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The Logic of Binging

Logic of BingingHave you ever wondered why you, or some of the people you care about, seem to feel compelled to do things that they say they don’t want to? Do you ever find yourself doing things like overeating, or calorie-counting/dieting, or drinking a bit too much, or spending a bit too much, or procrastinating on things, or isolating rather than socializing? Well if you’d like to finally understand what’s really going on behind the scenes (in your head!) to make you behave in ways you know aren’t good for you or that will ultimately cause you stress, read on.

In order for you to completely understand why you do what you do and what you can do to begin to think, and therefore, behave, differently, I’ve put together a kind of step-by-step flow of logic that will help your brain shift out of confused, stuck thinking and into rational, reasonable thoughts that will influence you to behave in ways that will enhance all aspects of your life. ’Cause, let’s face it, you know that some of the things you do aren’t the best choices, you may even have tried to stop or cut back or make some big lifestyle changes. But if you haven’t understood what’s really driving you to do those things in the first place, you can’t be successful for long, and instead will likely feel more stuck and hopeless rather than inspired and confident.

If you’re at all a believer in the concept that your thoughts create your reality, the following logic flow will help you to feel more solid and grounded in clear thinking. This means you will be confidently more present in the world and able to enjoy your food, drink, exercise, free time, and socializing more while being less likely to use any of those substances and behaviours to cope with stress or emotions such as anxiety, anger, insecurity or sadness.

The following is a list of basic premises you must accept in order to heal from any stressful patterns of thinking and behaving and live life to the fullest. I encourage you to read this over on a daily basis for a week and you’ll be amazed at the shifts that occur in your relationship with yourself and with others, with little or no effort on your part.

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Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101, The Law of Attraction, Tips for Natural Eating

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The Secret to Making Your Dreams Come True

Making Your Dreams Come TrueToday, (11/21/11) for me, was one of those days that we might dream about for years and years, hoping it will come true but truly wondering if it ever would. Perhaps from our little girl selves at the age of 8 or 10, and then again, with greater emphasis and clarity in our teens, and then early 20’s and maybe during some dark times too, that dream would keep us plugging along, one seemingly cement-laden foot in front of the other.

Today I had the experience of educating a group of 160 nursing students on The CEDRIC Method. Now, that in and of itself is rather frickin’ cool! Getting to educate up-and-coming front line health care providers on a respectful, simple, effective way of perceiving and supporting their clients who may struggle with eating disorders or substance abuse issues is an incredible honour. Period. That’s a pretty cool day.

But, it gets better!

It was at a college that I went to many years ago. At that time I was a grade 10 drop out. A pot smoking, binging, isolating, depressed, anxious, insecure, totally – and I mean to-ta-leee – codependent young woman who couldn’t make eye contact with anyone without breaking out in hives!

I used to literally slink onto campus, keep my head down in class and try not to interact any more than necessary with any other students.

I could relate to the teachers amazingly well – even was asked and agreed to attend staff functions (aka pub crawls!) from time to time. But I felt so totally fat, gross, and just plain geeky with my peers (aka the cool people), that I didn’t make one friend in 4 years. Not one.

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Posted in: newsletter, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, The Law of Attraction

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Perspective is Everything

leftrightLast week one of those group chain emails came across my desk. I normally just delete them immediately as I’m not a big fan of the “pressure” / manipulation / magical thinking they usually apply at the end to send it along. The threat or promise that something significant will happen to me based on me forwarding a mass email – the good old chain letter superstition – has never been anything I felt a genuine desire to agree to. And, with rare exceptions, the messages don’t seem all that noteworthy (speaking for my own in-box of course, perhaps your friends send you better ones!).

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Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Before You Have “THE” Conversation, Try This

thinkingFunny thing about last week’s article: I had at least 10 people mention over this past week that they really appreciated that article and felt certain I had written the article on “THE” conversation in response to something that was going on for them personally that they had shared with me. Now, for the record, clients do give me permission to share, anonymously, certain aspects of our work together for educational purposes, but, the truth is, this issue is so incredibly prevalent and key to your healing from emotional eating that it really does pertain to everyone I’ve ever worked with and wasn’t specific to anyone.

Kind of like that article I wrote awhile back on needs which similarly hit home with everyone. Communication issues and our own confused training in relationships really does pertain to us all until we learn to honor ourselves, respect our needs, and ask directly and respectfully for what we need.

This week’s article takes off where last week’s left off. We are going to take a brief look at how to most effectively approach a conversation around a sensitive issue with someone.  When I say “sensitive,” I mean an issue that makes you feel a little uneasy, anxious or resistant when you think about bringing it up. It may be that it makes you feel uneasy because of your part in it or because of what it is you imagine the other person will feel or think about you when you bring the issue up.

The first thing to do when you’re thinking about talking to someone about something that has any emotional charge for you at all (or that you think might be sensitive for them) is to sit down, alone, and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is your intention in speaking with the person about this issue?
  2. What are you trying to achieve in speaking with them about this issue? (often the same answer as above but not always)
  3. What do you want to get out of the conversation? Ie. What would you need to hear/share/experience in that conversation that would make you feel it had been a success?
  4. How do you want to feel when you leave the conversation?
  5. What do you need to say and how do you need to say it and what do you need to hear from them in order to feel that way when you leave the conversation?
  6. What kind of timeline would you want to place on the conclusion of the issue? Ie. How long can you comfortably wait for this person to follow through on what you’re asking for? You must communicate that key piece of information to this person and ask for their agreement on this timeline as well. This is key for both of you to have great clarity on how and when you will assess whether anything has changed; ie. whether your needs have been met and you can therefore let the issue drop completely, forever.

Make notes of these key pieces and take them with you when you speak to this person. Refer to them and challenge yourself to cover all key points before you leave the conversation. If anything seems to be going at all awry or you lose your place just ask yourself questions 4 and 5 again:

How do you want to feel when you leave this conversation and what needs to happen/what do you need to hear or experience with this person in order to feel that way?  That is your grounding and centering piece.

Now, before you get to “THE” Conversation with someone, there is a very interesting phenomenon you will notice when you just sit down to consider these questions before you speak with them: Often just sitting down to reflect on those questions helps you to see something that, if you’re at all interested in not taking full responsibility for your actions and for your life, will really irritate you.

Often in just sitting to reflect on what message you’d like to convey, how specifically you would word it, and what specifically you want to get out of that conversation, you will discover that the issue isn’t really theirs, it’s yours. And usually, though certainly not always, it pertains to your own old-life training to not ask directly for what you need; to not let yourself be vulnerable by exposing that you even have a need; or to not be “selfish” or to burden others in any way.

What I’m saying is that usually, regardless of how things appear at first glance, the majority of our stress in relationship with others exists not because of anything that’s actually happening between us and another person, but because of the old stories and patterns of behaving that we carry within ourselves that have prevented us from either taking action ourselves to meet our needs and/or from communicating earlier, when we first began to feel a little hurt/annoyed/frustrated/resentful/sad/lonely/insignificant/disrespected, etc. with that person.

Our story that we can’t possibly say or do anything that might upset, irritate, or hurt anyone or call any attention to their “imperfection” is really only our own inner co-dependent training that says:

If anyone feels anything other than happy, it’s your fault and you are bad and wrong and unlovable for “making” them feel that way.

Yup, that’ll do it! That childhood training; that old bogus story will shut you down and leave you feeling completely powerless in your relationships every time.

Unfortunately, not only is it completely not true in any way now – it never was – yes, I mean it, it never ever, ever, ever was true. You have never been and never will be responsible for another person’s feelings (barring dependent children, of course). Your complete healing and recovery from emotional eating or restriction and from any unfulfilling jobs, relationships, or self-care, demands that you not only cognitively get this message but that you begin to get it on a gut level; that you begin to trust it, to know it and to embody it in your actions.

The world becomes a completely different place when you make this shift. (Recall the article from a few weeks ago on ELOC vs. ILOC).

Once you sit down and reflect on the questions above and see what’s really up for you and find yourself getting clear on what you want from that person usually you’ll find that what you really want from them or need from them is some reassurance and understanding as you make some changes to your own, perhaps freshly realized, contribution to the dynamic you two share.

You might say:

“This is what I’ve noticed in myself…here’s what I’m planning to do about it…and here’s how you can help me if you’re willing…”

Often your own awareness of what your own contribution to the dynamic has been (which will come about simply by sitting down to ask yourself the questions above) makes it so you are truly comfortable with the choice to not address it with them for now (as opposed to just avoiding bringing it up); make some changes to your own contribution to the dynamic, and see after that, whether you still feel the need to bring it up to them more directly.

Next week we’ll talk about what to do when you’ve done the above piece and, after attending to your own piece of the puzzle, feel that you need to address the other person’s role and ask for a change in their behaviour towards you or towards the situation.

For this week think of someone that fits the “I need to have “THE” conversation” bill and take 5 minutes to ask yourself the questions above. Please email me what you come up with! I’d love to see what you notice and discover about yourself and about how to proceed then.

You might find you recognize that you are playing a role in this dynamic but don’t know what to do on your end to change your part of the dance. That’s what I’m here for!

See you next week.

Love

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Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Social Isolation and Withdrawal

socialisolationExcerpt from the book Food is Not the Problem: Deal With What Is!

Social Isolation – Why Do I Do It?

First, let’s explore what leads you to isolate yourself. In short, it’s all about how much you trust yourself to set boundaries and to only engage in relationships which are healthful and supportive of you. The degree to which you doubt your ability to assert your needs will be the degree to which you isolate. In other words, if you don’t trust yourself to say no to others, you will likely refrain from much social interaction, or you will find yourself overloaded with social commitments which are unrewarding and lack depth. You may not even be conscious that this is what motivates you to distance yourself from others. Your Drill Sgt. may have tried to explain your behaviour through his old core-belief perspective, telling you all sorts of stories about how weird and unlikable you are; how no one really cares whether you are around or not; how people are only going to judge you; and how unattractive or unintelligent you are if you go out. None of this is at all true. It’s just more of that coping strategy of negative core beliefs and bad body thoughts kicking in. And you know that this is just an indication of unmet needs for security and acceptance.

As you begin to hone your skill of identifying the unmet needs that drive your coping behaviour, you will be presented with many opportunities, big and small, to strengthen your trust in yourself and create more security by validating your needs, setting clear boundaries, and proving how effectively you can care for yourself. It is likely that at the start of this new way of looking out for yourself you will notice yourself feeling anxious and resistant. There are two key pieces at play here:

1. Somehow, your Authentic Self and not your Nurturing Parent is front and centre trying to navigate this new terrain on her own. This is dangerous, because your Authentic Self is still very young and still needs a lot of reassurance and support to behave in a new way and not buy into those old core beliefs. She does not have the capacity to rationalize and empthasize in the way the Nurturing Parent does. She must not be made to handle scary and stressful situations such as boundary setting. You wouldn’t make a five-year-old child go on his own to confront someone about security or approval needs that aren’t being met, so you can’t expect your Authentic Self to have the courage and ability to do so either.

2. Your Drill Sgt. senses the insecurity, fear, and doubt of the Authentic Self and is doing his “motivation through criticism” to try and get you back into a “safe” and familiar place. You will likely hear the Drill Sgt. insisting that your needs are not valid or important. You may be aware of him calling you names, such as, weak, needy, when you are experimenting with acknowledging your feelings and needs to others. I encourage you to acknowledge the Drill Sgt.’s comments and then, as we have discussed, ask him what his intent is. Remember: seek to understand.

The solution? Notice the distress and resistance about boundary setting, and call forth your Adult Nurturing Parent. The Nurturing Parent can then reassure the Authentic Self that her feelings and needs are valid; that she has a right to ask for what she needs and that they, the Nurturing Parent, will take over from here. “Try the hand-on-the-tummy thing here. It really does help to ground you and establish a stronger sense of connection between your Parent and Authentic Self).

Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC.

Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Your Desired Belief

mindIt is very freeing to step out of your all-or-nothing thinking and old core belief, and to allow for the possibility that what you have believed about yourself or about old situations isn’t true. Stepping out of this old belief leaves a vacancy, a space that needs to be filled with a new thought or belief.  If spiritual enlightenment is your ultimate goal, at some point you will find yourself in a place where you don’t need to replace this old belief with anything: you just exist peacefully in the space that is left when it departs. For the rest of you who either don’t necessarily desire that or who are still on the path to enlightenment, there is the desired belief.

The desired belief is the new story, the new thought which you will offer yourself whenever you notice the triggering of that old belief. Your desired belief will ultimately become your automatic thought: your “default setting” as I call it. For now, it will require some consciousness on your part to reinforce the new belief, but it isn’t hard to do.

First let’s figure out what your desired belief is. The best and simplest way to do this is to take a look at your current belief. Let’s use I am not good enough as our example.

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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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Procrastination and Isolation

isolationA few weeks ago, during our self-care series, I received this email asking for some specific support around goal setting and changing harmful patterns.

“Thank you for this article, it sounds so easy when you break the goal down into small pieces that are seemingly easily attainable.

I’m really struggling with a lack of sociability. I put off going out and meeting people (even going to the market) and am getting more and more housebound.  I find myself dreading any social contact and I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed.  Can you help me with my goal of being a little more outgoing and getting myself to socialize without throwing myself into a state of panic?  Thanks for all your great articles and help.”

For those of you out there also struggling with the coping strategies of isolation, avoidance and procrastination, let me offer you a suggestion for moving past and into an experience of life that is fuller and richer than the one you’re living right now.

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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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When Opportunity Knocks

When Opportunity KnocksHey out there! I was just getting ready for my day and my mind was reflecting on a few recent events in my life and noticing a commonality between them. So naturally I thought I’d share these reflections with you.

It seems that the overall lesson is that when life presents us with an opportunity to change a harmful pattern, we have two choices (assuming we’re conscious enough of the pattern to see it in the first place):

1. We can see the opportunity to do things differently and choose to do things the same old way anyway. Usually we make this choice out of fear of change or fear of angering or disappointing someone if we were to behave differently than they “expect.”

Or…..

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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Self-Care Final Part: Realistic Goals

Self-CareHello! How was your week?

This is the final installment in our 6-part series on self-care. If you haven’t read the others, here are the links:
The First Step to Self-Care
Self-Care Part 2
Self-Care Part 3: Sustainable Change Begins
Self-Care Part 4: Getting from Here to There
Self-Care Part 5: Letting Go of Your Stories

Did you experiment with one goal, plotting it on a continuum and coming up with three small steps? If not, what stopped you? No time? No faith? No energy?

This article deals with the first one which provides you with the last two!  You see the more effectively you manage your time and the more realistic your expectations are, given that you have 24 hours in the day, the more energy you’ll have, the more successful you’ll be at everything you try and therefore, the more faith you’ll have in yourself to succeed and the more faith you’ll have in the process (which means you’ll do it more so you’ll experience even more change and even more success which means you’ll feel even more energized and more hopeful and trusting of yourself and of the process of change). It’s a wonderful reciprocal relationship, and the first step is setting clear and realistic goals.  Did you hear that last part? Realistic goals?  I’ll bet you if you’re not taking action already to reach your desired goals for health, wellness, peace, love, passion and fulfillment, you do not have realistic goals. Let me prove that to you and then let us set about the work of clearing the decks so you can move forward!
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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self

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Self-Care Part 4: Getting from Here to There

Self-CareIf you haven’t yet read the previous installments in our Self-Care Journey, please visit them here:
The First Step to Self-Care
Self-Care Part 2
Self-Care Part 3: Sustainable Change Begins!

Okey dokey!  We’ve done all the prep work. We’re ready to dig in and start identifying the steps we’re going to take to achieve our goals. For those of you just tuning in, and those of you who may need a reminder, we have, for the past 3 weeks now, been on a mission. A mission to identify the goals you have in each of the key areas of your life; to identify the values and principles that you believe in and currently embody or that you’d like to embody in your day to day life; and to make sure that the goals that we identify are actually ours and not what others think we should do so that we can have the sense of purpose, motivation and excitement that we deserve to have when achieving our dreams.

This week we’re going to begin to identify some small steps we can take to get you from “here” to “there.”

I’m just going to pick a few goals out of the air and show you how to break them down into doable steps for some of the key areas someone might have.  If you’d like help to sort yours out or with the recovery process in general, let me know and we’ll arrange a session.

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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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