Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational, and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life. Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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Change Is In the Moment

Most people who contact me through my books, workshops or therapy practice have no idea what they will have to go through to become “normal” eaters. I hate giving them the news that it’s a Herculean job to heal dysfunctional eating and that for many folks it will require lifelong effort because of their genetics, biology, and previous experience. However, I’ve never met anyone who’s done the work and succeeded who isn’t happier and who doesn’t strongly believe it’s been worth the work.

Which brings me to the topic of change in the moment. Too often I hear of elaborate plans that disordered eaters have to modify their behavior. They make lists of things to do instead of eating or obsessing about food, read constantly on the subject, join groups and message boards, and take workshops. Perhaps they believe that the more input they get, they faster they’ll heal. While I heartily encourage all these activities, they are no substitute for acting differently in the moment of choice. I’ve written blogs before on struggling and want to underscore that it’s struggle in and of itself that creates change. If you never read another word on transforming your eating, you could still do it by acting in your long-term self-interest rather than impulsively when faced with eating decisions. Every other activity helps prepare you to do the right thing when you have a choice.

Choice points are where change is at. If you are not prepared to be intensely uncomfortable to stop abusing food, you might as well throw in the towel right now. Choice point moments—to eat or not to eat—are the most important times of your day and the ones that deserve your most focused attention. Giving in to old, unhealthy behaviors because it’s easier will take you farther away from your eating goals and reinforce destructive habits. Suffering through the discomfort of doing something a new, healthier way will bring you closer to “normal” eating. There is no short-cut, detour, or alternate route to eating health.

Make sure that your mindset includes the belief that every single food decision you make counts. In fact, be certain you understand that it is precisely these moments that count more than anything else—more than preparing to make a healthy choice and having compassion when you make an unhealthy one, both of which are helpful and essential. If you don’t have at least a few uncomfortable moments regarding food every day, consider that you may not be working hard enough to create change. Over time, as you eat more “normally” you’ll have less discomfort because new behaviors will be ingrained, but in the meantime, suffer on!

The Big Event
Putting Yourself First

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