Last week I was talking to someone with an eating problem who joked about treating her dogs better than herself. She described feeding them exactly what they wanted and her joy in loving them unconditionally. My first thought was how common her attitude is among disordered eaters who often treat family members, friends, and, yes, pets better than themselves. Maybe you’re one of these people who are caught in a vicious cycle of devaluing yourself…

Read More Treat Yourself Like a Dog

The prospect of legalizing foods on the road to “normal” eating is scary and exciting. Although granting yourself permission to enjoy foods that were formerly forbidden is exhilarating and freeing, you will get into trouble if you think that because foods are now legal, you can eat them with abandon. Nothing could be further from the truth. The rules of “normal” eating apply to all foods, and you have to pay extra attention when eating…

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Today kicks off National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW), February 25th – March 3rd. Check out www.nationaleatingdisorders.org for more information. I will be speaking at NEDAW events in St. Louis and Baltimore. I am also excited about appearing on The Good Life Show (radio show) with Thom Rutledge (my former therapist) and Leslie Lipton (author). Please see information below! Thanks so much for your support. Jenni Monday, February 26th, 2007 The Good Life Show 12-12:45…

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Do you know what makes you afraid to stop and feel? Dollars to donuts, whatever it is, you’ll be able to tolerate it. As children, we really do get easily overwhelmed with emotions and they rightfully terrify us. We don’t have the brain mechanics to handle emotional intensity. For the most part, as adults, what we feel is pain with much less terror. The irony about abusing food to avoid emotional hurt is that by…

Read More Find A Quiet Place Inside

I am in an airport in Boise, Idaho. I had the opportunity to speak with various groups of people within this great state. (I also had a chance to eat some of Idaho’s amazing potatoes!) An important topic — the power of interruption — arose in most of my presentations. The “power of interruption” actually answers a question posted by someone in response to my last blog entry about what to do after a binge.…

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Every time I see my neighbor who’s a quadriplegic, I think to myself, I bet she’d give anything to have a choice about whether to exercise or feed herself. We take so much for granted as we muddle along, and use the easy way out of deciding by doing nothing. Letting the chips fall where they may gradually becomes a sad way of life. Think, what would life would be like if choices were taken…

Read More If You Couldn’t Make Choices

If you have difficulty regularly regulating your food intake, you probably have problems with the flow of your emotions as well. The goal is to become so emotionally flexible that you know, as the song says, when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. That doesn’t mean becoming perfect at handling emotions, just that, for the most part, you’ll be able to appropriately let go of or contain intense affect depending on what’s necessary.…

Read More Opaque versus Transparent

I hope you had a great weekend! I just finished an article that I thought some folks out there might relate to. I want you guys to be the first to read it below: Just Eat: And other things not to say by Jenni Schaefer “Just eat,” they said. “They” were my well-meaning friends and family members. I was in recovery from an eating disorder. Whenever I heard the words, “just eat,” I sarcastically thought…

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It’s easy to understand how anyone who’s had under- or overeating problems for a long time would think that there are people out there who are perfect eaters. You know, the ones who never overeat or allow themselves to get too hungry, who always know exactly what food they want and don’t ever feel disappointed by a poor choice, who eat nutritiously 100% of the time and never struggle over food decisions.  Well, I’m here…

Read More No Such Thing As A Perfect Eater

I am not married. I do not have a boyfriend. I did not have a sweetheart today, Valentine’s Day. But I do have a great friend who taught me a lot. Melanie Aldis and I just enjoyed dinner together in Salt Lake City, Utah, where we will be speaking at Center for Change. Melanie made a vow this Valentine’s Day not to be bitter. Not to be upset about being single on a holiday where…

Read More Be Your Own Valentine