Many people fear sharing hurt or upset because they don’t want to “burden” others. If you are one of these people, it’s time to let go of that dysfunctional way of thinking and behaving. Remember, the more you can rely on others (plus your own emotional resources, of course!), the more likely it is that you won’t turn to abusing food whenever you are in emotional distress. We become fearful of burdening others when in…

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What if you could make all the changes in your life you need to become a “normal” eater? What if you had in your power the ability to reach your eating and realistic weight goals? There is an expression that says, “If you believe you can’t, you can’t,” illustrating that belief is the bedrock of behavioral change. Although transforming beliefs from irrational to rational is an arduous task, it can be made easier when you…

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If you discovered my “normal” eating blogs through an eating message board, then you know what a support they can be for recovery. If you have never been on one, you are missing out on a terrific tool for education and self-discovery. The two I am familiar with were set up by a colleague, Linda Moran, who developed Diet Survivors on the heels of publishing her book, How to Survive Your Diet and Conquer Your…

Read More Eating Message Boards

How many times have you heard the question: “Do you think I’m fat?” Maybe you said it. Or maybe it was your friend or a family member. If you are familiar with this question, I think you will relate to my article below. Best, Jenni Do You Think I’m Fat?Finding truth, finding myselfby Jenni Schaefer Ed whispered in my ear when I was four-years-old the answer to my never-ending question, “Do you think I’m fat?”…

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I often hear people working hard at recovering from eating problems say that they feel as if they’re getting worse, not better. More often than not, this complaint is based on subjective experience rather than objective evidence. When people say they’re feeling worse, it usually means that the behavior they’re trying to reduce or eliminate has increased in frequency, duration or intensity, that they haven’t noticed sufficient change, feel hopeless, or that they are in…

Read More Are You Getting Better?

Ideally all of us would be able to take in compliments and criticism in a balanced way. When someone remarks that we did an outstanding job on a project or looked smashing, we’d feel proud and glow inside. When someone expresses disappointment that we hurt their feelings or left chores undone, we’d feel badly that we let them down or failed to live up to reasonable standards. We wouldn’t expect to never make mistakes, nor…

Read More Balancing Praise and Criticism

One of the ways we become dissatisfied with ourselves is by believing that the grass is greener in other pastures. We imagine how happy others must be, observe couples and assume they have fairy tale relationships, envision the lives of certain—rich, thin, wealthy, famous—folks as flowing from one flawless moment to the next. And, sadly, we view bodies the same way: this one looks just perfect, that one’s the American ideal. We see a person…

Read More Greener Grass

I hope you are doing well. I just returned from the NEDA Conference in San Diego. What a wonderful event! I met many courageous people whose lives have been touched by eating disorders. I was very inspired. At the conference, I had the opportunity to present with Shannon Albert, who is the NEDA Volunteer Coordinator. We spoke about sharing your personal story responsibly in outreach efforts. For those of you who are interested in outreach…

Read More When to Share Your Recovery Story

I recently spent a few days with a group of dear, old friends and could not help but notice the role that food played in our time together. As we sat around reminiscing about good times and catching each other up on our lives, we were surrounded by food. Yes, there was plenty of fresh fruit, but there were also candies and baked goods. The hostess is a superb care-taker (physically and emotionally) and made…

Read More Food and Socializing

I’ve been doing research for a new book I’m writing for therapists on how to treat eating and weight issues, and am continually amazed at how much of our capacity to eat “normally” and remain at a comfortable weight is rooted in our biology. Some 50-70% (different sources give different percentages) of our weight is predetermined genetically, giving us an inherited predisposition toward fat or thin. Although we can influence biology through stress management, changing…

Read More Biology, Eating and Weight