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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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Natural Eating 101 Week 4: The True Culprit: Learned Helplessness

learned helplessnessIt’s funny how much correspondence I will get about a general discussion topic but how little I will get from an email article that has anything whatsoever to do with topics like goal setting or learned helplessness. You know what I mean. It’s great to read and get ideas and to feel like someone else knows where you’re at and that there is hope for you to heal and be completely free of food and body image stress; the coping strategies of emotional eating, restriction (anorexia), or binging (binge eating disorder), or purging (bulimia) and the underlying co-dependent training and all-or-nothing thinking that trigger you to feel the need to do those things. That’s what we all want: a life that is free from self-harm and self-loathing and chronic anxiety and insecurity. And that’s what you can get from The CEDRIC Method and from working through these articles.
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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Natural Eating 101

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Relationships 101 Week 5

Understand relationshipsThis article is part of a series: Relationships 101: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.

Oh yeah!!! We’re back with Week 5 of Relationships 101: Seeking to Understand Relationships

This series is my gift to you because I want you to have the greatest happiness and peace you possibly can in all your relationships. If you read and re-read this series until you really get it, and practice these key tools, you will find that all your connections get simpler, easier, deeper and more pleasurable for you and almost all of that happens without you having to have any “big” conversations and confrontations.

This week’s article and homework assignment (should you choose to explore it) will prove this, and you’ll be so amazed at how easy and safe relating to others can be.  Oh yeah!!!

This week’s article “Seeking to understand” could just as aptly be called: “Allowing for the possibility that you have misunderstood someone.”
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Posted in: CEDRIC Centre, Relationships 101

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The Fastest Path to Self-Confidence, Part Deux

how to become self confidentLast week I gave you a little task designed to help you begin to quickly get grounded in your right to feel and think as you do and to ask for what you need without guilt, shame, or insecurity and become self confident.

I’ll recap the core message, since I know it’s been a busy 7 days, and some of you may have forgotten, or not have yet got around to reading last week’s article, The Fastest Path to Self-Confidence.

The short version: If you’re using food to cope, you’re out of touch with reality.

There, that about sums it up!

Have a great week.

Just joshin’! There’s more.

Let me fill that statement above out a bit for you and then let’s move on to answering the question: “What can I do to feel more confident in my life as quickly as humanly possible, and in so doing, stop feeling so overwhelmed that I harm myself with binging, purging or restricting?”

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

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Perception is Truly Everything

One of the most ironic things about those of us who use (or have used) food to cope is that we’re very smart. We’re also very intuitive. We’re also very trusting and as such, very vulnerable. This above all else means that if we ever hope to be truly free of binging or purging or restricting and any stressful focus on food, we need first and foremost to learn to listen to and respect ourselves about what we’re feeling and needing, and we need to absolutely trust ourselves to respect those feelings and the messages they contain about our needs at that time. We are not fools, and try as we might, we cannot pretend that we’re okay when we’re not or that something isn’t bothering us when it is.

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Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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The Third Step to Recovery

Third Step

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3.

All-or-Nothing Thinking 101

After exploring Step 1 and Step 2 as outlined in the last 2 articles from me it is highly likely that you are more tuned in than ever before to:

  1. The signals that let you know that you’re feeling anxious;
  2. The fact that when you’re anxious it’s not a bad thing, it simply means you have needs that aren’t being met in that moment; and
  3. The absolute causal relationship between feeling anxious because your needs aren’t met and your immediate focus on food and body in a stressful, self-harming way.

If you haven’t got a sense of trust that that is the pattern; if you don’t yet know in your gut that this is the mechanism by which your food stress gets triggered and remains in your life, you must, for your own healing and freedom, read Step 1 and Step 2 and explore those exercises for a few days at least.

This process doesn’t work if you just listen to me – you have to prove to yourself, to that very doubtful, critical voice within, that the problem isn’t you, it’s your training in how to respond to (or not) your appropriately occurring feelings and needs.

Without your own confidence, through experience, in this process you won’t bother to do the next steps of homework and you’ll just come away from this process believing you tried and it didn’t work – which is the farthest thing from the truth.

This process works 100% every single time. It can’t not work.  We are helping you to learn to apply rational adult thought to all areas of your life and when you do that, you naturally feel more adult, less fraudulent, more relaxed and peaceful in your own skin and genuinely capable and desiring of taking great care of yourself.  Once you begin to really “get” the process, the speed of your recovery is up to you in terms of how often you use your tools and therefore, how long it takes for them to become second nature in the way the old “if I feel anxious, let’s numb out” mentality is currently second nature to you.

Where my team and I come in is to help speed you on your journey with support that is specific to you and your unique life experience; we provide examples and tools that are just right for where you are and what step you’re on.  But the basic mechanism is the same for all people and I’m sharing it with you these past two weeks and for the next two or so because I want you to understand completely what’s going on when you reach for food and you’re not hungry or don’t allow yourself to eat when your body needs nourishment. If this article resonates with you, then it’s time to allow yourself to get a little support and to finally step completely free of food and body stress.

I have found, through my own longstanding and complete recovery from binge eating/exercise bulimia and the underlying triggers that led me to that coping strategy in the first place, that it is much easier to change a behaviour when you truly believe you can. That means, if you don’t understand why it is you do what you do, you are likely to blame yourself and see yourself as faulty and feel stuck and keep trying the same old thing.

I remember the feelings of despair that used to overtake me after a binge. That sense of waking to reality to discover that I’d just done, yet again, the very thing I promised myself all day that I wouldn’t do. Every single day my trust with myself was compromised in this way and every single night I felt that familiar sense of urgent need for numbing and shortly after, the despair and depression of failure.

I also remember that the only thing that brought me any sense of light, however momentarily was falling asleep to the story that tomorrow I would be different, tomorrow I would stick to my diet, tomorrow I would not over eat, not a bite more than I needed, maybe I’d even undereat and exercise to make up for tonight and in a few days the damage would be undone…….zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And then waking up to the anxiety in the pit of my stomach that signaled memories surfacing from last night, the bloating, the ‘fatness’ and feeling gross in my body, the self-loathing as I got dressed in one of the very few outfits that fit me at all – something resembling a red potato sack if I recall correctly.  The self-beratement and shame followed me through my morning preparations and on the skytrain to work and as I sat down at my desk, I was already so unhappy (yet externally smiling widely earning me the nickname of “sunshine” from my co-workers…if they only knew!), and, at that point, nothing had even really happened that day.

I had no room for anything to transpire between me and the world as I was already maxed out from my own past pain and present self-loathing and ineffective solutions, yes, I remember that sense of stuckness, hopelessness and despair very, very well.

By coffee break I was across the street getting a giant cinnamon bun and consuming it so quickly, so as not to be observed. Who did I think they thought I was buying it for? And why did I think anyone ever cared about what I ate?….because my family had been extremely preoccupied with what I ate and what I looked like, my weight and acceptability appearance-wise, it never occurred to me that my family had distorted priorities and confused ways of being. I assumed everyone was like them, just perhaps a little quieter about their judgement.

For the record, my years of recovery and 17 years as a specialist in this field have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only people who care what you eat and what you weigh are people who are as confused and preoccupied with food as you are – and believe me, you do not want to try to live your life to make them happy – that’s their job. Your job is making you happy! And it’s much, much easier to do than you can imagine. You just have to try something that works rather than variations on a theme that never will.

Where was I, oh yes, coffee break. Well, you get the point. The day did not go well as long as I was focusing on food and what I weighed and looked like rather than on why I felt so bloody shitty all the time. I just assumed I felt crappy because I was crap and would always feel that way. I believed, because of my familial training, that if I looked a certain way I could at least fake it and perhaps lead some semblance of a decent life.

Only problem of course was that I had some very confused perspectives on myself and on others that led me to feel anxious most of the time whether alone or in a giant group of people and the way I dealt with my anxiety was the same way you do: I ate, I restricted, I purged through excessive exercise (at times).

Now if I’m telling myself  I need to lose weight and stop overeating in order to be peaceful and happy and finally “acceptable” but the thing that I do when I feel anxious about anything is eat, I’m stuck. It wasn’t the food that had me stuck either. Not at all actually. It was my all-or-nothing thinking. I was absolutely fixated on only one possible explanation (I was lazy, lacked willpower, flawed and faulty) and, in my mind, only one possible solution:

Keep trying the thing you’ve been trying for years that had never worked because it’s you that’s the problem and not the diet!

So you see. The underlying all-or-nothing story that I was the problem never allowed an opportunity for me to even open my mind to the possibility that something else was actually the problem. That perhaps there were actually things that were legitimately painful or stressful and that perhaps the calming and soothing and numbing of myself with food would naturally shift if I learned how to identify and attend to those other stressful things. Perhaps even my self-esteem would increase and I genuinely wouldn’t feel so faulty and bad after I got to see myself being successful in taking care of some of those stressful situations in ways that were dignified and respectful and led to a solid sense of closure. This would mean I would feel less and less anxious and insecure and therefore need food to cope less and less, naturally!

Well of course that’s exactly what was true and exactly what happened. And that’s what happens for all our clients. But I couldn’t make that shift myself because of the annoying dichotomy that the mind that actually needs to make the choice to try something new is absolutely imbedded in the story above: I’m flawed, it’s me, it always will be, I’ll never get it right, so why bother trying.  I just couldn’t clearly see where I was going wrong and why I always ended up right back where I had promised myself I wouldn’t.

I needed someone outside of me to catch my thoughts for me and show me where I was taking that nasty wrong turn at Albuquerque again. Someone to help me step out of my old perspective of fear and self-doubt and into the present moment, into reality, where there truly are a multitude of possibilities to every single situation, regardless of what your old all-or-nothing mindset tells you.  As Albert Einstein so wisely said: No one can solve a problem with the same mind that created it in the first place.

Back then, the cycle of anxiety – binging/restricting – feeling guilty and shameful and loathing of myself and feeling greater anxiety was at play in my brain 24/7. Of course I still believed that the solution lay in controlling my food and in me looking a certain way. I never once had any other notion put to me.  There were no other solutions presented, and believe me I searched!

My psychiatrist (only went once); psychologist (likewise); 3 separate GPs; and countless diet centres; OA; etc., etc., ALL FOCUSED ON THE FOOD! ARGH! Even the “experts” were steeped in all-or-nothing thinking! I knew in my gut that what they offered wasn’t the answer but no one could tell me what was.

I was blessed to stumble upon a lady who had been a psychiatric nurse and seen many women and men on her ward with eating disorders who were drugged, given diets and sent home, only to return shortly thereafter. She realized something was missing in this treatment and began to explore other options. She helped me to understand some of the basic principles of natural eating and showed me how to notice when I was coping with food and gave me a few tools to begin to do things differently. It was such an eye opener.

In the 17 years since then, I have committed my life to making your complete recovery easier, speedier and most importantly, lasting. The last thing you need is another process that doesn’t work. You need something that works like a hot damn, right away.  And that’s what our program does.  I wrote an article a while back called: When I use my tools they work!

I wrote that article because that’s the feedback I get every single time from clients. This stuff works. The process I have created for you relies on you exploring step 1 and step 2 from the previous week’s articles (or reading my book, joining our web program, etc., to get the full tool kit) and then, when you have proved, beyond doubt to yourself, that there is something more going on that laziness and lack of willpower on your part, you’re ready to take the next step and begin to actively explore change where it needs to happen first: What is really making you anxious and what can you do about that, fast!

So, as always, email your questions and feedback and stay tuned for next week when we explore all-or-nothing thinking in greater detail and I’ll give you specific examples from many clients sharing how all-or-nothing impacted them and how it doesn’t anymore.

For now, be on the lookout for the desire to use food to cope, and the accompanying feelings of anxiety and when you notice them, just stop for a moment and ask yourself what it is you were just thinking. Continue to prove the connection between some stressor in your life and your current, automatic default to food focus.

Have a productive week!

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

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.

© Michelle Morand, 2010

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

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The Second Step to Complete Recovery

nextstep

This post is part of a series about Complete Recovery on our blog. If you’d like to read all of the blog posts in the series, see The Three Steps to Complete Recovery1, 2, 3.

Last week I encouraged you to stop twice a day, anytime, and just ask yourself the following questions:

“Am I feeling at all unsettled (or thinking of using my coping strategy or actually using it right now?)”

“What might be triggering that feeling or the need to check out?”

“What am I telling myself about that situation or about me?”

Based on the feedback I received from many readers this was powerful in and of itself. Many of you hadn’t even realized you were feeling anxious in that moment until you checked in and many of you had been planning to overeat, restrict or purge without even realizing the connection between those thoughts of numbing out and the anxiety you were feeling.

The feedback also showed that with just a little inquiry within, almost all the time, you were at least able to get in the ballpark of what was really triggering your anxiety and to see, very clearly, that it wasn’t your body and it wasn’t food. And I have some tools for you for those other times, so don’t worry.

Nice Work on the checking in and staying tuned!!!!! Well Done!!!

(P.S. If you haven’t done this piece for yourself yet go back and read the article from last week, give it a try for a day or two – that will be enough for you to have your own inner, gut proof, which is required for you to move forward – and then add this next piece.)

The most important part of this puzzle is already starting to take hold for those of you who tried the homework: You’re beginning to prove to yourself that your thoughts and actions around food and body image are triggered by anxious feelings that are unrelated to food and body image. Ahhhhhh, sigh of relief. There is a reason you do what you do and it’s not that you’re lazy or lack willpower or don’t care about yourself, it’s that you’ve been taught, way back when, to association feelings of anxiety with hopelessness and despair.  So you simply automatically check out with your coping strategy of choice when you feel at all anxious, whether about being five minutes late, or losing your job, the illness of a loved one, or missing the due date on a bill.

There was a time when things were happening to and around you that were not meeting needs for safety, respect, love, emotional and / or physical security. And at that time you were powerless because of your age, size, and stage of development in your thought processes and communication skills, as well as your dependence on your primary caregivers for shelter and food as well as love and belongingness and emotional support and encouragement.

In that old life, if your best attempts to get your needs met were not successful you had no other recourse. You simply did not get what you needed. It is very anxiety-provoking to be in a situation where you’re not getting what you need and where you are powerless to do anything about it. And if you’re a dependent child and this is happening, it is practically overwhelming. Anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD and ADD, dissociation, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, sex addiction and promiscuity, body image obsession and raging are all methods that human beings frequently default to, without conscious intent, as methods to communicate as best they can their overwhelm at the unmet needs for trust, respect, safety, love, acceptance, reassurance, reliability, etc., that they are experiencing at that time, or that have yet to be properly met since childhood. These are protective measures for the individual as well as solid statements, to anyone who understands that language, that at some key point, and still in some way, fundamental needs weren’t met.

The most important news is that, regardless of how your needs weren’t met in the past and who didn’t meet them, you can absolutely find ways that truly, 100% meet those needs in the present, with or without any communication with that person, acknowledgement from them, or reliving any of those old painful experiences.

The first place to start is last week’s assignment; begin to prove to yourself the irrefutable and causal relationship between you feeling anxious about myriad things in your life (past, present or future) and you immediately feeling stuck and hopeless and feeling the urgent need to check out with food in some way.

This week I want you to deepen that awareness and take it one step further by encouraging yourself to notice whenever you’re reaching for food (or thinking of binging, restricting or purging) or feeling that sinking, stuck feeling, or feeling anxious to just stop and ask yourself:

“Am I feeling at all anxious or unsettled right now?”

“What was I just thinking or experiencing that might have triggered me to feel anxious?”

“Was I at all thinking that there was no solution; that I was going to fail; that I wasn’t capable; that things were not going to go well; that bad things were going to happen?”

If so, I want you to just stop and think about this article. Think about the fact that because of your past, your anxiety automatically triggers you to feel overwhelmed and to feel the need to check out and then say to yourself:

“That’s my old, learned helplessness training. There was a time when I was powerless to meet my needs. But I am not powerless now, simply uninformed. And, even if I don’t know how yet, I know that there are people who can show me how to stop defaulting into stuckness and how to meet my needs in ways that don’t harm me. I trust that with some help I can figure it out.”

The solution is simple. And the sooner you prove the link to stress about general life stuff and the urgent need/desire to overeat, restrict, purge, drink, spend, etc., the sooner you can set about living the life you’ve always deserved!

It’s just around the corner.

Let me know how this week’s homework goes and if you’re ready for a hand in taking the next step let me know.

Love

The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

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.

© Michelle Morand, 2010

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

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A New Beginning

beginningTwo weekends ago, I was in Vancouver with my husband Alex – Olympic Fever Reigned! Holy cow, what a hockey game!!!  While there, I treated myself to a trip to the Ayurvedic Clinic. I met with the physician, Dr. Shiva Varma, who I had met with a handful of times before, always with great success for whatever had been ailing me.

On this trip, I was going to see him for his thoughts on why my sleep hadn’t been so great the past month or so. He immediately assessed my situation perfectly, stating that the only problem I had was that I was feeling a sense of a lack of community in Vancouver as I plan my transition there and he encouraged/insisted that I join him and his team at his new, state-of-the-art, clinic in Richmond, as well as out of the centre in Kitsilano and begin to offer lectures, seminars and workshops there. So, of course, I said…”Yes! Thank you!!!!”

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

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When I Use My Tools, They Work!

tools“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.”

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Posted in: 2010, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self

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