My Food and Feelings Message Board members have been discussing a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dynamic called double messages and double binds. This dynamic generates feeling trapped and helpless which may lead to despair and abusing food. Understanding what’s going on in these situations and how to stop it is key to improving psychological health. A predominant way of communicating in dysfunctional families is through giving double messages. The problem isn’t confined to families, of course. It…

Read More Double Messages and Double Binds

Here are some choice nuggets from Psychotherapy Networker (Jan/Feb 2014), whose entire issue is devoted to brain science and tells us a great deal about our habits. According to Brent Atkinson, Ph.D. (“The Great Deception—We’re Less in Control Than We Think”), “Whereas undisciplined people are influenced primarily by the gut feelings they experience in the present moment…disciplined people are equally influenced by good and bad feelings generated while remembering the past…or envisioning the future” (p.…

Read More The Brain and Our Habits

This is the truth. While it may seem like an intellectual principle when we first contemplate it, all we need do is look around us to see this truth in action in every area of our lives. The eating disorder fills in the cracks, the holes, the caverns where all the good stuff of life could otherwise come in. When we could be thinking about our relationships, our families, our careers, our schoolwork, our hobbies,…

Read More Why You Must Make Space

A client sharing her problem with envy discovered it was actually a dual problem. First, hate that she coveted what someone else had—in this case, thinness—and, second, her shame about experiencing envy made her feel worse about herself. Her feelings got me wondering how many of you also struggle with envying people with thinner bodies and whether you, too, dislike yourself for having this emotion. My discussion with my client we’ll call “Jane” made me…

Read More Envy

Reading an article about why people are attracted to rigid ideologies, I got to thinking about dieting as a telling example. What follows are my musings on the subject which may help you understand and change your way of thinking about food. I have no science to back up my ideas, but ask you to consider them as food for thought. In a fascinating article, “Why they join” by Mark Potok (Intelligence Report, Southern Poverty…

Read More The Diet Ideology

Do you? Do you spend time on a regular basis wondering at just how many days Ed has tried to take you down — without success?!? Do you think about all the different ways Ed has tried to get to you, to get through to you, and all the creative maneuvers you have had to create and execute in order to stay ahead of him in the fight to claim your life? Do you? Thinking…

Read More Trusting Yourself and Why This Matters