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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Choosing to Stay Stuck or Move Forward

I’m all about encouraging troubled eaters to take baby steps to grow healthier, but there are some life-altering decisions which can catapult you forward and help you reach your goals more quickly. These are decisions that have high-impact consequences. Make a poor choice and you reinforce behaviors that keep you stuck in dysfunctional patterns. But make one in your long-term best interest and you alter you brain map by reinforcing neural pathways that lead you to emotional and mental health.

For example, say you’re dating a self-centered guy (or gal) who makes you feel invisible and is more concerned with his needs than yours. Sure, he’s fun to be with and when he occasionally directs the sunshine of his love on you, you feel all warm and fuzzy. But, truth is—and you know it deep down—that he is really not emotionally mature enough for the kind of intimate, mutual relationship you say you want. So, let’s say you break up with Mr. Narcissist for the third time because things don’t feel right, then get a phone message from him two weeks later begging you tearfully for another chance.

Major choice point. You’re thrilled to hear his voice and him saying he misses you, and can’t stop thinking of how lonely you’ve been without someone in your life. You listen to the phone message six times and start to cry. You wonder, as the Clash song asks, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Well, which decision will keep you stuck in old, unhealthy patterns and which one will set you on the road to new, healthier behaviors?

Here’s another example, your sister who is addicted to drugs is crashing at your place. Every time she stays in your condo, things have gone swimmingly for a few days, then plunge rapidly downhill. Your personal belongings go missing, she’s constantly wanting to borrow money from you, and her friends come over and clean out your refrigerator without even a thank you. You and your sister have always been close, especially since she’s alienated Mom and Dad. You hate to tell her to leave, but your stress level is sky-rocketing and your work, sleep, eating, and friendships are suffering.

Another major choice point. Do you believe her promises that do better and allow her to guilt you into letting her stay, or do you use the evidence from your own life and history with her that the transformation you’d both like to occur won’t be happening any time soon. Again, which decision will keep you stuck in old, unhealthy patterns and which one will set you on the road to new, healthier behaviors? When you’re at a major choice point, be sure to make the best decision for your long-term mental health.

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