Monthly Archives: January 2015

How to Stop Dieting

bingeeatingtherapy.com“As soon as I stopped focusing on losing weight, I healed from my eating disorder…”  or “As soon as I stopped dieting I lost weight…” I’ve heard this from clients again, and again and again and again. 

Why do you think that this is true for so many people? I know that focusing on weight loss keeps people pulled into the bingeing and restricting cycle and pulled into the “I’ll be better when…” syndrome (and there’s never an ending to the when…), but it’s also because the focus on weight loss is always inherently focusing on something negative… losing instead of gaining. One thing that I help people do in their recovery is to focus on adding  instead of subtracting and gaining instead of losing.  Like adding healthy, life affirming foods instead of taking unhealthy foods away, like gaining strength and health instead of losing pounds, like adding positive behaviors instead of subtracting negative behaviors away. The hope is that the positive behaviors and thoughts will eventually crowd out the less desirable behaviors and thoughts… and it works! And it’s so much more enjoyable to feed yourself healthy, loving foods, thoughts, and actions than punishing yourself, criticizing yourself or restricting yourself. 

What would it be like if you took JUST ONE WEEK and decided to not focus on weight loss at all, to not even think about it.

It’s my one week challenge to you.  See what happens and then report back. 

What are some things you can focus on instead of losing weight? I’m glad you asked: 

1. Gaining strength
2. Gaining inner peace and calmness
3. Being self loving
4. Going toward health and well being 
5. Filling your evenings with self-soothing rituals (ie: baths, good books, foot massages and cuddles)
6. Breathing into your belly or meditating when you are feeling stressed or anxious  
7. Getting more sleep

There. There are seven things you can focus on for the next seven days. Each day choose one and by the end of next week, see how you are feeling, see what it was like to spend a week totally not focusing on weight loss. 

How To Love Yourself: 41 Tips For Self-Love on Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day is Self Love Day!  But do you know how to love yourself?

Here are 40 ways to love yourself on Valentines Day and Every Day!

How to Love Yourself

self love day

1. Give up the belief that you need to change in order to like yourself. You are perfect, whole and complete right now at this very moment. Take a breath, be still and just for 30 seconds be with the essence of who you are. Meeting goals and evolving is what we naturally do as humans, that won’t change if you self-accept. In fact, you might find that you are more efficient because you are not bogged down by thoughts of worthlessness. Getting stuck in the trance of unworthiness is a way to go through life without being who you were meant to be. It’s important to accept and know how to love yourself exactly as you are in this moment.

2. Make a choice not to compare yourself to others. Looking at what others have or what others are and telling yourself that you are not okay because of what your life is or what you look like or what you have is a good way to hate yourself. Instead, try to consider that your path, your gifts are very different and your journey is very different. Then, try to look ahead at your own journey and keep creating it the way that you want it to be. When you look to others to define your own worth, you won’t feel good about yourself.

3. Take care of yourself. Make simple changes to help you to be more healthy. Take your vitamins, groom your nails. Do things that help you to feel valued by yourself. Show yourself that you are worthy. Self care is a big way in teaching yourself how to love yourself.

4. Put yourself first. When someone asks you to do something, rather than instantly saying yes, tell them that you’ll give them an answer in 24 hours. That way you can think about whether or not this infringes on your boundaries. It helps you to understand whether or not you are sacrificing your own needs for someone else. So often people who don’t like themselves try to be indispensable for others. In the process though, they completely lose themselves. Keep yourself whole by being there for you first.

5. Forgive yourself. You have made mistakes. Of course you have. You are human. We all make mistakes. But being able to say, “okay, I messed up, but I can’t go back, I can’t stay in the past, I can only go forward…” is the way to move on with your life.

6. Let yourself do the things that you want to do. Think about what it is that makes you tick, the things that make you feel alive! Is it knitting? Is it martial arts? Is it cooking? Is it painting? Writing? Gardening? Whatever it is, even if it’s just something that you do as a hobby, allow yourself to follow your passion. When you do, you will find more joy in being you. This is a great lesson in how to love yourself.

7.Let go of wanting. It’s normal to have desires. But when what you want equates to whether or not you are happy, you will never feel satisfied with who you are. When who you are is equal to what you have, you will never like yourself because you can always want and always have more. When you are grateful for what you do have, you can truly find peace. Try making a gratitude list. This is like counting your blessings. Just write down everything that you are grateful for and read it over and over. Feel it. Believe it. When you focus on that rather than what you don’t have, you will find a lightness like never before.

8. Let yourself be totally silly. See what it’s like to let down your guard. Try to let go of what other people are thinking. If you can’t, go into a room by yourself and just do the dumbest dance that you can possibly do, just to let off some steam and find some playfulness within. This is a way to enjoy your own company and just like being with yourself a bit more.

9. Don’t judge other people. Take a day to think of one nice thing about each person you come into contact with. You will feel lighter in your body. Letting go of judgment of others is one of the best ways to stop judging yourself.

10. Spend some time just being. Sit and try to follow your breath. Don’t force yourself to take deep breaths. Just close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and feel the way your breath. Do this for 1-5 minutes. You will find that your mind and body begin to relax. Your thoughts of having to do, do, do will fade and you will just be with you. This is another way to just accept who you are in this very moment.

11. Practice kindness in every aspect of your life. While you’re driving,  wave someone through who is waiting to get out of a parking lot into the road. Give your leftovers to someone who is hungry.

12. Do simple things to make yourself feel nurtured. File and clean your nails– maybe even get a manicure or pedicure. Take a nap,  clean your sheets and make your bed, shower, wash and condition your hair, shave, and let yourself relax.

13. Face your finances and deal with your debt. Look at how much you owe and how much you have. Make a plan to pay off your debt. It will just make you feel better and it is crucial in learning how to feel better and feel more solid. That kind of self care is a huge part in learning how to love yourself. 

14. Take a long, quiet walk in nature. Being in nature is good for your mind, body and spirit. 

15. Sit down and drink a hot cup of tea. Sharing a cup of tea with yourself is a great lesson in how to love yourself. It’s very nurturing and self-loving.

16. Rent a funny movie and laugh a lot. 

17. Smile at 10 random people. You will instantly feel bright and joyous and full of love when you infuse good into the world and it will integrate it into your own psyche.

18. If you don’t feel like smiling, force it.  The activation of the muscles used to create a smile actually decrease stress in increase feelings of well-being.

19. Express gratitude.  One of the great tragedies of our psyches is that it is so difficult to appreciate what we have one we are wanting more. It’s important  to want more, but the way to really find happiness is to appreciate and love and be grateful for what you have. Don’t let yourself believe that you’ll be happy when… Be happy now. Be grateful now. Don’t allow your happiness to be held hostage by future events that may or may not happen. Make a list, even in your mind, of all the things you’re grateful for.

20.  Try a guided meditation to bring joy into your world. This works because your world is created  by the thoughts you think.

21. Spend time with your pet. Being around animals and caring for them make humans happier. 

22. Pray to whatever deity you believe in, even if it’s your own higher self.

23. Jump up and down for 60 seconds. Your endorphins will release and you will feel good!

24. Put music on and dance like crazy. Even if  you think you can’t dance, just dance. My kiddos love to shake their heads back and forth to any rhythm – makes them deliriously happy.

25. Talk to the dead. Just get into a quiet mood and begin talking either out loud or in your head to someone you miss. Having conversations in your head with people who have passed away can be incredibly healing.

26. Compliment someone. Tell someone how beautiful they are, or what a good job they’re doing or how much you appreciate them. It will bring joy to their world and make you happy too. Sending  love and positivity to others is a great way to learn how to love yourself.

27. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.

28. Drink a glass of water. Mild dehydration can cause a bad mood and pessimism.

29. Stretch your legs, roll your ankles, your wrists, roll your neck, get your body into a comfortable position. Stretching makes you happy!

30. Play in the dirt!  Gardening can make you feel happy. Mycobacterium, which occurs naturally in soil, has the same effect on your brain as anti-depressant medications.

31. Look at old pictures — for a bonus happiness boost, share them with someone you love.

32. Try to do a push up. If you cannot, try again the next day. Within a week, you’ll be able to do a pushup. Do this everyday and by the end of a month, you’ll be doing 5 push ups a day. After a year, you’ll be doing 50 pushups a day. You’ll feel super accomplished, not to mention strong.

33. Sing a song out loud.

34. Have only 20 seconds? Choose one. 

35. Hug someone. Human touch makes us calm, relaxed and peaceful.

36. Take a bath with epson salts. Magnesium relaxes your muscles and helps you have a sense of peacefulness making you happier.

37. Send wishes for the people around you to be happy, kind and compassionate.

38. Let go of people that make you unhappy. You can choose to let go with compassion of friends who feel toxic. It’s okay to do that.

39. Read the Alchemist. I read this book right after my Mom died and it changed my mood immeasurably. It’s an amazing mood lifting book.

40. Floss your teeth!

41. Take a nap. Being well rested is the best way to be happy. Get your sleep in order and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

I hope that you’ve found some good information here on how to love yourself! Any other recommendations? Add them in the comments!

 

Top 10 Binge Busting Foods

Top Ten Binge Busting Foods

Do you ever feel like recovery is impossible because you will binge on whatever foods you have in your house? Even if you refrain from keeping your trigger foods in your house, you still feel unsafe unless your cabinets are empty? But sometimes an empty refrigerator is even more unsafe because a starving brain will behave in a compulsive manner and order take out or delivery and binge in a way that you never prepared for. 

Stay prepared by keeping your house a binge free zone by having lots of high density nutrition safe foods that will keep your body and your brain fed. 

1.)Apples- The crunchiness and time it takes you to eat an apple will help you pause before a binge and figure out if you were really hungry or if you just wanted to crunch and chew to relieve anger or stress.

2.)Avocados- The good (monosaturated) fats will keep your appetite sated and as a plus helps to raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. 

3.)Eggs- Hard boil a dozen eggs and just keep them in your refrigerator for when you are getting bingey. Peel and eat one and wait 20 minutes. Feeding the protein to your brain will help you make a clear minded decision about whether you are choosing to binge or not. 

4.)Frozen grilled fully cooked chicken breasts or chicken strips (like these). Chicken is a great high protein food to have in the house, but difficult to cook after a long day at work. Just throw a handful of chicken strips with a bag of frozen vegetables into a pan and viola! A healthy meal. 

5.)Raw Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are a great source of high density nutrition and include iron, zinc and healthy fats. They will keep both your body and mind nourished. 

6.)Yams – The easiest and most delicious side dish ever. Just wrap up a yam in aluminum foil and throw it in your oven at 350 for 90 minutes. If you have a timer on your oven, you can even do it before you leave for work in the morning. Then come home to a potassium, fiber, magnesium, b-vitamin rich, delicious snack. 

7.)Cans of Tuna and Salmon – Easy peasy. Canned salmon (I like boneless, skinless pink) is wild and not farmed. You can just throw a can onto a bed of raw greens, throw some olive oil or dressing on and have an easy lunch. 

8.)Lots of bags of organic frozen vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, corn on the cob,   etc.) Make sure there is nothing added besides the veggies themselves. Just throw these in a wok with some soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos or a little bit of salt and pepper and olive oil and you have a great little stirfry. Throw in chicken and a grain or potato or yam for a complete meal.

9.) Bags of raw greens, raw spinach, etc.- Super easy to make salads with this. Just empty into a bowl and toss one of those hardboiled eggs in, some of those pumpkin seeds you already have, maybe some capers and dressing, and you have an easy high protein, high fiber snack. 
 
10.) Lots of bags of frozen fruit- This makes smoothies easy and, like frozen vegetables, it keeps you from having to worry about your fruit rotting if you don’t eat it fast enough. Just throw your frozen fruits into the blender and there you have your instant smoothie without doing too much of your own chopping work. The biggest pain will be cleaning the blender. 

Bonus # 11.)Condiments, (ie: miso paste for warm soup, broth, salsa, butter, bragg’s liquid aminos, tahini, mustard)

Remember to start each morning with a big, gigantic meal of high density nutritious foods to feel satiated and energized and to keep the urge to binge away. A high density nutritious breakfast could be something like 3 eggs, an avocado and a piece of fruit or a nice big bowl of oatmeal with bananas and walnuts and berries or even a few links of nitrite free chicken or turkey sausage with some fruit and eggs. 

Enjoy your food! Feed yourself well and often and feel good!

Dealing with Jealousy and Comparative Thinking

jealousy and eating disordersI’ve always prided myself on being completely free of jealousy. I believed that everyone had their own path and their own dharma… she had hers and he had his and I had mine.

In fact, I spent so much time with my clients helping them not to make comparisons of their bodies and their hair and their dating lives or lack thereof to their friends and I felt completely immune to jealousy and envy. I didn’t think I had a jealous bone in my body. 

And then something snapped inside of me. 

Sometime in the last two years I’ve become a total jealous woman. And I’ve had to work on that a lot. 

You see, my Mom passed away 12 years ago, and my stepmom of 32 years passed away almost two years ago. And I live with my husband and my kids without very much extended family at all. With no one to help us unless we pay them, no one who is totally obsessed with my kids like the way a Grandma would be, no one to spoil them, no one to go to Holiday dinners with, etc. I’ve been in a really bad place about it for months. 

Jealousy broken down into its core components are anger at someone because you believe that they are stealing something from you. 

And my jealousy became rampant. When I saw my friends or my cousins kids with their grandparents on Facebook I’d have to close my computer. When I saw grandparents picking up their grandchildren from pre-school I would feel sad. I was jealous and I was angry.

I was jealous of other girls’ mothers. 

And so I’ve had to work on that quite a bit. And I’ve begun to embrace my grieving process as grieving two very difficult losses. However… the work that I’m doing made me realize that my losses don’t take away from what I have. That the more I focus on what I don’t have, the less I focus on what I do have. And what I have brings me joy. Focusing on what I don’t have and being angry about it brings me grief. 

If my mother were to come down from heaven she would say to me, “What you think you’re the first person to ever lose her mother? Get on with your life already!” Because that’s how my Mom was. And she would be right. 

And the truth is… the jealousy has been keeping me back. It has been keeping me from going forward and finding comfort, support and love in other people.  So I am going forward. I am allowing my grief to be grief and I am moving into acceptance of what my life is and finding surrogate moms in all the wonderful women around me. 

Jealousy closes you off to other people. Jealousy makes you extremely depressed.  Jealousy keeps you in a jail of your own because you are angry at the world. Jealousy doesn’t allow you to see that their are other people in your situation and in much worse situations. Jealousy doesn’t allow you to see what you truly have and what you could be grateful for. Jealousy keeps you stuck– when you could just go outside into the vast big beautiful world and see the sky and the clouds and the mountains and the ocean. 

So is there anything or anybody that you are jealous of? 

Are you jealous of someone’s money? Their body? Their girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife? Their house? Their car? How does that hold you back? Do you wind up trying to achieve so much of what other people have that you miss out on your own life? Do you isolate yourself because you can’t bear to see other people having what you want? 

You can change that. 

 

You can stop this. 

When you notice your head turned toward someone else’s haves – turn back toward your own and appreciate what you have.

Or you could also forget about what that person has and just look at them as a whole person and let yourself be their friend, learn about them separate from what they have. You will deepen and enrich your friendships and find yourself more integrated into the world. 

Jealousy doesn’t serve you and it doesn’t motivate you, it keeps you stuck. 

And here is an old post on jealousy that I wrote before the Green Eyed Monster bit me. Before I lost my Step Mom and before I had my kids. I had a great theoretically knowledge of jealousy. But now I know in my bones what it is. Working through it has been phenomenal and eye opening.

I am grateful that I am given the gift of working through my issues just when I think I’m soooooo damn perfect.