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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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Giving Thanks

Okay, now, it’s done, over, finito. You got through Thanksgiving—through all the delicious foods, your anxieties about eating too much or too little, your fears about what people might say about your weight, and the dread of being with relatives that make you want to divorce your family. If you weren’t Ms. or Mr. Perfect on Thanksgiving, you may be in a remorseful, beat-yourself-up state of mind today, so here’s a chance to leap frog back over to mental health where you belong.

Rather than focus on what you did wrong, stick with the Thanksgiving theme of gratefulness. What do you have to be thankful for regarding food? If you can’t think of anything, here are some general thoughts. Be thankful that food is abundant because you are not poor, that you live in a country that is not torn by war so that you can eat in peace, that you live in a culture that celebrates the joys of family and friends (even if your family doesn’t bring you joy), that you have people around that love you. Pick one of these ideas and think about it for one minute, letting your gratefulness sink in all the way down to your toes.

In terms of that Thanksgiving feast, no matter how badly you think you did, it’s time to drum up whatever you did right. If you can’t think of anything, try these: You didn’t binge, you didn’t binge as badly as you could have, you didn’t purge, you purged less than you might have, you paid attention to what you were eating more than at any other Thanksgiving, you didn’t over-exercise like you usually do to ward off putting on weight, you really tasted the food because you were aware of what you were eating, you came away full but not stuffed, you gave the food police in your head the day off, you didn’t eat out of emotion but out of hunger, you made selections you wanted and were less self-conscious about enjoying your preferences, you didn’t get bent out of shape when someone commented on your weight, you felt more relaxed eating than you expected, you focused more on family than food, you felt more connected to your body when considering food and eating, you had moments of “normal” eating.

What is it like to take measure of the positive things you did rather than the negative ones? If you’re having a difficult time feeling gratitude and your mind keeps swinging back to, “Yes, I did that, but…” it probably means that you’re more used to focusing on what you did wrong than on what you did right. Gently push away thoughts of perfection and wanting to undo. That was yesterday, this is today. Now come up with one more thing you did right at Thanksgiving and give thanks for your triumphs!

Dwelling on Emotion
Believing You’re Entitled to Eat

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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy