M.Ed., psych, RCC:

‘Master Your Brain – Master Your Behaviour’

Dates: March 8th to 10th, July 12th to 14th and November 8th to 10th

Venue: Common Room at 1246 Fairfield, Victoria, BC, V8V 3B5

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Calgary Workshops with Michelle Morand, MA, RCC:

Master Your Brain – Master Your Behaviour Dates:July 5th to 7th

‘Mastering Balance: Creating Solid Self-Esteem and True Inner Peace’– Dates: July 12th to 14th

Venue: MacEwan Conference Centre, U of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW Calgary, T2N 1N4

There is a hotel at the University, if you would like to stay there as well.

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Complete Recovery, News Release, newsletter, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101, Self-Help Services, Services, Upcoming Events, workshops

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CEDRIC Centre Mindful Eating Info Package

CEDRIC Centre for Mindful Eating Info Package

The CEDRIC Centre’s specialized program helps people of all ages to lose or gain weight and to maintain a natural weight for their bodies, for life without diet and rigorous exercise regimes. We teach you how to establish a healthy relationship with food, yourself and others, how to deal with stress, anxiety and depression in ways that boost self-esteem and allow you to feel more secure as you focus less on what you eat and weigh.  See intro video for the CEDRIC Centre Mindful Eating Info Package.

The CEDRIC team provides counselling in person in British Columbia, Canada, as well via skype and phone worldwide.  We offer 3-day Workshops, Hard Copy and Downloadable  Resources sold separately or accessed through our Online Program and incude: CD’s; DVD’s; Workbooks; Teleclasses, Lessons, Assignments, a book entiled, Food Is Not The Problem – Deal With What Is by CEDRIC Founder and Director Michelle Morand, MA, RCC and more!

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Posted in: 2012, Audio CDs, Audio Downloads, Audios, Book Downloads, Books, Content, Product Bundles, Product Bundles, Self-Help Services, Uncategorized, Video, Video, Workbooks, Workbooks, Workbooks - Downloads, workshops

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CEDRIC’s Online Program for Eating Disorders – Video Intro & Written Feedback

Online Program for Eating Disorders    

Read what Online Member’s have told us about their experiences with our online program for eating disorders:

“There isn’t a day that goes by that you and your wonderful centre don’t enter my mind! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I really like the teleclasses. It is so nice to hear your voice.   I love that we start each class with the 4-7-8, it is so relaxing and creates such a great atmosphere.  I don’t feel nervous or afraid to share at all!  I love how much I learn through others experiences.”

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, Audios, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Self-Help Services, Video, Video, Workbooks

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‘Here’s a little trick for bad body thoughts and self-consciousness around weight/body image.’

A Snapshot of Your Daily Life (And What to do to Make it Better)

We’ve all been there! You wake up feeling that same old anxiety begin to wash over you. Then you become conscious of your thoughts and they’re a churning blend of everything you need to do that day, all that you didn’t do (or didn’t do right) yesterday, and of food and of your body.

Even if you had a ‘good’ day yesterday and ate what you were ‘supposed’ to, that voice in your head is telling you: “You’re still not there yet! You’d better not screw up today!” And even if you somehow managed to get ‘there’ and you’re the weight and body size you’ve always told yourself you’re supposed to be, because you got there through restriction and behaviours that are neither life-enhancing nor sustainable, that voice in the back of your head is saying “It won’t last!”

And you haven’t even made it out of bed yet.

(more…)

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

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Calgary Workshop for Food & Weight Stress, 2013

Updated Schedule for 2013 Calgary Workshop for Food & Weight Stress:

Workshop for Food & Weight Stress
Host: Michelle Morand, MA, RCC:

Master Your Brain – Master Your Behaviour  Dates:July 5th to 7th

‘Mastering Balance: Creating Solid Self-Esteem and True Inner Peace’– Dates: July 12th to 14th

Venue: MacEwan Conference Centre, U of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW Calgary, T2N 1N4

(more…)

Posted in: 2012, workshops

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