'If you keep your attention in the body as much as possible, you will be anchored in the Now. You won't lose yourself in the external world, and you won't lose yourself in your mind. Thoughts and emotions, fears and desires, may still be there to some extent, but they won't take you over.'
Regardless of how bad you might feel sometimes, you are not inadequate, out of control or defective in any way just because you may have a problem with food.
We live in a time and place in history that is overly abundant with food and eating opportunities, and we need new understandings and skills to ably manage and adapt to the evolving pressures and influences upon our eating behaviour and attitude. We need to respect and understand our human body and the ways in which our physiology adapts to and compensates for the scarcity and/or availability of food, and become more tuned into and trusting of the messages our body sends us.
Often we are busy and stressed and not in touch with our true experience of ourselves physically or emotionally. This is part of the problem for those of us who struggle with our weight. Endless preoccupation with weight and diets can take our attention away from the important things in life such as enjoying and appreciating ourselves and our lives, and connecting with others. These distractions and preoccupations can wreck our confidence and self-esteem. When your life, happiness and self image is controlled by eating or trying not to eat, or by a number on the bathroom scales, you probably don't have the time and energy available to live a full and joyful life NO MATTER WHAT OUR WEIGHT IS. No-one gets the best of us, not even ourselves.
Our approach is designed to help clients break free from the dieting trap - to be effective whether you are suffering from the extreme distress of bulimia, anorexia or obesity, or simply trying to adapt to a new dietary regime due to a medical condition. Many of our clients are just tired of the disappointing merry-go-round of trying to lose the same few kilos over and over again.
It makes sense that you probably won't get to where you want to go if the map you have is flawed. Commercial diet companies and popular media sources have a vested interest in perpetuating faulty and simplistic ideas about weight and diet issues which generate fear and confusion about how to eat and how we should look. It is easy to believe them instead of our own experience. We can present you with another way of understanding this whole issue that can be a map that better matches your experience and gives you clarity and confidence. If you can see it differently, you have more options.
It also helps to know and understand the workings of your own mind and emotions. Emotional freedom techniques offer powerful personal skills that can provide insight and more freedom from automatic emotions and thoughts, helping you to identify any old or unhelpful beliefs you might have learned a long time ago - old ways that may no longer serve you well. These skills can be learned quickly and developed so that you can use new and effective strategies even under stress. This is the fast road to emotional freedom and works as a powerful and dependable escape from the confusion and despair that can sometimes occur.
We have the option to include Voice Dialogue as a way of looking more deeply into aspects of our selves and our identity. Often, we can hold beliefs, ideas and attitudes towards ourselves that can keep us stuck in self defeating habits. This approach is most relevant when a person experiences ambivalence or conflicting feelings. For example, you may experience 'one part of you' as mad keen to give up old habits, while 'another part of you' might feel scared to do so. Both parts of you need to feel understood, respected and taken care of.
Self-hypnosis and mindfulness practices (such as meditation) are slightly different approaches to your taking yourself out of painful places and reconnecting with the lightness and pleasure of just 'being' when you need to.
So much confusion and controversy exists about the 'right' way to eat. The whole idea of 'normal eating' has been lost. We have developed a useful basis of information from current research into mood and nutrition to help you to design good dietary and nutritional habits best suited to your individual biological and health needs, life priorities and values.
The food choices you make need to satisfy you at many levels to be a sustainable and pleasurable way to eat. You can learn what foods let you feel energetic, comfortable, clear-headed and well - and what foods tend to let you down. There is no logical reason why imitation foods, distorted so as to be lower in fat or low GI(glycemic index) should be good for you. We support food choices with low HI (Human Interference!).
Why shouldn't food be of the best quality, wonderful tasting and well prepared? It gets difficult to justify anything less. The French know this - their obsession with food is as renowned, as is their enviable record of low rates of heart disease and overweight.
Listed alphabetically, our approach to treating eating disorders includes:
You may find these books useful and interesting:
- Liberated Eating, by Jennifer Alden
- The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
- Current Dilemmas and Possibilities in Treating Dieting Disorders, by Ellen Johnson Brown
What if ... you found a way to make peace with food? Imagine that.