Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Sprinting to the last chocolate donut–hoping for something else

Hi Ellen,

I thought you might enjoy this story. I’ve developed an interest in chocolate donuts from SuperAmerica. Even though I’ve used my skills and asked myself “what am I asking the food to do for me”, I still crave the donut from time to time. The chocolate just seems to hit the spot.

Today was a day when I REALLY wanted one. It was about 3:00 when I went to SA, so it occurred to me that they may be out of donuts. When I entered the store, I saw that there was one left. I sprinted to the donut case and yelled “everybody stand back, that donut is mine!” Good thing the yelling was in my head and not out loud, especially since there wasn’t anyone near the donut case. OK, I didn’t really sprint, but I know I picked up my pace to be sure and get the donut before anyone else.

To top it all off, the donut didn’t taste very good (yes, I know, I’m trying to capture some situation or feeling of happiness that I’ve associated with the donut in the past). The story seems so ludicrous, so I had to write and share it with you.

J

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Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating issues. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

Attuned eating versus healthy eating

Several diet survivors have recently asked us a similar question: Am I following the attuned eating approach if I decide to eat something because it is healthy?  The simple answer to this question is “yes!” 
 
Here is a brief explanation:
 
We usually talk about matching as being the food that will feel the best in your body.  What “the best” means can depend on how you feel in a particular moment, and will vary from person to person.  As you learn how to decide what will satisfy you, you may also choose to pay attention to other factors.  You may decide that while all foods are legal, there are times where it feels caretaking to choose foods considered healthful.  For one person this may mean eating less processed food, while for another person this might mean adding some foods high in fiber.  If you eat them and feel satisfied – both physically and psychologically – then you are following the principles of attuned eating. 
 
If, however, eating certain foods  – or staying away from them –  triggers a sense of deprivation and leads to overeating, then you need to reflect on what happened.  The biggest issue we see is that a person says they are choosing certain foods for health reasons, but really are hoping these choices will promote weight loss.  The goal of attuned eating is to listen to your body and trust it. Only you know what feels truly caretaking for you!

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Eat well! Live well! Be well! Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel, are co-authors of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook, Beyond a Shadow of a Diet www.dietsurvivors.com Chicago Center for Overcoming Overeating: 847.267.1200

The power of play

The women I see in my practice are devoted to resolving ALL issues related to body, food, and life.  They work so hard I feel dizzy.  

Imagination and play can be a powerful positive force to bring about change.  It can also add elements of fun and joy to the change process which can be a lifelong unfolding of curiosity, discovery, flexibility and choice.

I recently traveled to New York City.  Although I’m not unseasoned as a traveler I have rarely navigated the complexities of big city life.  I have spent most of my life in the Midwest suburbs.

After spending a long morning in an insulated, frigid, windowless room, I and my body were craving fresh air, a walk, food, and alone time.  I left the building without consultation and not knowing the area.  The weather was how I like it: sunny and warm.  I felt a smile on my face and in my body.  I began to walk, paying close attention to

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How do I learn not to be afraid of certain foods?

We get hit with so many messages about “good” food and “bad” food, it can be difficult to keep things in perspective, and perspective is our best ally.

The human body is extremely capable of sorting what we eat, utilizing what it needs and discarding what it doesn’t. It’s important to examine our beliefs about what tends to be labeled “bad”,

For example, high fat foods tend to be labeled in this way, but let’s look at the evidence.

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I Pushed “the Invisible Button”

I was walking to my theater seat this past Sunday when I heard someone call my name. It was an old friend whom I had dropped like a hot potato about nine years ago. She had been a good friend for eleven years prior; someone I had cared about a great deal…someone who I believed cared about me, as well.

But I was in a bad space nine years ago; feeling particularly emotionally vulnerable. On two occasions in a row I had dinner with this person and left feeling hurt by something she’d said. All these years later, I still remember details of those perceived slights (funny how we don’t tend to remember all the good stuff that’s said to us ).

Thinking back to her comments now, I know I distorted what happened to fit how insecurely I was feeling at the time. Her comments were not really that big of a deal. But back then, whenever I felt hurt, rather than acknowledge my feelings and using my voice, I would simply push “the invisible button” and eliminate from my life anyone I thought had slighted me.

I learned this behavior as a child. Feelings were NEVER processed in my family. Conflict often lead to the end of relationships.  

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What do you know about PCOS?

It is estimated that around 10% of females have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The syndrome is characterized by insulin resistance, the hormone necessary for the body to utilize glucose.  It can also be considered a reproductive disorder because menstrual irregularities can occur which affect some women’s ability to conceive.

Because of the prevalence of this disorder, and the possibility that it may go undiagnosed, it is important for women to be familiar with the symptoms.  Because insulin may not be working properly, circulating levels of this hormone may rise in the bloodstream in order to compensate.  Insulin is a growth hormone, meaning that it promotes weight gain.   An accumulation of fat, particularly around the belly, in the absence of any change in diet or activity level, may indicate

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Attitude Makes a Difference

The more confidence and acceptance you put into the world, the more positively people will respond to you.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Attitude is everything?” We want you to consider this idea in terms of how you relate to others in your world. Diet survivors frequently talk about dieting, the wish for weight loss, and negative feelings about their bodies. These behaviors are so common in our culture that they have become the way that millions of people relate to each other. “I was bad today,” or “I feel fat,” are phrases that may be heard in any office lunchroom or among friends getting together. Think about what is communicated by these words.

When you complain about your body size or eating habits, you are telling people that there is something wrong with you. This creates the impression that

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