I had a conversation with a client a while back about how to stay motivated to grow and change. We talked about how prodding yourself forward with harsh demands doesn’t work and how words like “should” only trigger a desire to rebel. What, then, is left for us? Here are two useful mental constructs: the observing ego and the ego ideal. According to Wikepedia “the observing ego is that part of the self that has…

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I’d like to tell you that I’ve never engaged in feeling or acting like a victim, but that would be a lie. There is a satisfying pleasure in feeling unjustifiably wronged. But it doesn’t do us any good as a mental dwelling place for any length of time. Making ourselves feel powerless never contributes to emotional health or to our evolution into “normal” eaters. I was reminded of the perks of victimhood when I recently…

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What we focus on we see more of. Over time, we may see only that and nothing else. If we are not happy living life as we are experiencing it, then we may either surround ourselves with other people who are unhappy, or we may decide to invite people who are happy with their lives into our lives to help us make changes. Here, the goal in inviting a life makeover expert (aka a mentor)…

Read More How a Mentor Can Help

How could a radio interview of an Iranian journalist held captive in Iran for three months (then released) possibly relate to you and your eating problems? Here’s how. The interviewer asked the journalist about his interaction with his guards and interrogators. This led to talking about the journalist managing these relationships by choosing to react as if these people were crazy—what I’d call irrational, not necessarily mentally ill. So let’s stretch our minds a bit…

Read More You Can’t Argue with Crazy

We all want to know what the best way is to change unwanted habits. Here’s some excellent advice from Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1/1/15, “Advice Goddess” by Amy Alkon, 61E). Duhigg states that, “Habit is a choice we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing.” Alkon explains that research cites three components of habit which Duhigg describes as a “CUE (a feeling that…

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Sometimes we think we can get by with half measures. And sometimes we think we have to earn a gold star on everything, all at once, and right away. At either extreme, what we will find is Ed. Patiently waiting. Ed is VERY patient. This is because he knows what the grand prize is – us – and he is quite willing to do whatever it takes to win our life for himself. Are we?…

Read More What “Doing What It Takes” Really Means

If “comfort” food didn’t really bring you comfort, would you be as likely to eat it or eat as much of it? We’ve come to believe that foods which are high in fat and sugar boost our mood by activating the brain’s reward system. But what if that’s not actually the case? According to recent research cited in “Comfort food may fall short on the comfort” by Jan Hoffman (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1/6/15, p. 26E), Kelly…

Read More Does Comfort Food Really Provide Comfort?

The subject of being bullied, teased or shamed in childhood for being fat comes up often on my Food and Feelings message board and in talking with clients. If you have let these experiences from long ago shape how you feel about your body and self today, it’s time for a new take on the subject. By understanding the mistaken meaning you applied to these interactions and by correcting your impressions, you will feel more…

Read More Responding to Fat Shaming

You can simplify things. How can you know this? Because if you weren't capable of breaking the complex down into small, simple, manageable steps, you would never have learned how to walk, to speak, to make your bed. Each of these tasks, while terribly complex in their entirety, is made up entirely of small, simple, manageable steps. In fact, studying how to do complex tasks you already know how to do is a great way…

Read More The Essential Simplicity of Recovery

Here are some thoughts on anxiety along with approaches to wash it out of your mind. Because anxiety can be a major trigger for most disregulated eaters, it’s vital that you learn to reduce anxiety, as less of it means less disregulated eating. First, a concept mentioned by a Food and Feelings message board member whose therapist told her that FEAR equals Future Events Appearing Real. Although I’m not sure that’s what fear actually is,…

Read More Reducing Anxiety