Do you have disordered eating? Don’t know what that means? Katie Couric Video you need to watch now!
Impulse eating is described as eating in reaction to an emotion or a situation. It happens quickly, sometimes feeling almost violent and is often very mindless. Impulse eating can be in any amount and happen at any time. You may end up in a full blown binge, or just realize you finished an entire box of crackers without noticing.
You might be an impulsive eater if you’ve ever experienced something similar to one of these situations:
- You’re on the phone with someone who is upsetting you or stressing you out and before you know it you’re head first in the refrigerator looking for something to eat.
- You just received a stressful email and immediately head to the break room or office candy bowl to get something to eat.
- You’ve responded to bad news by turning in to a fast food drive through or 7-11 (or yet again head for the fridge).
- You’re disappointed by someone or some thing and without thinking grab the nearest food item you can find.
These situations may be described as or even sound like hunger to your brain if you don’t take a few moments to pause and figure out what’s going on. Here are some tips I use for how to decrease the frequency or the volume of impulse eating:
- Recognize your most vulnerable times: do you impulse eat when you’re tired? At work? Perhaps it happens when you encounter a certain person or environment.
- Set yourself up for success in advance by taking a minute to think about how you want to react in your most vulnerable times. When you’re feeling neutral, think about how you plan to respond when work gets stressful or the next time you’re upset by someone in a way that doesn’t require you to use food to cope.
- If you’re trying to change your relationship with food or trying to decrease your impulse eating, consider joining the Intuitive Eating Online Community for support and more information. It’s free to join and is “a safe and nurturing place, free from “diet talk”, “fat talk” and body-bashing.
To get started with personalized counseling contact me today. I can work with you in-person in the LA area or via Skype. Don’t wait or try another diet hoping it will be your magic answer. Real change requires tools, support and practice.
The other day during a carpool, I was having a conversation with a colleague about why so many people in America are struggling with finding a healthy weight. If you watched the recent documentary”Weight of the Nation” you saw that the rise in obesity over the last 30 years was a sharp climb, rather than a gradual one. It’s still climbing. It is my profession, to talk to people about this very personally, and about where their struggles are rooted. I see often, not only in my practice, but in the “real world” with friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers, that our country’s people (or at least the parts of it I’m exposed to) are rather unhappy. I believe it would be an interesting observation to study the relationship between feelings of general unhappiness in life, and weight. Now, I certainly am not saying that weight determines happiness, for I believe you can be happy at any weight. What I am suggesting, is that unhappiness can be detrimental to health in many ways, including the risk factor of obesity.
My hypothesis: If a generally unhappy person can find and learn ways to feel generally happy, they will have improved likelihood to live at a weight that is healthful for their unique self. Can you test this hypothesis on yourself? I say “Go for it”!
So – what creates happiness? How does a person find happiness? Try to start by listening to your Happiness GPS. (If you don’t have time to, or don’t want to read the entire article… at least read the beginning and the end.) I think it’s worth a 5 minute read. Learning to find your happiness is worth all the time in the world. This is not a race, but you’ve got to start somewhere, now, don’t you?
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Can you think of a time when you felt judged about your physical appearance? If you’re like many people, you can remember one stabbing comment, one painful glare or a debilitating teasing episode that scarred you for life. I recently had an in-depth conversation with my friend and trainer Dara Mazzie about one simple yet at the same time very complicated question: “Why do so many people care so much about the size of the pants, the number on the scale, or the flatness of the belly?” Why has this become such an obsession? What does it all mean?
One of my clients was spot on when she recommended I read Ashley Judd’s recent editorial in The Daily Beast. This beautiful and talented woman, one of my favorite actors whom I’ve admired for over 15 years, was torn apart by media critics and mainstream news outlets for appearing ‘puffy’. She was accused of “clearly having had work done” to her face, when in fact she stated the truth is she was on steroid treatment for an illness and had gained some weight over the winter.
If you haven’t read her article – and you’re a person who buys gossip magazines and absorbs what the media throws at you (I plead guilty to both) – I strongly suggest you read it. I just want you to stop for 5 minutes and let yourself understand how messed up it is – everything that is now so normal, so acceptable, so EVERYWHERE.
Our society is OUT OF CONTROL with the disgusting critical opinions, and profits from lies/opinions about who has gained too much weight, who is too thin, who has too many wrinkles or dimples on her thighs. Who are we F-ing kidding?? Not one of us reading any of this bull is perfect. Not one of those reporters or editors could stand up to their own outrageous standards that are placed on not only celebrities, but on normal, everyday people just like you and I. And the worst, most damaging part about all of this, is that over time we have come to believe it all – every last word and photoshopped image. We have grown as a society to believe (or subconsciously believe) that to be thin enough, young enough and rich enough is what we should strive for – and that, my friends, keeps you paralyzed from living your full life. I used to be as obsessed as it gets – with the ideal, the perfect body, the dieting. I get it and I get how it feels to be in deep.
It is your choice to decide to push back from what is out there. Stop buying and reading the Stars and US Weekly’s. Stop talking fat-talk and stop pinning pro-ana images. Cut short the conversations among friends when they turn to body bashing and physical critiquing. You don’t have to live in that world if you don’t want to.
Share with young girls and teens this short yet powerful video about media exposure and it’s effect on a young, impressionable person after leafing through a fashion magazine for 3 minutes.
Now, keep in mind, I’m writing this from LA, and I realize that there are many people who may not be as entrenched in this dark cloud as we are here in Southern California. I do know; however, that the women and men I work with every day are damaged, struggling, and trying to dig their ways back out from underneath all this mess. It can truly cause you to lose your sense of self, your self-respect, your confidence and your health. That’s all I need to know to get a little fired up after reading Ashley Judd’s message.
If you’re also driven to change all this madness, leave a comment and share with us your thoughts on how we can choose to live in a world that’s less concerned with body size and appearance and more focused on happiness, health and learning to thrive.
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This weekend I was so fortunate to be able to attend the annual BEDA conference in Philadelphia. BEDA stands for the Binge Eating Disorder Association, and it has brought together some of what I consider to be the most important and influential treatment professionals in the country surrounding food, psychology and body image issues. We are working hard to prevent, treat and bring awareness to eating disorders.
Something magical happened here this weekend. I found the support, reassurance, and facts to back up all that I knew in my heart was right.
When I stepped off the plane in Philadelphia from California, I arrived already knowing many of the critical pieces to re-learning how eat and have a positive relationship with food. However, these bricks of wellness have been reinforced over and over again at the BEDA meeting – so now I’m SURE, I’m really, really SURE!! (jumping up and down, cheering!) And, I want to share that with you.
My hope is that someday all of you reading this can feel the same way:
I’ve never been so sure:
- I’ve never been so sure, that the answer to a person’s problems lies not in losing weight.
- I’ve never been so sure, that by treating the whole body and mind we can get at the root of the “weight” issue – which isn’t really a weight issue at all.
- I’ve never been so sure, that when a person is deprived of emotional support and love, they fill that need with food (or another pleasurable, comforting substance).
- I’ve never been so sure that I will not look to the scale as the measure of success or progress.
- I’ve never been so sure, that trauma and damage can happen to anyone, anywhere, in any way. If you feel it, it is real.
- I’ve never been so sure that restriction and dieting are harmful to a person’s natural body rhythm and impair bio-feedback.
- I’ve never been so sure that a simple affirmation can create hope and make long lasting changes in an individual. That affirmation can come from someone else or yourself.
- I’ve never been so sure that if you listen to your body and want what’s best for yourself you can change.
- I’ve never been so sure that it is only when you acknowledge your sources of pain you can begin to heal.
- I’ve never been so sure that we can never do it alone.
- I’ve never been so sure that if we look deep within, and ignore weight, we can find who we really are and begin to care for that self.
- I’ve never been so sure, that the body and mind are one – not separate.
- I’ve never been so sure that by stepping out of your comfort zone you may be pleasantly surprised.
- I’ve never been so sure that everyone deserves the chance to heal and feel valid.
- I’ve never been so sure that there is an answer, a better way to be healthy.
- I’ve never been so sure that food is nothing to fear.
- I’ve never been so sure that what we are doing is right. It is good.
In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness – I’d like to dedicate these thoughts to all those who haven’t yet found out how to be sure. We have to keep talking and use our voices to support the cause of Eating Disorder Recovery.
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