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!

P.S. I've added a subscription link to my blog. Sign up today!

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!