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Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

My Guiding Word for 2016; “Centered”

My 2015 Word: "Trust"

My 2015 Word: “TRUST”

Each new year, typically on New Year’s Day, I choose a new word. It’s one word I wish to use as a guiding goal for the upcoming year.

In 2015, my word was TRUST. I made huge progress using that word! I am so much more trusting than I was last year…mostly of myself. I trust that I am and will continue to be free from my Binge Eating Disorder because now I know how to live my life without using food to go numb, mindless, and as my primary way to self-soothe. Instead,  I have learned how to live mindfully; how to replace self-defeating emotional eating with Self-Care. Now, I trust I know how to keep that going…

I just searched in the Members’ Forum, to see what I said about TRUST when I first set it as my word one year ago today. Here’s what I wrote…

“I will Trust in myself; that I’ll consistently and simply do what it takes so I “get to” live my best life possible (Members’ Empowerment Tool #23, “I Get to…”). I get to trust that, when I slip, I’ll recommit, without those lifelong well-practiced judgments or recriminations that used to keep my relapses going for weeks, months, even years. I want to trust that I will be more emotionally vulnerable this year; take more emotional risks. As Brene Brown says, live more “whole heartedly”…

I want to reveal more of myself and my recovery to my readers and clients, appropriately. I’ve noticed when I do so, people are willing to take more risks in their own work….I trust that that’s why I’m here…to share and help others who have had emotional eating and binge eating struggles similar to my own…

I will trust that I will exercise regularly and choose healthy foods (most of the times :-), but not all of the time). All or nothing doesn’t work for me!

TRUST…that’s my word for 2015…feels right!”

Turns out, TRUST was a great word for me in 2015!

In years past, I have chosen these words; MINDFULNESS, SELF-CARE, CHOICE, BALANCE, CALM. I find ways to incorporate my chosen word into my everyday routines; be it in a brief meditation each day in the shower, or saying the word as I take a deep breath sometime during a stressful day.Sometimes, I make the word part of my intentions when I set them in the morning (“PENSO”-Members’Empowerment Tool #8).

Sometimes, I write the word at the top of my week’s Willingness List (Empowerment Tool #4, “Mindful Living vs. Mindless Eating”). Yes, I still make a Willingness List every Sunday. I find it grounds me and helps me stay mindful of the week I wish to create. And my word is always on my Self-Care List (Empowerment Tool # 27; “A New Kind of Self-Care List”).

This year I considered several words; FAITH, EXERCISE, PROGRESS, CREATIVITY, SOCIALIZE, FUN! As it always does, the best word for me becomes clear. This morning, I chose CENTERED. When I am centered, I have faith. I have access to my creativity. I am more willing to choose to exercise, be more social, plan more fun, make more progress in any arena of my life where I so choose. So, for 2016, CENTERED it is!

What’s your word for 2016? Would you benefit from creating one? How would you use your guiding word?


I’m Ellen Shuman and I choose to be CENTERED, in both my personal and professional endeavors. I will be centered as I Coach people; help them overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. I am 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. If you would like to explore how I might help you, please get in touch!


  1. Hi I’m an emotional overeater too. Generally I’m fine when I’m happy then I don’t eat but when I’m sad I do and then I eat a lot. I’m not really sure if I can just post my own story here or if I have to refer to your word “centered”. So here is my take on it. A lot of my day I center my thoughts around food. I am not self centered enough as I don’t value my self worth enough to place my health and happiness at the front of my life. I’m miserable because of this…

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