Eating a quantity of food that is just right is as much art as science. Using a number scale can teach over- and undereaters the nuances of hunger and fullness by making you aware of body sensations and allowing you to notice the subtle gradations of satiation. Think of 0 as hungry, 1 as no longer hungry, 2 as full, and 3 as beyond full. Zero means you have hunger pains and sensations that signal…

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Many of my clients and students grumble about "dwelling" on painful feelings or traumatic memories, asking, “What’s the point?” Perhaps you’ve said or thought this yourself. Well, here’s the answer. According to the dictionary, to dwell means “to fix attention on” and “think about for a long time.” When you fear dwelling on things, my guess is that you’re not thinking of the first definition but of the words “for a long time” in the…

Read More Dwelling on Emotions

Okay, now, it’s done, over, finito. You got through Thanksgiving—through all the delicious foods, your anxieties about eating too much or too little, your fears about what people might say about your weight, and the dread of being with relatives that make you want to divorce your family. If you weren’t Ms. or Mr. Perfect on Thanksgiving, you may be in a remorseful, beat-yourself-up state of mind today, so here’s a chance to leap frog…

Read More Giving Thanks

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday with friends and family. I am grateful for a lot this year. I am grateful for my health, my family, and my work. I am grateful for you! Thank you for reading my blog, my articles, and “Life Without Ed.” Thank you for joining my online family. Here is one more article — about the holidays. Have fun! Jenni Holiday Cheer: Cheese Ball vs. Bowling Ballby Jenni…

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The first step in intuitive eating is to believe that you’re entitled to any food that will not harm you physically—those to which you aren’t allergic or sensitive and which don’t give you indigestion or heartburn. Entitlement is key to because believing you aren’t entitled makes it impossible to follow the rules of “normal” eating. If you don’t accept that you can eat whatever you want, you won’t be able to follow Rule #1, eating…

Read More Believing You’re Entitled to Eat

I recently attended the Renfrew Center Foundation Conference for Professionals in Philadelphia. Throughout this amazing conference, the question was asked: “What is recovery?” I participated in many discussions and attended wonderful presentations that attempted to answer this question. And I was inspired to write the article below. I hope you can relate to my words. Have a great weekend! Best, Jenni Redefining Recovery:  Getting beyond the behaviors of an eating disorder by Jenni Schaefer “How…

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A recent Tufts University Health and Nutrition Newsletter (10/07) had a few illuminating stories that relate to eating and weight. The first maintained that because food cravings are natural, we should stop feeling guilty about them. The study on cravings was part of the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy trial conducted at the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (boy, was that a mouthful).…

Read More Eating in the News

As if we don’t have enough gender disparities in this society, I’ve been noticing lately how thin men and women are viewed and treated differently. Skinny men, whether they perceive their physique as unmanly or not, are basically left alone. Perhaps they’re not adored as hunks or hotties, maybe they’re covertly envied or even laughed at, but no one has all that much to say about or to them regarding their bodies. Thin women, on…

Read More Thinness and Gender

Many of you might have food rituals which do not serve your recovery—logging calories for every morsel that goes into your mouth, always eating items in a particular order, weighing yourself after eating, or finishing whatever you started eating just because. These rituals are unhealthy because they are rigid, often occur outside your awareness, and their purpose is to reduce anxiety. They hurt you because they feed your obsessions about food and weight. There are other rituals which actually can…

Read More Helpful Food Rituals

In The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders, Marcia and I devote a whole chapter to “disordered eating,” behavior that isn’t severe enough to be called a full-blown eating disorder, but nevertheless can ruin a person’s life. We tell the story of one patient, Rosalind, who is in her mid-twenties and has been seriously dieting since the age of 13. Her weight loss has never been great enough for her to be classified as an anorexic,…

Read More Organized eating lessens anxiety, promotes organized work habits