Monday, November 28, 2011

Connect with Yourself at Holiday Time

It may be the season to be jolly but for many it is a difficult and frightening time. It is that time of year when social occasions abound and we are faced with so many food choices it can be overwhelming. Navigating your way through the holiday festivities is a challenge to be sure!

Have you ever really paid attention to how focused our culture is on food? Virtually every occasion we experience has food as a central theme.

Think of Thanksgiving without turkey and pumpkin pie or Easter without candy eggs. How about Valentine’s Day with no chocolate, birthdays or weddings with no cake or even meetings without refreshment breaks? How often do we get together with friends without including food? We ask people to meet us for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. We invite them over for coffee or a drink. When was the last time someone asked you to get together just to spend time enjoying each other’s company? Food is everywhere and a part of nearly every occasion.

How can we take care of ourselves in this food-oriented culture? How can we socialize with friends, celebrate holidays and birthdays, go to fine restaurants and relax about it? How can we manage to enjoy ourselves, eat only some of what is offered and feel satisfied? How can we survive this constant exposure to food? If we eat too much, the result is anxiety and we will want to eat to medicate this feeling. If we eat too little, we feel deprived and set ourselves up to binge later. If we have weight to lose, we feel anxious about that and if we have lost the weight we wanted to lose, we feel anxious that we will gain it back. (Many people report that they find it much harder to maintain weight loss than to lose the weight in the first place.) So we eat because we have not lost weight and we eat because we have lost weight. What a dilemma! At either end of the scale, anxiety lurks and if we don’t know healthy ways to cope with the anxiety, we eat.

It is impossible to be harmonious, balanced and content all the time in social situations or in life in general. If we feel too successful or unsuccessful, for example, we find ourselves off balance and anxious. Anytime things are a little too “good” or a little too “bad” we find ourselves racing to the refrigerator in search of something to help us find emotional balance. We mistakenly think food can provide this for us. It cannot. Only we have the power to cope with our own difficult feelings as we negotiate our way along our own life’s path.

All this can be very confusing and discouraging. Whatever holidays you may celebrate, remember to keep your needs in the foreground and to nurture yourself. Even in settings where opportunities to sabotage yourself abound and your “Chew” is screaming for “treats,” you do not have to feel helpless and victimized. Give yourself time before you go out to sit, close your eyes, listen to your internal guidance system, connect with your appetite and breathe. Think through the event and decide how you will approach it. Be mindful once you arrive and make as many self-loving, conscious choices as you can. Enjoy whatever you do choose to eat and never, under any circumstances, beat yourself up. Remind yourself that you are in charge of you – not your “Chew” and remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. So try to relax and be gentle with yourself. The more you nurture yourself in other ways, breathe and remind yourself that you have conscious choices to make every moment, the less important food will become.


Dr. Denise

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hot off the Press! The Appetite Connection

As many of you already know, I was a homeless college drop-out, survived multiple eating disorders, and raced motorcycles while single-parenting three children. Misery and depression were my binging companions. I know what it’s like to yo-yo diet, fill with shame, cry my heart out and resolve to do it better next time, only to fail again and again and feel worse and worse.

I am thrilled now to present to you The Appetite Connection: Six Steps to Your Delicious Life and the Body You Long For. This book is for you and about you (and me too). It is about how we have been victimized in today’s culture and about how to take charge of our bodies and our lives NOW.

Perhaps you were urged to mold yourself into a shape that you will never achieve. Maybe you were invalidated and learned that your feelings and thoughts were of no importance. Chances are that you were humiliated at times and learned to protect yourself by pushing your emotions deep inside. Instead of being taught how absolutely precious you are, you learned that you were faulty in some way. That is not true. You are perfect just as you are. You will never be able to do everything perfectly at all times – that is not the human way – but you are a perfect being none the less.

My position is that we have all been damaged in some ways during our lifetimes. The beautiful light within each of us has been hidden under a blanket of fear. We grow up thinking that we are not good enough and we work harder to prove our worth to others to garner their approval. We think if we can get others to admire us, we will know that we are good. We focus outside of ourselves searching for direction and approval instead of looking within and trusting ourselves to know what is best. This tactic will never help us blossom into the energetic, joyful spirits that we are deep inside.

Each of the six steps explained in my “hot off the press” book has been designed to help you understand why you have been behaving as you have and then to help you reconnect with your spirit. You are then free to create the life of your personal dreams – a truly delicious life (delicious, as defined by The Encyclopedia Britannica Company, Merriam Webster, means “affording great pleasure” and your life should be exactly that – a life of pure pleasure). The Appetite Connection is about gratitude, hope and healing.

I highlight physical, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental aspects of self-destructive behavior and offer you many possible suggestions for change. What you choose to do with this information will be unique to you. There is no one answer, no one right way. You are a distinct being – precious and loveable. My hope is that you will realize just how magnificent you truly are!

To learn more about my revolutionary new work visit .

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Am I the only one amazed that it is holiday time once again? It seems that summer just wrapped up last month and we were welcoming the splendor of autumn. Now we are busily planning for Thanksgiving and other festive occasions that arrive soon after the turkey leftovers have been gobbled up. (I noticed that this week my local supermarket is featuring a display of snow shovels right inside the main entrance!)

Have you noticed that as each year passes time seems to accelerate and the seasons fly by more rapidly than ever before? Keeping up with the responsibilities of each season is stressful. Even the “fun” things – all the festivities, the decorating, getting together with friends and family can mean added stress. So, as always, I write to remind you to take the very best care of yourself possible this holiday season.

Because this time of year can be particularly stressful it is vital that we nurture our positive relationships and talk with loving family and friends whenever we can. Being able to vent our frustrations or share our triumphs with someone who cares about us helps us feel connected. Being overly busy may complicate this at times however, and we may feel lonely and isolated if we don’t maintain those important ties through the busiest times.

Identify people who can help you to thrive during the holiday season, or any time. Find people who will listen and not judge you or feed you advice that you definitely don’t want or need. Talk to a buddy – a human one, a pet, or a favorite stuffed animal. I find that when folks are stressed, lonely, tired, sad, etc. they are often tempted to race for a fix of sugars and carbohydrates to calm themselves down and take the edge off their feelings. Contact your buddy instead and talk about what’s eating you.

None of us are immune to the pressures of the holiday season. This time of year brings many opportunities and one of those opportunities is to over indulge. We may think we are only going to have one piece of mom’s apple pie or cheesecake but how many of us are content to stop there? For some of us that pie may open the floodgates of craving and many of us have spent holiday season after holiday season telling ourselves to have just one little treat and finding ourselves instead overeating through not only the holiday season but also well beyond the New Year. Our lives are demanding and to live each day to the fullest requires dedication and energy. If we overindulge instead of taking care of ourselves, we are likely to find even small tasks daunting. We can easily slip out of balance and we don’t feel well. Overdoing in any area of our lives leads to lethargy and we lose the sparkle, zest and vitality required to make each day vibrant and memorable.

Enjoy your day!!! Blessings, Dr. Denise

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are You Distracted?

Dear Blog Friends.... So sorry to take so long to write trhis time. I have been buried with plans to launch The Appetite Connection.... Although not nationally launched as yet, it will be on sale soon and you will be the firsts to know! Thank you for your continued patience....

By focusing on our weight and our appearance and by numbing our feelings with food, we keep our minds distracted. Millions of women are constantly preoccupied with thoughts of food, their bodies and their weight and I have wondered, “What would all these women be thinking about if their minds and their energy were not occupied worrying about what they eat and how they look?” A good question, I think. Would women be more likely to set and achieve goals, to empower themselves in some way, to assume more prominent roles in our society? Would there be more programs created designed to eliminate injustices in the world? Would there be less domestic violence? I wonder. What do you suppose you would be thinking about if not food and your weight?

Take a few minutes to consider this question. Close your eyes. Slowly take a few very deep breaths and think about how often you are focused on your eating behavior and your appearance. Think about what things you would rather expend your energy thinking about. Note any thoughts that pass through your mind. Notice any areas of interest or conflict that emerge. Ask yourself what you can do to develop one of those interests or to resolve one conflict. Sit with these thoughts for a few moments. When you feel finished, you can open your eyes and return to the book. What is important here is not that you discovered a long list of interests to pursue or conflicted situations to remedy.

What is helpful is that you took time to go inside of yourself and to notice your thought process. You may not have noticed any interests or conflicts emerging. That is fine. The exercise is merely to remind you that there are other things in life besides food and appearance to occupy your mind. Use this exercise every so often to take a look at your priorities. If you are consumed (no pun intended) with thoughts of food and your appearance, this exercise can help you to put those worrisome thoughts into perspective.

On Monday, October 24th - Dr. Denise Lamothe, Clinical Psychologist, Dr. of Holistic Health and author of The Appetite Connection was on Susan Gorman’s show, Psychic Stories to discuss over-eating, self-care, and how to achieve a healthy relationship with food and the body you long for in six steps. Tune in and enjoy this entertaining, amusing and unusual interview with Dr. Denise.

Enjoy! I promise more soon!
warmest wishes,
Dr Denise