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Podcast: When I Use My Tools, They Work

When I Use My Tools, They Work

Listen to the Podcast  or if you prefer the written version, Read the Archived Article.

I’ve posted a snippet of the article here for you to read. Just click on the link to read or listen to more:

“When I use my tools, they work! Things are easier, more peaceful. I just don’t feel the need to use food to cope when I use my tools.”

I hear this a lot from clients. And it’s true.

However, from clients who are a little new with the process, there is usually a “…but” attached to the end of it and the rest of the statement sounds something like, “…it’s just so hard to use my tools.” Or “….it takes too long and I don’t have the time or energy to do anything other than eat.”  Or even “….what if they stop working? I need to hang on to my use of food to cope just in case my new tools stop working.”

Okay, for starters, under what circumstances could increased awareness and compassion for yourself and others ever stop working for anything? They are the key to the happiness in every single happy person. That last statement, “…what if they stop working…” if you’ve ever thought it, is a great indicator that your Drill Sgt. is in charge of your healing in that moment and not your adult self.  The all-or-nothing thinking; The doubt; The belief that coping with food actually helps you in any way and would be a good thing to hold on to are all indicators that your mind has kicked into one of the basic characteristics of the Drill Sgt.: Learned Helplessness.

In essence you’re saying to yourself “I don’t really think anything but food can make me “feel better” and I don’t really think I can learn to resolve my underlying stressors so I have to keep my numbing tactics at the ready.”

If that’s the mindset that you are bringing to this process – which it is – because no one who uses food to cope ever does so from any place other than learned helplessness – this process can feel hard and like it takes a long time. My role in your life is to shift you out of that stuck, all-or-nothing headspace asap and get you into a possibilities mindset where you genuinely realize the many options in each situation and you don’t default into that stuck, sinking feeling that makes you believe the only solution is to restrict, or binge, or purge.

Common learned helplessness statements sound like this:

  1. I can’t do anything about X;
  2. Life will always be like Y;
  3. I will always be stuck/lonely/unhappy/insecure;
  4. Change is too hard;
  5. It’s too overwhelming;
  6. There’s too much to do;
  7. Others will be upset with me;
  8. I don’t even know where to begin;
  9. I can’t!!

When you think of not using food to cope and you feel sad and scared and disappointed, it’s only because the part of you that is thinking about using food to cope in that moment is the part of you that believes that you can not truly feel peaceful and nurtured and safe and comforted without food. Thus it imagines that what’s really going to happen when you use your tools instead of eating is that you’ll still feel anxious and overwhelmed but you won’t let yourself comfort yourself with food. So of course it resists using the tools. Who wouldn’t!

That’s the same part of you that believes that using your tools is a lot of work, that it’s hard and that it won’t actually lead to any lasting change anyway. We call that the Drill Sgt. and his characteristic “learned helplessness.”  

Read more of Tools for How to stop binging, overeating, emotional eating and dieting.

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

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Committing to Natural Eating ©

Committing to Natural EatingI want to share a tool I discovered to deal with the guilt I felt about eating.  But, before I do, I must digress for a moment and ask you if you have ever been in a relationship with a person that commits to doing something and then does not follow through?  If you have, then you know that your relationship with that person weakens because with each breach of commitment, it indicates that they cannot be trusted.  We are inclined to ask ourselves to overlook “small” things and not to be “too sensitive” or “needy” or “demanding”. We force ourselves to detach from our own authentic self and his or her appropriate feelings. We align more with the untrustworthy person than we do with ourselves.

What message do you think this sends us about our perception of our own worth and about our perception of the validity our feelings?  Well, it simply reinforces that old story about you not being good enough or deserving enough of honesty and integrity in your relationships on all levels. It sets you up to expect relationships to lack follow through and to force yourself to accept less than you deserve and need in the way of trustworthiness.

I want to make you aware of the feeling you get when someone breaks a commitment, regardless of how small or large it is.  It is the same feeling each time you tell yourself that you are going to eat a certain thing or not eat a certain thing, or that you are going to eat only a certain amount or only at a certain time and you don’t follow through on that commitment.  You are breaching your own trust in yourself, undermining your own self-esteem and sense of safety within you.

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Posted in: 2012, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self

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The Diet Mentality Vs. Natural Eating – Podcast Format

Diet Mentality Vs. Natural EatingThe Diet Mentality vs. Natural Eating

For this week’s blog, we have a Podcast recorded by Michelle, in which she examines the dynamics of the Diet Mentality Vs. Natural Eating.

We’ve added a snippet of a written article on the subject of the Diet Mentality Vs. Natural Eating below – if you’d prefer to read just click on the article link and get access to a whole series of articles on the topic and tools for what to do to change your frustrating relationship with food for good.

If you’d like to listen to the podcast, just  click on the image to hear a few minutes of Michelle explaining the importance of changing your way of thinking if you have been stuck in The Diet Mentality vs. Natural Eating, and to start  listening more to your body instead of what some diet is telling you to eat and when to eat it, and more during the 11 minutes.

Enjoy!

Article Snippet:

Natural Eating 101 The Diet Mentality vs. Natural Eating

When you eat naturally, your body comes to its natural weight without rigorous exercise programs and without dieting or restricting. And it stays there.

With natural eating, you can have any amount of any food(s) around you at any time and you don’t feel the slightest urge to overeat/binge. You can have a cupboard full of your “bad” or “trigger” or “binge” foods and forget all about them; so much so that they go bad and you have to throw them out! Truly. I have experienced this transformation myself and I have heard this very same statement from hundreds of clients who now live natural eating every day. If your relationship with food is not that, you’ve definitely come to the right place and you are definitely ready for the CEDRIC Method.

This week we are going to talk about The Diet Mentality.  The following checklist is your own personal assessment tool to discern whether you have The Diet Mentality. Whether you engage in formal dieting (follow a program of some kind) or just don’t allow yourself to have certain foods because you need to lose weight, you are in The Diet Mentality. If you’ve been engaging in either of those approaches for more than 2 weeks, you will have already begun to lose your trust in your body’s signals of hunger and fullness and feel less comfortable just being around food and in your body. It’s ironic that this Diet Mentality that is meant to help us lose weight and feel better often sets us very quickly on a treadmill of food and weight preoccupation that can be very hard to get off of without support and guidance.

So, if this topic hits home with you at all and you’d like your relationship with food and your weight to feel more secure and confident and peaceful, I encourage you to stay tuned as we explore the key tools and information you need to step out of The Diet Mentality completely and forever and live in that peaceful place we call Natural Eating.

The following is a handout that I give to most of my clients as it helps them to identify certain ways of thinking and behaving that they may just think are normal or even a part of who they are but which are actually learned thoughts and behaviours that are a part of the harmful Diet Mentality.

Posted in: 2012, Natural Eating 101, The Diet Mentality Series, Tips for Natural Eating

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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part III ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityWelcome! If you’re new to our community and find that you binge, restrict, or struggle with anorexia, bulimia or some other stressful way of relating to food you’ve come to the right place to learn about why you do it and what you can do to stop once and for all.

This is Part III in our Diet Mentality series. You can just start here or you can hop back a few weeks to the initial discussion of The Diet Mentality and statistics and then look at the previous Diet Mentality points to make sure you’re up to speed. Either approach will be helpful so don’t sweat it if you just want to read from here. Just do what you have time for, it will be enough.

So, we’ve already discussed the perils of both just arbitrarily restricting the amount of food you’re “allowed” to have regardless of your true hunger levels, and 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.

This week we’re going to discuss two points rather than just one as they feed in to each other and keep a nasty cycle of food preoccupation and self-recrimination going full tilt.

1.   You label foods as good or bad – legal or illegal.

    2.  Your thoughts about having certain foods lead to negative self-thoughts and judgements.

    The problem here of course is that #1 naturally triggers #2 should you think about or, gasp, actually have one of those forbidden/bad foods. Then that makes you buy into #1 even more which creates even more judgement and labeling of yourself as lacking willpower which undermines your self-esteem and leads you, typically, to feel so hopeless and overwhelmed that you just give up and eat those ‘baaaaaad’ foods which then, in our Diet Mentality mindset makes you ‘reeeeeaaaaally baaaaaaaad.’

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    Posted in: 2012

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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/)

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    Posted in: 2012, Tips for Natural Eating

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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.

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      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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      Setting Reasonable Goals

      Setting Reasonable GoalsI’ll bet you know something about goal setting. I’d actually be willing to bet that you’re very good at setting yourself goals each and every day about what you’ll eat, what you won’t eat, when, how much exercise you’ll do, how much sleep you’ll get, whose call you’ll return and how much you’ll get done at work or around the house. Chances are, you’re really skilled at setting goals. But…how often do you actually follow through with them? How often do you get to the end of your day feeling peaceful and relaxed that you achieved what you had asked of yourself that day?

      If, more often than not, you reflect on your day,  and hear the Drill Sgt.’s critical voice in your head pointing out your shortcomings, it’s a good indication that you did not achieve the goals you set for yourself that day. Same goes for those of you who wake up in the morning to the Drill Sgt. telling you what you will and won’t do that day to make up for what you did/didn’t do the day before.

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      Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre, Complete Recovery, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Self, The Law of Attraction, Tips for Natural Eating

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      The Process of Lasting Change

      Process of Lasting Change

      Repeated patterns are a window to your needs and the process of lasting change will help you address those needs. For every pattern you repeat, for example: overeating, purging, or restriction, there is a need which is being met within you. Your inability to change the undesirable pattern has nothing to do with lack of willpower or discipline. The pattern is merely a symptom of a deeper problem. If you direct your efforts only at attempting to eliminate the symptom without putting effort into understanding and dissolving its cause, you are setting yourself up for a very fatiguing and defeating battle.

      Understanding the Process of Lasting Change

      Awareness is the first step in changing any behaviour. You must first become aware that you are doing something which is detrimental to your values and life plan. Resistance is often your immediate reaction to becoming aware of what you are doing and why. This makes perfect sense. You have lived your life with a certain set of behaviours and beliefs. Given this, change, even if desired on some level, often feels less like innovation and more like annihilation of your entire existence as you know it. You wonder what will be left of you, your relationships and the life you know, when you have made the changes necessary to free yourself of this debilitating behaviour. This really means: when you are fully aware of the underlying need that led you to execute this behaviour, will you still choose the people and things you have chosen thus far? From this perspective, change can look very scary and the outcome very lonely. This is why so many of us have to hit our own personal “rock bottom” before we are ready to challenge old, harmful patterns of thoughts and behaviours. You must reach a place where you say, “I don’t care what the outcome is. Just make it stop!”

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      Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, newsletter, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, 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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      Yoga and All or Nothing Thinking

      Yoga and All or Nothing ThinkingWhen I think back on the incredible insecurity and self-consciousness I used to feel just leaving my house in the morning, I think it’s truly remarkable that I was able to take part in classes such as yoga and meditation and personal growth workshops, etc., before my recovery from binge eating and exercise bulimia.

      There was something in me that knew, as there clearly is in you if you are reading this, that there had to be some way for me to be in the world without feeling so bloody small and anxious all the time. I mean, others could do it. Or at least it seemed like they could. So maybe, just maybe, I could too. And so the 20-year-old me existed with fingers crossed; breath held; hoping for the best but fearing the worst, sheepishly inching forward. Ahhh, but at least I was moving forward!
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      Posted in: All-or-Nothing Thinking

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