Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Love Food But Had It with Being an Emotional Eater?

Love Food PodcastWho doesn’t love food?  But have you ever had food talk or write back to you?

That’s the premise behind Julie Duffy Dillon’s Podcast, “Love, Food” ! A mutual colleague recently introduced me to Julie. It’s so exciting when you find someone else who truly “gets it”! That’s why I said yes, immediately, when Julie asked me to respond to one of her listener’s letters.

This listener, like so many of us, has had a long history of struggling with binge eating and emotional eating. Sure, most people enjoy eating and love food but, as any compulsive overeater knows, this problem goes way beyond what we do when we merely love food.

If you’d like to listen to the full recording of Julie’s and my advice to this person, CLICK HERE. Once on the page, scroll down past the Key Points and Show Notes and you’ll see the audio player.

I’m also pleased to announce that Julie will be my guest in the A Weigh Out Members’ Circle. A brand new TeleSeminar with Julie and I will be posted on December 15th, 2016, on my TeleSeminar Page . Wearing her hat as a “Food Peace Promoter”, Julie will help us define, “What is Normal Eating?”, and we’ll touch on many topics relatable to anyone who struggles with emotional overeating, including some great new information about managing PCOS and Binge Eating.

After listening, let us know if you have any other questions! Julie has agreed to do more with us…so, stay tuned. Much more to come…

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I am Ellen Shuman, a pioneer in the field of binge eating disorder treatment; a Coach who specializes in helping people overcome binge eating, binge eating disorder, emotional eating, compulsive eating, and food addiction. I am the founder of A Weigh Out  Life Coaching & Members’ Circle, Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present). I was also a founding board member and a Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

Gluten Free Menu

Gluten Free Healthy Eating

Health Risks, Eggs and Cholesterol — All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

Health Risks, Eggs and Cholesterol

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Ellen Shuman is an experienced Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

Why Do We Binge Eat? What Are Typical Binge Eating Triggers? (Part Two)

binge eating triggersIt’s called by many names; compulsive overeating, emotional eating, binge eating, food addiction. Whatever you happen to call it, living with the behavior and the consequences can be exhausting!

Between binge episodes, in our quiet, alone moments, we wonder…painfully, ” Why do we binge eat?” We know the consequences rob us of the life we want to live.  We swear tomorrow will be different. Still, we turn back to the food…over and over again. Why?

In my last post, I shared therapist Katie Thompson’s List, “Functions of Binge Eating” (from Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders). Another important question to explore is, “What are your typical binge eating triggers?” Below, I borrowed another one of Thompson’s lists. It names several of the triggers that launched many of my own past binge eating episodes (especially “feeling overwhelmed”), and many other binge eating triggers reported by so many of my coaching clients. (See list below)

Do you identify with any of these binge eating triggers? If so, which ones?

Typical Triggers

  • Fantasizing about forbidden foods or food in general
  • Settings with copious amounts of food or seeing food
  • Worries/stress
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Physical pain, fatigue
  • Alcohol consumption or being disinhibited
  • Desire for pleasure
  • Feeling judged, blamed, rejected, etc.
  • Intense or adverse emotions
  • Desire to rebel
  • Restriction, delayed eating
  • Deficit of coping skills
  • Anxiety and tension
  • Cravings
  • Eating
  • Breaking ED rules
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Distorted thinking patterns
  • Boredom
  • Opportunity (privacy)
  • Feeling like a failure
  • Trauma Intrusions
  • Mood instability

(Source:  Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders)

So how can you use this list to help reduce your triggers to binge eating? If you can identify and become MINDFUL of your typical binge eating triggers, you have a much better chance of stopping MINDLESS EATING; of eliminating the need for using food to accomplish emotional numbness. So, the first step is MINDFUL AWARENESS of your triggers… awareness of the role “food thoughts” and eating play in accomplishing numbness . Next comes learning the new emotional management skills needed to manage, tolerate, those emotional moments in life without over using food.

Those emotional management skills can be learned! I promise!

If you would like to learn more about, “Why Do We Binge Eat?” and “What Are Your Typical Binge Eating Triggers?”, join me on Sunday at 4 pm (Eastern Time) for my free phone seminar about Missing Skills and Tools for Emotional Regulation. Register here.

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Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of Binge Eating Disorder; a Life Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), A Founding Member and Past President of BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. For information about Coaching Services, contact ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

Why Do We Binge Eat? (Part One)

Why do we binge eat?Why Do We Binge Eat?

“It’s the only way I know to calm myself down.”

“I binge because I deserve to binge… and I can, whenever I want to.”

“When I get the urge, I don’t feel I have any choice.”

“How is it that I can be so effective in other areas of my life and fail so miserably in this one?”

Everyone I’ve ever known who has struggled with binge eating, everyone I have ever coached, has wondered out loud,  “If we hate living like this, if we know it’s bad for us, why do we still binge eat?

Here’s what I know…What missing from the understanding of the “why” is a mindful connection, a clarity, that in the very moment of the binge, turning one’s attention to the food serves a purpose; it has a function. Binge eating works…at least for a little while…

Recently, I came across this great list, “Function of a Binge”, compiled by therapist Katie Thompson at Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders . If you struggling with compulsive eating, emotional eating, or binge eating, here’s my suggestion to you…explore what function(s) the eating may be playing for you. Print this post with Katie’ list. Carry the list with you for a few weeks.  Add to the list if you discover other things that binge eating does for you.

As you gain an understanding of the reasons why you binge eat, you gain opportunity to do the underlying work needed to make binge eating unnecessary. Get mindful of what drives you to mindless eating and you have a much better shot at living a happier, healthier life…free from food obsession.

Function of a Binge:

  • Survival Strategy
  • Provides comfort
  • Inability to express internal distress to others.
  • Call for Help
  • Fear of responsibility and growing up
  • Manifestation of unresolved trauma and deprivation
  • Having something that is one’s own, not controlled by others.
  • Numbing
  • Substitute for love/attachment/affection
  • Rebellion
  • Coping mechanism
  • Substitute for relationship/intimacy
  • An obsessive compulsive ritual (could be a OCD)
  • Covers horrific memories
  • Manifestation of a parent’s unfinished business
  • A need to care for someone and escape at the same time
  • A way to be out of control privately
  • Relief for depression & distress
  • Keeps others away

(Source:  Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders)

Next, I’ll share Katie Thompson’s list of  “Typical Triggers”. Visit this blog again on Sunday for Part Two of “Why Do We Binge Eat?” And consider joining me on Sunday at 4pm (Eastern Time) for my free phone seminar about Missing Skills and Tools for Emotional Regulation. Register here.

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Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of Binge Eating Disorder; a Life Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), A Founding Member and Past President of BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. For information about Coaching Services, contact ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

Does Worry about a Binge Eating Problem Keep You Up at Night?

Offering a hand up to a anyone struggling with a binge eating problem

Ready to Explore What You Need to Stop a Binge Eating Problem?

When I first start working with a Coaching Client, and he or she reports feeling “stuck”, I offer a series of  homework questions .  The answers often leads to clarity about where the focus of our work needs to be.

People also report that this marked the very beginning of a shift —from constant struggle —to feeling much more empowered to make the changes they’d been talking about making for a years.

So, today, I thought I’d share some of those questions with you.  I highly recommend carving out some quiet time to answer these. You may be surprised by what you learn about yourself.

1. What keeps you up at night, regarding your binge eating problem?

2. When you think about changing your relationship with food, what’s the biggest struggle or obstacle you face?

3. Name the one goal around stopping emotional or binge eating that feels unobtainable? Why do you think it’s unobtainable?

4. If you could learn one thing that could help you stop emotional or binge eating, what do you think that would be?

5. Name the changes you’d like to make.

6. What would be better in your life if you could accomplish those changes? For example, would making those changes make you happier, more content, healthier, more social, have more energy, etc.?

7. Are you willing to dive in and do the work on your own?  If not, do you need support, like a Coach or a Therapist? What’s keeping you from asking for that help?

When it comes to #7, often, the first thing I hear people say is, “I can’t afford to get help.” Sometimes, people who say that truly are in dire financial straights. But often, when we dig a little deeper, the true obstacle is fear; fear of change, fear of giving up food as a way to self-soothe or to go numb, fear of feeling like you’ve failed, yet again…

If you’d like to learn more about recovery from a binge eating problem, you’re welcome to join me for one of my Sunday TeleSeminars about overcoming an emotional or binge eating problem. Just Click Here.  My TeleSeminar is FREE!  No obstacle to joining in!

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Ellen Shuman is a pioneer in the field of Binge Eating Disorder; a Life Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), A Founding Member and Past President of BEDA; The Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”. For information about Coaching Services, contact ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

Vitamin Water

Recipe for  Vitamin WaterThis drink is full of antioxidants. It’s hydrating and I think better than any of the vitamin waters you can buy.

Pour 6 cups good quality water into a pitcher and add:

  • 1 large lemon and/or lime, thinly sliced (good for stress & immune system) – you can also make a combo of lemons, lime and even oranges
  • 1 small cucumber, skin left on and sliced thinly (hydrating)
  • Palmful each: mint and basil, chopped (mint has potassium, calcium, magnesium & iron – good for bones & heart; basil has vit E, potassium and protein – great for skin)

Need to sweeten it? Try raw honey.

Take a spoon and smoosh everything gently. This releases the good oils of the fruit & herbs. Chill, strain and serve, garnished with a fresh herb, flower, or citrus slice.

Note the blue flower in the pitcher…it’s a Borage Flower which is actually an herb; easy growing annual plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves with the flavor of cucumbers. In this recipe, it can be used as a substitute for cucumber.

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Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH, is a Certified Culinary Professional and Certfied Modern Herbalist, educator, author, founding editor of www.Abouteating.com a popular website that showcases her many interests in healthy living.

I Wish This Were Not So!

4 food groups-cant eat

Why Are We Fat? Here are 82 Possible Causes

Group of teenagers raising their handsLooking for an answer to the question, “Why are we fatter than we want to be”? Always hoping someone will come up with a clear concise reason for obesity and then you’ll have your solution and your struggle will be over?  Get in line. Me, too! If we’re hoping for one simple explanation and corresponding cure, I’m afraid we”ll be in that line for a long time to come.

Any single reason for fatness that you or any one else proposes, i.e.,  foods have been engineered to make us want more, we eat over family conflicts or overwhelm at work, chemicals in the environment are making us fat, we’re watching too much TV and living sedentary lives in front of our computers …credible or not, the theory has likely been considered; even studied.

A colleague of mine recently drew attention to this blog post, The DOWNY Obesity Report, The Putative 82 Causes of Obesity (I’m not endorsing this guy but I think he did a great job here).

After reading his list of 82 possible causes of obesity, knowing what I know, here’s my take away. There’s more we don’t know (for sure) about what cases so many of us to be fat than what we do know for sure.

If you are losing lots of sleep over the question, “Why are we fat?”, here’s my suggestion. Stop sweating the ‘fat’ stuff!  Refocus your attention on creating and living a wonderfully, fulfilling life. Start taking better care of whatever size body you happen to have today; physically, emotionally, nutritionally, and spiritually!  In my humble and extensive experience, SELF-CARE reaps so many better rewards than SELF-LOATHING!

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Ellen Shuman is an experienced Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242.

You Don’t Like Eating Fruits and Vegetables?

Fairy Tales-poison veggies

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