Monthly Archives: October 2014

Dealing with Deeply Ingrained Beliefs

why do i feel so worthless

I was talking to one of my long-term clients yesterday who is just SO. DAMN. TIRED. And she feels like the only thing she can do is stand in front of her refrigerator and binge eat. Of course she is tired, she has a part-time job in the healthcare field and she has a 6-month old baby at home. In discussing ways that she can delegate and get some rest sometimes, what came out is that she is afraid to delegate. She doesn’t want anyone holding her baby, doing her charting, washing the dishes, cleaning her house, anything else. Why? Not because she has control issues, but because she wants to be seen as indispensable. She is afraid that if she were not “pulling her weight” and being the best she could be, that she would be replaced. That she would be fired and replaced at work, that she would be left and replaced by her partner and that she would be rejected and replaced by her baby.  Meanwhile she’s in so much physical pain that she can’t walk and she’s so stressed out that she finds herself bingeing constantly. It’s not rational, right? Obviously her baby isn’t going to find a new Mommy if she lets someone hold him and rock him while she takes a bath. Obviously her partner is not going to leave her if the house isn’t perfectly clean. Obviously as a top provider in her field, she’s not going to be fired if she takes a lunch break.  But core wounds are not rational. This woman’s Dad left her and her Mom, and replaced them with a new family. He did that again to his new family, and he did that one more time. So, somewhere in her brain she felt that she was easily replaced. Clearly this was her Dad’s issue, he was the problem- he was nomadic, didn’t know how to stay put, didn’t know how to be close to those who loved him. But it’s incredible how one person’s problems set off a chain reaction, isn’t it? Even though him being a chronic abandoner had nothing to do with her, in her little girl brain, she believed that it was her fault which somehow made her into a hyperfunctioning adult who has a million balls in the air and never allows one to drop. To the detriment of everything inside her. And obviously this takes a toll not just on herself but on those around her. No one wants a stressed out Mama or wife. Even though she felt like getting a massage would be selfish and taking care of herself and delegating responsibility to others  would be selfish and risky, she has come to understand that it’s not true. It’s her core wound that is telling her that. In reality, if she were to have some self-care rituals, she might alleviate the stress and have more ease to her life. The people around her might also feel more ease. 

So what about you? What core issues do you have that are keeping you from living your life in a more comfortable way? What is your “original myth?” Hers was “I am replaceable…”  
or “I have to be better than everybody else so that I’m not abandoned…” Other original myths I’ve heard are:
“Who I am is not loveable, so I always have to do more. I can’t be a human being, I have to be a human doing…” or
“I am worthless…”
“I don’t have the kind of money that other people have and never will…” 
“No one will ever love me…”
“I am too needy…”
“I am too much for people…”


What we have to remember is that these original myths were formed when we were children because of something that was going on around us that had nothing to do with us. But as children, we can’t step outside ourselves and analyze our world. We see everything as an extension of ourselves and then the stories become ingrained. 

Questions to ask yourself:

“What around me stressful when I was a child?” 
“Who was anxious?”
“Who was angry?” 
“Who said or did hurtful things?” 
“How did that stay with me?”
“How did that create my original myth?”
“How is this still with me?”
“How can I remind myself that it’s not real?”

As you ask yourself these questions, you might come to find that you are able to loosen your grip on certain behaviors that keep you tired and stressed out. 

Will I Always Have Binge Eating Disorder?

you won't always be fighting with food.

No. You won’t. You really, really won’t. You can heal and be free. Seriously.

When people first come into recovery or first contact me, they often say, “I know this is something I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life…” but it’s not necessarily true. You can be at the point where you stop thinking about it, stop battling, and disengage with the fight. You know what I mean by the fight. The place where you are sitting there and fighting with the urge and analyzing every thought, every instinct and every hunger signal. Yes. We do all of this when we begin to recover, but eventually, you can walk away and you will be safe. It won’t sneak back up on you. You no longer have to be hypervigilant.

You won’t always be grappling with this. You will eventually find peace with food. 

I know that sometimes it feels like you will always be engaged with this battle with food and your eating disorder, but in truth, when you win the fight, you will eventually have freedom.

Recovery kind of sneaks up on you. If you’ve ever been a smoker, you probably remember how hard it was to quit, but now, ultimately you find that you rarely have cravings, and even if you do, they are not enough to go out and buy a pack of cigarettes. It’s the same thing with binge eating. Even if you have the urge, it’s an itch. A passing reminder that maybe you need to give yourself something more. Some sleep, some love, some attention. Maybe you’re anxious, stressed, etc and your mind goes to food. That’s okay, you won’t be fighting tooth and claw to resist. You will just notice with curiosity, possibly annoyance and hopefully compassion.

How to Make a Difficult Decision

 

 

Do you ever feel just totally lost?

Do you ever feel just totally lost?

I was with a client this morning who has a really big decision to make. She is deciding between two jobs that have been offered to her or alternately staying in her current job. She is a wreck. She can’t sleep. She’s been bingeing non-stop on anything she can get her hands on. She’s depressed, she’s anxious and she’s not sure what impact each decision will have on her life. And ultimately, though she doesn’t really love her job, she is comfortable there- and change is just so freaking hard. So, all that has been making her a total nervous wreck with very little ability to be grounded and centered.

So what do we do when we are in this space?  When we don’t know what to do and when we find ourselves knee-deep in chips and ice cream instead of in the bounty of our choice.

 

 

How to Make a Difficult Decision:

 

1. Remember that choice is a privilege and be grateful for that. It doesn’t necessarily make your decision any easier, but it’s always good to remember that when you have options, you have liberty.

2. Get out of your head and into your body. When you are trying to make a difficult decision, you spend so much time ruminating and stressing about it. You are literally up in your head and not inhabiting your body. This makes you tired, foggy,  not present and more likely to find yourself in front of the refrigerator without your permission or knowledge. Put your feet, feel the ground beneath you and take five deep breaths in and out. Do it right now! You will be amazed at how much of a change you can make in 60 seconds. You might check out this old article on 17 ways to be in your body. 

3. Ask yourself this question, “if I weren’t scared, if I had no fear, what decision would I make?”

4.Think about your needs, your life and let go of anybody else’s energy that might be in your space. Your decision will impact you the most, so try not to think about what other’s might think about the decision you make. You can’t be a mind reader and you can’t please everyone. You don’t have to. You only have to decide on a path that is right for you.

5. Try to think about each possible path and think about how you would feel on the other side of it. If you can find a place of relief, that is where you belong.

6. Ask yourself, “am I afraid of making a poor decision or am I afraid of change?” change is incredibly difficult and we all have trouble with it. But fear of change shouldn’t keep us stuck in circumstances that don’t work for us.

7. Ask your deep inner wisdom. Put you hand over your heart and ask your wise self what you should do. Your higher self knows.

As a gift to you, I am offering my all time favorite guided meditation for free. This offer lasts through the weekend, so download it now. Even if you don’t have a big decision to make, this is an extremely soothing and calming meditation that helps you connect to your deep inner self and find relief and calmness.

Use the coupon code CALM and click here to get it for free. 
 

How does mindfulness help binge eating?

mindfulness binge eating

You know how sometimes it’s not even noon but you know that you are going to have a binge when you get home from work that night? You begin planning it, thinking about what stores you’re going to go to, what foods you’re going to get, where you are going to eat it, what you’re going to do when you eat it, what it will feel like in your mouth, what you will be doing while you’re bingeing (will you be watching television? will you be searching the web? will you be on the phone? or will you just be sitting alone with the food?) You begin to get excited and your amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for emotional reaction) lights up with excitement. Just the anticipation and desire of a binge creates activity in your brain that basically brings you to the binge. So your actual binge starts about 6-8 hours before the binge starts. It’s those first thoughts about it, the anticipation which just carries itself and basically makes you feel as though you don’t have a choice. The thoughts of bingeing carry you straight to your binge.

 

So that’s where mindfulness and meditation come in. When you first have those thoughts and the pleasure center in your brain begins to light up with anticipation (it’s not unlike the process of flirting, or hooking up with someone pre-sex or orgasm), it feels as though it’s over. You’re going to binge. However, when you check in with yourself and say, “oh yeah, there are those thoughts again, I’m planning my binge…” you can slow yourself down. You can tell yourself that just because you are planning your binge, doesn’t mean that you have to go through with it. Just because the process part of the addiction has begun does not mean that you have to go through with it. Remember, this is the SAME EXACT function that cocaine addicts go through before they score their drug, it’s the same process that sex addicts go through when they are looking for a prostitute, it’s the same process that gambling addicts go through when they are selling their wedding ring for money to put in a slot machine.

So what we want to do here is slow your brain waaaayyyy down. Even though it’s just noon and you are at work in front of your computer, your mind is at home in the refrigerator.

So what can you do?

1. First, recognize “oh, I’m having THOSE thoughts again…”

2. Remind yourself, “I’m not in the middle of the binge yet, I’m right here at my desk.”

3. Ground yourself, look at your feet on the floor, look at your hands, put your hand over your heart and breath into your belly. Be where you are, not where your mind is taking you.

4. Remind yourself why you don’t want to be on the other side of the binge

5. Think about alternatives, think about what it would be like to wake up the next morning without a binge, let that process excite your mind

6. Plan something equally relaxing for that evening ie: date with friend, bubble bath, taking a long walk outside while listening to music or podcast

7. Call someone and tell them that you have a binge planned and you don’t want to go through with it.

8. Get on the secret Facebook group and ask for support. If you’re not on the secret Facebook group, email me at leora  at bingeeatingtherapy dot com for access.

9. Remind yourself that you have a choice. It doesn’t feel like you do, but you do, the thoughts and the desire can’t make you binge, they are just thoughts and desire. You have thoughts and desires a million times a day that you don’t act on.

10. Calm your brain down and slow down your thinking with deep breathing and meditation. 

Eating disorders are notoriously rough because they hit you on lots of different levels, process addiction, food/sugar addiction, trauma relief, bad habit… there are a million different reasons that people binge, but if you can bring some mindfulness into the equation, you have a great chance of recovering.