binge eating

Get Through December Without Bingeing Day 26

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Hi! I hope that you all had a great Christmas and are still having a great Hanukkah if you are celebrating those 8 crazy nights. And Today is Kwanzaa, so happy Kwanzaa if you celebrate it. I didn’t know much about the holiday so I did some research and learned that Kwanza is a holiday that celebrates community, connection with heritage and culture, and rising up from strife, oppression and persecution. So I hope that those of you who are celebrating have some wonderful plans for the day and enjoy your families and friends.

Todays Tip

Remember that time, it was December 22nd, and I sent out a newsletter and the newsletter said, Though in my two decades of treating Binge Eating Disorder I’ve never seen apples be anyone’s binge food, so I’d be surprised. If apples are your binge food, you have to reply and let me knowWhen will I learn my lesson? All people are different and no eating disorder is like another. I quickly got an email back, “Um, Leora, apples are MY binge food.” Well, there you go. In my profession we call that an “empathic failure.”

Anyway, I explored with this reader a bit further and asked her if it was the crunch. She told me yes, that it was the crunch, and it was also nuts and then moved onto less nutrient dense foods.

When I work with clients personally, I am always interested in what their binge foods are. What they choose to binge on and when is good information for me because it lets me know what they are choosing to satisfy physically and chemically. For instance, if you read my book– you might remember the first sentence? “It started with the bread. It always started with the bread.” My binge food was crusty bread.

Why is that? Well bread is a very simple carbohydrate and it starts to digest instantly in your mouth with your saliva. So I began feeling the numbing effects of serotonin very quickly when I ate bread. It was like taking a valium. And the crustyness of the bread helped me to process emotions like anger and stress and anxiety because I was chewing so hard.

What about you? Do you find yourself bingeing on crunchy foods, for instance cereal? Granola? Nuts?

If so, I have a little trick for you. Did you know that your jaw is the strongest muscle in your whole body? And because of that, it takes on the responsibility of holding lots of your stress. So many people hold stress and tension in their jaws so eating crunchy foods is a way of releasing that.

Here are a few things to do:

1. Massage your jaw rubbing little circles right into the joints.

2. Let your jaw relax, don’t hold it open and don’t hold it closed, just let it come to a neutral position and take a few deep breaths right into it. Do this for about 60 seconds and you should find some peace.

3. Put a pillow over your mouth and scream as loud as you can into it. That will release jaw tension and all tension!

Try it out and see how it goes.

Inspirational Quote

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.” Elizabeth Gilbert

This is so true, we spend so much time trying to change our body so that we can change the way we think and feel about ourselves, but what if we bypassed that and just changed the way we think and feel about ourselves? We’d find that we had a lot more time and happiness in our lives.

 

 

<<<—-Go To Day 25  

Go To Day 27—>>>

 

Get Through December Without Bingeing Day 24

get-through-december-without-bingeing-day-24Hi Everyone,

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Christmas Eve!

Todays Tip

Take it slow. If you are going to be with family tonight, I just want you to take it slow. Try to do your best to not react to their behaviors or things that they say. Remember it’s not the stress or the things that people say that cause you stress, it’s your reaction to it. And you have the power to choose how you want to react. Think about how you want to behave around food, around your family and how you want to feel. Now see yourself behaving that way and being that way. Close your eyes and imagine it. Make a plan for it and know that if you can see it, if you can see yourself reacting and behaving in a way that you want to, then you can react and behave that way.

Inspirational Quote

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. –Buddha

I love this quote because it reminds us that when we hold onto our anger and turn it inward it burns us and destroys us. We need to get it out rather than turn it in and push it down with food. Ways to get it out? Journal, write about it, talk about it, just get it out.

<<<—– Go To Day 23

Get Through December Without Bingeing Day 23

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Are you deep into the December crazies yet? Where you feel as though you are jumping out of your skin waiting for Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanza et al? Either you’re super excited or super dreading it. But whatever it is, I’m betting you’re a little stir crazy by now.

Todays Tip

When you have nothing to wear. Hi Leora, Any advice about when the stress comes from not having anything appropriate to wear because nothing fits? It’s just about feeling bad about myself and not wanting to socialize. It takes so much energy.

I have been there. My body and my clothes have been many, many, many different sizes throughout my disordered eating. This is what I have to say to you. As part of your recovery process, find clothes that fit you and are comfortable and make you feel beautiful. I know that shopping can be triggering in its own way when you are uncomfortable in your body, but I find it crucial in terms of self care to have things that fit you and that you love. You don’t have to lose weight to buy clothes, you just have to find clothes that fit you. When you are actively engaged in recovery, your body will return to its right and perfect size and will stay there and then you can have all the same clothes for as long as you want to. But don’t punish yourself by having ill-fitting clothes that are not comfortable in your house. That’s both punishing and depressing, of course you don’t want to go out when nothing fits you. Treat yourself and love yourself. You deserve it. You really do, no matter what size your body is at.

Inspirational Quote

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

<<<—-Go To Day 22

Get Through December without Bingeing Day 22

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Todays Tip

In yesterday’s post, I asked people to send me specific questions that they want addressed in the December series. I got some great questions so I’ll be doing my best to answer over the next few days.

Dear Leora, I am at work, and there is food EVERYWHERE. It’s the holidays, and people have brought in cheesecake, toffee, chocolates, brownies, cookies and cupcakes. I have put on weight because I cannot resist this food, and I feel ugly and terrible about myself. Do you have any advice for *not* eating this stuff?

This is a big one at the holidays. People bring in baked goods and treats all the time. The office is full of sugary treats that make people happy- unless they have a dysfunctional relationship with food. Then it makes work a living hell.

The way I work with clients around this specific issue is to help them create a healthy boundary around the holiday treats.

For example. Someone might tell themselves that their healthy number for holiday treats is two each day. So what they can then do is plan what time they are going to go into the kitchen to get the treat. Perhaps it’s after lunch at 1pm. At 1pm, they walk into the kitchen or staff room and they take a look around and figure out what it is that they really, really want. They take that on their planned break, sit down and allow themselves to enjoy it. To taste it, to chew it to swallow it. Perhaps they enjoy that treat with a cup of tea and some music for a five minute break. Let yourself be satisfied and enjoy. Then, at 4pm, they can do it once more. Then you know that the next day you will have two treats again, so you don’t have to worry about getting everything in all at once. You have to figure out what your number is (maybe it’s one treat a day, maybe it’s three), but it’s important to plan ahead so that you don’t become black and white about it.

If you for instance say that you aren’t going to have any and then you go into the kitchen and accidentally grab something– it might set you into a sneak eating, bingey tailspin.

If you absolutely feel unable to make reasonable boundaries around the holiday treats this year, then you might instead decide to avoid the places where said food lives. For instance– “Bob has candy canes on his desk, can’t go talk to Bob today…” or “No kitchen today, gotta leave the office and get my coffee from Starbucks…”

I do suggest that if you are able to though, if food is honestly everywhere, it would be a relief for you to allow yourself to eat a little bit of it in a controlled and moderate way rather than telling yourself no and then feeling out of control with it.

It’s often in the restriction and the resistance where we find the most stress. Giving an allowance will reduce that stress.

Another practical tactic is to keep a big bowl of apples on your desk. Here is why, for most people apples are not a binge food. [But If apples are your binge food then read no more. Though in my two decades of treating Binge Eating Disorder I’ve never seen apples be anyone’s binge food, so I’d be surprised. If apples are your binge food, you have to reply and let me know]. But I digress… the bowl of apples on your desk will be easy for you to grab, so if there is binge food all around you and it’s unavoidable, having a non-binge food at your disposal and easily reachable will help you to fend off a binge.

Inspirational Quote

Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.-William Somerset Maugham

I love this humorous quote by Somerset Maugham because it reminds us that sometimes “messing up” is just human. And that it’s the way that we react to the excess that will hurt us more than the excess. For instance, I ate a brownie- I’m so stressed out about it that I’m going to binge on more brownies- rather than- oh, I ate a brownie– it was great- Now I’m going to relax in a nice tube tonight and watch The Gilmore Girls.

 

<<—-Go To Day 22   Go To Day 23–>>

Get Through December Without Bingeing Day 21

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I am getting through December. Are you? I’ve had a migraine that started on Sunday and lasted through Tuesday morning. I am finally better but I was a true wreck. Not the most patient Mom on the planet or the most helpful wife. Far from it. I spent most of the time sprawled out in bed or on the couch. I attempted a viewing of The Sound of Music with my 5 year old son, but the pure grumpiness and pain that coursed through my veins into a pulsating mess in my right eye made me unable to feel anything but anger at the young and innocent Rolf as I knew what was to come. So by 16 going on 17 I was done.

I’m sure that many of you are going home to families that might be dysfunctional this week. Really, most families are dysfunctional (or perhaps I have a skewed sample set as a Psychotherapist) – and I want to help you to navigate your recovery and stay strong while you’re there. Please don’t hesitate to reply to this email with any questions. I’ll anonymously post the answer in tip form in upcoming get through December newsletters.

Todays Tip

For the past few weeks in the 5 Week Program, we’ve been talking a lot about guilt and obligation. Many have been telling me that their families are stressful for them because they are constantly doing for everyone in the family and they don’t know how to say no. They feel guilty for saying no and have no good reason to say no. I have what I call the codependency litmus test here. If you say no will you feel guilty and if you say yes will you feel resentful? If the answer is yes and yes, take the choice to go with the guilt. The guilt is yours, that’s something you can work with. Those of us with the disordered eating schema tend to spend a lot of time trying to please people and to be the best us that we possibly can be. We sacrifice our own needs for the sake of others. Then, eventually, in your family, you become the person who everyone expects to make sacrifices. When you don’t, when you choose to take care of yourself, people get angry. This is common. That’s because we don’t like change. We hide from it. And when we change, we force other people to change too. Change causes an effect of change all around. For instance, your sister asks you to take her shopping because she wants to have wine in the afternoon and doesn’t want to drive. You don’t feel like taking her to the market. You’re tired, you’ve been working all week, you finally have a rest. If you tell her no, she will get angry. She will get angry because then she has to do something that she doesn’t want to do. She is forced to make a healthier choice because you are choosing not to sacrifice your needs for her needs. You are choosing to care for yourself. Change is hard, but necessary. We were all given our own lives and the ability to do things for ourselves. If you don’t give someone else they opportunity to care for themselves when they can, (unless they are children or elderly or disabled) you are cheating both yourself and them. Take care of yourself and everyone else is forced to do the same. That’s change that can be good!

Inspirational Quote

Relationships are where we take our recovery on the road. – Melody Beattie

I love this quote. It reminds us that we didn’t get sick in a void and we can’t recover in a void. We have to reclaim ourselves in the system that we became who we are in. That means work and change and doing something scary. But it’s the kind of necessary work that makes life-long change.

<—Go To Day 20       Go to Day 22—>>>

Get Through December without Bingeing Day 20

get-through-december-without-bingeing-1Good morning everyone. Less than two weeks left of this brutal Winter month. Hopefully you are getting some enjoyment out of the season and staying healthy (I have my Winter cold right now, yuck!) It really is a beautiful time of year with the lights and the excitement and the Vince Guaraldi on the radio and It’s a Wonderful Life on TV and of course time off of work.

Today’s Tip

On Friday my son’s doctor said to me, “most parents with challenging kids spend more time focusing on their kid’s deficits than on their strengths.”

Wow.

I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. And what I realized is that most parents spend more time focusing on their children’s perceived deficits than their strengths in general. Not just for high needs kids.

For instance- here is a scenario:

Shelly was great at science and math but her parents focused on the fact that she wasn’t as tiny as her sister Ruth. So in the summers, rather than going to science and math camp, Ruth had to go to Fat Camp to lose weight. Instead of focusing on what she was good at and really strengthening that part of her, she focused on something that was a “perceived deficit” and it brought her away from focusing on what she loved and what she was good at and brought her into spending all her time and fruitless efforts on dieting. She would have been happy if she’s been submerged into math and science but instead she was submerged into dieting. If they’d really spent time developing her strength instead of her “perceived weakness,” she could have been an astrophysicist. But Shelly has a severe eating disorder now, she is in a very high weight body and she’s very depressed. She works as a book-keeper and she’s great at it. But I think that her parents steered her wrong in an effort to make her happy. She would have been happier if they’d focused instead on what actually made her happy. Her body was just meant to be bigger than her sister’s body- without all the dieting, she’d probably just be in a body that is at a healthy and comfortable weight for her and enjoying her life.

What do you think?

Is there a way that your parents focused on your weaknesses instead of your strengths?

Are you still doing it to yourself now? If so, how? And how can you change that behavior right this moment? How can you reparent yourself to focus on your strengths instead of your perceived weaknesses.

Inspirational Quote

 

“OMG i think i just git a ah ha…moment…or maybe sleep depravation is just making me nuts…lol so it just makes sense to me right now perceive food from a nutritious gain perception instead is a restriction point a view will be key in my recovery…so instead of restricting…what can i “gain” energy and nutrition wise from that food?…”

-From a Member in the 5 Week Program

I love this. She is exactly right. We have to think of what we can gain rather than what we are losing or can or should lose, because focusing on losing is always negative. But when you focus on what you can gain, and what strides you can make going forward and how you can make yourself healthy with yummy, delicious and nutritious food and exercise, then you are focusing on the positive. Don’t think about losing weight, just don’t worry about it, instead, think about gaining wholeness, health and self-love. That’s what will move you forward on the path you want to be on.

<<<—Go to Day 19  Go to Day 21—>>>

Get Through December Without Bingeing Day 17

We are getting closer and closer to the big holidays and people are drinking more and more, eating more and more and partying a lot.

Todays Tip

Don’t shame yourself. If you “mess up” if you eat too much, drink too much, stay out too late, don’t sleep enough… whatever it is, remember that you feel bad enough already and the last thing that you need is guilt and shame. What you need is self love, self care and the ability to get up and continue back on your path of recovery and positive self care.

Have a great weekend.

How To Get Through December without Bingeing Day 16

get-through-decemberwithout-binge-eatingOkay, you made it. You are half-way through. Only eight days till Hanukkah, nine days till Christmas and ten days until Kwanzaa. How are things so far?

Todays Tip

Do you sometimes feel like you can’t go to sleep at night unless you binge? Is bingeing the only way to help you through insomnia? This is the bedtime journal tip. It’s to help you sleep deeply at night and ensure that if you do get up, you can get back to sleep easily. Before you go to sleep at night, grab a journal and put everything in your head out of your body and mind and into the journal. Just get it out. Eating at night is to push down the anxiety. But if you can get it out of your mind and body, you will find that you are lighter and sleep feels easier.

Inspirational Quote

“Take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more.
You’re doing just fine.” – Charlotte Erickson

As we all know, recovery is one day at a time- step by step, inch by inch. Just take care of yourself the best you can each moment, do the next right thing, and everything will be okay.

<<<<——Go To Day 15   Go To Day 17 ——>>>>

 

How To Get Through December without Bingeing Day 19

Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde

Todays Tip

I am assuming that many of you are headed to the airport to see family. Binge eating and binge drinking at the airport is extremely common. Long airport layovers are recipes for compulsive behavior because:

  • Traveling is stressful and binge eating is a stress relief
  • You are bored and it’s a way to fight boredom
  • Although you are traveling among several thousands of people, if you are traveling alone, you are in a city where nobody knows you and this can feel very isolated and anonymous and secretive.
  • There is a bounty of fast foods and “forbidden foods” in relatively small radius.
  • You can secretly slip away from your travel companion and have a quick and secret binge.

Long, multi-hour layovers are rough, but there are many other things that you can do besides binge eat before a long flight. Click to Continue Reading…

Inspirational Quote

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. Audre Lorde

Love this quote and it’s so appropriate for those who are going home to see their families. So often we get right back into a dysfunctional pattern with our families and forget who we become. When you are with your family for the holidays, make sure to implement lots of self-care. Not to be selfish but to preserve yourself and to make your holiday more pleasant.

<<<<—–Go to Day 18   Go to Day 20—->>>