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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. 

It’s Time to Grow Up

There’s an I-won’t-grow-up quality to dysregulated eating. Denial of consequences or the childish hope of avoiding them. A rush from rebelling against authority, rules and being told what is right or what to do. Glee in getting away with something. The sly triumph of getting something for nothing. The magical belief of reaching goals without putting in a commensurate effort. Manipulation of others into setting your food boundaries, then resenting the hell out of them for doing just that. Yearning for what other people have without doing the work. Being ruled by irrational fears. Avoiding discomfort and pain. Giving in easily. Doing only what feels good and still expecting to have a great life.

If you recognize yourself in these descriptions, sit a moment with your awareness. If you feel a ping of shame, that’s okay. A ping is just right. No need to do a number on yourself about how pitiful you are. Instead, view your shame as an adult reminder that you’ve chosen not to grow up emotionally (at least in the area of food). You have good reasons, I’m sure, but it’s pointless to dwell on them or to shame yourself mercilessly for not living up to your or others’ expectations for yourself. Let go of the self-pity as well. You likely were a victim of some sort in childhood, but that time has long passed.

Consider what emotionally mature adults would do when they recognize their shortcomings. They’d neither deny nor beat themselves up over them. They wouldn’t sink into self-pity nor feel entitled to a better life without having worked for it. Instead, they’d take complete responsibility for becoming who they want to be and come up with an action plan for change. They’d face reality without self-judgment, but with amazement and joy that they have the power to improve. They’d figure out the skills they’re missing and learn them. They’d stop saying they can’t change (that’s what children do when it’s hard) and start saying they’ll take small steps to move forward though they’re bound to stumble getting to where they want to go.

Your dysfunctional family, genetic loading, mental health problems, poverty, trauma or whatever you suffered as a child landed you where you are. And now, the responsibility for changing is 100% yours. It’s time to stop blaming your parents or anyone else for your eating. And, it’s a copout to tell yourself you can’t succeed because of all the times you’ve failed, to say you’re addicted, or to blame depression or low self-esteem. Quit saying “It’s hard” and “I’ve tried” and “I can’t.” Wipe those words from your vocabulary slate. Replace them with, “I can do this” or “I’ve got this” and “I will succeed.” Any other words are self-defeating, so ditch them.

Take these words to heart: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man [or woman], I put away childish things.”(https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13%3A11&version=KJV, accessed 1/26/19) If you refuse to grow up now, when do you think it’s going to happen? I guarantee you: It won’t—ever.

Best,

Karen

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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