Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Basic Emotions

Let's look at the two basic emotions that exist in the universe – fear and love. Think of it this way, whenever you make a choice that leaves you feeling badly about yourself, physically depleted, anxious, scared, guilty or angry you have acted out of fear. You have momentarily slipped off your path to perfect health and joy. You are having an experience of separation from your spirit. This is a painful, lonely and frequent experience of anyone who behaves compulsively. It is an experience of disconnection.

Whenever we make a choice from a place of love, we experience an entirely different assortment of feelings that are manifestations of this love – joy, peace, contentment, pride and love itself. It is then that we know deep inside that we have stepped back onto our path and that we are progressing in our development. Self-loving choices are spiritually enhancing and the more we make, the better we feel and the less compulsive, self-harming choices we will make.

Try this for yourself. Next time you notice the urge to reach for your sugar fix ask your self what is in your best interest. What is likely to further your spiritual development and what will inevitably push you off your spiritual path? When you make a less than self-loving choice, and you will because we all do at times, just observe yourself. Notice how you feel physically, emotionally and spiritually. You will likely find yourself infused with feelings of anxiety and fear and you may feel physically depleted. You may also experience guilt and shame and feel frustrated and defeated. Without judging, just notice this experience. It is not a mistake. Observe yourself and your reactions and the memory of this may be a valuable lesson. It may help you make a different, more self-loving choice at a future time.

Please notice just as keenly when you do make a self-loving choice. This is also a valuable learning experience. You are likely to feel proud of yourself. You will have more physical energy, feel more lovable and more connected to yourself, to your children, others, and to the world in general. You will know that you are progressing along your spiritual path and you will notice a distinct difference. You will proceed with lightness – feeling more confident, more buoyant, more calm.

The more you stop and consider your alternatives and make your choices in the spirit of love the more you will notice that peace, lightness and joy manifest in your life and you will have more fun! That is life’s purpose! By the way, please do visit my website and sign up for my free newsletter, Dr. Denise's Chew Tamer's Journey. It is free. I won't share your address with anyone and you will find many useful articles there to help ease you along your path to radiant health and joy!


Dr. Denise

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Worrier or Warrior?

As the emotional eating expert, I often ask my clients "What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? When was the last time you became totally immersed in an activity?" Many of us spend our days simply, mindlessly making it through to the next day and then to the day after that. Then we ask ourselves if this is what life is supposed to be like. Is this really all there is to it? Is the hokey pokey really what it’s all about? If that is so then anesthetizing ourselves with sugars and carbohydrates certainly makes sense.

We create our lives. You have most likely heard this many times in the past but perhaps you lost that thought amid the bombardment of every day concerns. What would it mean to you to create your life? When would you begin and how would you proceed? When was the last time you sat in stillness to think about this? Have you ever taken the quiet, reflective time necessary to come to truly know yourself?

If we don’t spend the time and effort to go within, we end up living as robots performing the tasks that we imagine we are supposed to perform. Life can feel empty and meaningless and we self-soothe our discontented, unfulfilled feelings with substances – food, drugs, alcohol, etc. Perhaps there are more efficient and meaningful ways to conduct our lives and not risk the danger of developing an eating disorder.

We have a blueprint of ways to begin. Eat well. Choose live foods that fill our bodies with nourishment. Give our bodies the tender loving care they deserve. Give them lots of pure water, a moderate amount of sunshine, ample rest, exercise and lots of things to smile about. Give your body attention. Get a massage, stretch, breathe, and giggle. Begin to relax and stop taking everything so personally and so seriously.

This has been a major challenge for me. I have always been a “worrier”. I worried about my Mom and Dad, my children, animals, partners, friends, and the weather. You name it. I worried about it all. I kept myself in a state of constant anxiety. I can’t explain why. Nor do I think it is necessary or important that I understand the origins of all my quirks. Suffice it to say that I arrived in adulthood with the notion that I should take care of everyone around me. Translated this means that I felt I needed to control them. If I saw someone failing to do what I thought was best for him or her or if I saw someone I cared about in pain, I would rush to the rescue. I thought I knew what was best for everyone. I was wrong.

One day it occurred to me that taking everyone’s pain away and minding his or her business might not actually be my job. This was an intriguing thought indeed! My job was to respect them, love them and validate their choices and feelings. I also learned I had to love, respect and validate myself. This was a revelation! It seemed remarkable that I could begin to pay attention to myself – a novel idea that frightened me. I resisted the idea as most of my clients do, as I feared people would not love me if I didn’t hover over each of them with concern and advice. My next question was ‘how do I do this?

I began setting boundaries and saying “no” sometimes. I made time for myself and thought about what my needs were as I went through each day. I was still present to listen to others and often I attended to their needs. But I made it a point to make my needs equally important. Gradually I noticed that people seemed to respect me more and I began to feel more joyful. I deserved to take care of myself. You do too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Listen to Emotions, Don't Diet

Dieting will never bring you the result you are truly wishing to achieve--radiant health, perfect weight, joyful spirit and optimal wellness in every area of youyr life. But your appetite can help you attain these worthy goals!

Your appetite (or Chew) transmits a constant stream of messages to you that frequently are NOT about actual hunger.

If you simply pay attention to the “hunger” messages and attempt to satiate yourself with food, you have missed important communication from your internal guidance system. You are likely to remain hungry and not feel satisfied.

When you “tame” or befriend your appetite and pay close attention to the valuable communication it brings, you begin to value your appetite as a true friend, instead of a foe.

Because your desires extend far beyond controlling both your food intake and your weight, your Chew begins to work beside you to encourage you along the path to radiant health, joy, balance and the creation of the life you truly desire -- free from emotional eating.

To craft your ideal life, you must be clear about what your desires actually are and learn to be positive as much as possible. Then, as The Law of Attraction assures, you will attract positive experiences and feelings.

Your tamed Chew will be friendly, loyal, playful and stand beside you. It will alert you vigilantly when you are on the right track, moving towards achieving your life goals or when you are not.

It will constantly and faithfully deliver messages from your internal guidance system about what choices are in your best interest in all aspects of your life. The more often you listen to and heed the messages transmitted by your emotional guidance system, the better your life will be!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Be the Goddess You Are

You are a goddess. Treat yourself as such! Think of things you like to do and do them! Restore your spirit. Schedule relaxing massages. Manicures, pedicures or facials are fantastic. Write in your journal. Dance. Sing. Treat yourself to a movie, a play, a walk on the beach or to a fine dining experience. Use your creative talents. Draw, sew, knit or paint. Try modeling with clay or writing a poem. No one can tell you what is best for you. Our needs are individual and very personal. One woman’s relaxation is another’s stress -- play with different ideas and you will discover ways to soothe your emotions and refresh your spirit.

It is important to make laughter and fun priorities in your life. Do check out Succulent Wild Women: Dancing with your Wonder-full Self by Sark. She will tickle your funny bone and bring life’s trials and tribulations into perspective. We may have many lifetimes to look forward to but we can’t be sure of that so we must do all we can to enjoy this one. Make the most of every day! Remind yourself to live each day as if it were your last. It is human nature to forget this at times. Remind yourself – again and again and again. The idea is to nurture yourself as often as possible in as many ways as you can imagine. Set time aside each day to think about what your real needs are and attend to them. You will feel a difference and you may notice you feel happier, are smiling more often and have more energy. When you begin to fulfill your true needs, food issues will become less important. Your self-esteem will increase along with your capacity to appreciate yourself.

Remember: never treat yourself harshly – never deprive yourself or berate yourself. This never helps. Instead, remind yourself that there are no mistakes, only lessons. Take responsibility for recognizing and fulfilling your deepest desires. Tell your “Chew” you’re absolutely not interested in hearing any more of those negative messages. Continually check in with yourself to decide what you really want and need at any moment in time. Live your life with zest and enjoy every minute. You deserve nothing less! After all, You ARE a goddess!

Friday, March 7, 2008

What is normal eating anyway?

I have discovered that many of us who have struggled for so long with food control issues may have no idea what normal eating actually is. We have been told what to have, what not to have and how much or how little of which foods to choose. The whole situation is out of control and it seems the harder we try to figure it all out, the more complicated it becomes. So, in an effort to help clear up a bit of the confusion, here is a definition of normal eating. Let me know what you think!

Normal eating is responding to physical cues that your body needs nourishment. It means eating until you are satisfied. Normal eating means eating foods you love and letting yourself have enough. It does not mean depriving yourself or stopping eating because you think you should. Normal eating means exercising some restraint and choosing foods that are good for your body but not limiting your diet so much that you miss out on special foods you might enjoy occasionally. Normal eating means granting yourself permission to eat at any time just because you feel like it, because you feel happy or sad or because you are celebrating or mourning. It means eating sometimes for absolutely no reason other than because you want to.

On some days, normal eating means eating three meals. On other days, it could mean having more or less than that. Normal eating does at times mean over-eating and at other times, under-eating. It means being flexible and it means trusting yourself and your body. Normal eating means letting your body adjust to the constant fluctuations in your moods, food choices and eating patterns. It means paying some attention to your eating, but it does not mean being rigid. It does not mean worrying about your food and body excessively. Thoughts about when and what to eat are necessary in order to feed yourself well but they should not take up the majority of your time and sometimes normal eating can mean taking care of yourself emotionally with an appropriate amount of food.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bach Flower Essences

We all know that the sugars and simple carbohydrates we are reaching for will only make us feel better momentarily. In a short while we are likely to feel guilty, ashamed, fat and crave more treats which will only serve to continue the discouraging, frustrating cycle of feeling bad, eating more, feeling worse, eating more, gaining weight, feeling discouraged, eating more, etc. This cycle leads to increased anxiety, depression, weight gain and a multitude of physical problems associated with obesity.

Most of us have experienced this negative cycle at some point in our lives. At times many of us feel like a gerbil on a wheel, running incessantly, getting nowhere and trying more and more desperately to figure out how to stop the terrible cycle and get off. At last there is a wonderful product that can assist you perfectly in you effort to return to a balanced, healthy state of well-being. I feel this is so important that I will spend time explaining so you can begin right away to find the relief you have been wishing for.

I am referring to Bach Flower remedies. I sell only the Emotonal Eating Kit in my store and do not receive anything from telling you about all 38 of them them. They are simply amazing and something everyone should know about! Many of you have heard of these and perhaps are already making good use of these amazing flower essences. I have used them myself for many years and mentioned them in my book, The Taming of the Chew. They have been around for 150 years and people all over the globe rely on their powerful healing benefits. They are safe, easy to use and extremely effective.

To help you understand what they are, how they work and how to use them, I will give you a little history and some basic instructions. Dr. Richard Bach lived in England about 70 years ago. He was a sensitive, concerned and brilliant individual who concerned himself with finding ways to help people feel better and enjoy their lives more. He believed that to heal ourselves physically and emotionally, we must first heal our very life force, I certainly agree with Dr. Bach and have seen evidence of this in my own life as well as in the experiences of my clients as they have progressed along their own life journeys.

It is not my goal to convince you of this. As always, I urge you to take what fits for you and disregard anything that does not fit into your belief system. It is evident there is more to us than just the physical bodies we inhabit. This “other” part we reference by many names – soul, god, light, energy or higher power, for example. This is the part of us we cannot see with our eyes but that we know in our hearts does exist and keeps us connected to source energy. This ethereal body needs attending to just as our physical, visible parts do. If we are to truly heal and feel as joyful as we are meant to be, we need to correct our negative emotional patterns and transform them into positive ones. This helps us come into emotional balance and heals our soul. How do we do this?

Dr. Bach believed that before we can heal our physical bodies, we must heal our very essence, our energy. He wanted to find a natural way for people to do this and discovered the potent power of 38 different flower essences and a few blended ones made from flowers he picked from his own gardens in Mont Vernon, England. He experimented and discovered these can ease our feelings and help us move through difficult situations as we strive to obtain the utmost in mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. These essences come in small bottles and just a couple of tiny drops in a glass of lukewarm water or placed directly under your tongue or on your skin can bring the blessed relief necessary to get back on a healthy track and off the treadmill. *

Here are a couple of examples. Have you ever had a negative thought that you just couldn’t turn off? Perhaps you had a fight with a friend and your head keeps spinning with negative thoughts and consequently you don’t feel good. If you find yourself ruminating over some real or imagined situation in your life, for example, a couple of drops of White Chestnut can help you quiet your mind and stop those repetitive thoughts. Then you can relax, come back into balance and focus on something more pleasant. If you suddenly feel sad and depressed and have no idea why, a couple of drops of the essence Mustard can lift your mood.

If you are in crisis or just having a difficult time the Bach flower blend known as Rescue Remedy can help you through. Also, Rescue Remedy can be found in a tincture, cream or convenient spray. I always carry a small spray bottle with me to use any time I feel stressed or anticipate stress will accompany an activity in which I am about to engage. If I am in a social situation and realize I feel anxious or fearful, I can squirt two sprays on my tongue and feel less nervous. (Caution: If you are using Rescue Remedy or any essence before an important job interview or an important talk with someone, be aware of the slight alcohol content. If you will be very close, you may want to use a breath mint before the event.)

A complete list of Bach Flower essences and their therapeutic effects appears on the web at but I would like to highlight two more here. First, is another blend known as Rescue Sleep. This helps quiet your mind so your body can get the proper rest so essential to your well-being. Remember, if you do not get sufficient, good quality sleep your body produces more of the hormones that increase appetite (ghrelen and cortisol) and fails to produce our satiation hormone (leptin). Rescue Sleep used alone can help with appetite control and assist you in your efforts to control your appetite and regulate your weight.

The last benefit of these wonderful essences I have highlighted is brand new and very exciting. There are a few tinctures that when combined have been found to be most effective in helping emotional overeating problems. These are Chestnut Bud (which helps you learn from your mistakes so you don't keep doing the same things, expecting different results), Cherry Plum (which alleviates the fear of being out of control and unable to stop eating once you start and Crabapple (which helps you accept, appreciate and love the body you have now). We already know that despite our best efforts to self-soothe in healthy ways we can still find ourselves seeking our own “food cure” at times. These little tinctures can curb that tendency. Instead of reaching for the nearest brownie or pizza slice you can reach for your tinctures instead. I suggest you give them a try. These are enormously helpful for most people and I hope they will become useful, effective tools for you.