Recently I did some Internet research on sugar addiction when the subject cropped up in a workshop. Can a person really be addicted to sugar? If so, does that mean she can never eat it and/or that if she does, she’s bound to go overboard and binge? How do you know if you’re addicted or if you only believe you are? I encourage you all to do your own research on sugar addiction, although the…

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Many of you will not be able to overcome your eating problems until you get out of the unhappy situations you are working or living in. I know this advice is hard to hear, that you fear making major change, and that you will even forgo a healthy relationship with food to maintain the status quo. However, dysfunctional eating is often a reaction to a toxic situation and you won’t become a “normal” eater until…

Read More An Eating Disorder or Misery

I hope you are having a good weekend! My holiday weekend has been especially wonderful, because I have had more time than usual to spend with friends. Throughout recovery from my eating disorder, I learned the importance of the word: “friend.” I learned that I both needed friends, and I also needed to be a friend. In the past year, I have been honored to call Melanie Aldis a friend. Melanie is an inspirational and…

Read More Eating Disorders: A Personal Story

One of the chief complaints I hear from clients and patients is how utterly impossible it seems to say no to food on a regular basis when they’re not hungry or to stop eating when they’re satisfied. They speak about going unconscious, falling into a trance, blocking out consequences, and being reduced to overwhelming won’t-take-no-for-an-answer desire. In clinical terms, they cannot refrain from acting on impulse. Three related skills are necessary to inhibit impulses, slightly…

Read More Skills for Eating Satisfaction

A question came up on the message board for my Food and Feelings Workbook (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings) about self-soothing techniques. There are a variety that, if not learned adequately in childhood, need to be acquired later on for healthy emotional regulation. As with other skills, the more you practice, the better you get and the more natural the behaviors feel. Here are 4 that should help—body relaxation, positive self-talk, mantras, and physical self-comfort.  The basic relaxation technique…

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Hello everyone! I would love to see you at some really cool upcoming events. Please check out the schedule below. I hope to see you there! Jenni ——– Thursday, June 21st, 2007Las Vegas, NevadaUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasPresentation with Dr. Michael Berrett, CEO, Center for Change5:30 PM – 7:00 PMOpen to the CommunityFor more information: http://www.unlv.edu/Sponsored by Center for Change, http://www.centerforchange.com June 21st – 24th, 2007Las Vegas, NevadaBen Franklin Institute-Summit for Clinical Excellence1st Annual Eating…

Read More I Would Love to See You!

Often mental health clinicians point out how being a perfectionist can prevent someone from leading a fulfilling, happy life. We warn against pushing too hard, having personal standards that are impossibly high, and trying to live up to expectations that are so unrealistic that they can’t help but lead to feeling inadequate. All true enough, but did you know that perfectionism also has an upside?  When I work with people who refuse to make themselves…

Read More The Upside of Perfectionism

One of the scariest tasks in becoming a “normal” eater is starting to eat foods that you’ve forbidden yourself. However, if you move forward with mindfulness, planning and structure, you’ll be less fearful and more successful. Every time you aim to “legalize” a new food, follow (all of) these steps. All you need is a paper, pen, food, and courage! Step 1: Pick a food that challenges you which you don’t regularly keep in the…

Read More Introducing a Forbidden Food

We first hear the word “self-control” early in childhood and go on to use it to explain our eating successes and failures ever after. We act as if it’s a commodity we can go out and buy at the corner store, as if we either have it or don’t, as if it’s something outside ourselves that we can somehow get hold of and place inside us. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and we…

Read More What Is Self Control?

The most popular question about eating disorder recovery that I am asked in my travels is: “Does it really get better?” YES! Because I am asked this question so often, I finally wrote the article below. Believe it! Jenni It Gets Better: Not Just For Everyone Elseby Jenni Schaefer Hello. I would like to introduce myself. I am the only person in the world who cannot recover from an eating disorder. No matter how hard…

Read More Eating Disorders: It Gets Better