In the spirit of battling perfectionism, I want to share the article below with you. The article is not perfect, but I hope you get something out of it! Love ya, Jenni The Prefect Articleby Jenni Schaefer When you were in school, did your parents ever encourage you to make a ‘C’ on your report card? I don’t mean pat you on the back and tell you that if you just tried hard enough you…

Read More Part II: Perfectly Imperfect

When I talk to “normal” eaters, I find it fascinating to hear them tell me about the times they over- or undereat and how comfortable they are around food. I can tell you that they don’t always make the best decisions. One major difference between them and someone with eating problems is that they don’t put much attention on what they’ve done “wrong.” In fact, they often pay no attention to it whatsoever. Using the…

Read More What Is “Normal” Eating?

I hope you are having a perfectly imperfect weekend! In my book, Life Without Ed, I talk about Ms. Perfectionist, which is what I named my painful, unrelenting perfectionism. In years past, Ms. Perfectionist worked hand in hand with Ed, my “eating disorder,” to control my life and bring about intense misery. To find ultimate freedom from Ed, I had to face Ms. Perfectionist head-on. Standing up to Ms. Perfectionist was not only painful but…

Read More Perfectly Imperfect

I’ve noticed over and over that disordered eaters frequently go right to trying to change their behavior before doing the requisite work of transforming their beliefs about food, eating, weight, and body. Although you might be able to alter a few, minor behaviors, without working on beliefs, on the whole, you will need to examine—and perhaps revamp—your entire belief system regarding food if you wish to eat “normally.” For example, if you believe that you…

Read More Rational Eating Beliefs

Psychology teaches us that there are two ways to change behavior: one is through incentives and the other is through punishment. Incentives mean working for reward or pleasure, and punishment involves taking action to avoid pain. One form of behavior modification is not necessarily more potent than the other, but using only self-punishment will not help you become a “normal” eater. If you are used to coming down hard on yourself in your efforts to…

Read More Stop Beating Yourself Up

Recently a question came up on the message boards I advise on (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dietsurvivors and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings) about eating from boredom. Boredom is an interesting emotion because it can stand alone but also may mask other uncomfortable feelings such as loneliness, sadness, anxiety and depression. There are two types of boredom: acute and chronic. You may feel acute boredom when your friend cancels plans for Saturday night at the last minute and leaves you with nothing to…

Read More Eating from Boredom

Hi! I hope your week is going well. I am having a wonderful week with my family at South Padre Island in Texas. I am here with my mom, dad, brothers, sister-in-law, and nephew. I always learn a lot from my two-year-old nephew, Drew. Yesterday we all went to the beach. In the beginning, Drew was terrified of the water. He did not want anything to do with the waves and preferred to build sand…

Read More Get Your Feet Wet

As we get older, most of us put on weight or have body shifts. If you’ve been slender most of your life, it can come as quite a shock to try on a garment you haven’t worn in a while only to find that it no longer fits. Or you may realize that you’re now more comfortable in a larger size than you previously wore, but find no major change on the scale. Either situation…

Read More Changing Weight

A query came up a few weeks ago on The Food and Feelings message board (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings) about how to use feelings to prevent food abuse rather than going unconscious and being barraged by an onslaught of self-hating emotions after the abuse. This issue arose often during my years working at a clinic with polysubstance abusers who often felt little or no fear about dealing drugs—ignoring the real possibility of arrest—but, after being caught, were terrified…

Read More Foresight versus Hindsight

A question came up recently on the Food and Feelings message board (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings) about eating out of fear that you’ll be hungry later and won’t have food available. This automatic deprivational response is an excellent example of emotion based on irrational belief leading to dysfunctional behavior. (For further reading on fear and food, see my Food and Feelings Workbook.) By the time we become adults, our fears are generally so long-standing that we don’t even…

Read More Food and Fear