Monday, October 19, 2009

Make Friends with Your Appetite

What does it mean to befriend your appetite, and why is it important?

As the Emotional Eating Expert, I can assure you that the basic premise is this:

· Your appetite (or Chew) transmits constant streams 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 communications 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 communications it brings, you begin to value your appetite as a true friend instead of regarding it as 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.

· 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 Chew will become friendly, loyal, and playful and will stand beside you. It will alert you vigilantly when you are on the right track, moving toward 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.

Emotional eating will become a thing of the past!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Overeating and stress

When we are experiencing any stressor, our whole being reacts. Emotions surface and we flood with feelings. We may feel scared at times -- unsafe, helpless, furious, overwhelmed, or sad, to name just a few possible stressful feelings. Sometimes we become depressed or anxious and do not understand why.

As human beings we act and react. Part of us tries to suppress or deny our uncomfortable feelings while another part of us is reacting to situations all around us. There is no one right way to react or to feel in any given situation. When we are experiencing emotions, some that we understand and some that we may not understand, the end result is that we are in distress. So many triggers cause stress and we often turn to unhealthy, old patterns in search of relief. We may seek food for comfort. So many of us do!

This is natural, so please don’t beat yourself up if you have indulged in some extra goodies lately. We learn at a tender age that sugars and carbohydrates will take away our pain. These substances mask themselves as our friends. They urge us to take care of our uncomfortable feelings by stuffing our bellies with creamy pastas, pastries and chocolate. The hard part is that they deliver what they promise. These foods help us in the short term to stuff our feelings deep inside where we don’t have to deal with them.

When the effects of our “anesthetics” wear off, our physical bodies scream for MORE and our emotional selves (which haven’t yet recognized and experienced our emotions) join the chorus and demand more “treats” to continue keeping feelings at bay, soothing emotional eating. Some of us may seek alcohol, sex, gambling or drugs to avoid the complex emotions of everyday life. We Chew Tamer’s may be more likely to prowl the bakery aisle at the grocery store or to use any combination of escape mechanisms.

Remember, your feelings exist for a reason. Each feeling is telling you something. Each is bringing you valuable information about what’s going on around and within you. Listen. Experience your feelings and let yourself feel every high and low that life brings your way. No one ever said that life meant experiencing only pleasant emotions. In fact, we need the difficult ones to appreciate the joyous ones.

If you do choose (and it is a choice, though it may not feel like one at the time) to soothe yourself with food, please don’t beat yourself up when you are done. That NEVER helps! None of us can walk our paths perfectly at all times. We are all human and we all make less than self-loving choices at times. Move beyond the urge to punish yourself. Recall, as mentioned in The Taming of the Chew that there are no mistakes, only lessons. Be as gentle as possible with yourself.

And remind yourself that life flies by. It is a blink of time. Amidst the stress and turmoil, tap into the peace and quiet strength within yourself. Bypass unhealthy choices as often as you can and don’t beat yourself if occasionally you can’t. I also suggest the Bach Emotional Eating Support Kit to help you stay in control, learnthe lessons contained in your mistakes and foster appreciation of your body.

Most importantly, appreciate each moment of this exciting, emotional, and sometimes turbulent journey!

warmest wishes, Dr. Denise

Monday, October 5, 2009

We Are All Works in Progress - Part II

We are all marvelous works in progress. Please never diet again and realize that life is not about being thin. It is about being healthy, loving yourself just the way you are and eating in ways that feel nurturing – not compulsive and self-abusive. My wish is that you feel healthy, peaceful and happy with yourself regardless of how many pounds you weigh. I have spent countless hours in my role as a therapist listening to my clients’ painful histories and experiences and helping them in their personal struggles to control their eating. People have come to share their stories of guilt, self-hatred, shame and frustration. In their pasts, some have lost weight, some have not. Some have developed an ability to accept themselves no matter what their weight may be, and others have abandoned hope, finding the battle against compulsive eating too demanding and discouraging.

This is easy to understand. We are bombarded daily with confusing messages about what to do, what to eat (or not eat) and how to look and act. The problem can easily become overwhelming! Many of us have tried an assortment of fad diets, weight loss gimmicks, pills that claim to melt pounds away and exercise machines that promise thinner thighs and disappearing bellies in an impossibly short time and with little effort. These attempts to control our bodies and to mold them into shapes idealized today generally end in failure, cause great anxiety and the urges to overeat become more persistent than ever.

We may never completely eliminate urges to eat compulsively. They may manifest from time to time just because we are human beings with appetites. We can, however, learn ways to recognize these urges when they surface and to choose other ways to deal with them. If we attempt to eat a healthy diet but we ignore other important needs (e.g. our need for exercise, rest, laughter, relationships, attention to our feelings, solitude, etc.) we soon find ourselves turning to food as we have in the past – to fill our needs. Food, of course, does not fulfill our real needs. We will be forever turning to food to nurture and satisfy ourselves if we don’t identify what our real needs are and discover ways to fulfill them satisfactorily.

In this blog, I share information to help you understand food control issues from many perspectives: physical, emotional, social, environmental and spiritual. I also offer suggestions to help you manage those urges to overeat. I share my own experiences where I think they may be helpful to you and draw upon the wisdom of the many clients I have worked with. I am thrilled that you are joining me here, to visit and explore this frustrating issue for yourself. I’m honored to have you by my side on this Chew Tamer’s Journey!
Do something absolutely wonderful for yourself today. Buy yourself flowers or visit a loving friend. Take a walk at the beach or in a forest. Go play. Walk barefoot on the grass. Push the envelope. Take a risk. Be silly. Go to and sign up for my free, quarterly newsletter. And then, subscribe to this blog (see right hand column) to receive posts in your own mailbox!

And remember, we are all one and you are never alone.