As a senior, I often hear and read how learning something new improves cognition and memory. Even if you have yet to reach the age where you need to shore up your mental facilities, there are still excellent reasons to take part in learning because of the emotional skills you develop in overcoming frustration, shame, envy, internal conflicts about success and failure, and understanding the concept of baby steps. I’ve been learning about learning through…

Read More To Grow Emotionally, Learn Something New

A major characteristic of people I treat for eating problems is that they frequently compare themselves to others. Sometimes they do this consciously but, honestly, most of the time I don’t think they have a clue that they’re doing it. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of competition, but there’s everything wrong when you can’t stop noticing who has more of this and less of that and how you don’t stack up. Constant comparison…

Read More Stop Competing with Others–Compete with Yourself

It’s important to allow yourself to acknowledge every emotion. I can’t tell you how many times clients say to me, “You’ll think I’m terrible, but I was feeling such and such.” And I always reply, “I don’t think you’re terrible. I think you have the hang of what to do with feelings which is to know what you feel.” Here’s why it’s critical to do so. Our emotional world is the only place where we…

Read More Mastering Dealing with Emotions

In the ring with your own opponent, the eating disorder, victory will be found first in your head. Visualize the eating disorder, lying on the mat, defeated and lifeless. Imagine yourself, arms high over your head in triumph. Victory is a concept and an experience. It is both. You can conceptualize victory by deliberately creating images and feeling-scapes to help you imagine what it will feel like to achieve absolute triumph over Ed. Like dreaming…

Read More Finding Victory over Ed – in Your Own Head

In an article I was reading  about Starbucks, mention was made of how eating has morphed from being a survival activity to a knock-my-socks-off event. “Buy the latte . . . and be sure to be happy about it,” by Anya Kamenetz (Sarasota Herald Tribune, 10/11/14, 1D) explains how the “latte factor” influences us—the enjoyment we derive from pleasurable routines. Okay, I’ll drink to that. I love my morning java while reading the paper, my…

Read More Food As An Experience

For years I’ve been urging clients to replace self-condemnation with curiosity and self-compassion. Compassion simply feels better and it relaxes you (as opposed to being harsh with yourself which generates bodily tension), even if it may initially cause discomfort because you’re not used to being nice to yourself. And now it seems that curiosity also serves a vital function in promoting mental health. “Curiosity made you read this, but will you remember it?” (Meeri Kim,…

Read More Why Being Curious Is Crucial to Getting Healthy

In December 2014 I witnessed a miracle. I found out that I was pregnant. This is something I never thought would be possible. I was diagnosed with anorexia at age 14 and was hospitalized 13 times. My weight got so low I was confined to a wheelchair as I was unable to walk. The doctors did not know how I was still breathing and I was told by numerous specialists that my chances of ever…

Read More Pregnancy and Eating Disorders: Guide to Getting through It

The truth is, you are perfectly placed to collect all the inside intelligence you need to put Ed away for good. You spend all day, every day, in the company of the entity that is trying to kill you. You have ample time to study his moves, learn his secrets, crack his codes, and expose his weaknesses and flaws. If anyone can bring Ed down and bring him in, it is you. So how are…

Read More Why You are the Right Person to Bring Ed Down for Good

My sixth book, Outsmarting Overeating: Boost Your Life Skills, End Your Food Problems, was just published by New World Library, and I’m excited to tell you about it. It’s like no other book because it’s less about food than, well, the rest of your life. In fact, it’s based on this basic question: What if your eating problems aren’t really about food? If so, then all the diets and fasts, carb and calorie-counting, deprivation and…

Read More Book Review: Outsmarting Overeating by Karen R. Koenig

A major frustration working with people who say they have a “weight” problem is getting their goal to be improving their health rather than losing weight. For success, research tells us that this is the direction to go in. This study says it all: “The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss” by Tylka, Annunziato, Burgard, Daníelsdóttir, Shuman, Davis, and Calogero (Journal of Obesity, vol. 2014 (2014),…

Read More Which Weight Loss Motivator Works Best?