“Our ancestors did not have a constant supply of food. When a large animal – a whale, a bison, a woolly mammoth or an elephant – was killed, everyone feasted, gorged… it might be weeks or months before another big kill, so large amounts had to be eaten quickly and then stored in the body for the times of scarcity that were sure to come.
This is an ancient or atavistic memory that calls us to eat all we can now, even if we are not hungry, just in case there won’t be any food tomorrow… there is something deep in our primitive brain that still fears starvation, scarcity, famine.”
– Jan Chozen Bays, “Mindful Eating”
Remember the panic-buying we witnessed when the Covid-19 crisis first hit?
Continue reading “Expert Insight: Dieting and the Fear of Famine”
“I hate food.”
“I wish I didn’t have to eat.”
These are some of the things new clients say when we start working together.
Years of dieting and dysfunction with food have left them desperate about what to eat. Food has become the enemy and, understandably, they feel it would be simpler if they just didn’t have to eat at all.
Meals are often such a minefield that eating has no pleasure.
One of the best things about normalising your relationship with food is you get to enjoy eating again (or perhaps for the first time). As you learn to give yourself absolute permission to have exactly what you want, the sense of deprivation that contributes to binge eating begins to fade away.
Continue reading “Gentle Reminder: Paying Attention to Pleasure”
“The fundamental problem is that if we have not been appropriately soothed and have not had carers who have sufficiently helped us to manage our feelings, we are likely to have great difficulty managing them as we grow up and in adult life*. We badly need the skills of emotional regulation because otherwise we are at the mercy of our feelings…
Many people, of whom you may be one, self-soothe not with words and compassion but with substances and activities. The compulsive exerciser is making himself feel better by his exertion; the drug addict or problem drinker is using substances to escape from feelings he can’t manage; the person with disordered eating is using her preoccupation with food, weight, shape and size to deal with feelings that she doesn’t know how to manage in any other way.”
– Julie Buckroyd, “Understanding Your Eating”
Continue reading “Expert Insight: Soothing with Words and Compassion, not Substances”
At a Christmas party, two guests are standing by the buffet. One has their plate piled high with food. The other has cleverly taken a Buffet Tour and has selected only the food they really wanted. The first guest is eating very quickly, the other is taking their time and savouring their selection.
Continue reading “Season’s Bleatings: Dodging Diet Talk”
A friend is having a Christmas get-together. The house is decorated, the tree is trimmed and in the middle of the room a table groans under the weight of an impressive buffet.
There’s everything you could imagine: sausage rolls, veggie vol-au-vents, smoked salmon pinwheels, stuffed peppers, bread, salads and olives, not to mention those little cheesy ball things you just can’t resist (apparently this buffet is from 1974).
In the kitchen, an array of cakes and puddings is waiting to be brought out once the savoury course is finished.
What do you do?
Continue reading “Season’s Eatings: The Buffet Tour”
“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” – Alice Miller
“I forgive them”. This is what victims of crime sometimes say when they’re interviewed on the news days, or even hours, after some terrible violation has been committed against them. Perhaps they were brutally attacked. Perhaps someone they love was murdered.
“I forgive the people who did this to me”, they say.
I always feel a sense of concern when I hear this.
Their forgiveness seems so immediate. It makes me wonder what happened to their feelings.
Continue reading “Food for Thought: The Rush to Forgiveness”