Sunday, December 28, 2008

Five Steps for Guaranteed Success to Achieve Your Dreams in 2009

As 2008 draws to a close, the promise of a New Year is in the air. A fresh slate, a time for reflection, time for planning, time to set your sites on accomplishments for the New Year. What is it you want in 2009? What would bring you happiness, peace and harmony in life?

Forget about New Year's resolutions. Many people set New Year's resolutions and treat them like a wish list. That is, something they would like to do if they were only strong enough to stick with it. There are other much more effective ways to help you reach your goal, attain the success you desire, find that perfect relationship, and free yourself from the grip of addiction be it drugs, alcohol, nicotine, eating disorders or any other type of destructive path you might currently be on.

  • First create a list of what you DON'T want.
  • Then make a list of what you DO want.
  • Take some time and get into the feeling of what it would be like to have what you want right now! What would it feel like to be free of your addiction and live life "normally"? What would it feel like to have that special someone in your life? What things would you do, where would you go, what characteristics does this person have?
  • Spend 5-10 minutes a day creating a new script about what you want. Visualize it and feel the feeling of having it right now! You get what you focus on whether your time is spent stressing about the lack of what you want, or having what you want. Two good times to do this are when you first wake up and right before you go to sleep at night.
  • To help you with your visualization and feeling exercise create a goal or vision board. The local discount store has poster board which works great for this. Pull pictures from magazines or print them from the internet and paste the pictures on your board. Keep it simple and not overcrowded. Symbols work well too. Use a picture of a watch to represent spending more time with your lover, significant other or friend. If your wish is to remodel your kitchen or bathroom collect pictures of the granite, tile and cupboards you will use. How does it feel to cook in your new kitchen? Put a picture of that sports car you always wanted and when you look at it feel what it feels like to sit in the seat, touch the steering wheel, feel the wind in your hair as you drive. Make it real! If your goal is to lose weight or recover from an addiction find a picture of yourself at a better time, or paste your head on on a picture of what you want to look like - make it realistic! What does it feel like to live life without being a slave to food, alcohol or nicotine. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning, how has your energy changed? How is your outlook on life different? Be in that place and feel every little detail you can. Bask in the new you.

If you follow these simple steps and keep your focus on what you want instead of obsessing and worrying about the things you don't want or want to change you will succeed. Focus on what you want with the same intensity of emotion that is evoked by the fear and worry of what you don't want. Instead of worry about money and the "downturn" in the economy, keep in the feeling of having the money you need to pay your bills and having some left over.

By reprogramming your subconscious mind you will attract what you want in life. Whatever input your subconscious gets it takes as a command. The trick is not to let your conscious mind take over and cause conflict by doubting. You have to believe, what you believe gets plugged into the subconscious and it will bring it to pass. It's the Universal Law of Attraction.

If you have ever played golf you witness live examples of this. A golfer hits a shot into the water or sand and says "I knew I was going to do that." It happens all the time. If that is the last thought before the shot, the subconscious mind makes it so.

On the flip side, during the NFL playoffs it's the teams that have the most belief in themselves that win. By watching the sidelines you can tell who believe and who is losing the faith in their abilities. Why is home field advantage such a big deal? Because of the energy of all the people in the stadium that believe! Our thoughts and our mindset are very powerful on the outcomes we get in life.

So as you head into the New Year take the time to think about those changes in life that would mean the most to you. Then decide to bring it into your reality and follow the steps above to make it happen. When doubts creep into your mind, immediately shift your thoughts to something positive, something that makes you feel good. Think about a favorite place, person or event that makes you smile.

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Happy New Year! In peace, balance and harmony,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Celebrate the Holidays With Your Inner Child

The holidays can stir up lots of emotions. Maybe as a kid the holidays hold fond memories for you. Or perhaps your memories are some you would rather forget. Most people I know have strong feelings connected with the holiday season.

It can be a mixed bag. The season comes with classic holiday movies, great music, an overload of Christmas specials..and my favorite the promise of a New Year. In many families the joy of the season is mixed with a huge serving of drama. It's difficult to get excitied about activities that you know will be enveloped in bickering, fighting, gossip, maniupulation and potentially embarrassing incidents brought on by certain family members.

My childhood memories are filled with pleasantries of being at my grandparents house in Michigan. Grandma saved money all year and gave it to me to buy gifts for all the aunts, uncles and cousins. (Back then it was actually affordable, even if it was only a pair of sox!) I remember being allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve which made it extra special. My Grandpa was a big tease and always made it difficult for me to choose which gift I should open. On Christmas Day the house was full of relatives. The day was full of laughter, opening gifts, music and food. I don't remember a lot of drama as a kid. But as I got older that quickly changed.

My mom had high hopes for our family to all enjoy each other ("Can't we all just get along?") Only problem is with five siblings and 18 years between oldest and youngest we are all very different. I noticed that once significant others got introduced into the picture the dynamics became increasingly strained. So the holidays then became a challenge. A carefully orchestrated event so as not to piss off this sibling or that significant other. I always felt caught in the middle.

But, I know it's not just my family. Every year the morning shows run segments on how to deal with "family". I have friends who are torn between in-laws houses and wanting to have festivities at their own home with their children. Many people have a visitation "schedule" to follow on the holidays and are worn out vs. being able to enjoy it.

Why is it so difficult? Why can't we all just get along? What I've observed through the years is that with seven members of my immediate family we don't all necessarily have things in common. So you put seven people with their significant others and kids in one house for a day and anything can happen! I think National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation captured the painful experience of trying to spend holidays with relatives best! Just love those white shoes Clark got from cousin Eddie!

In spite of all the emotions stirred up this time of year fortunately I still have many wonderful memories. Growing up in Chicago and going downtown to see the sights including my favorite, the decorations in the windows of Carson, Pirie, Scott. And through the years my rituals developed: watching White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other movies that no matter how many times I see them still enjoy and can get carried away in the story. We had a Christmas album we used to listen to when I was in grade school. It was a variety of musical groups and songs. How I loved that album! But somehow in all the moves my parents made the LP got lost. (I've looked for many years but haven't found it.) The advent calendar comes to mind too. What a great way to build the anticipation till Christmas!

So why all the reminiscing? As adults so often we fail to stay connected with our inner child. That part of us that isn't shaped by what we "should, can't or won't be allowed to do". As young kids we know nothing more than to feel and express our excitement, anticipation, disappointment and achievements. We aren't hampered by what is or isn't politically correct. We have a fresh, healthy perspective of the world filled with curiousity, exploration and a great collection of life experiences. As kids we knew how to keep it real. As adults we need a dictionary to remiund us what "real" is because of all the conditioning bestowed on us through our life experiences.

So as Christmas approaches, take a few minutes to remember what made you giggle with delight as a kid. And share it with someone! It doesn't cost a thing and is guaranteed to put a smile on someone's face.

In peace, balance and health,

To win a free MP3 copy of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia visit my website:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do You Know Who Your Friends Are?

We all know how different men and women are. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus...two different planets, right? And through the diagnosis of how different we are there is always the element of how much more "feeling" and collaborative women are. Women are sensitive and need to talk things through to relate to each other. Pluses....right?

So if women are so sensitive, collaborative, thrive on talking things out, and being there for each other why is there so much nastiness and lack of respect between females? If you are a woman I'm guessing somewhere in your lifetime you have experienced clicques? Maybe it was the cheerleaders in high school, or the sorority girls in college. Or maybe it was a group of women you worked with.

Okay, so I admit it. I didn't have great self-esteem as a young girl so I used to let these things get to me. Fortunately I found ways to improve my self-esteem. But even now that I've crossed the big 50 threshold I am still taken aback by how women treat each other. So much jealousy, lack of respect, insecurities and nastiness! But the part that always intrigues me is why women feel the need to pretend to be your friend when they aren't. They can be so sweet, superficially pleasant and supportive to your face while undermining, unsupportive and talking smack behind your back.

How many women that act this way realize that their need to carry on like this is rooted in their own insecurities? Bonding with their "girls" by talking about other women (or men) makes them feel better, superior, right? C'mon!

Women that relate to others by putting them down, making fun of them, talking behind their back aren't bringing a lot of great karma in their direction. Whatever we put out there is what we get back. Remember what you focus on is what you attract!

It's a choice, but consider the alternatives. When you focus your energies, thoughts, words and actions on positive things you'll feel different. Remember the advice you heard as a kid? "If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all."

If this is an area where you have room for improvement...give it a shot. Clean up your act and observe the positive things that begin to take place in your life after you eliminate this unhealthy behavior. Spend some time and energy embracing your authentic self. Then watch how much different the interaction with other women is when you are a "real" friend.

For more information on improving self-esteem visit my website

In peace, balance and health,

Check out my new Personal Empowerment Necklaces available this weekend on my website!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eating Disorders - Behind the Whispers

Do you know how to spot an eating disorder? Most people have heard of anorexia and bulimia. But many people upon hearing the words eating disorder automatically assume symptoms of anorexia. "So how skinny did you get?" When they hear the term bulimia, the automatic assumption is "Oh, you vomited". It's not that cut and dried. The symptoms aren't that rigid.

Regardless of the type of eating disorder there are a few similar characteristics:
  • Eating disorders are marked by extreme behavior with food
  • Extreme reduction in amount of food consumed (anorexia) or
  • Extreme overeating or bingeing (bulimia or binge eating disorder)
  • Extreme obsession and dissatisfaction with weight, body shape and image
  • Increased isolation or moodiness
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth

Many individuals suffering with eating disorders also have what is called "dual-diagnosis." This means in addition to their eating disorder they may also be suffering from:

  • Depression
  • Drug, alcohol or other chemical addictions
  • Self-harm rituals
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Other psychological conditions

While many individuals get help for their alcohol or substance abuse, the eating disorder goes untreated. Rehab and sober living facilities don't always have experience dealing with these issues. So while the individual maintains a "sober" lifestyle, their eating disorder often spirals out of control. Chaos continues in their lives because all of their issues related to low self-esteem and the chemical imbalances caused by their extreme eating habits have not been addressed.

Although eating disorders are much more widely known and written about now than they were 20 years ago it's still a "taboo" topic. People are uncomfortable discussing it and don't know what to say. In addition to not fully understanding the causes and symptoms, many misconceptions exist. Often girls with eating disorders are told they should "just eat", or go to a 12 step program. It's not that simple. Eating disorders are complex. Some individuals are in and out of treatment repeatedly.

Education is critical to bring awareness to this epidemic. Just as many teens don't understand the addictiveness of "smoking a few cigarettes" and college students miss the link between alcohol addiction and binge drinking. Many young girls (and boys) who begin skipping meals, controlling their food intake or bingeing often don't realize this behavior can ultimately lead to their death. And while many high school and college campuses are required to bring awareness to drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders too often are left unaddressed. Because it's a "psychological thing" and its hard to talk about.

It's time to get past the whispers of this topic. Parents, college, high school and middle school students need to be educated. Here are a few disturbing facts:

  • Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychiatric diagnosis
  • 77% of young girls surveyed would trade their body for that of a celebrity
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
  • 90% of high school girls diet regularly when only 10-15% are overweight
  • 85% of eating disorders start between the ages of 13-20
  • Up to 30% of college students have eating disorders
  • 75% of women admit to having an unhealthy relationship to food aka disordered eating
  • 10% of people with anorexia die
  • Eating disorders are being diagnosed in children as young as 7 years old
  • Over 7 million women and 1 million men and children suffer from eating disorders. But how many are suffering that still haven't told anyone because it's so taboo?

Be informed - save a life!

For more information, please visit my website:

In peace, balance and health!

Want to win a free copy of the MP3 version of "It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia?" Click here for details:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Release the Inner Kid to Reduce Stress and Create More Balance

It's so easy to get caught up in the drama of day-to-day life. To stress, worry, live in fear and focus on all that could go wrong. What a way to live your life! How do you find room for happiness amidst all the drama? Even finding the time to remember what you need and what's important is difficult. Now that the political ads are off the air there is a a new barrage of negative ads talking about "these economic times." Negativity only adds to the drain on your energy and stress.

On a recent flight I witnessed a plane full of adults displaying excitement usually reserved for five and six year old kids. The moment engulfed me as it's so rare you see a site like this. There were couples with gray hair straining to look out the window excitedly to get their first glimpse of the Hawaiian Islands. Two men in their fifties were laughing, "groovin" and sharing headphones on their iPod while plotting out their excursions on a map of the island. Everyone was happy. The babies weren't even crying! I sat there and completely drank in the scene. The energy that filled the plane was giggly, uplifting and positive. It was an incredible moment.

We have all heard about the importance of connecting with our inner child. But how do we do it? That's what was so impressive about this experience on the plane. No one was acting self-conscious about their level of excitement. No one was logically thinking about whether this was the proper adult or "politically correct" (PC) thing to do. They were just acting from the heart, from emotion.

As we grow up we are so conditioned to what we "should" and "shouldn't" do. We learn so many rules, have to watch our "P's and Q's" and now on top of it we've become a society that always has to be PC. There isn't any room to be free to experience life as it comes and enjoy things without worrying about being silly or stupid. We lose it so quickly.

While working out in the hotel gym I had a little fun with the people there. Instead of carrying the body ball over to where I wanted to use it, I bounced it. Yup, I dribbled it just like a basketball! As expected most people looked inquisitively to see what in the world I was doing. But I smiling as I worked my way to the other side of the gym. Bouncing this huge ball reminded me of days spent on my grandma's front porch bouncing a little beach ball which I always loved to do.

Learning to play again is important for everyone, not just those of us who suffer(ed) with eating disorders. What is something you still really enjoy that makes you feel free? Something you can do that you can execute without really caring what other people think? Did you like to color, play with paper dolls? (remember those? I loved them!) Maybe it was drawing or writing poems?

Look for little ways to be a kid and express yourself! It's a great way to let go of control for awhile and bring some balance back into your life.

For more information, please visit my website:

In peace, balance and health!

Want to win a free copy of the MP3 version of "It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia?" Click here for details:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Enlist Laughter to Increase Your Endorphins Through the Winter Months

The weather is changing. Fall is here. Growing up in the Midwest this was always a depressing time of year for me. Shorter days, cooler weather and the threat of snow. I loved the vibrant fall colors as the leaves on the trees changed. The reds and oranges were my favorite and painted a beautiful backdrop heading into Thanksgiving. I loved playing in the snow, but hated the conditions the weather created that went along with it. Worst of all was the gray days and lack of sunshine that went on for two and three weeks at a time. Driving by the mall, there were those huge piles of dirty snow that didn't melt until the end of March.

By contrast I loved Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays. Fall created a sense of conflict. A time of year I enjoyed for the festivities of time spent with family and relatives. But the challenge of the cold weather and....all that food! Being bulimic it was a constant struggle to fight off the pull to indulge in all the food that was so readily available at school and the office. The more cookies and candy and junk food I indulged in, the worse I felt. Which contributed to the low level of energy I had in the winter months. I spent a lot of time tucked under a blanket on the couch to fight off the chill.

It wasn't until April that I felt my spirits start to lift with the promise of spring. The fresh cool breezes that meant summer wasn't too far away. Watching the buds grow on the trees and feeling that sense of calm that came with the return of green on the trees and yards.

Okay, but reality check. You can't just give away six months out of every year! How can you cope with the changes this time of year and keep your attitude and emotions up? One thing I've found is curling up to watch a great movie. A movie that makes you feel good all over. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas it's easy as there are so many heart warming movies from years gone by on TV. But what about the rest of the time?

We've all heard the term "Laughter is the Best Medicine." I've heard numerous stories of people with terminal illnesses that have incorporated laughter as part of their therapy and healing. One example of this is told in the movie The Secret where a woman uses comedies as part of her treatment for breast cancer. Combined with positive thoughts and affirmations laughter is incredibly healthy and a powerful tool for us.

"Breakthrough medical research is shedding new light on the physiological beneficial effects of humor on health. A sense of humor can come in handy, whether it's for dealing with an illness, the pressures of daily living, stress, coping at work even, humor can dramatically change the quality and outlook of our lives. Humor is an easy way to get in touch with your feelings, and control them in difficult situations." If you Google "laughter and healing" you'll find numerous websites and articles on this topic. (

For individuals struggling with eating disorders, being overweight or depression laughter can be used to uplift your mood, emotions and take your mind off how lethargic and awful you feel. It's a great way to disrupt the pattern or rut you're stuck in. So whether you head to the local video store, order from Netflix or buy On Demand through your cable carrier stock up on your favorite comedies shows and movies for a boost in your endorphins (the natural feel good chemical). If this is new for you maybe you don't have a long list of favorites. Here are some ideas. Hopefully this list will remind you of a few of your favs. Make an appointment on your calendar to spend 4-8 hours a week laughing and watch your mood improve!

I love silly comedies. Here's a few of my movies favs:
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (series)
  • Airplane (series)
  • Arthur
  • Austin Powers (series)
  • Beetlejuice
  • Caddyshack
  • Dumb & Dumber
  • Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin movies
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • National Lampoon's Animal House
  • National Lampoon's Vacation
  • Ocean's Eleven (series)
  • Patch Adams
  • Romancing the Stone
  • Silent Movie
  • SilverStreak
  • Snowball Express
  • Stripes
  • The Birdcage
  • The Jerk
  • The Life of Brian
  • Trading Places
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Thow Momma from the Train
  • Wayne's World (series)

Here are some of my TV comedy show favs:

  • Alf
  • Bewitched
  • Carol Burnett Show
  • Chapelle's Show
  • Cheers
  • Fawlty Towers
  • Frasier
  • Friends
  • Green Acres
  • In Living Color
  • Monty Python
  • Mork & Mindy
  • Red Skelton
  • Scrubs
  • Saturday Night Live (70's shows)
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • The Jonathan Winters Show
  • The Flip Wilson Show
  • The Simpsons
  • Will & Grace

To your health!

Want to win a free copy of the MP3 version of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia? Visit this link for details:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Food: Getting from Obsession to Fuel

For the millions of individuals affected by eating disorders, (anorexia, bulimia or binge eating) food is a constant obsession. Life is consumed with controlling or fantasizing about food intake. Let's take a look at the lives of three fictitious characters to fully understand this phenomenon.

Take Anna the anorexic. For Anna, her life is filled with stress, anxiety and concern about what she puts in her body, how often she puts food in her body and how she can control her feelings associated with eating. For Anna, she gains a feeling of superiority in being able to control her food intake, ignore the hunger pangs, weakness, headaches and other serious physical symptoms that plague her. She has pride in her level of determination that will help her reach her ultimate goal. To be thin. Perhaps to emulate her favorite super model, actress or other celebrity. There is nothing more important than reaching her goal and food is evil, her enemy. She can't indulge in full meals or she will gain weight. So Anna develops a series of rituals. Her rituals include a schedule for food intake. What days she will eat limited quantities of food and what days she will only drink water or tea and won't eat. Anna has no concept of food as fuel. Food is an obsession she has to control.

Then there's Brenda the bulimic. Brenda's life is a chronic cycle of abuse. When she gets upset, hurt, disappointed, feels lonely, depressed, stressed or anxious she eats. When she starts she can't stop. Often her binges include vast quantities of sweets, carbohydrates and junk food. After a binge she is miserable and can't move. Brenda doesn't purge by throwing up, she uses strict diets and excessive exercise to recover from her binges. Once the cycle is complete she spends the next few hours and days berating herself for her behavior. Brenda is often lethargic from the overdose of carbs and lack of nutrition her body so desperately needs. There are certain foods she can't keep in the house because they are trigger foods for her. Meaning she'll eat the whole box of cookies, bag of chips, pizza or carton of ice cream in one sitting. Her only possible method of control is not to purchase these foods. Unwilling to gain weight, her world is consumed trying to control her food intake and compensating to regain control when she binges. Food is an obsession and a constant struggle based on her emotional state.

Lastly there is Belinda the binge eater. Belinda, like Brenda has a constant battle with food. She spends much of her time thinking about what she'll eat and keeps her cupboard full with her favorite binge foods. However, Belinda doesn't control the weight gain. She can't stop the binges and doesn't have the desire or ability to counteract them with diets or exercise. She gave up long ago. She's destined to be obese. After a binge she too experiences serious physical discomfort leading to extreme lethargy from carb overload. Belinda has many health issues caused by ingesting so much food in one sitting and from the extra 100 pounds she carries. For Belinda, food is an obsession, it's the highlight of her day.

Individuals who suffer from eating disorders as is well documented struggle with a combination of psychological issues. In addition they experience serious health problems as a result of the abuse their bodies take from either the lack of food or too much. Simply stated their bodies suffer huge nutritional deficiencies. These cause cravings for Anna, Belinda and Brenda and feed into their cycles of abuse.

Is it possible for someone suffering from eating disorders to get to a place of viewing food simply as fuel for their bodies? Yes! In order to fully recover five areas must be addressed:

1 - Identify and understand the causes of the eating disorder

2 - Improve self-esteem

3 - Embrace the power of the sub-conscious to eliminate negative self-talk, self-defeating behaviors and beliefs. And to create healthy behaviors and beliefs

4 - Balance nutrition and supplements to create a healthy chemical balance in both mind and body

5 - Improve mental and physical health with body work to reconnect the mind and body. This enables the individual to "be present" and stay in the moment

This alternative approach is incredibly powerful to help individuals locate and take back their personal power. This is key for those who use food to block out reality as a means of survival. They must again connect with their authentic self. This is a critical step in healing--to find and embrace who you are. For Anna, Belinda and Brenda they have no clue who they really are or what they want. They are so numb and out of touch, their authentic self is far removed from their day-to-day existence. How can you love yourself if you don't know who you are?

Although many individuals go in and out of traditional treatment programs and suffer for years, recovery from an eating disorder is possible. And with recovery comes the freedom from obsession and peace in viewing food as fuel for your body. A process much easier to stomach once your mind and body are in balance!

For more information, please visit my website

In peace, balance and health,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It Started With Pop-Tarts MP3 Version Available Now!

The audio version of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia is now available! Listen as I tell my story personally. This recording has the usual dose of "Lori" energy, intensity and entertainment. It also includes snippets of the music behind the lyrics I wrote as part of my healing process. (Yes, that's really me singing!)

This is a great way to learn about a powerful, alternative approach to winning the battle of eating disorders. My approach includes acupuncture, several forms of body work, meditation, nutrition and supplements, creativity and working with the sub-conscious to improve self-esteem and change negative thoughts and beliefs. It offers hope, inspiration and direction to those who at "are at risk" and individuals who are submerged in this chronic cycle of abuse.

For parents and loved ones, it provides a candid look into the depths of obsession a person suffering with an eating disorder is experiencing.

This MP3 version was prepared especially for those who don't have time to read, don't like to read or just plain prefer listening through their iPods.

It Started With Pop-Tarts... goes beyond eating disorders it's packed with great information about chemical imbalances that cause cravings and binges, and provides great strategies for creating a healthier lifestyle if you're struggling with your weight or unhealthy habits.

Get your copy now, only $9.95!

For those who prefer to purchase the CD Audio Book it will be available later this month, both on my website and Amazon.

In peace, balance and health,

Lori Hanson

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Four Easy Steps to Help You Reduce Sugar Cravings

Do you fight food cravings? Are you constantly hungry and nibbling? What do you nibble on? Or do you even know?

Many people are caught up in unhealthy habits that are compelled by their daily diet. Yes, sometimes you eat because of emotional reasons (nervous, anxious, stressed, depressed, etc.). But what many people don't realize is that the combination of a diet filled with fast food, pizza, pasta, breakfast pastries, and other "white" flour foods with sweets (candy, cookies, chocolate, pies, ice cream, etc.) on a regular basis can contribute to your body actually craving sugar. So before you know it, you're reaching for second or third cookie at work, or having a candy bar for a snack without even thinking about it. By the time evening rolls around, you may be mindlessly eating a bag of potato chips or cookies in front of the TV after you finished diner because you still feeling the "need" for something.

Even though fruit is "healthy" for you, fruit that has a high concentration of sugar (fructose) will also contribute to these cravings. This includes fruit like honeydew, cantelope, banannas, apples, pineapple and nectarines to name a few. Concentrated fruit juices (e.g. orange juice), most pre-packaged juices you buy at the store, even "juicing" have a high amount of sugar and will can also contribute to cravings. And here you thought it was healthy!

Here are four easy steps to help you reduce your cravings and constant need to nibble.

1. Awareness
The first step to changing your behavior is understanding it by being aware of what it is. Keep a food journal for a week. Don't change anything about your eating habits, just keep track of what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. It can also be helpful to note your emotions at the time. Are you feeling happy, sad, depressed, lonely, excited, anxious? The point of this is NOT to beat yourself up, only to take note of what your eating habits are.

2. Analyze Your Journal
After keeping a food journal for a week take some time and evalute it. Do you skip meals?, are you taking in some form of sugar and coffee first thing in the morning? (Note many Starbucks-type coffees are filled with sugar!) How much coffee do you drink? Are you eating any vegetables or any brown flour foods (wheat bread vs. white, brown rice vs. white)?

3. Create a Meal Plan
After analyzing your food journal take some time to create a new meal plan for the next week. Create a plan that includes:
  • A balance of carbohydrates and protein at every meal
  • Make healthier choices and limit the amount of fast food in your diet
  • Substitute lean meats for hamburgers and fatty beef
  • Include vegetables with at least two meals everyday. Be sure to include one green leafy vegetable a day
  • Substitue wheat flour choices for white flour (bread, pasta, etc.)
  • Don't go more than 3-4 hours without a meal. Eat a healthy snack between meals. (Avoid low blood sugar which can contribute to cravings
  • Reduce your coffee intake, or try substituting decaf for a few cups of java. Caffeine (including decaf and chocolate) contributes to cravings.
  • Increase your water intake. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. This will make it easier to avoid constant snacking.

4. Reduce Simple Sugars From Your Diet

  • Exchange high sugar fruits for berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Limit wine and beer to one drink a day. Better yet, drink white liquor (vodka, gin) instead of wine.
  • Reduce the number of sweets, candy and desserts. If you're used to having three or four a day, try limiting yourself to one a day, then continue to reduce your intake to a one or two times a week.

These four steps will help to reduce the amount of concentrated sugars in your diet and curb the sugar cravings. The result? You'll feel better, have more energy and probably lose a few pounds! For more detailed information please visit my website, and contact me directly.

In peace, balance and health,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do You Ask For Want You Want?

It's a simple thing - really. But how many of us ask for what we want or share our expectations with others on a daily basis? Sure, if you go into Starbucks for a double frap espresso something or other you know how to ask for what you want. But, what about the important stuff? Sometimes it's difficult to spit it out!

I remember as a young girl around 8 or 9 years old being asked to go into a store and purchase a grocery item for my mother. When I couldn't find what I was supposed to get I froze with the thought of having to ask someone where it was! I was so incredibly shy as a kid. Okay, so that has changed over the years! Now I'll ask if I can't find something within the first minute as I don't want to waste my time looking all over the store for something.

In certain relationships, those we work with, our parents, our significant other, or even our kids it's more difficult to be honest and ask for what we really want. Sometimes it may just be that we need patience and understanding as we go through a difficult time in life. Other times we may need someone to really get in our corner even though they don't agree with us and be a loyal supporter or friend. Maybe it's just letting your significant other know that you'd like more help in the kitchen after dinner, more help with the kids or help buying groceries. For men maybe it's a need to not get blasted with dialogue the minute you walk in the door. So you need to ask for a little chill time when you get home.

At work this is sometimes tough as there are often politics in play. I know for me personally navigating the corporate politics was something I didn't do well! I don't like playing games even for the sake of "x". Nevertheless, it's important to let others know what YOU need to do your job, be more effective and meet that deliverable.

If you are someone who suffers from anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders, like I did, you probably aren't good at expressing your wants and desires. But it's an important step in empowerment.

Regardless of the need or want. It's important to speak up (in a polite way) and tell that someone what it is you need, today that will make a difference. Try a softening statement such as, "I'm confused, I thought we had agreed to do "x"m or Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought you said (or we agreed) you were going to do this yesterday and it still isn't done. Did I miss something?

Defining boundaries and asking for what we need are important to healthy self-esteem and building confidence. Start with small things and work up to larger issues. Don't let other people "assume" you are doing fine when you aren't. Don't let your date assume you're fine with an activity or something they did if you aren't.

As a child I was taught to be seen and not heard and my midwestern upbringing encouraged me to always be politically correct. To not upset other people or say things I might regret. As an adult it's sometimes difficult to find the boundary on where that advice is valuable and where it isn't serving you.

So ask for what you want! And don't forget to reciprocate...ask what you can do to help someone else. You might just make their day and have a new BFF!

For more information on improving self-esteem please visit my website

In peace, balance and health!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Do You Have Control Issues With Eating?

For some it's chocolate, others cakes and candy, for another it's that late night eating they can't resist that kills their resolve and figure. It can start at any age. As young children our diets are controlled by what our parents feed us. Some kids get too much sugar and in other households its a hallowed and infrequent treat--it's a controlled commodity.

For some people the food awareness doesn't kick in until teen or college years. But at some point many of us learn behaviors to "control" the food intake. Many others "try" to control it and have issues doing so. They end up overweight and obese.

I recently heard the story of a women whose mother put her on a diet when she was just five years old! Early priming for food issues.

Why then do some people end up with eating disorders and others just gain weight? Then there are those "normal" size people who look great but survive on a diet of junk food. Eating disorders evolve as a result of a number of factors. Having an eating disorder is vastly different from being 100 pounds overweight. Both individuals have issues with food. Both individuals are using food and their behavior to avoid dealing with issues in life. Or else they wouldn't have a "weight problem". With an eating disorder there is a significant distortion of body image from reality.

Eating disorders typically appear in adolescent or young adult girls. However some women develop eating disorders later in life. Women aren't alone, an estimated one million men also suffer from eating disorders. An eating disorder is identified by extremes. An obsession with body and weight, eating very little or eating extreme amounts. In addition many people with eating disorders usually follow rituals or patterns to control their food intake.

The two most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type is called eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) which includes variations of other eating disorders but with different characteristics.

Some typical contributors to eating disorders include issues with:
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Family relationships
  • Control
  • Abusive relationships
  • Sexual abuse
  • Chemical imbalances

Many times young girls who begin the behaviors of anorexia or bulimia don't realize how dangerous their habits can become. Or that they can be life threatening. The physical problems that result from continued eating disorder behaviors can be devasting. A few of the complications include:

  • Cardiovascular and neurological complication
  • Impaired physical development
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Electrolyte and fluid imbalances
  • Chronically inflammed neck and throat
  • Worn tooth enamel and sensitive teeth from throwing up and stomach acid
  • Intestinal distress such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) from laxative abuse
  • Burned out adrenal glands
  • Poor brain/mood function

Treatment for eating disorders must address psychological issues in addition to restoring normal weight and eliminating self-defeating behaviors and thoughts. Many individuals with eating disorders are in and out of treatment for long periods of time and costs can range from $10,000 per month to $100,000 or more per year. Insurance coverage for eating disorders many times falls short of the individual needs.

Alternative treatments are evolving. Many clinics now have a mind, body, spirit approach to their treatment. Alternative treatments can cost far less than traditional treatment programs. Through yoga, meditation and body work individuals improve self-esteem, release destructive habits and patterns, embrace their bodies and return to a normal healthy lifestyle.

For more information visit

In peace, balance and health!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Memories Run Deep - Why Eating Disorders Are Difficult to Treat

What's the earliest memory you have? Is it a positive memory from early childhood? Something that makes you beam with delight upon recall? Or is it something you would really rather forget? Regardless of the amount of recall you have, whether you were age two or maybe even younger your memories are all there, stored in your brain--and your cells. Yes, it's true memories are stored at the cellular level, not just in our brains.

"At the cell level everything electrical and biological is linked through our energy. Every thought, word, and deed has a physiological correlation, a cellular response to impulses that gets stored in the cell as a memory and is supported by its own particular chemistry. This has been discovered through bodywork like massage and healing modalities that release energy, our stress and painful history, is stored in the muscles of our body. Every experience from our infancy is coded in the cell," says Dr. Carlos.

This is part of why addictions and compulsive behaviors like eating disorders are so difficult to treat. To provide treatment with counseling and medication without the aid of bodywork doesn't stimulate the release of painful emotional memories and patterns that are stored in the body. Our bodies store energy associated with these memories and they create energy blocks. In order to fully recover from the disorder or addiction the energy and beliefs that no longer serve us must be released.

After releasing these energy blocks and reprogramming our brains we can create new connections and patterns. By doing this we can enable healing at the cellular level. This results in a deeper, quantum leap in releasing the past and living a peaceful balanced life free from obsession and addiction.

Dr. Joe Dispenza, has done some incredible research on the human brain and our ability to "rewire" our brains and change our outlook and results in life. Through our thoughts we can change the wiring and teach the brain to fire with different neurons. Dr. Dispensza's says:

  • "The brain -- 100 million neurons firing in infinite patterns
  • The patterns come from neurons that are wired together and fire together
  • The mind is the brain in action -- mind is what the brain does
  • Change your mind, change your brain -- change your brain, change your mind
  • The biology of change -- nerve cells that no longer fire together no longer wire together
  • Neuroplasty –- our brains ability to change its synaptic wiring"

This is where the mind body connection comes in. We have the ability to change our thoughts, make new synaptic connections and affect our environment just by how we think about it.

In the movie What The Bleep Do We Know?! Marlee Matlin's character Amanda saw an experiment performed by Dr. Masaru Emoto showing the affect words and thoughts have on water. The molecules of water were viewed under a microscope. Then the molecules were viewed again after being exposed to loving words or negative words (taped on the container). The water exposed to loving words showed brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. But the water exposed to pollution and negative thoughts form incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

Every thought affects the outcome you get in life. What you focus on (your thoughts, what you talk about, what you worry about, what you look for, expect or look forward to) is what you manifest. If you spend all of your time obsessed with what you see in the mirror and the hatred you have for your will continue to see a body you hate. If you spend all your time beating yourself up for drinking too much, eating too much, or being a couch potato....these behaviors won't change because you're focusing on them with strong emotions (hatred, anger). If instead you spend 10 minutes every day and focus on what your life would be like and feel like--if you loved and accepted yourself (and your body) you will begin to attract different outcomes. Don't just visualize, feel the joy and excitement of your new life, the energy you have, the happiness that abounds, the relationships you have with people…use strong positive emotions to make it feel real, like you're living it today.

In peace, balance and health!

For more information please visit my website:


Saturday, August 23, 2008

No Quick Fix for Children's Eating Disorders

The numbers of young children getting trapped into eating disorders are on the rise. I'm seeing regular articles both in the U.S. and abroad that are commenting on the growing phenomenon. I was 14 when mine started, pretty typical. Now kids as young as eight are obsessing about their weight! There are two sides to the story.

In the past 10-15 years the rise in obesity in young children has grown significantly. Richard Simmons has gone all the way to congress with his FIT Kids bill to preserve PE classes and get kids moving again. With all the introduction of technology (and increase in crime) kids lifestyles have changed, they aren't outside playing anymore. They aren't getting exercise. They are developing poor habits from a very early age which will haunt them their entire life. Being overweight as a young child has a strong negative impact on self-esteem which will affect each child's ability to be confident and successful in life.

On the flip side you have the kids who are absorbing all they see in the media, skinny models, skinny actors and musicians. Everything that's put in front of them on the TV, billboards and magazines portrays the picture of what they’re supposed to look like - thin and gorgeous. Here, nothing has changed except now children are taking it on. So a young child begins to control their food intake as a way to achieve the “the perfect look”. Different approach, same result - this obsession leads to poor self esteem and lack of confidence which will impact their future.

In many ways the person that's overweight and one with an eating disorder aren't so different. Both experience lack of confidence and hatred for themselves and their bodies. Both have low self-worth.

An eating disorder can have numerous contributing factors including pressures of society, troubled family and personal relationships, sexual abuse, feeling inadequate, anxious, depressed or lonely. The rituals practiced with an eating disorder give the individual a coping mechanism to avoid expressing emotions and a feeling of being in control.

Lifestyle and the family unit have changed significantly. We all well know about the increase in divorce, dual income families, super mom, soccer mom, overachiever kids, deadbeat dads and the impact this has had on the Beaver Cleaver days. But this also has a direct affect on the development of childhood obesity and now childhood eating disorders.

Young children need to understand the severity of what an eating disorder can do to their lives. If food is restricted during a child's growth phase they are at risk of stunting their growth, developing weak bones and shrinking their brains.* Many high school age kids aren't even aware that the new rituals they are following can result in death.

Awareness, prevention and early detection are critical. The earlier these symptoms are identified in young children the better chance they have of growing up with confidence, prepared for a life filled with health, happiness and balance.

For more information, visit my website

In peace and health!

*About Eating Disorders,, 8/23/08

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Eating Disorders, Obesity, Alcoholism, Addiction, Superwoman, Workaholic – Is There a Link?

I find it intriguing as a society how differently we view each of these behaviors. Some are more acceptable or shall I say less offensive than others. And each comes with its own share of judgments and prejudices by onlookers.

The truth is, I can’t remember the last time I met someone who doesn’t have a little (or big) secret in their closet. A mechanism they use to cope with life…or a way to numb out and avoid it. We’ve just all chosen different paths of manifestation for our insecurities and/or poor self-esteem. Whether it’s at a conscious or sub-conscious level, we’re all searching. Looking for peace, happiness, health—our purpose in life.

The problem is most of us don’t even realize we’re using these behaviors to fill a void. Or what the void is. We all came into being without baggage. But as young infants and children we each picked up our share (some more than others) of baggage as we grew up. Our life experiences and the level of love and attention we received as youngsters began to shape our perception of and reaction to the world and our surroundings. We begin to react to circumstances through the filters we created to view the world based on our experiences. Ever heard the saying perception is reality? My perception of life viewed through the filter of my bulimia was completely different than how others saw me.

It’s so hard for many of us to accept and love ourselves, so we go looking for that acceptance and love in the form of food, alcohol, kudos from the boss for working 70 hours yet again this week, or being the envy of all the other mothers because of our abilities as superwoman. But these behaviors only help us to numb out and ignore the real issue.

In our current society this is made much worse (in my opinion) by the new addictions to cell phones, text messaging, iPods and the over stimulation that being attached and available to everyone 24x7 brings. As humans we need to shut down on occasion! We need to give our bodies the much needed rest, solitude and down time to reflect on life. (Just like our cell phones and computers need to shut down and reboot on occasion.) How can we get in touch with our inner voice, that deepest part of our soul that knows why we’re here and what our true needs are when we’re always running and hiding?

Funny thing is whether it’s an eating disorder, being overweight, alcoholism, drug addiction, excessive gambling or sex, superwoman, workaholic or egomaniac…there is a common thread. We’re all looking for validation, comfort, love and acceptance. And all things we need to give ourselves.

For more information please visit my website:

In peace and health,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Do You Have a Healthy Relationship With Food?

Do you eat only when you’re hungry? Is food simply fuel for your body? Is it easy for you to ignore that cookie, beer or piece of cheesecake? Do you give your body premium high-grade fuel to run on or do you exist on low-octane fuel that leaves you sluggish and in need of maintenance?

I’ve heard recently that as many as 75% of women admit to having an unhealthy relationship with food! (I’ll bet the percentage of men with issues is around 50%). Not everyone that has an issue with food has an eating disorder, but many people have dis-ordered eating. I know many people who fantasize about food or use “comfort food” when they’ve had a bad day. Disordered eating includes any type of issues with food, many people go from one diet to the next or have other rituals they use to control their intake or weight gain in an effort to feel better about their bodies. Do you know any woman that loves everything about herself? I didn’t think so…

Society casts a shadow on those of us who suffer(ed) from eating disorders, yet most people I know have some way of numbing out. Too much food, alcohol, drugs, sex, TV, exercise, internet and self-harm all achieve the same result. Are you even aware of what you do to avoid dealing with a situation when life gets stressful? The point is, life has gotten so busy and we don’t take time to slow down and tune in to what we need. Cell phones, iPods, laptops…in our society we’re being trained to be “on” and reachable 24x7. If we don’t stop to listen and feed our soul, we often respond to the hunger with unhealthy habits. What happens when you can’t handle what life’s throwing at you?

The typical American diet is hugely lacking in what our bodies need and deserve. I am appalled by the amount of soda and fast food most people consume. This feeds into the issues America has with weight as the quality of food is so poor. And the food consumed causes chemical imbalances which make people want more junk instead of food with good nutritional value.

As a vegan and someone who recovered from bulimia I get lots of comments about my diet. People are “so impressed” with my eating habits and think they couldn’t possibly give up their soda, meat or chocolate. After spending many years abusing my body by inhaling vast quantities of “white foods” (pizza, pasta, ice cream, and candy) I now choose to treat my body with respect and give it what it needs. When you eat to provide fuel to your body vs. rewarding yourself with an oversized portion of a high-fat, high sodium meal it isn’t difficult to make good choices. My body rewards me with the energy and vitality I need...and my weight isn’t an issue.

In peace and health!

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For more information, please visit my website,

Friday, July 4, 2008

Eating Disorders -- Mind and Body Disconnect

Eating disorders are a growing epidemic. When I was a young girl in the `70's and discovered how bingeing could make me feel better by taking me away from reality I had never heard of the term bulimia. It wasn't until the early `80s that I read an article about bulimia and started to wonder if I was bulimic.

Today, most people are familiar with eating disorders. You may even know someone who has one. Whether you heard about Karen Carpenter who lost her life to anorexia or Princess Diana's battle with bulimia, it's a well known issue. It's estimated that over 7 million women and 1 million men and children suffer from eating disorders in the U.S. alone. But eating disorders aren't limited to the U.S. This disorder has infiltrated the lives of people all over the globe. In addition, it reaches beyond teen and early adult years. More and more young children are being diagnosed with eating disorders. Yet there are many more suffering that haven't yet admitted to themselves that they have an eating disorder. Similar to an alcoholic, it's difficult to admit you're caught in the trap.

Many people with eating disorders are in and out of treatment centers multiple times. And many others are are able to function in their daily lives while fighting the chronic cycle of their eating disorder on a regular basis.

Why is it so difficult to overcome? Why don't people get well? I had someone once ask me why didn't I just follow a 12 step program years ago and "get over it." Somone who was obviously clueless about eating disorders! I liken it to my golf bag. I have many golf clubs to choose from. With an eating disorder there are often many contributing factors and they are deeply ingrained. (So take your pick on which one to work on.)

What I learned in my forties was that my mind and body were totally disconnected...energetically. I lived my life so obsessed, filled with such negative self-talk and constant analysis that I "lived completely in my head." I didn't connect with the rest of my body. How could I? When I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw! I was fat, out of shape and my body displayed the battle scars of the constant yo-yo dieting I did to control my weight gain after binges. (To put things in perspective, I'm 5'1" and my weight typically fluctuated between 115 - 125 pounds.)

A person suffering with an eating disorder can't comprehend that they are really okay. Their brains can't paint an accurate picture for them because of how they process (or filter) information about themselves. Since eating disorders are in part a manifestation of low self-esteem, sufferers have no way to see the true value of themselves as a person. Or their inner beauty.

I learned what caused my bulimia through therapy. I learned how to appreciate myself and my body by connecting my mind and my body energetically. You've heard of mental blocks? I released energy blocks I held inside that were connected to my very poor self-esteem, life events and belief system. For the first time I felt my legs when I was running on the treadmill and was more aware of what my body was doing for me. I found a way to not only appreciate my body but love it. And that is something I never thought I would be able to say!

For more information, please visit my website:

In peace and healing!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

There's No Logic To Eating Disorders!

One of the hardest things for loved ones to understand about eating disorders is this is not a logical condition! It's not the same as messing up on your diet because you ate two cookies when you know you shouldn't have. Or staying out past your curfew when you know you're going to get grounded for doing it. Those are for the most part, conscious choices.

People suffering with eating disorders have a distorted view of their bodies. What they see when they look in the mirror is NOT the same thing that you the outsider sees. It doesn't matter how many times your tell your daughter (or girlfriend or wife) that she looks great and doesn't need to lose weight it won't matter. There isn't any way for them to process the information.

When I was growing up Twiggy was THE model. As I surveyed the world in grade school and high school, I noticed that guys were attracted to girls that were builts like Barbie Dolls. Tall, thin, long legs and big boobs. I'm 5'1", with a muscular/athletic build and have curvacious hips. So in my early development I picked up the message that my body wasn't acceptable or normal (for several reasons). Even in my thirties when I dated a couple of guys who told me they loved my curves I didn't believe them. "They were just saying that." No matter how many times I heard it, it didn't match what I knew in my head to be true, (that men wanted women who look like Barbie). So I could never accept the compliment. This stereotype continues to be validated in Hollywood today...

This is only one of the things got plugged into my brain at an early age that distorted my view of the world and contributed to my bulimia. I had pressure from living in the shadow of two older sisters. One was a 4.0 student, on the gym team, played piano by ear and more. All things I couldn't do, or achieve and it seemed all the attention went her way. The "cool kids" in high school didn't give me the time of day. So the message I got loud and clear was, "you don't fit, you aren't acceptable, you aren't good enough, you don't measure up." Ever heard the term perception is reality? We all have filters we use to process what we see and hear. These filters determine how we use the input we get in life.

I spent my life in search of acceptance from other people. I was incapable of accepting myself and knowing that I WAS fine, just the way I was. I did a lot of crazy things growing up (and later) because of my desperate need for acceptance. I pity the guys that knew me in those years! I must have seemed incredibly needy.

One thing that's interesting to me is somehow I've always maintained my independence. I'm a bit of a loner and actually get wigged if I don't get enough space or time alone. The seeds were always there. I was always looking for a way to evolve and overcome this horrific obsession I had. It drove me crazy. Constantly berating myself for things I did, or didn't do. Beating myself up for being so stupid. It went far beyond the bingeing! I had no sense of who I was. What I was about, or for that matter why I was here.

The first big turning point for me was the discovery of an audio series by Jack Canfield, Self-Esteem & Peak Performance. I learned about affirmations and how to plug positive or affirming thoughts into my subconscious which helped me improve my sense of who I was. I kept sticky notes in my drawer that I could read when someone said something hurtful or made me wince. One of these was "No matter what you say or do to me, I'm still a worthwhile person." I referred to it often in the beginning!

Through Jack's tapes I also learned about goal setting, visualizing and achieving what you want. This helped to improve my belief in myself.

Much later in life I discovered the power of body work and meditation. Using Hellerwork (, Holosync meditation ( and energy healing I was able to reconnect my mind and body and begin to accept myself. Waking up in my forties realizing I spent the bulk of my life focused on something that in the grand scheme of things is pretty small (my body) was a jolt. Learning how to appreciate the gifts I bring to this life has been very freeing.

So if you, or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder. Realize that no matter how many compliments you throw their way. No matter how many times you tell them how smart and beautiful they are. No matter how many times you try to convince them they they aren't fat. It won't help. In fact you'll only drive them farther away because you're reinforceing to them that you don't understand. You don't get it.

What they need, when they're receptive and know they have a problem. Is to understand what's causing it. Eating disorders are about control and lack of self-esteem. I highly recommend body work as part of the discovery process. It will help them understand who they are, why this is happening and will provide the ground work for quantum leaps in recovery.

For more information on bodywork, please refer to the Resources Section at

To your health!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Do You Know The Top 13 Chemicals and Ingredients that Contribute to Binge Eating?!

So many people are shocked to hear that I was bulimic for 23 years and never threw up. Many people suffering with bulimia use excessive exercise, strict diets, laxatives or diet pills to control weight gain after bingeing. There are two types of bulimics "purging and non-purging."

I recently attended the Book Expo America (BEA) trade show in Los Angeles and shared my list of “Top 13 Chemical Conditions That Contribute to Binge Eating” at my book signing. Again, many people were unaware that chemical imbalances in our bodies contribute to binge eating and eating disorders. It's not all psychological!

As a young kid I had numerous ear infections. I was on antibiotics many times. Later in high school and college I had seven ear infections in the span of a year and a half. More antibiotics! It killed off my healthy bacteria (or flora) and contributed to a significant chemical imbalance I encountered much later in life.

You’ve probably heard about yeast infections often associated with antibiotics. But do you know about Candida? Candida overgrowth is a silent epidemic and contributes to many physical ailments including: sugar cravings, low libido, fatigue, feeling sick all over, cracking or splitting finger nails and sensitivity to tobacco smoke, perfumes and much, much more. (Visit, for more information.) Combined with my continual binges on "white foods" that included pasta, pizza, and ice cream I had created a significant chemical imbalance in my body. But Candida is only one of the contributors.

During my bulimic years I developed a sugar sensitivity. And as I discovered in later years this was often the cause of my cravings and binges on sugar or alcohol. I learned about the amino acids essential for proper brain function while working with an integrative therapist. Without a proper balance of amino acids we have what Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure calls “false moods.” This causes depression, anxiety and stress, oversensitivity to feelings and the blahs. Conditions typically treated with medication that can be addressed with natural supplements. (

Here is a list of 13 chemicals and ingredients that contribute to binge eating:

  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Too much sugar in diet – including high sugar fruit!!
  • Candida
  • Sugar Sensitivity
  • Low blood sugar (skipping meals)
  • Diet lacking in Tryptophan
  • Burned out Adrenal glands
  • Low serotonin
  • Low catecholamines
  • Low GABA
  • Low endorphins
  • Low Zinc
  • Caffeine – even decaf!

Fortunately I found an alternative approach to recovering from my bulimia and in the process learned a great deal about health, nutrition, body chemistry and holistic healing. For more information on my approach and my book, It Started With Pop-Tarts®…An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia visit,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's In The Lens

Lost Dog!

Black and tan, short hair, 50 pounds, three legs, one eye missing…answer to “Lucky”!

How you view the world, determines what you will get from it. My dog Yager views everything as an opportunity to dominate, show he’s the boss and put you down (much like many bosses I’ve had!). He wants to play, but he steals the toys Sasha is playing with and then lays down. What a brat!

Sasha, my one year old puppy on the other hand views everything as an opportunity to play and have fun. Whether it’s chasing her favorite ball, or playing tug of war with a stuffed animal that has no stuffing or bumping her head against my foot when I'm walking on the treadmill.

Interesting thing is, when Yager steals a toy she is more than willing to adapt and play with a different toy without fighting, whining or complaining. She is adaptive, flexible and enjoys the interaction more than grumpy who is sitting a few feet away holding on to the toy he knows she wants.

Sasha is also persistent! If she wants to play or go for a walk she asks repeatedly. She’ll wait for awhile—and then ask again. And she asks in creative ways, it’s not always the same approach. Sometimes she lays her head on my lap while I’m typing at the computer and tries to catch my eyes, with a “Please mom, can we go for a walk?” and other times she’s more forceful. Point is? She adapts and finds different approaches to get what she wants. She doesn't let the result get her down.

The amount of satisfaction and enjoyment we get from life vs. the amount of frustration and dissatisfaction is directly tied to the lens we use to view the world and our circumstances!

Yeah, yeah, you know the glass is half empty or half full. But—it goes beyond that. What do you spend your time focused on throughout the day?

  • Are you consumed with anger or stress because you’re always running late, or that damn traffic jam?
  • Does your day start with you screaming at your kids (or parents) and barking orders to keep them on schedule?
  • Or like millions of Americans is your day shaped by the hatred for what you see in the mirror—your body, face, or hair?

It’s so subtle, but what we get in life is totally connected to what we focus on. If you constantly focus on something you don’t have (the perfect body, a great boyfriend, kids who behave as you’d like) you’ll create more lack. If however, you focus on what you WANT and spent ten minutes a day feeling what it’s like to have it—right now! It will be here before you know it.

You can vastly improve the quality of your life by getting your thoughts off what’s wrong in life and spending more time thinking about what’s right!

Try an experiment. For the next seven days, make a note of everything good that happens to you throughout the day and write it down. Read the list at night before you go to bed and appreciate all these good things that happened to you.

Experiment and let me know how it improves your life circumstances. I’d love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Holistic approach to overcoming eating disorders

My life was consumed with body image and an obsession called bulimia for 23 years. Then I spent the next 10 substituting alcohol for food binges, but didn’t realize it until much later. Our society is obsessed with the “perfect body”. We all watch our favorite ultra-thin actor or musician and want to be just like them. For me it started in the 60’s when Twiggy was THE model. I didn’t look like her, so therefore I didn’t measure up. I was what they call a functioning bulimic. I lived my life (miserably) and people had no idea I had a problem. There are two types of bulimia, purging and non-purging. Some people use excessive exercise, laxatives, diet pills and strict diets, anything to prevent weight gain. I was a non-purging bulimic; I couldn’t make myself throw up so my binges were followed by bouts of strict dieting.

In my twenties I did some counseling and identified why I became bulimic. But no one helped me learn how to deal with or express my emotions. I continued my search for an answer and rode the waves of mild success and defeat for many years. I felt totally unacceptable as a person. Guys wanted the Barbie doll figures and I sure didn’t look like that. I weighed and took my measurements every Sunday without fail as it gave me a chance to be a little excited at my progress or chastise myself for failing yet again.

When you suffer from an eating disorder there is a huge disconnect between mind and body. We don’t own our bodies—we hate them! And don’t try and apply logic to a person with an eating disorder–there isn’t anything logical about it–it has nothing to do with food.

In my forties I developed a number of health issues and started to connect the dots. There were some chemical imbalances that contributed to my bingeing. As a young child I had many ear infections and was on antibiotics a lot. This completely depleted my “good bacteria” and in my thirties and forties I suffered from chronic Candida. Combined with my binging on “white food” (pizza, pasta, ice cream, etc.) this made me sugar sensitive. If I ate sugar I wanted more – lots more!

I found an alternative approach to my recovery employing mind, body and spirit. Through acupuncture, energy healing, employing my subconscious and meditation I found the answer I was looking for. For me, energy healing (getting all my energy flowing from head-to-toe and getting my body connected with my head) was very powerful. Now at 49 I can look in the mirror and love what I see. That is incredible for me to say! I’ve discovered five strategies that I feel are critical for recovery holistically:

1 – Improve self esteem
2 – Identify and understand what’s causing the eating disorder
3 – Employing the power of the subconscious
4 – Balance nutrition and supplements
5 – Improve physical and mental health work body work

There is help and you can recover! For more information on this approach please visit my website: