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5/24/12 7:35 A

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Tiffany--you make an excellent point. Yesterday, I was eating my lunch--I was starving...and frustrated too. I was eating my omlette and salad as planned..but my FRENZY was all 'binge'. I was shovelling it in--hunched over-eating fast, minlessly, frantically..EXACTLY like I was binging. WTF?? whats that about??
I was glad that my brain made the connection--as soon as it did, I stopped, put down my fork, took a deep breath,,and slowed down.
I know thats not exactly what you meant--but I think its the same idea/concept. Sometimes binges are binges-whether its carrots or chips. Not a bad thing, just an observation.
I agree too--that sometimes, it feels good to plan a bigger meal and be OK with it. thats normal--everyone does it--its how we feel AFTER and how we behave after that make the difference ( ie do you still keep eating, cause you have BLOWN It....do you feel guilty..etc etc)
thanks for posting!!! I find discussions so helpful..gets my brain thinking.

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN's Photo DAUGHTEROFTWIN Posts: 1,085
5/24/12 7:28 A

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Binging takes on so many forms, it's not always easy to identify that you are in fact binging. I would like to add to the list of ways we still binge, but are making strides: when the foods we choose to binge on are more healthful, or when we intentionally save calories so that we can have a "big meal" later-- a meal that feels like we're being treated.

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5/24/12 7:09 A

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The Biggest Mistake Binge Eaters Make







By: Michelle Fiordaliso, MSW, CNC

Never binging again is possible, but the biggest mistake binge eaters make is saying to themselves, "I'll never binge again!"

Yet, we all do it. The food is finished and we then promise ourselves that it will never happen again. And even though almost everyone that binges says this to themselves, it only serves to set you up for self-hatred, guilt and failure.

You see, no one who ends a pattern of binge eating does it cold turkey. You don't decide to stop and then never binge again. It's just not how ending a pattern of binging works. That's because the binge serves a very important purpose: It makes you feel better emotionally.

So, if you're committed to never binging again, what are the signs along the way that signify you're succeeding:
•More time between binges (even something small for example, I used to binge eat every other day and now only do it every third day)
•Shorter binges (My binges used to last two days, now they only last an hour)
•Binges on smaller amounts of food (I used to binge eat a gallon of ice-cream, now I eat half a pint)
•The ability to stop a binge in the middle (I used to not even realize I was having a binge till it was over, now I can stop myself in the middle)
•Forgiving yourself more quickly after a binge ends (I don't talk to myself in a mean way when I binge, I have compassion for myself)
•Bouncing back more quickly when a binge happens (in other words recommitting to understanding and stopping your binge eating pattern)
•Understanding what feelings set off the binge (I was able to see that I had the binge after I had a fight with my boss)
•The ability to see a binge coming (even if you can't stop it yet)
Being able to acknowledge the small successes along the way is a really important step on the road to recovery. It can be all too easy to see how far you still need to go and forget how far you've already come.

Ending a binge eating pattern is hard work but you can do it. One day you might not binge at all, but it won't happen by making a declaration; it will happen by being loving to yourself and staying aware.

So, don't say, "I'll never binge again." Instead, take it one gentle step at a time. Remember, you're looking for progress, not perfection


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5/19/12 7:01 A

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SOME NON FOOD REWARDS:
--the simple recognition that staying on program is hard, and that we deserve a pat on the back
so we take time to acknowledge at least, our efforts--I dont do that enough--I dont acknowledge my success at managing the food EVERY DAY...i minimize it, or dont think about it--think its just something that I SHOULD be doing.
--a movie in the middle of the week.
--a time out from my life
--saying NO to someone and feeling proud of it.


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5/19/12 6:59 A

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Yep--I thought his suggestions were ridiculous. This goes WAY Deeper than 'have a bath with epsom salts". However, I think the point is good--that we DO use food as a reward for ourselves. I used to reward myself with a binge if I had had a hard day--I 'deserve' to relax and I 'deserve' to eat. WTF??? How does stuffing myself with food constitute a reward? I really dont understand that mindset that we have--that somehow we deserve to eat and feel sick--because we have been watching our diets and trying to lose weight...its very confusing to me, how we think like that.
Sometimes though, I get so tired of always WATCHING WATCHING WATCHING what I eat or dont eat. I get tired of the effort of eating on program and chopping and planning and preparing--sometimes I just want to say SCREW THIS and eat whatever the heck it is I want...and THATS not good either--I used food to escape from the control.
Now though, since the dragon is mostly sleeping--it takes way LESS effort to control my food--so I dont feel the need to binge as much or as often.
I use food to escape from my life--and if thats a reward, then I have to figure out what Else i can do that allows the escape--Tiffany, like you--it would be a movie--PURE ESCAPE there.


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DAUGHTEROFTWIN's Photo DAUGHTEROFTWIN Posts: 1,085
5/18/12 8:06 P

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I really don't have any suggestions for non-food rewards. Brain freeze. I read Dr. G's suggestions and they sound so trite, silly even. So then I think, "Oh, a movie would be a nice reward." Hmmm. That's one of the suggestions by Dr. G. I think rewards are a very personal thing. The reward I want isn't something I can give myself. I do think I will start putting change into a jar for accomplishments so that I have options when the time comes.

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5/17/12 7:21 P

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Here is this weeks blog--I gotta admit--found it a bit dissapointing. I expect more from Dr. G than " take a bath" seriously?? thats not very profound.
Anyway--here it is below..lets see if we can come up with Some GREAT non-food rewards ourselves!!!!!!!!
Overeaters: Alternatives to Using Food as a Reward

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD







One of the things that most confuses us in our relationship to food is the belief that food is a reward. And worse than that, many of us believe that food is the only reward we have-which can sabotage our weight loss efforts.

As children, many of us were treated to an ice-cream for a good score on a test. We were given the message that food is acknowledgment for putting in the effort, or for putting up with something intolerable.

All of us need reward, acknowledgment, and recognition for work well done. It's part of human nature. Sadly for overeaters, food can become the most obvious and readily accessible form of reward. And once we've found food, we stop looking for other creative ways to reward ourselves.

If you want to leave a big part of your overeating behind, you'll need to find other forms of reward.

Non-Edible Rewards for Children

It's almost unavoidable, as parents, to inadvertently give our children the message that food is a suitable reward. Here are some suggested alternatives to showering them with sweets: Movies, books, $5 to spend in a store of their choice, undivided attention, watching a show with them that THEY like, wrestling, playing a board game, doing an art project, taking them to a museum, looking at childhood photos or videos, building a fort, sending them an email telling them how proud you are.

Non-Edible Rewards for Yourself

Many single mothers, who in the absence of a partner, make food their co-parent, their lover, or their best friend. Here are some things that you might consider to reward yourself with: keep Epsom Salts in the house for a pre-bed bath, have a good book to read, treat yourself to a trashy magazine, a pedicure, or an afternoon movie, call a friend, or go to bed early.

Non-Edible Rewards for Lovers & Spouses

The age-old act of romance is bringing someone you love chocolates. But is it really romantic to give someone confections that can make them overweight or fall into a sugar coma? How about giving your sweetheart a foot massage, a love letter, a hand-packed healthy lunch with a note on the napkin, a complaint-free day, or an attentive listening ear.

When we eliminate food as a reward, we can get pretty creative. We all deserve rewards, but let's see what happens when we don't eat those rewards.

How can you reward yourself without food?






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4/27/12 6:54 P

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I busy myself too much with other peoples needs. I keep comparing what I would do, to what I get back. There is a favourite song of mine--a line in it says " for you I would crawl from New York to California" and every time I hear it I think--yes, I would do that for YOU ( you being anyone I care about) but sadly--nobody I know would do that for ME.
I love too much. I give too much. And I feel the need to be needed too much.

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4/27/12 5:54 P

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Wow! it's like I'm being described!

People do not decide their futures, their decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.
FM Alexander
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4/27/12 6:22 A

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Codependence Contributes to Overeating

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2010 | POSTED BY MICHELLE







Codependence is defined in many ways. A common definition is being overly focused on other people in a way that inhibits the quality of your life and your relationships. I've heard it called being O.P.P. (other people oriented). Another way to think of codependency is people-pleasing, or being a bobble head, saying yes without consideration of your own wants and needs. The concept was originated when mental health workers observed the partners of alcoholics and the ways in which they sacrificed their own health, happiness, and well-being because of someone else's disease. As human works-in-progress, we are probably all a little bit co-dependent (heck, in our selfish society, some of us could even stand to be a little bit more O.P.P.) however, after working with overeaters for years I can assure you that some of the patterns of codependency contribute to overeating and this is what we're going to look at today.


Codependent's Anonymous defines four patterns of co-dependency. They are denial, low self-esteem, compliance, and control (outlined below). For each one, I'm going to write how that particular pattern ties in to overeating. At the end I will give you some simple tools that you can use to combat codependency (and the overeating it can trigger).

Denial Patterns:
I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.

Overeating:
When we're disconnected from our feelings for too long, any feeling starts to be intolerable. Since food numbs feelings, a pattern of denial can contribute to overeating by insuring that you'll be distanced from your true feelings. Food stops you from feeling and keeps you in a denial pattern.


Low Self Esteem Patterns:
I have difficulty making decisions.
I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never "good enough."
I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
I value others' approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.

Overeating:
When our true needs are not met, food can feel like a quick fix way to fill up. It is an overly simplified way of receiving. Using food in this way defers having to develop the skills to treat ourselves as worthy and lovable, and to trust that we can ask for what we want. Food stops you from sticking up for yourself, and keeps you in a low self-esteem pattern.

Compliance Patterns:
I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others' anger.
I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
I value others' opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
I accept sex when I want love.

Overeating:
Overeating is often a consolation prize for not getting the things we truly want in life. C'mon, if a genie came out of a bottle offering a wish, would you pick a brownie or true love, a cookie or a fulfilling career, a piece of pizza or peace of mind? The answer is clear. Every time we choose food instead of creating a life we love, we're confirming that we're not important therefore food keeps a compliance pattern going.

Control Patterns:
I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
I attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly" feel.
I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.

Overeating:
We are worthy of love. Period. We don't have to do anything to get love. We don't have to make ourselves indispensable. We just have to be. This simple realization can stop you from busying yourself with everyone else's needs. And when you do you might have the time to eat well and exercise.

Feelings, our feelings, are important guideposts. If we shut the door on them, whether by being overly focused on others or by overeating, our compass gets stuck. Shrink Yourself helps you to feel again (without fear). Here are some simple ways to start breaking a pattern of codependency and the overeating that it can cause.

1. Use "I" statements. It can be so difficult to own our own feelings. "I feel lonely" instead of "you never spend time with me during football season."
2. Practice making simple requests. "Can I have a kiss during the commercial break?" instead of "Be more affectionate."
3. Do a Temperature Check � Check in with yourself. Stop to see how you're feeling in both body, and mind. Use that temperature check to help you use "I" statements and make simple requests (or simply to get some rest when you need it).

Melody Beattie, the Queen of Codependency says, "recovery can be fun." It can be wonderful to discover who you are and what you really feel, independent of other people.


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4/20/12 12:21 P

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Tiffany--you know what? thething is that YES while I DO look at ppl and judge them--I realize that I am not really judging them. I am judging ME. The more I accept my body and my efforts and the more happy I am...I judge ppl much much less.
Every critique of them--is just a critique of me.
I too, am working on stopping the weight judgement. For myself included.

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4/20/12 9:17 A

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Laura, I agree with your comments. I think your viewpoint is more realistic than what I read from Dr. Gould. At no point should we assign the label "good" or "bad' to ourselves or other people based upon what foods are eaten.

Just yesterday, before you posted Dr. Gould's new blog, I was thinking about how I always compare myself to other people I see (usually strangers). In my mind I think, "Wow. Am I THAT big? Do I look like that? I wish I looked like that." I hate that I do this. I think it is our natural way of confirming/defining our identity to ourselves. I read a blog when I first started SP about that very issue. The Sparker was feeling self conscious about working out and people looking at her. She was also aware that she was looking at other people and their (fat or healthy) bodies and drawing conclusions about them based upon how they looked. Her ultimate conclusion was she was going to stop drawing conclusions. She said she doesn't know where they are in their own journeys, doesn't know anything about them. They could appear to have an unhealthy weight, but have recently lost 100 lbs. Who was she to judge. I like this perspective and have been trying to adopt it with reference to how I look at others--reminding myself, "I have no idea what their journey is or where they are on it. It isn't my place to judge." This has helped me with my own self consciousness at the gym, too.

I have had a huge problem recognizing what I look like. Seeing pictures of myself or walking in front of a reflective plate glass window has always been a shock. Even recently, I didn't immediately recognize an accidental full body reflection. The woman looking back was thinner, taller(???!), a different silhouette.

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4/20/12 7:47 A

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I agree with you Tiffany--i too like the comments about my weight loss. However--I know that since I am always thinking about MY weight, I am always thinking about other ppls weight too. I would be the chick in Starbucks envying the skinny girls and wishing I was that thin..and feeling smug that I am not quite as fat as the other person over there...when I meet ppl/see ppl--I am ALWAYS thinking about THEIR weight..have they lost/gained/ does that make them look fat/ not fat...its ME and MY problem/obsession that prompts this--and I think that should change.
If Someone has put on weight--I feel sorry for them, and think they are going through some crap...if i am losing weight,and feel good about ME--then I am magnanimous...if I am not--and I am in the binge/diet cycle and feeling CRAP---then I am much more judgemental....its AWFUL...
so I think that has to change.
I think you are right--that some foods are nutritionally deficient and not good for us..but over all it is just food, a combination of chemicals.
Eating crap food does NOT make me a bad girl...it really bothers me when ppl say ( my MOTHER DOES THIS ALL THE TIME) " I was a good girl today I didnt eat X Y Z"
eating food or not eating food does not make ME good or bad...some food is just not healthy is all.
I think, that when we eat that crap food--which we can if we want to feel crappy....it does not mean I am doing good or bad..its just a choice.
for ME, if I eat it--it usually means I am binging..so I associate that feeling with that food....
when I am in a healthy frame of mind..I dont eat it or want it cause it makes me feel gross--and gassy. :)
I agree with you--that I am healing my body..I have a huge insulin resistance thing--and thats because I ate nothing but carbs for a very long time...and the binging..OMG....
I actually feel I should write an apology letter to my body....


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4/19/12 10:06 P

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I'm still here. I agree we have to change our perceptions, but personally I cannot "ignore" my weight. I know that's not specifically what he's saying, but it sort of feels like it. I want the positive reinforcement from friends and family who comment on my weight loss. I need that validation at this point. I'm the chick in Starbucks with the full fat hot chocolate, and not acknowledging my huge weight problem ONLY led me to get bigger and bigger. True, negative comments can send any of us spiraling. However, I think it's important to be realistic. My body is not beautiful. It is getting stronger and I am on this journey to heal the damage I've done to it through years of eating junk. Which leads me to my next disagreement. Yes, I think the whole good food/bad food distinction causes many problems. However, I think there is an exception: most fast food and foods processed past the point of having nutritional value should be eliminated entirely for at least a month to break the hold these foods have on some of us. I don't put Subway in this category. These are just a few of my thoughts about this blog.

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4/19/12 8:19 P

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Weight Loss: 4 Ways We Sabotage Ourselves

TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD







Let's take a look at how we add "weight" to the negative feelings we experience about how we look and how we eat. Here are four subtle ways in which we can unconsciously sabotage our happiness and well-being in the pursuit of weight loss.

1. Pressure from the Media

Do you let film, television, and magazines dictate how you think you should look? Do you compare yourself to actresses and models? Depending on the era, different body types have been en vogue: waifish, voluptuous, zaftig, muscular. Body types change like fashion and we neither can adapt nor should we have to. We don't have to fall prey to how the media says we should look. You can decide what you want to look like-no matter what's on the pages of your favorite magazine.

How can you become more immune to the effects of the media? Let us know in the comments.

2. Commenting on People's Weight

Something that is often done with good intention, but is nevertheless damaging, is commenting on people's weight. Even when the comment is complimentary, the results can still be destructive. In the throes of their eating disorders, many anorexic women reported that they received many compliments despite being unhealthily thin. Telling someone that they've lost or gained weight contributes to a fixation on weight and food. Share with someone how happy you are to see them or how grateful you are that they made time for you. Taking the focus away from weight helps us all in the long run.

Can you stop commenting on weight changes and appearances in yourself and others? Tell us in the comments.

3. Ragging on Ourselves

It's so common to hear people call themselves fat or poke fun at their bodies that we have become desensitized to it. Talking negatively about our bodies greases the slope for everyone. It contributes to a spirit of competition and comparison. If we can all learn to speak about our bodies with love and acceptance, then it will be so much easier to treat ourselves lovingly with good food and exercise and lose weight accordingly. Stirring up all this negativity and hatred just sends us into the arms of food.

Can you stop talking negatively about your body? Let us know in the comments.

4. Labeling Foods as Good or Bad

When certain foods become off limits, it can lead to overeating and binges-which only serves to sabotage your weight loss efforts. When we jump on the good food/bad food bandwagon, we can feel self-righteous when we are eating the "good foods." However, we can also get judgmental of others when they are eating the "bad foods." When you take away the taboo element of it all, everything gets easier.

How can you stop yourself from labeling foods good or bad? Sound off in the comments.

Many of us have done these things with good intentions. Many of us have had these things done to us and suffered because of it. However, we can make it easier for ourselves, and others, by becoming more conscious. We often think that the answer to all of this is thinking our way into right actions. For example, I need to lose weight so that means I should eat less, and so I'll do it and that will be that. But it doesn't work that way.

We actually need to act our way into right thinking. In other words, by changing simple actions (like the things listed above) you will begin to think in a different and more empowered way, in a way that helps you accept yourself and others more freely. When you do that, those images on the covers of magazines won't be nearly as compelling as who a person is and what they have to contribute.


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4/12/12 6:28 A

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Carbs are death for me. Cravings/irritability/bloating/want more and more and more

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4/11/12 11:17 P

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High fat foods make me sick at night. Acid reflux. Which meant my sleep ws severely interrupted. Haven't had an episode since I started with SP. I also am trying to work on my essential nutrients through food and have supplements for my joints.

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4/11/12 7:20 P

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Bees--instead of getting mad at yourself for not sticking to the gym/food routines--could you examine what was really going on behind the obvious? why do you need ice cream? is ice cream that bad? not really--why do you need to OVEREAT The ice cream is a better question, perhaps?

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4/11/12 7:18 P

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Weight Loss: 3-Essential Questions to Ask Yourself Today

TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD







It is extremely important to approach weight loss from many angles. Since the body is an integrated system in which your physical health can affect your emotional health, and your emotional health can affect your physical health, it's a good idea to work it from both sides. Our Shrink Yourself Program will help you with the Emotional Eating part, however there may be other things you need to pay attention to as well.

1. What Kind of Foods Are You Eating?

Don't just watch for how much you're eating but also remember to focus on the quality of your food and how particular foods affect your levels of exhaustion, your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, your mood, and your focus.

Food allergies or sensitivities can make digestion difficult and that can have you hold on to extra weight. These days allergies to wheat, soy, dairy and corn are very common. Sometimes eliminating certain foods as an experiment can be really illuminating.

If you're consuming a lot of caffeine, you might feel anxious or have trouble sleeping. If you're consuming a lot of sugar or simple carbohydrates you could have a sudden surge of energy followed by a crash or bout of brain fog. Also, if you're low in serotonin you may crave sugar and/or simple carbohydrates because of the quick jolt of serotonin they give you.

2. Are you Deficient In Any Vitamins, Minerals or Hormones?

People who don't get adequate vitamins and minerals can have a hard time losing weight.
This week one of our members reported that after discovering she was deficient in Vitamin D (55% of obese people are deficient in Vitamin D), her doctor prescribed the amount she needed and she immediately started to lose weight. Not only that but her depression lifted and she was finally able to get adequate rest.

Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids can help you lose weight, too. The addition of good fats like salmon, avocado, flax meal, and olive oil can help you to metabolize fat more efficiently.

Hormones affect your weight as well. If you're eating well and exercising and you still haven't lost weight you might want to consider having your hormone levels checked. Thyroid levels and cortisol levels should be monitored. If you have hypothyroidism and take thyroid supplements pay particular attention to your cortisol levels.

3. Do you Know How to Relax, Restore and Rejuvenate Your Body?

In modern day society we're faced with constant stressors and never given the chance to restore ourselves. Traffic. Sirens. Loud noises. Tragedy on the news. Deadlines. Multi-tasking. Sleep Deprivation. Screaming children.

Prolonged exposure to stress can affect many of our body's systems and inhibit our ability to lose weight. Learn how to relax. Shut your body down. Get enough rest. Find some quiet time. By learning how to relax, your body can restore itself and it will be better equipped to digest food and metabolize fat.

Human beings are physiologically equipped with a complex system for dealing with stress. Our adrenal glands control our fight or flight instinct. Animals in the wild, when exposed to stress, know how to shake off their experiences and return to a neutral state. We don't know how to do this nearly as well. Our bodies can't really tell the difference between the stress of being chased by a lion in the jungle and being cut off by a fellow driver on the freeway.

Our program and community can help you become more aware of HOW and WHY you are an Emotional Eater, and WHAT you can do to END your negative emotional patterns. However, we can not tell you how your body is reacting to certain foods you are eating. We can only encourage you to pay close attention to the relationship between different kinds of foods and your moods.


Have you noticed that you don't feel so good after eating certain types of food?


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4/9/12 8:52 A

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Great point, Jodie...thank you! emoticon




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4/8/12 8:38 A

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I find in situations like this that the best thing I can do is to be forgiving to myself. The more I allow that inner critic to chastise me, the less chance I have to turn things around.

I hope the day is beautiful where you are.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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This past week has been a complete write off for me. I feel like I use any excuse I can to get away with eating. We've had some family issues which caused our evenings after work to be out of the norm-no gym and eating on the run. This was the case from Tuesday until last night. Along with that, my daughter (8 years) and I have been fighting the flu on and off for the past month..my throat is getting sore again, which means i NEED ice cream to feel better (i told you, excuses!)...anyways, i did manage to get some exercising in but not as much as i would have liked. i am telling myself that after tomorrow (which is when we have easter dinner) i am going to get back on track. i plan to go to the gym tomorrow but i know that i am going to be stuffing my face with food..so i cannot make that committment on the food level yet..but monday, i NEED to. I need to step up and get things back under control.




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Laura--Your statement about having an excuse for being fat hit a chord with me. "-I would be rejected because I am fat. Being rejected because you dont have the ideal body type, is easier than saying " i will be rejected because I am not good in asocial situations"

I hadn't thought about that. I don't know that it is true, but I'm still considering it. I've never been comfortable in social situations. But I'm not sure which is the cart and which is the horse. Am I uncomfortable in social situations because I am fat, and therefore, unworthy? Or am I subconsciously concerned that even if I had a smokin' hot body, I still couldn't attract and sustain non-family relationships? Definitely food for thought. I CAN say this. In the past few weeks, I have had more confidence than I have in a long, long time.

Jodie--I am so sorry you have to go through this pain right now. I don't know any grief that is graceful. I learned in one of my anthropology classes a long time ago that there used to be an old tradition in Iraq. When a loved one died, all the women in the family and female friends would gather for days and Wail--crying loudly the whole time. The women would be there to support each other as they grieved the loss of their loved one. At times, I wish I had that support system and way of allowing and supporting the grieving. Instead, we have to stuff it all inside and deal with it "on our own time." If there is anything I can do, please let me know.

Catquel--I am sending you thoughts of strength and courage to help you get through the Holiday.

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4/4/12 6:57 A

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Hmmmmm, it's very difficult for me to pull these three issues apart. I think they are so closely linked and overlap - for me - so I'm not sure where the void ends and the loneliness or loss begins.

Right now I am dealing with loss and I will admit that yesterday I ate about it. I was so grief-filled I didn't have the cognition or the desire to choose differently. So, at least it was a choice.
For me the loss also leads to a void in my life. It is a void that cannot be filled so it must be grieved and then let go. How to do this without food? I'm still negotiating that day by day.

Fat is a protector. It literally makes me bigger which makes me feel tougher and less caring and less vulnerable to grief so I eat to bolster my "bigness" and delay the grief and the chasm of the void. Today I am stopping to feel and it's really hard. Grief is grief. It isn't lethal but I'm not as good at work if I'm dealing with grief and that's the part I don't know how to deal with. I left work early yesterday, my boss is wonderful and completely understood, but I can't do that every day. Today, for instance, I need to be there. I'm afraid I'm not very graceful at grieving and moving through my regular day. Maybe I don't need to be graceful.

Wonderful Wednesday to you all.

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4/3/12 8:34 P

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Tiffany--I think that saying " i wont reach out' is a very important milestone. Once you know that you COULD reach out, but choose not to--that gives you power. Is hiding behind your weight a strategy you use? For example--when I lose weight I will.......reach out/go out more/join a dating site
Part of the SY thing is to figure out why you are fat and remain fat--what do we GET from being fat? I think that sometimes for me--I get 'an excuse' --for example--i would be rejected because I am fat. Being rejected becaseu you dont have the ideal body type, is easier than saying " i will be rejected because I am not good in asocial situations"

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What I like about this blog, is that in this blog he gives some concrete strategies to heal the void/loss and loneliness.
I dont know if they would work for me, but at least they are there for consideration.
Tiffany, like you--sometimes I wonder about the purpose of my life--I absolutely LOVE my job, and i do good work..and help people all the time--but its not the life i wanted to lead, in fact i wonder how the heck I got here! I eat to fill a void of a life unlived. On a smaller scale, I eat to fill the void of the evening too--too tired and no interest in 'going out' and too bored at home.

Loss--I eat over that too. I eat because I have lost my daughter ( Sometimes I have no idea who she is now) I have lost my youth, and I have lost a few loved ones--and a dear dear loved one this fall. ( break up not death) this fall, when I experienced loss and void in its mightiest form, I ate and ate and ate...you know what?? IT DIDNT WORK!!! Who knew?
Loneliness--I could say yes that i am lonely, and there are days when I am--but I ate when I was with my bf too--and i was connected emotionally to him, and he knew me well....so I cant use that excuse. :) I eat when I am lonely and feeling sorry for myself--sometimes.
I eat when I am with people at a gathering/party--but thats because I feel alienated NOT necessarily LONELY.

Tiffany--I agree that rejection feels more comfortable and is easier than loneliness..but why do we think that we WOULD be rejected? why is 'rejection' our 'go to' response? Interesting.
STRATEGIES:
I need to go out on a date of some sort. Purge the ex from my head--i have ZERO interest in this, I just think it would be beneficial in the moving on process. Will set myself a goal for this--maybe in the next 6 months? it doesnt have to be with someone who is a prospective partner--just--a date. Hmmmmmm Jodie--find me a guy!! :)

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4/3/12 6:53 A

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I want to comment on this blog but I'm running late for work. I'll be back!

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4/2/12 9:39 P

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I believe I struggle with both of these. Life feels on hold. One of these days I'll have my stuff together enough to find a purpose. It also seems very difficult to develop meaningful relationships. I'm just not a people magnet and don't have much in common with the folks in this area. I won't reach out. Rejection is worse than loneliness.

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4/2/12 8:43 P

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Filling the Emptiness with Food

MONDAY, APRIL 02, 2012 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD







Our impulse to fill up with food is an attempt to fill an empty hole. To truly understand emotional overeating one must be willing to bravely look into the emptiness that so many of us are feeling and trying to avoid.

When we look at people (including ourselves) that are overweight we can be quick to make negative judgments. Amongst all the common stereotypes about overweight people we often overlook that an overweight person is likely a person in pain. If we can remember that, we are more likely to approach the issue of weight, for ourselves and others, from a place of curiosity, care, and compassion.

So, what's this hole we're trying to fill with food?

Sure, we all have a literal hole in us. There is space in our stomachs that food can fill up. But the hole that many of us seek to fill can't be filled with food no matter how much we stuff in. The emptiness that we try to fill with food can be:

A VOID
Does your life lack meaning? Do you wonder what your purpose is? Do you go about the tasks of your everyday life wondering what they're for and what difference they're actually going to make in the world at large? If so, your hole could be a void. You could be longing to imbue your life with more meaning and mindfulness. Food can't fill this kind of void. What can fill this kind of void is finding a cause to help with, a craft to be passionate about, or a spiritual practice.

A LOSS
Have you experienced the loss of a loved one? A break-up? A divorce? Has someone in your life lost some part of their functioning to illness or injury? Have you been laid off from a job? If so, your hole could be a loss. You could be missing someone or something. Food can't quell this longing. It can fill you up momentarily. It can numb you out. But food only delays the necessary work of grieving and getting back to living. Loss is undeniably painful but when you eat you actually prevent yourself from doing the things that would actually be healing. Taking actions like remembering (putting yourself back together), reaching out for help, and surrendering to the process can all offer real soothing.

A LONELINESS
Do you feel lonely even when in the company of others? Do you long for a connection but aren't quite sure how to bridge the gap? Do you spend way too much time alone, in hiding, or isolating? If so, your hole could be loneliness. I'm sure you guessed that food can't help this kind of hole either, but here are some things that can: first, find ways to connect to yourself through prayer, art, spirituality, beauty or nature and then look for ways to fill your life with quality people that make you feel seen, known, loved, and understood.

Part of being alive is tolerating the discomfort of that gnawing, aching emptiness inside ourselves. On our journey towards recovering from emotional overeating, it's important to remember that when we deny ourselves the feeling of emptiness we also deny ourselves the feeling of satisfaction and real fullness from within.


Which hole are you trying to fill with food?


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4/1/12 6:28 P

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No sad faces necessary!! That information is power. If we know we do that, then the next time we can say to our 'Harriet" NO, Harriet--you are not going to sabotage this. Yes, the feelings are there, but eating isnt going to help me deal with them. Eating isnt going to make me feel loved, or secure or less angry. Here is what WILL make me feel better______________" and then go do that.
It might not work--but its a start.

Edited by: TRUEREINVENTED at: 4/1/2012 (18:32)
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4/1/12 4:53 P

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yes, that is totally me! emoticon




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4/1/12 11:05 A

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Think on this: "as you lose weight, it creates a hole for those memories and feelings to come up.That makes us scared, so we sabotage. The more we stop using the food, the harder it gets, because the feelings just keep coming up. The easiest thing we can do is sabotage. When we sabotage that keeps us locked in the relationship with the food, and we feel safer. Its easier to feel safer,but fat, than it is to feel scared."
BEE--MAYBE THATS YOU??
Can anybody ELSE relate??

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3/31/12 10:00 P

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how is everyone doing? good i hope...i am almost into the fat as a shield portion of the book and the closer i get to that chapter the more i am binging...i think i am trying to avoid/protect myself from coming closer to resolving my issues...life is SO weird sometimes...




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3/29/12 9:17 P

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Good thinking Bee! Whatever one needs to do, is what we need to do!! the email is a good idea for sure.

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3/29/12 12:38 P

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comments in the margin, good thinking! i will have to do that..i figure that after i have read the entire book and highlighted what i wanted to..i will transpose the highlighted messages to a seperate book that i can easily refer to or maybe even into an email so that i always have it with me!




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3/28/12 5:27 P

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Good strategy Bee!! I felt guilty doing that at first--but now, mine is all highlighted with comments written in the margin. !

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3/28/12 12:35 P

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Jodie- I hear ya! I want to be perfect at all of it too...I have resorted to underlining in my book, like a textbook to highlight the most important parts...




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3/26/12 6:43 P

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Bee - I'm re-reading the book and there is so much good stuff but I kind of get overwhelmed because I think, I can't remember all this stuff!

I guess I'm feeling anxious because I want to do this right now and I want to do it perfectly, blah, blah, blah.

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3/26/12 4:50 P

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Bee, you are right! There IS a physiological reaction in our brains that indeed is just like that "high". Then, the next day--just like a drug addict, we get that same "down" feeling and the only way we know how to get feeling better--is food. Just like the drug addict. However, the root cause is not biochemical per se--the root cause of the need for food, is to manage our feelings. We are so used to doing that that we just keep doing it. If we can PAUSE--and Dr. G really stresses this--the PAUSE and figure out what we really need: ie I feel like eating because nobody friggin takes care of ME and I am using food to reward myself. But not today, today I am going to ______________.
if we can figure out the root reason WHY we want that sugar trance, we can pinpoint the right remedy, easier.

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3/26/12 3:56 P

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Thanks---I do remember reading this. I think that there is just so much useful and applicable information from this blog and the book itself, sometimes its easy to lose sight of what we need to be reminded of. Thank you for sharing. I know that I use food as a drug, to get that initial high..that sugar rush and then its all downhill from there...even though after the first bite it is lost, I fall into the sugar trance!




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Bee, And Others--I am posting part of a blog that I had posted previously--simply because Bee, you bring up some really good points...why do we keep doing it? what are the feelings about? why cant I stop? I dont even KNOW what I feel---etc. And YES everything you say makes sense, Bee--sometimes, binges are "RELIEF BINGES" as in --shoot, I held it together all weekend, and nobody looked after me--so I am going to reward myself , and look after myself with the food. See what Dr. G has to say on this--the full blog is far down this forum....but here is part of it, that applies:
Consider my patient "Roxy." She is 45 and has three children. She told me about a frustrating day at the mall with her sixteen-year-old daughter. Her response to the frustration was to binge on a whole box of donuts.

She told me, "I was so mad at her, what else could I do?" Roxy is very smart, but in spite of my prompting and questioning, she couldn't think of any other option but to binge. Her pattern of binging by stuffing down feelings with food was so deeply ingrained in her mind that it short-circuited her common sense. Binging felt like the only way to dial down her frustration and rid herself of angry thoughts toward her daughter. More than that, her guilt about the binge stopped her from feeling guilty about not being a good-enough mother-a mother that would intuitively know how to handle the situation with her daughter in a graceful and effective way.

The Three Causes of Binges:
•You binge to cope with your feelings.

•You binge to create the illusion of feeling good.

•You binge to feel "safe" or to shut out the world.

If you're a binge eater you probably already know the painful cycle of desperately wanting to binge, giving in to a binge, feeling remorse after a binge, and then promising yourself a binge will never happen again. Then you hate your -self when it does inevitably happen again. It's this cycle you need to understand before you can eat sensibly. Attempting to diet just sets you up for failure. First, you must understand how compulsive eating has been benefiting you. If you understand why you depend on binge eating, you'll be in a better place to let the pattern go and find better ways to deal with emotional hunger. Shrink Yourself will help you understand why you binge and more than that, it will give you the tools to stop.

You must understand that there is a part of you that feels afraid to let go of the binging cycle because you don't know what will happen to you if you don't have food to quiet your mind. I'm here to tell you that learning how to quiet one's mind is an essential part of adult development. When you learn how to do it, you're ready to give up binge eating. Not only will you lose weight, but the whole quality of your life can change for the better, too.






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3/7/12 6:45 A





Jodie--I agree--happiness is one thing, contentment is another completely. Contentment is something that is in the core, happiness is something fleeting and momentary I think....



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I'm going to defer to Abraham Lincoln on this one when he said, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Is it easier to feel happy when I feel thinner? Sure. But happiness, and maybe Dr. Gould should have used the word contentment, is more of a choice than a feeling, I think. Having said that, I'm not always good at making that choice.

Edited by: JODIEST at: 3/6/2012 (18:22)




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Jodie--re: clothes--absolutely agree--I feel the same way about clothes that are too big. I dont think twice of putting them into a "for tailoring' pile and a 'get rid of' pile--I buy cheaply in the transition times but I for sure buy clothes-I deserve it AND I feel better.
RE: being happy--I agree too, kinda...for myself I cant be happy when I am using the food, feeling like crap and loathing getting dressed in the morning. How I feel about my body has a huge impact on how I feel about myself that day...I physically feel so horrible when I overeat--I cant 'be happy'. I think that its a spiral--feeling good, inspires me to continue to feel good..ya know?



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I think there's great wisdom in choosing to be happy now. I remember all of the times I thought, I'd be happy if I were just 5 lbs or 10 lbs lighter and right then I was 20 lbs lighter than I am right now. All the time I've wasted postponing happiness for some time or weight to come along. Silly, really.

One of the ways I practice being happy right now (and treating myself well right now) is to NEVER wear clothes that are too small. I refuse to cram myself into a smaller size with the notion that 'I don't want to buy new clothes because I'm trying to lose weight.' The better I feel about myself, the more successful I'll be at everything, and I don't feel good about myself when my clothes are too tight. Besides, when I do lose weight, I deserve new clothes for my new figure.

Edited by: JODIEST at: 3/6/2012 (18:18)




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3/4/12 7:05 P





Hey Team--take a look at POINT Number 5 from the blog....Thoughts on that??



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NEW BLOG--FEB. 26As we have stated many times before, eating for emotional reasons is the number one reason why it's so difficult to keep to a healthy diet. However, the good news is that emotional eating is a learned behavior that can be understood and modified. It will take time and effort, but we can guide you through the process. Here are a few tips you can use in the mean time.

1. Become aware of the moments when you overeat.

Notice the difference between the times when you eat in a controlled way and the times when you overindulge. Is it when you're alone or in groups? At night or in the afternoon? When you're angry, tired, stressed or bored?

2. Pause.

Take a time-out when you're tempted to overeat and ask yourself the following questions: What am I really hungry for? Is food going to help me get what I really want? What else could I do besides eating?

3. Develop an inventory of other sources of comfort.

You eat to feel better because it works. You do feel better for a few moments after you eat, that is until the guilt settles in. Your mind offers it as an option because you haven't learned better, more effective forms of comfort. When you learn new ways, you won't need food. Start simple, like taking a hot bath or long contemplative walk.

4. Put the pieces of your life in order.

The more you know how to manage the details of your life (your past, your self-doubts, your finances, your relationships, your household, your family) the less you'll need the comfort of food.
Life can feel very overwhelming at times, so give up the perfectionist attitude and keep your focus on one thing at a time.

5. Be happy now.

People are under the false pretense that when they lose weight they'll be happy, but it actually happens in reverse. When you are content with who you are and how your life is going you're in a place to make mindful food choices and finally lose the weight you want to lose. Practice sitting still in a quiet place and think of only the happy moments in your life.





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I think all methods of managing stress are on the table and will be part of me handling this anxiety. I think it will be both - something I deal with forever and something I can train myself not to have as much of - just like compulsive eating.






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Re; anxiety--yep, Jodie--but given your upbringing--is anxiety something that is hard wired in to you and the best you can do is manage it with out the food? Ie wholly yoga, or eastern yoga ( wink) or meditation or something else?



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I'm finding that I use food to deal with my anxiety disorder (which I believe has become an automatic and inappropriate response to things that happen in my life). Of course, there are issues under the anxiety - sometimes, so to keep the anxiety at bay, I graze eat (which I have now decided is really a sub-section of binge eating).

So, while I'm working on the food facet, I also need to address the anxiety and also my anxiety response to things that happen in my life. I think that's enough on my to do list for today.






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2/25/12 7:39 A





OLD BLOG BUT WORTH DISCUSSING


"If I am all doped up on a food high, nothing else matters."
"When I feel inadequate, I eat... then I'm some body... I matter."
"When I concentrate on what I am eating I don't have to deal with other emotions."

Do any of these statements sound like you? If you're a binge eater, you're not alone. It is something that millions of people struggle with. It is more common than either anorexia or bulimia.

There are two main reasons why people binge. One is to cope with painful feelings and create the illusion of feeling good, and the other is to feel "safe" or to shut out the world.

The first thing a binge provides is something that I call the "Food Trance." The food trance is the mind numbing experience that makes you feel good for a little while. That little bit of relief feels worth it when you're faced with an uncomfortable situation, thought or feeling.

For some people, they'll even push off their feelings and "deal" with them later on by binging. I call this a delayed binge. You might be frustrated at work and spend the whole day thinking about what you're going to eat when you get home.

When your mind is screaming with unpleasant thoughts, you're willing to run into the comfort of food as a temporary safe-haven, anything for a few minutes of quiet. However, when you shut down your mind too many times with food, binging becomes a compulsion. That means your mind always believes it needs food to deal with stress. Once that happens, you can't control what you eat no matter how hard you try.

The second way that binging appeals to people, seems paradoxical on the surface. When the binge is over, you're filled with regret. Your mind plays a tape of how awful it was that you gave in to the binge. But that tape feels better (and more familiar) to your mind than the one that talks about the things you're afraid to face. The post-binge guilt gives you something else to think about.

Consider my patient Roxy, a 45 year old mother with three children. She told me about a frustrating day at the mall with her 16 year old daughter. Her response to the frustration was to binge on a whole box of donuts. She told me, "I was so mad at her, what else could I do?"

Roxy is very smart, but in spite of my prompting and questioning, she couldn't think of any other option but to binge. Her pattern of binging by stuffing down feelings with food was so deeply ingrained in her mind that it short-circuited her common sense. Binging felt like the only way to dial down her frustration and rid herself of angry thoughts toward her daughter. More than that, her guilt about the binge stopped her from feeling guilty about not being a good-enough mother.

If you're a binge eater you probably already know the painful cycle of desperately wanting to binge, giving in to a binge, feeling remorse after a binge, and then promising yourself a binge will never happen again. It is important to accept that there is a part of you that feels afraid to let go of the binging cycle, because you don't know what will happen if you don't have food to quiet your mind.

It is this emotional cycle and thinking trap that you need to understand before you can let go of the binging pattern. The first step is to understand how compulsive eating has been benefiting you. When you realize why you depend on binge eating, you'll be in a better place to let the pattern go and find better ways to deal with emotional hunger



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3/26/12 1:29 P

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Thanks for sharing...you know, it is so weird...when i reflect back on that moment i dont know what i was feeling..i think most of the time i use food as a way to unwind, does that make sense? I dont feel like i felt anything at the time...but as i think about it maybe i was feeling anxious i dont really know. this is so frustrating. i just cannot seem to figure out how i feel or felt when i binge. when i look at it it just seems like the opportunity was there, maybe it was a reward for getting through the week...do you think that makes sense? what kind of distractions do you use when this happens?




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3/26/12 11:42 A

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Oh Bee--you kept eating it because you didnt know what the heck else to do. We have used food for so long, that its all we got. Its our default, go to thing to do--and we keep doing it even if we know that it isnt working. The more we know, the less and less this pull has on us. We keep looking for relief, but we dont get it because we are babies in this department--and we keep doing the same thing.
I remember the first time I realized that the food was NOT going to help. I stood in my kitchen, tears streaming down my face--and I knew that yep, I could eat--but NOTHING WAS GOING TO TAKE THIS PAIN AWAY--nothing. And i felt such a loss...such a painful loss of a dear friend ( food) that I truly didnt know what to do. I HAD NOTHING.
I left the kitchen and just cried and cried. I MISSED IT.
That was then, this is now. Now, I have a bunch of strategies that I can use, if it gets that bad--and sometimes, it might be food--but for now, because we are doing this--we can learn to handle the emotional stuff as it surfaces so the pull of the food wont be quite as strong.
It was really good that you knew the candy wasnt working--thats progress!!

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I was really out of control this weekend. I bought some candy and hid it from everyone and ate it when no one was around...but I realized that I did not enjoy it. I wonder why I did that then? I have not read the book in a couple of days, I need to get back into it tonight. I felt crappy after I did it but I went on to eat cake at a birthday party the following day. I really wonder why I kept eating the candy when I came to the realization when eating it that it was not doing anything for me. I find this really strange...any thoughts?




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3/26/12 7:29 A

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Often, I find, I dont give people space when I have an issue. I feel, I react, I demand an audience. I wont let people go and cool off--and I dont let myself go and cool off. My reaction is we must solve this RIGHT NOW, even though I know in my heart of hearts, and from past experience waiting, cooling off and THEN communicating can be a much better way of dealing.
I am like that with food too--I guess I have to get rid of this uncomfortable feeling RIGHT NOW.
Interesting--now that I am not doing that with the food, I also let ppl go, and cool off--and am OK with discussing it later.
wow--I didnt even realize that till now. Very cool.

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3/26/12 6:51 A

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There's some good stuff here. Just last week, at the suggestion of my therapist, I "shared" (more like forced down his throat) an issue with my husband before I had taken those three steps. I crashed and burned, we both ended up angry, I did not get my needs met and the I also had to repair the damage. Since my husband was silent, I then had plenty of time to sit with those uncomfortable feelings only to find what I first said was the issue, wasn't even truly what was going on.

So after apologizing and letting things cool off, I put forth my new request complete with how I was feeling and it was no problem at all for him to hear me. How much more effective I would have been if I had waited, observed and then communicated.



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3/25/12 9:14 P

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Three Steps to Managing Your Emotions

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2012 | POSTED BY DR. GOULD




One of the reasons that feelings can be so uncomfortable is because we don't know how long they're going to last for. This element of the "unknown" can make them seem unbearable. However, the feelings are only temporary. It's our negative thoughts surrounding them that perpetuate the painful state.

Most feelings actually have a very short shelf life. Yet we react to them as though the feeling is sticking around for good. We overeat or binge because we can't possibly imagine that the discomfort that we're feeling (whether it's loneliness, anxiety, depression, or boredom) will go away anytime soon. And eating is just one of the ways that we do this. We yell and rage as soon as we get angry. We buy something as soon as we see it in a store window. We cut off a friend because we don't like something that they've done that made us feel bad, as if it would last forever.

What would happen if we sat with feelings before reacting to them? How long would they really last? And how much damage could they do all by themselves, if we didn't escalate them with negative thoughts?

Emotions are not that much different from the weather. They storm through us, they warm us, and they shake the earth beneath us. In order to "weather the storm" of these emotions we need to get through them calmly and rationally. Here are three things you can do when faced with intense emotions.

1. WAIT

Sometimes it's best to take some time without doing anything. This doesn't mean you should stuff an emotion. It just means taking a little bit of time to fully understand what you're feeling and why and what you might want to do with that feeling. You might discover that the intense emotion you are feeling actually has a short shelf life and when left alone it simply disappears.

2. OBSERVE

Of course, we can observe our own feelings. Watch them like clouds passing over the sky. This skill can be very helpful in the face of other people's feelings as well. The reality is that other people's displays of feelings can be very frightening to us. It can conjure up the impotent feeling from childhood when perhaps our parents were full of rage or were stuck in a frozen depression. For many of us, our tendency is to defend ourselves, retreat, or try to fix it. What if we didn't do any of that? What if we simply stayed present and observed what the other person was experiencing? What if we didn't take it personally? Then, perhaps, we could really hear what the other person is actually trying to say.

3. COMMUNICATE

If we've waited to see what happens to our emotion, and the particular feeling we're having appears to have a long shelf life, then perhaps it's time to communicate our feelings and thoughts about them. We may find that "getting them out" by writing them down is enough, or we may prefer sharing them with a close friend who is able to "hear" us. Or, at times, we may have a more complex set of emotions that require more help from a counselor or a program like this one, that can guide us toward determining appropriate actions to take.

By using this three-step process of "Wait, Observe, and Communicate" we can understand our feelings in a way that will help us navigate life more effectively.

Many feelings, like resentment, jealousy, and self-pity, have to be fed to perpetuate themselves. Ironically, it is these feelings that we end up feeding and nurturing with food. When we mute their intensity by over eating, we are actually holding on to them and stuffing them deeper inside us. This makes it harder to surface them and release them, which is what we need to do to end emotional eating once and for all.


How long can you sit with an uncomfortable feelings before turning to food?


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3/25/12 5:40 P

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I agree--dont know if he is THAT involved with SY anymore really too eh? Not that it matters--why does it matter, do you think?
Isnt a good idea a good idea? Why is it important for me for him to be--engaged?

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3/25/12 2:01 P

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L - You mentioned Dr. Gould's recycled blogs on the other thread, I thought I'd speak to it here. I'm sure he is a busy man with many obligations but, yes, I too find it disappointing. Though I'm sure compulsive eating is what it is...I don't know, I guess I'd just like to see "the man behind the curtain" more often.

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3/23/12 7:35 A

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Thats the key I think--the 'something different' part. I think sometimes we have to consciously CHOOSE to do the something diffferent, and sometimes it might just happen as we continually fine tune our thoughts and emotions and deal with the negative self talk, the inner child etc etc etc. I know though, that sometimes when faced with a situation I used to overeat in--I often think " wow, I used to overeat at situations like this" and I just dont anymore--always comes as a bit of a shock--not that I dont overeat--but that the dragon in my head stays asleep in those situations.
To further highlight the idea of past experiences influencing us, I saw a sign on a church yard the other day-that got me thinking--its glib and trite, but i like it--because it gives me something to think about:
" EVENTS IN YOUR PAST--HITCHING POST OR GUIDE POST"

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3/22/12 11:07 P

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That is Fabulous Jodie! I also love that you're writing and enjoying it. You are able to put your vocabulary palette to work for you.

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3/22/12 10:30 P

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Good stuff, that. As you have all probably noticed, I like to make jokes and can be very glib. In doing so, I see that I minimize my own accomplishments.

Last night, I did something different than eating about my uncomfortable feelings; in fact, I did three "something differents" and never did resort to eating.

And today, though I wanted to isolate and stay home as the panic crept into my brain, I chose to go to work AND chose to act like I was happy even if I wasn't. By the end of the day, I was pretty okay and I could feel those around me respond to my more positive demeanor.

God gave me the strength to take action, what I received in return was pure Grace.

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3/22/12 8:46 P

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This was a former entry that was posted a year or so ago--it pertains very much to the conversations we were having about past trauma and past feelings affecting the present.
What do you think?


"This is the story of a patient who has been struggling with weight issues since her early teens. One day she told me about how she had just completed a 100 mile bike ride for a charity organization. She was proud of her achievement because this ride was on a grueling course, up four hills, each of which had an 8 mile incline. The story itself made me exhausted. I marveled at her strength, endurance and ability to stick to it. She is a married woman in her mid-50s and had only taken up biking later in life as a way to get the exercise she needed to complement her chronic dieting efforts.

She then went on to tell me that her riding partner, a professional trainer who works out seven days a week, was riding faster and stronger than she was. She said ÒI guess IÕm not so strong after allÓ and looked a bit deflated. I was immediately taken aback. The bike ride was a great victory for her, and in two minutes she took it away from herself.

The emotional mind has a way of thinking in the negative, the kind of thinking we endeavor to clarify and change in the Shrink Yourself Program. If the emotional thinking is not revisited and corrected, then the conclusion sticks... ÓI am not so goodÓ and the achievement is nullified. Her self image stays weak, and the achievement that enhances her self image disappears.

I took her up on her obvious thinking error. Unless she was number one she was essentially nothing. She wasnÕt satisfied to be in the 99.9% percentile of women her age who are capable of riding 100 miles uphill. That meant nothing. She was applying one of the thinking errors that we demonstrate repeatedly in the program. The all or none thinking error. This is one of the major emotional thinking errors that perpetuate the self doubts and self criticism that plagues almost all emotional eaters.

We both understood the history involved. During high school she felt that she was fat and rejected by most of the other girls who were thin, including her older sister. She was teased and put down. Now she was working hard to be in shape and was proud of her achievements in her workout group. When one of the members said that she looked like she was being too aggressive and competitive in trying to be better than the rest of them, she had her wits about her to say Òno, I am doing this for myself because it is my turn to be in good shape.Ó However, secretly she thought to herself, it feels good to be better than somebody. Nothing wrong with enjoying a small victory.

She defended and endorsed that particular achievement, but when she reversed her big 100 mile uphill bike ride victory, by slipping into the all or none thinking error, she put herself right back in high school again. This happened inside of her mind quickly, like a reflex. Unfortunately, the bad feelings and self doubts from the past are perpetuated in the present, as if they are still true.

That is an example of how the past history perpetuates itself inside our current life. That is how self doubts and sore sensitive spots from the past continue to be the kind of emotional pain that drives us to over use food for comfort. I believe that the major source of pain that drives emotional eating is not simply the frustrations of our current life, but the amplification of those frustrations by the pains of the past still hanging around inside.

This is a key issue. Past experiences cannot be eradicated from your brain. They have occurred and they are recorded. But you can do something to modify that recording. You can sort out the difference between the memory experience, even if it was painful, and the current reality. Her current reality demonstrates that she should be very proud of all the effort she has put in to stay in shape. She does not have a body that people can make fun of, she is strong, and she now enjoys her physical strength. She is the only one who can take that success away from herself and return to being the victim of her self doubts.

This is why we push the PAUSE and THINK exercise so strongly inside the program. You have to catch yourself doing this to yourself. And you have to catch yourself many times before you can master the distinction between a memory experience, and the reality of a particular situation. Over eating and binging interrupts your clear thinking and keeps you from making this crucial distinction and therefore keeps you stuck in those parts of your past you no longer want to inhabit.

What have you accomplished lately but have denied yourself the success you deserve?"







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3/22/12 8:38 P

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Last night I was really, really restless so I wrote for awhile, re-read something by one of my favorite authors for inspiration and then listened to some good music. It didn't take the restlessness away but it was something different and it did take the edge off the restlessness and IT WASN'T FOOD!!!

I'm going to go work on my story some more which I actually want to do. Yippeeee!

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3/22/12 7:53 P

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Do something differently.

Jodie, I think you hit the nail on the head here. We can talk and talk and analyze and think and ponder and pause--but the reality is--we have to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY.
You will figure it out--you already are.

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3/21/12 7:38 P

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This is a good blog for me right now. I am practicing surrendering to the feeling but it's scary sometimes. I can talk to myself and treat myself tenderly but I need to take the third step and move. Do something differently. I'm not sure yet what that is, my stuff isn't as tangible as Louise's afternoon walks. I am writing, maybe that's proactive. Still pondering all of this.

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3/21/12 6:52 P

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Dr. G on what to say to yourself before/during emotional eating:

Weight loss is the goal, the brass ring, and the final destination each time you start a new diet. However, when you overcome emotional eating, a better life is the goal and weight loss is just a great side effect! You can live your life in such a way that you can feel, think and know what your needs are and how to get them met, without depending on the comfort of food. To illustrate this point, I'd like to share a success story of one of our members.

A member named Louise reported that she found herself eating uncontrollably almost every afternoon. This had been going on for four years. She just couldn't stop. After inquiring into what might be going on for her she began to put the pieces together. Two years ago her husband died and he was sick for two years before that. The afternoon had been the time of day when he used to come home from work and they would share the details of their day during a walk. When he got sick, this walk stopped happening and the afternoon was now the time of day when Louise would leave the hospital to go home and take care of dinner for the children. What Louise realized is that she was eating to stave off her feelings of grief. She didn't want to feel anything so she ate to fill the emptiness of losing her husband.

One day she resolved to stop running away from the grief and to face it instead. The next afternoon when the usual cravings for food started, she "paused" and felt the sadness well up inside her. Instead of pushing it away, she said to herself in a loving voice, "Yes, honey. Of course, you're sad." As she gave herself permission to "feel" something interesting happened, the craving lessened. The next day she did the same thing. The third day she left the house in the afternoon for a walk and allowed herself to feel the sadness with each step she took. After a couple of weeks her afternoon binges had stopped and she was back to walking every day. She wasn't elated, she was appropriately grieving but she wasn't overeating on top of it all.

When we allow ourselves to believe that food is our only option, then each bite we take confirms our feelings of defeat and powerlessness. When you find yourself eating during stressful or painful times, practice the following options:

1.Surrender to the feeling.
2.Talk to yourself in a loving voice.
3.Be proactive and do something differently.
Each time we face our feelings we get smarter and stronger. With this new confidence, we are able to live a more fulfilling life in which weight loss becomes a side effect and not an obsession.


What kind words do you need to say to yourself?



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3/21/12 5:48 P

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Really like that Jodie--a more--SY version of " does this make me feel good, or does it make me feel good about myself?"
its amazing if we STOP AND THINK --practice the SO IMPORTANT 'PAUSE" we could really tap into some very powerful stuff.
I know though, that before I know it--I have taken those first few bites--and then its like 'no going back' which again, is ridiculous.
Of all the 'tricks; the PAUSE thats filled with something real, and useful and that takes the edge off--is the most important thing. Even BREATHING..long deep slow breaths, in that pause--would be very beneficial. But i really have to remember to DO it.


Edited by: TRUEREINVENTED at: 3/21/2012 (17:49)
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3/21/12 4:59 P

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I am rereading SY, I feel I need the refresher course, and though I read it before today it really struck a chord for me because powerlessness or, rather, perceived powerlessness is the very issue I'm working on in therapy. Anyhoo, Dr. Gould states that I eat because I feel powerless - powerless about how to deal with my self-doubts; powerless about how to get real satisfaction in life; powerless to ensure my own safety; powerless to appropriately assert my independence and powerless to fill myself up when I feel empty inside.

I want to take back some of the power that I've given away and one way I think I'm going to do it is to ask myself, 'Will this ultimately make me feel more empowered or more powerless?' Example: Does getting my butt out of bed earlier in the morning so I can do my cardio before work ultimately make me feel more empowered or more powerless; Does taking time to pray and meditate ultimately make me feel more empowered or more powerless and Does eating "whatever" when I am not hungry or at my calorie limit ultimately make me feel more empowered or more powerless - you get the idea.

It is apparent that taking back my power will require grown up decisions and much work but it doesn't seem like there is a viable alternative. Rats!

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3/21/12 11:47 A

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Ashley. Your university life--man, that was me too. I remember going from one food place to another and just buying whatever. Every single day. I would see the groups of people--thin, laughing, happy and feel so Isolated. So sad for that girl back then. I wanted to belong, yet had no idea how. I remember one day-I had bought some 'jeans' but they werent really jeans-they were some weird fabric--I couldnt find real jeans to fit me. Anyway, I was so proud of these damn fake jeans--and I remember catching a look at myself in the Univ. Window--and thinking...WOW you are fat--and I felt soooooooooooo ashamed of myself. How could i THINK that I looked good? Stupid jeans. Stupid me. Eat some more.
Yes--I think you are right--very insightful of you--I DO think I am thinking of these things now, because lonely is on my radar....I might be--I dont really think so though. Maybe. I am faced with the prospect of being a solo traveller--India in July--solo--but I am not afraid of that--just maybe a bit apprehensive about how that will be for me. First time ever going solo.
Excited and nervous about it--if it DOESNT work--then what?? Travelling is what I DO...what if it doesnt work? Then i guess--tour groups are for me--yet they annoy me to no end. We will see.
BEES--Yep--I know that feeling too. I often avoid my frriends--but I have learned that having coffee with pals ALWAYS makes me feel better. I dont want to go at all, but then, when I am there--its great and I cant imagine why i was so afraid of it--its just easier to stay home I guess eh? No stress, no food decisions. No anxieties. I get that.
Is meeting with friends important to you though, would you LIKE to meet friends? Do you think you would enjoy a short coffee meeting? Or are you totally ok with NOT having friends--there IS a difference. And--so happy that you relate to some of the stuff that we say here--I am amazed that the origin of the feelings might be different--but the FEELINGS are the same.
JODIE--YEP--we ARE doing it. Its better without the food. Yeah us!!!
Treb-- I hate to admit it, but I cant WAIT for my 15 year old to get older-and get out of the teenage years. With only 40% of her brain developed--as in ALL teens--the daily course correction I have to do--exausts me. How did you weather their early teen years?

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3/20/12 10:16 P

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Laura--yes, I have a 17 (18 this week) y/o and a 23 y/o.

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3/20/12 9:52 P

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Don't look now, friends, but we're doing it. It isn't perfect and often isn't even graceful but we're looking at the tough stuff and choosing to feel what isn't fun to feel.

I think that means that WE'RE FREAKING AWESOME!

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3/20/12 9:41 P

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Jodie-thank you for sharing that post from the blog in November...It was very helpful. I know that i have said this before, but I feel like being here with you guys so helpful and that everything Dr Gould says is intended for me...it is all so applicable. I am so happy to be able to express myself and finally believe someone gets me! Thank you.

I, too, had a similar university experience as to what has been described by Ashley and Laura. I never really made any lasting friendships. When people started to get close, I pushed them away. I still do, when work friends invite me out for drinks or dinner, I dont go. When couples invite us over, I come up with excuses..I just dont like the anxiety I feel and I dont like being cornered into a situation. I have such bad anxiety about controlling my environment that I do not even like to go away overnight. I feel like that is giving up some control and not being in my safe and familiar environment. I feel like it is a little extreme but it is what works for me.

I have not had any sugar or any binges in the last couple of days which I am happy about. I feel like I am much more aware of my feelings and am looking for opportunities to assess them...kind of like a challenge





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ASHLEYY83 Posts: 16
3/20/12 8:40 P

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Laura - Ugh, university. My experience was pretty similar. I became friendly with a few people over those years, but didn't make any actual friends. My university had tons of food on campus: food places in the lecture halls, in one of the libraries, in the student recreation building...often I'd grab something at one place and immediately go to another. Go here and get a pizza, go there and get a cheesecake-in-a-cup thing and a cheese wrap, go somewhere else and get some chewy cookies. I was so freaking miserable there. I don't remember much else. Felt isolated, pressured, invisible to everyone. I was in a demanding program, and I felt like I was putting in constant work and going through endless stress just to feel alone and empty. When people here talk about feeling empty and overworked and drained because of taking care of everyone and never getting their own needs met...well, I've never been the caretaker type, but I think I've known a similar feeling.

Do you figure the past feelings of loneliness are coming up more now because you've been going through a lonely time now? Being in a certain mindset can make all these other memories of that feeling come up. I don't even see it coming sometimes.

I consider myself a solitary person, very introverted, not many people I can really connect with. Often I go for very long stretches without being bothered by it at all. It isn't until I encounter someone I DO want to connect with and don't know how, or watch other people relating to each other in a way I might want for myself, that it really hits me. I guess that's another reason I hated university: I was just reminded all the time of what I wanted and couldn't have.

I'm not sure what you mean by boundaries with my parents? My dad, I hardly ever see these days. It's uncomfortable, and I don't really want to. I don't know what to do with that. My mother...well, I guess there's been a distance between us since I became more aware of what was going on. I don't take responsibility for my brothers' actions any longer. She doesn't even talk to me about it much, because she knows I'm just going to tell her the same thing I've been telling her, that she doesn't want to hear. I

TRUEREINVENTED's Photo TRUEREINVENTED SparkPoints: (4,144)
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3/20/12 8:33 P

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"To recover from your childhood you need to accept and confront your painful feelings and memories with the mindset of a problem-solving, mature thinking adult. I guarantee that once you are committed to putting childhood's traumas into a mature adult perspective, every experience will become a part of the healing process. It is important to come to terms with the fact that you can't change the past. However, you absolutely can change the effect of the past on your current life! It is an ongoing process that has to keep moving forward, insight by insight. It can be done, but you need to be emotionally present to do it. And to be present means you must stop using the food trance to avoid your feelings."
OK I LOVE THAT!!!

I cant change the past, but I can change the EFFECT of the past on my current life. I am emotionally present in my life now. Thats what it is. I am emotionally present. Big breath.
Good stuff indeed.


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3/20/12 8:25 P

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I think that kind of dissociation - looking at yourself from the outside is common with painful memories or instances. And I so get the GET OVER IT mentality. Having said that, it is that attitude that got me here right now. I have to give these things their due even though the skeptical girl in the attic rolls her eyes and think's I'm lame. I got this, skeptical girl, you don't have to be the tough one right now, we can just feel what we need to and then we'll get over it. Deal?

It doesn't matters if we were abused or lonely or whatever - that old stuff caused an injury to a child who wasn't able to discern what was happening and as a result, here we are. Differing histories, the same result - emotional eating.

This is good stuff. I don't see these dialogs happening anywhere else. Oooooh, oooooh, Dr. Gould said something good in that blog that convinced me I cannot just set aside the food part of my plan (and he defines abuse to include overly critical parents):

"To recover from your childhood you need to accept and confront your painful feelings and memories with the mindset of a problem-solving, mature thinking adult. I guarantee that once you are committed to putting childhood's traumas into a mature adult perspective, every experience will become a part of the healing process. It is important to come to terms with the fact that you can't change the past. However, you absolutely can change the effect of the past on your current life! It is an ongoing process that has to keep moving forward, insight by insight. It can be done, but you need to be emotionally present to do it. And to be present means you must stop using the food trance to avoid your feelings."



Edited by: JODIEST at: 3/20/2012 (20:27)
TRUEREINVENTED's Photo TRUEREINVENTED SparkPoints: (4,144)
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3/20/12 7:52 P

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And yet--a part of me just wants to yell at myself GET OVER IT ALREADY--often when I talk to my mom about the past--I tear up. Just when I think it doesnt matter, or I am over it now--I know I am not. It is not even something I consciouslly remember--like abuse--I just know that I was a lonely child.
I remember coming home from University--I grew up in a University town, and lived at home and went to school. A lot cheaper that way--but lonely. I met ONE person in 4 years of University. ONE PERSON. After classes, I would stop off at the cafeteria--buy muffins and chips and crap, board the bus and then, when I got home--just eat. Eating was companionship and my reward.
Wow--I havent thought about this stuff for a long time. Its funny, because I know I prefer being alone than with people, but still--I guess I am lonely sometimes. I dont like admitting it though.Especially now, since I am not communicating much with my ex bf.
But then--when I am balanced and sane, I think GET OVER IT....and chronicle all the great things in my life that I have shaped-and it BUGS me that I even think of my lonely childhood. You know what else is weird?? When I think of that girl--I view her as detached from me, and not really ME--but I look down on her..from above..as she is not ME, but I am an observer. Ok thats weird!!! anybody else do this?
Ash--how do you separate yourself from your folks? Do you have trouble setting limits and boundaries with your mom?
Jodie--its a good idea about the scale. When we focus on the scale, its a bad bad thing and gets us nowhere and can be highly counter-productive.
Treb--do you have 2 children? I know you have a 17 year old daughter--do you have an older child as well?

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ASHLEYY83 Posts: 16
3/20/12 7:30 P

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It's pretty baffling to me how people can be dismissive about something like abuse...I don't care how long ago it was or that it happened "only" once; it seems obvious that can have a long-lasting and pretty devastating effect.

I was not abused myself either, but my parents are, to put it briefly, not the most psychologically healthy people around. And while they both obviously cared about me, I still ended up absorbing some very troubling attitudes, tendencies and unspoken beliefs from them.

I think that sort of thing can be very tricky to see. Like a character in The Truman Show said, "we accept the world we are presented with" or something like that. Growing up with certain experiences or attitudes can normalize them in your mind.



DAUGHTEROFTWIN's Photo DAUGHTEROFTWIN Posts: 1,085
3/20/12 7:28 P

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Jodie--I think that's a great plan. The scale is just an added stressor, which may feel like a source of "failure". Concentrate on the steps that will get you healthy--mentally, physically and emotionally.

Edited by: DAUGHTEROFTWIN at: 3/20/2012 (19:29)
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JODIEST's Photo JODIEST Posts: 113
3/20/12 7:23 P

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BEES - And anyone else who would like to read it, Dr. Gould has a blog on the SY site from November 20, 2011 titled Drama, Trauma and Abuse. I think it's very good.

ALL - In case you didn't know, you can access all of Dr. Gould's blogs on the web site for free, you do not have to be an SY member.

Calmer tonight. I did not stay within my target calorie range but I don't give a care. My husband and I got out of the house and grabbed something to eat. I ate only half of my dinner, turned down pop for unsweet tea and had a tiny bit of dessert and I tracked every calorie. That's as good as it was going to get today. On that note, I think I need to set aside the notion of weight loss for right now and focus on the abuse issues, my food plan, getting enough rest and getting enough exercise and allow the results to be what they are. I may not even weigh myself for now, that number is acting as an albatross and I just can't afford to spend that emotional energy in that area of my life.

I know that's not much different that what I'm already doing. I do not want to abandon the food plan, I think that's a slippery slope for me, but somehow I have to allow myself to weigh what I weigh if that makes any sense.

Hugs all.

DAUGHTEROFTWIN's Photo DAUGHTEROFTWIN Posts: 1,085
3/20/12 10:02 A

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I was never a victim of abuse. I simply learned at a very young age to comfort myself with food. Food was associated with fun, love, reward, acceptance, excitement, vacation, freedom from guilt and the ability to run away from "myself." Not eating yummy food has always meant not having these things. I have ALWAYS been overweight, and frequently, morbidly obese.

JODIE--I'm sorry you're going through such a turbulent time. Try to breathe. Remind yourself "I am the boss of me."

TRUE--Knowledge is power. I know I have to consciously work on being a better parent every day. It's a fine balance between being involved enough and being too controlling. What makes it harder is when your grown(almost grown) children push and pull at the same time. At least I haven't yet alienated them to the point they are only pushing.

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