Monday, January 18, 2010

Dr. Denise, Emotional Eating Expert -- Is it OK to fall off the wagon?

Not only is it OK to "slip" at times but it is beneficial and important to do so.

I find that most of the people I have worked with over the past 25 years hold fast to self-perfectionistic expectations. They often feel like failures if they don't do everything perfectly. Although I believe we are all perfect just as we are, it is impossible to behave perfectly every minute.

If you insist on perfection, you automatically set yourself up to fail. If you break your "diet" for example by eating one cookie you may soon find yourself beating yourself up emotionally and shoveling more cookies in to anesthetize yourself (with sugar and fat) from the feelings of frustration and disappointment you are experiencing. You may feel like a failure and this leads to more hyper eating, resulting in even lower self-esteem and guilt and more cookies.

I often recommend the Bach Emotional Eating Support Kit to my clients. Using this helps improve body image, stop that "out of control" experience and helps them get back on track in a self loving, not restrictive, way. They can then give up the idea of perfection in all areas of their lives, accept themselves as human beings and learn from their "slips."

The heart of the matter is that many people feel that if they behave in a way that conflicts with their idea of perfection then that makes them "bad." They are not "bad." They are simply reacting as all humans do, sometimes doing better than other times. It is essential to learn that there are no mistakes, only lessons and an important lesson here is to give yourself a break. The pressures of trying to be perfect at all times takes a tremendous toll. Life is just too short for that!

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