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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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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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How To Get Free Of The Diet Mentality Part IX ©

Get Free Of The Diet MentalityHello!

This is Part IX in our Diet Mentality series. Can you believe it!!? We’ve almost covered all the key points of the diet mentality and now you’ve got some clear and specific suggestions of what to do to change and let go completely of each of them.

In case you’re new to our community you should know that my mission statement as an author/educator and counsellor is to ensure that anyone who wants to change their stressful relationship with food, regardless of where they live or their financial situation, gets the tools they need to step free!  So this series is just another in a long line of articles, stemming back over 10 years, that I have written every week to provide you with tools and information to change your relationship with food.

The CEDRIC Centre and our counselling and support team offer personalized healing retreats, individual counselling and group support, workshops, an interactive web based program and books, workbooks and many other resources like cd’s and video clips to help you step free completely from any stress around food and body image.

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Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, Natural Eating 101, Relationship with Food, Relationship with Others

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Basic Statistics on Dieting Video

Basic Statistics on Dieting VideoBasic Statistics on Dieting Video and Why it so Rarely Works for Anyone.

This video will quickly provide you with some interesting Basic Statistics on Dieting, including how they can lead to eating disorders for our Video Blog. 

Some of them will surprise you, others will be familiar. All of them will help you to understand why you’ve struggled with dieting and weight loss and body image.

Dieting for anything other than health reasons and from any mental attitude other than self-esteem and good self-care will fail. This is because if you’re not thinking about your long term health and overall self-esteem you will engage in diets that are extreme and therefore cannot be sustained for any length of time.

What we really need if we want to be successful in weight loss and in creating a relationship with food that makes us feel good mentally and physically is an approach to food and to self-care that comes first from trusting the cues that your body is sending you about how you feel and what that means about what you need.

In essence, good self-esteem is required before any change to a pattern in your life can be lasting. And good self-esteem comes from you taking the time to listen to how you feel emotionally and physically and responding respectfully and reasonably to those emotions and sensations.  If you learn to do this – and it isn’t hard – you will have no problems with overeating, emotional eating, binging, eating disorders or weight loss ever again.

I know this from personal experience and I’ve seen it time and time again in my 20+ years as a counselling specialist helping people to stop binging and lose weight. It’s the same for those who struggle with anorexia or bulimia or other forms of restriction and confused relating to food. 

Figure out what’s getting in the way of you feeling worthy of good self-care and worthy of love and acceptance from others, as you are and you’ll be your best, sexy, happenin’ self before you know it.

It isn’t hard, it doesn’t have to take long – you just need a good teacher and solid, simple, clear tools. 

I can help. mmorand@cedriccentre.com email me and we can talk about how things are going for you and what you can do to quickly and simply get a grip on food and weight for good.

Michelle

Once you’ve learned about the basic statistics on dieting, click on this link to purchase the full video or reach out to Michelle for an individual session or for more information on the best approach for you to completely step free for good from your stressful relationship with food and weight loss.

Just click on the image to hear a few minutes of an excerpt from Michelle’s presentation of  ‘Sidestepping the Food Emotion Power Struggle’ 

Posted in: 2012, CEDRIC Centre, Relationship with Self, The Diet Mentality Series

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The Drill Sergeant Dialogue – Video Format

Drill Sergeant DialogueThis week we instead of bringing you Michelle’s message in print, we are introducing our CEDRIC Video Blog.

Please click on the image provided to hear a few minutes of Michelle explaining the importance of the ‘Drill Sergeant’ and some steps to take to retrain your thinking and have an immediate and powerful influence on your behaviour.

I chose the ‘Drill Sergeant Dialogue’ to kick off our monthly video series because it is such an important concept to grasp.  Self-esteem is one of the very biggest areas to work on for complete recovery from your stressful relationship with food. It is the solid foundation from which the rest of our life practically falls into place.

Just recognizing the dynamic of the ‘Drill Sergeant’ dialogue is helpful and I thought this clip explained it well.  After you watch it, you may find just having a quick flashback to Michelle encouraging you to deal with your D.S in a different way will help you adjust your thinking that much faster when you are being down on yourself.

After absorbing the material at the weekend workshop myself, I practiced the process of rephrasing things to be more positive and encouraging and now when I want to quickly zap myself into coming from a positive place of love, patience, understanding with lots of great options in front of me, I just say “Be Kind.” Then I can quickly remember to adjust my thinking to override the negative thoughts.  It really does work if you practice the correct phrasing to play in your head to replace the negative stuff that is hindering you on so many levels.  After all positive breeds positive and vice versa. So do whatever you can to stay in the positive, even if it feels like just a baby step!

Have a watch of the video and then really get to know your own ‘Drill Sergeant’ so you can integrate that well-meaning but confused aspect of yourself and truly support yourself in ways that are kinder, more patient, forgiving and encouraging.

If you want to read more about the ‘Drill Sergeant’ just search that term on our blog and you’ll find lots of great articles that help you to change the way you relate to yourself. From there it’s a hop, skip and a jump to forever changing the way you related to food.

Enjoy the Video Clip!  You can see more clips at CEDRIC’s YouTube Channel

Janice

Posted in: 2012, All-or-Nothing Thinking, CEDRIC Centre

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Fear of Making Mistakes – Review

Fear of Making MistakesThose of us who use food to cope, or drugs, alcohol, shopping, procrastination, isolation, busywork, and even more socially-sanctioned strategies like over-exercise, co-dependency and workaholism, use those strategies in an attempt to distance ourselves from the constant sense of anxiety we feel within.

The anxiety that we feel is borne out of harmful all-or-nothing stories that I call “learned helplessness.” The learned helplessness stories sound something like this:

 

  • I can’t
  • It’s too big
  • It’s too much
  • I’m not capable
  • I won’t be able to do it
  • I’m not allowed

And, those learned helplessness, all-or-nothing stories (that trigger our anxiety and our use of harmful coping strategies) are triggered by a naturally and appropriately occurring sensation in our bodies that I call “the niggle.”

The niggle arises when we have needs that aren’t being met.

If you used food to cope as a child (or any other of the strategies listed above), it is extremely likely that when you felt that little niggle inside that let you know you needed something and you tried to get that need met through your words or actions, you were unsuccessful, or perhaps even berated or shamed or physically harmed.

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

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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 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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Making sure your basic needs are met – Review

Making sure your basic needs are met

The only reason you ever use food to cope, no exceptions, is because you have needs (See Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs Chart on the left) that aren’t being met in some area of your life and you’ve told yourself that you’re not allowed, not deserving, or just not capable of getting them met, no matter what you do. These stories you’re telling yourself lead you to feel depressed and anxious, lethargic and frantic, in other words, they overwhelm you.

And when you’re feeling overwhelmed about something you believe you can’t do anything to change or resolve, the only thing to do is to find a way to diminish or discount the impact of that thing: to numb out.

 

In comes your primary coping strategy.

Is it binging?

  • Is it restricting calories, certain kinds of foods, or times of eating regardless of whether you’re hungry or not?
  • Is it purging (through an hour or two of exercise, through laxatives, or vomiting)?
  • Is it an attachment to a certain weight or way of looking?
  • Is it drinking?
  • What about drugs; shopping; gambling; the pursuit of that perfect relationship?
  • Do you take responsibility for what others feel, or what others need?
  • Do you procrastinate to cope with overwhelming things?
  • Do you isolate yourself?
  • Do you avoid certain people or places?
  • Do you resist downtime?
  • Do you resist going to bed at a reasonable hour?
  • Are you a clean freak? Or just the opposite?

(more…)

Posted in: newsletter, Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Relationships 101, Tips for Natural Eating

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