Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hyperarousal and Dissociation in Dysregulated Eating

Many dysregulated eaters bounce back and forth between two states: wildly emotional or detached and unfeeling. Both are a product of traumatic experiences and can lead to mindless, emotional and binge eating. By understanding why this happens to your mind/body, you will be better able to recognize these states, cope with them more effectively, and […]

How to Calm Your Brain

I was looking through notes I took at a workshop I attended last year on “Calming An Overactive Brain,” and found some ideas which speak directly to why it’s difficult for dysregulated eaters to not reach for food when they’re in internal distress. My hope is that by understanding what goes on in your brain […]

Please Stop Calling It “Comfort” Food

As an eating disorders therapist, I am so done with hearing the term “comfort food.” I’m not only sick and tired of it, but I’m frustrated and angry that we’re still using this misnomer, if there ever was one, and about how it’s affecting our mental and physical health. As a therapist—mostly on the binge […]

True Grit and “Normal” Eating

When I say “true grit,” I’m not referring to the movie of the same name. I’m talking about a quality that is essential to success which many dysregulated eaters need to cultivate. Although I haven’t read the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, I did read about it in an […]

My New Book: Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating

My seventh book is out! Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating—Psychological Strategies for Doctors and Health Care Providers is co-authored by Paige O’Mahoney, M.D., CHWC. Don’t be fooled by the title and think that the book is only for health professionals. It has two audiences: healthcare practitioners and patients who want their providers to understand and truly […]

Making Meaning of Lack of Success

Dysregulated eaters often feel like failures because they haven’t lost weight, kept it off, stopped bingeing/overeating/mindless eating, quit obsessing about the number on the scale, or have yet to establish “normal” eating patterns. They feel like failures and tell themselves that they’ll never succeed, and this focus reduces the likelihood of moving forward and increases […]

Which Stage of Change Are You In?

Most of us probably were raised to believe that if you want to change, you simply need to try hard enough and you will. In some circumstances, that can be true. Pushing yourself a wee bit more can sometimes initiate or accelerate change. But most of the time that we say we want to change, […]

Why the Biggest Loser Participants Are Now Big Gainers

I never watch “The Biggest Loser,” the hit TV show. It has always made me cringe and want to cry. Why? Because eating and weight is my field, I’ve known for decades that diets don’t work long term and can actually make you fatter. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that science knew […]

Eating Is Not a Life Skill

A client who’s recovering from alcoholism mentioned in a session that when she was anxious, she really, really, really craved a drink. We talked about how having a drink would affect her afterward—the shame and remorse she’d feel—and how, by drinking, she’d really, really, really be missing an opportunity to practice crucial life skills. Addictions […]

When You Can’t Get What You Really Want, You Eat

When dysregulated eaters think they can’t get what they really want in life, they too often turn to food. They’re not hungry (not a smidge!), but end up on a mission to find something edible to satisfy them. And heaven help anyone who gets in their way. I know just what this process is like […]

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