counselling psychotherapy

eating disorders

New look Healthy Eating Pyramid to help tackle nutrition confusion

HealthyEatingPyramid2015-med_0

As a woman in recovery from an eating disorder myself, and now a psychotherapist specialising in eating disorders and eating psychology – I am loving the new Healthy Eating Pyramid from Nutrition Australia. They have updated it the first time in 15 years in an effort to combat growing nutrition confusion and risky fad diets. Head on over to their website to find out more.

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

About Jodie

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Sydney Soul-Centred Psychotherapist, Therapeutic Counsellor, Eating Psychology and Life-Coach, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. Over the last 15 years, Jodie has helped 100s of women to transform their lives. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.  Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!

 

The Power of Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™

EatingpsychologyquoteWhat is dynamic eating psychology™?

Founded by Marc David, Dynamic Eating Psychology™, combines the psychology of eating with the science of mind body nutrition™; it is the latest and most up-to-date approach there is for healing from “weight concerns, emotional eating, binge eating, overeating, body image challenges, endless dieting and a variety of nutrition related health concerns such as digestion, fatigue, mood, immunity and more (Marc David)”

Using an empowering, positive and transformational approach, Dynamic Eating Psychology™ works using techniques and tools from counselling and coaching models, body centered practices, soul-centred and spiritual psychology, archetypal psychologies, positive psychology, cognitive approaches, Health at Every Size (HAES) and more. Dynamic Eating Psychology™ is also firmly grounded in the best of clinical and scientific nutrition, complementary and alternative medicine and mind-body sciences.

Rather than viewing the person as being a problem or having a problem to get rid of, Dynamic Eating Psychology™ views food and body concerns as symptoms that are in much need of depth exploration. Holding a soulful and holistic context, by exploring the complexity of these symptoms, we can learn, grow and transform our relationships with self, others, work, money, pleasure, sexuality, lifestyle, nutrition, search for meaning and fulfillment and so on.

For far too long, we’ve been inundated by negative messages about food, body, weight and diet. We’ve been told that we’re willpower weaklings or that we need more control. The majority of nutrition experts promote vastly different and conflicting advice. The result is that people are confused about what to eat and how to have a happy relationship with food and a healthy metabolism. Eating Psychology Coaches help you rise above nutritional confusion. They’re trained to help you get un-stuck. By eliminating all the “shoulds and shouldn’ts”, their approach focuses on what’s right for your body and your personal style. As you work with an Eating Psychology Coach in this way, food and health issues become a place of exploration. Instead of seeing eating challenges as the enemy, they become opportunities for growth and self-improvement. From here, you’re better able to reach your highest goals (Marc David).”

What is Mind Body Nutrition™?

In Psychology and Nutrition: The Perfect Union, Marc David writes,

“Mind Body Nutrition™ is an exciting new approach that looks at the psycho-physiology of how digestion, assimilation, calorie burning and all the nutritive functions of the body are literally and scientifically impacted by stress, relaxation, thought, emotion, pleasure, our personal story, eating rhythm, eating speed and awareness…. WHAT we eat is half the story of good nutrition. The other half of the story is WHO we are as eaters. Mind Body Nutrition™ provides this all-important missing link to metabolic health.”

What types of food and body concerns are Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™ useful for?

Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™  are for anyone who struggles with food, body, health and well-being concerns including:

  • Yoyo, fad or chronic dieting
  • Obsession with counting points, calories, fats or proteins
  • Body image and body shame
  • Fat shaming and fat talking to self and others
  • Using food
    • to sooth, numb or squash intolerable feelings
    • in search of transpersonal qualities such as love
    • to punish oneself for not being good enough, thin enough, successful enough…
  • Eating disorders including anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, obesity, orthorexia and EDNOS
  • Splitting and black and white thinking around notions of good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, clean or unclean, lazy or fit and fat or thin
  • A myriad of health and well-being concerns related to the body and diet such as digestion, cancer, fatigue, illnesses and immunity etc

What are the benefits of Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™?

Body hate, weight prejudice, restriction of pleasure and tyrannizing ourselves into a certain way of being are old and outdated ways of thinking! Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™ can benefit you by:

  • Learning a hopeful, positive, uplifting approach to food and body
  • Exploring what your challenges with food and body are here to teach you
  • Discovering hidden wisdom, secret messages and important connections between food, body and all other areas of your life
  • Learning how to slow-down and listen to your unique body wisdom
  • Healing and transforming your relationship with food and body
  • Changing your perceptions about nutrition and nourishment, exercise and movement
  • Finding out what it is that you are physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually and spiritually hungry for
  • Experiencing a truly holistic approach; body, mind, heart and SOUL!

You will also take away:

  • Strategies and nutrition principles that are doable, sustainable and that yield results
  • Practical techniques and results-oriented psychological tools
  • Clinical nutrition strategies, body-centered practices and mind-body science techniques
  • A depth of understanding about who you are as a unique individual and how to bring out the best in who you are personally and metabolically

Reference: The Institute of the Psychology of Eating: Our Approach

Want to stop feeling crazy around food? ***Sign up here*** to be notified of my upcoming eating psychology workshops.

About Jodie

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Sydney Psychotherapist, Therapeutic Counsellor, Eating Psychology and Soul-Centred Life-Coach, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. Over the last 15 years, Jodie has helped 100s of women to transform their lives. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.  Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!

4 ways to heal from disordered eating and body image issues

Equine therapy for eating disorders at Nungkari Treatment Centre

Equine therapy for eating disorders at Nungkari Treatment Centre

4 ways to heal from disordered eating and body image issues
Nungkari Treatment Centre Residential Program

via Nungkari

With both willingness and the right environment every human being is capable of change

There is a common misunderstanding that eating disorders and other eating issues are about food, body weight, moderation or just learning to eat well –at Nungkari Treatment Centre they understand that the issue runs much deeper than simply food or weight. Nungkari recognize disordered eating is a complex and serious issue, often the symptom of a deeper psychological struggle or trauma and serves as a coping mechanism for painful thoughts and feelings. At Nungkari they work to help you to find out what it is that you are really hungry for!

The holistic program offered at Nungkari Treatment Centre provides an avenue for you to explore and create a meaningful way of life, beyond current destructive patterns of thoughts and behaviours. You will be supported through their program by an expert team of multidisciplinary practitioners from both the medical and alternative models of health care to achieve your treatment goals. Nungkari provides clients with a safe and nurturing environment far removed from the clinical atmosphere of a private hospital setting.

The Butterfly Foundation Out-Patient & Group Programs

via Butterfly

Butterfly’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is newly developed and based upon the highly successful Monte Nido eating disorder treatment centres from the USA.

The IOP consists of a small and dedicated team of professionals and trainees who have a background in working with disordered eating behaviours and have been trained personally by Carolyn Costin in the Monte Nido approach. In upholding this approach, the key aims of the IOP is to empower each persons’ “healthy self” and to instill the belief that recovery is possible.

The Butterfly Foundation’s vision and mission is to live in a world that celebrates health, well-being and diversity. They are dedicated to bringing about change to the culture, policy and practice in the prevention, treatment and support of those affected by eating disorders and negative body image. Butterfly provides support for Australians who suffer from eating disorders and negative body image issues and their carers.

Women, Food & God Online Course with Geneen Roth

via Geneen Roth

Geneen Roth has recorded two audio courses, The Principles and The Eating Guidelines, based on her #1 New York Times bestseller Women Food and God.  Each course offers eight 90-minute sessions. This online course can transform your relationship with food and your body in ways you never thought possible.

Your relationship to food, no matter how conflicted, is the doorway to freedom. The 8-part program, outlines the basic principles and many practices that are the foundation of Geneen’s program for change and transformation.

At the heart of Geneen’s work are her seven Eating Guidelines. When you learn to incorporate them into your life, you will experience moving from “possibility” into real-world results. With this Online Course, you can easily learn how to understand and use Geneen’s Eating Guidelines, taking yourself down the path to wholeness and joy.

1-1 Psychotherapy

In The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D. reviews over 160 studies of psychodynamic psychotherapy. He provides a considerable amount evidence to show that not only does therapy provide symptom improvement but through developing inner resources, self-knowledge and awareness, you can continue to improve long after your therapy ends – in fact – the tools and awareness you develop will last you a lifetime (Read more here).

When looking for an individual psychotherapist, choose one who does not pathologise the eating disorder because your eating disorder is a symptom of something much deeper that needs thorough exploration.  It is crucial that the practitioner works in a truly holistic manner – body, feelings, mind, sexuality and soul/spirituality.

Psychotherapy takes time and you may need 1-2 sessions a week. Good therapy is worth its weight in gold…and you’re worth it!

Please contact me for a list of clinicians who I am currently referring to.

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

Sign up for some SOUL in your inbox (aka. latest news, blogs and workshops).

About Jodie

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Sydney soul-centred psychotherapist, therapeutic counsellor and life-coach, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders. Jodie is the Disordered Eating Consultant for Nungkari Treatment Centre, former Assistant Clinical Director at a Sydney Eating Disorder Outpatient Treatment Centre, an approved service provider for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating eating disorders as well as other women’s issues in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. Her experience includes a dissertation on eating disorders titled Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis, a journal article, Eating Disorders: A Search for Wholeness; post graduate training in addiction and Indigenous sacred women’s business; work experience in the Eating Disorder Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London; the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation); Riverglen Mental Health Unit and Women’s Health NSW. Jodie has been supervised by Dr Anita Johnston, Dr Sue Austin and other leading specialists in the Eating Disorders field.

Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy and helping women to find value, meaning and purpose out of their suffering.

Do you know a great eating disorder program? I’d love to hear about it – please add it in the comments below! x Jodie

Beautiful Girl: Celebrating the Wonders of Your Body by Dr. Christiane Northrup

Beautiful Girl Celebrating the Wonders of Your BodyThe body is the temple for your soul

This delightful book is a must for all little girls!

“For years Christiane Northrup, M.D., has taught women about health, wellness, and the miracle of their bodies. Now, in her first children’s book, she presents her wonderful wisdom to the youngest of girls.

Beautiful Girl presents this simple but important message: that to be born a girl is a very special thing and carries with it magical gifts and powers that must be recognized and nurtured. Through these empowering words and illustrations, little girls will learn how their bodies are perfect just the way they are, the importance of treating themselves with gentle care, and how changes are just a part of growing up. Dr. Christiane Northrup believes that reading and discussing this book with your girls will help them to value the wonder and uniqueness of their bodies and have positive benefits that will last throughout their lives (Hay House). ”

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

About Jodie

As Seen In Banner Profile (600x79)

Sydney counsellor, soul-centred life-coach and psychotherapist Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Sign Up to Jodie’s Latest News & Events

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Eating Disorder Conference: Contemporary Research and Cutting Edge Treatment

anita johnstonconferenceKey Note Speaker – Dr Anita Johnston – International Speaker, Expert in the treatment of Eating Disorders and Author of “Eating in the Light of the Moon”.

Along with other leading Australian experts in the field of eating disorders – I am excited to be presenting at the eating disorder conference:

 

I have a body. But I am not my body. So who am I then?

Themes of disidentification, detachment and surrender are spiritual practices known throughout the world’s many spiritual traditions. And… there is an increasing expanse of neuroscientific evidence to back up the long-term benefits on emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being of such practices.

In this experiential workshop, you will learn about and practise a classic psychosynthesis mindfulness meditation to gain a sense of who you really are, underlying your identifications with your body, your feelings, your mind and your thoughts.

This is a powerful, transformational tool for those suffering with food and body image issues as well as for practitioners working with this client base.

About Jodie

IMG_1716 - Copy (2) (1024x683)Sydney counsellor, soul-centred life-coach and Master’s qualified psychotherapist Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders. Jodie was Assistant Clinical Director at a Sydney Outpatient Treatment Centre, an approved service provider for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating eating disorders as well as other women’s issues in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia. Her experience includes a dissertation on eating disorders titled Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis; post graduate training in addiction and Indigenous sacred women’s business; work experience in the Eating Disorder Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London; the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation); Riverglen Mental Health Unit and Women’s Health NSW.

Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy and helping women to find value, meaning and purpose out of their suffering.

Fat Talk Free Week 2013

Fat Talk Free Week 2013

This year Fat Talk Free® Week is celebrated during the week of October 21-25. Fat talking is not only the domain of those suffering with an eating disorder – it has crept its way in to everyday society.

When I work with women recovering from eating disorders, they often comment that one of the most difficult parts of their recovery, is hanging out with their existing friendship groups. Whilst many of their friends may not be suffering with an eating disorder, they are however, often trapped in body comparison and obsessively talk about dieting, weight and fitness regimes.

Women, we are so much more than our bodies! It is time to value all of who we are: our body, our feelings, our mind, our sexuality and our spirituality.

What is Fat Talk Free Week?

‘Fat Talk Free Week is an international, 5-day body activism campaign to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the ‘thin ideal’ on women in society. This annual public awareness effort was born from Tri Delta’s award-winning body image education and eating disorders prevention program, Reflections.
The purpose of Fat Talk Free® Week includes:

  • Educate others about the damaging impact of pursuing the thin ideal and the use of fat talk on women of all ages
  • Inspire change in the way we think and feel about our bodies
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle and one that urges individuals to live a balanced life in mind, body & spirit.’

(Reference: Tri Delta BodyImage3D®)

Fat TalkI’m fat talking – what can I do?

If you and /or your friends are fat talking – pass on the above video, the Tri Delta BodyImage3D® website and check out my Fat Talk Free 2012 blog for loads of tips about losing the fat talk.

 

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

 About Jodie

IMG_1716 (800x533)Sydney counsellor, life-coach and psychotherapist Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders. Her experience includes a Master’s thesis on eating disorders titled ‘Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis’, (you can read an excerpt here); post graduate training in addiction and ‘women’s business’; work experience in the ‘Eating Disorder Unit’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London; the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation); and Women’s Health NSW. She is an EATFED accredited practitioner, an approved service provider for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating eating disorders as well as other women’s issues in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.

Body Image Awareness Week

body awareness weekBody Image Awareness Week

In our size 0 and diet obsessed culture, feeling shame about our body is no longer only the domain of those suffering with an eating disorder. Increasingly it has become the norm for both women and men to be over identified with their body and uncomfortable in their own skin.

Join me every day this week as I share my favourite quotes, images, blogs and organisations in support of The Butterfly Foundation and their Body Image Awareness Week.

 

Body Image Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about disordered eating and provides an opportunity to celebrate our bodies – unique, diverse, strong and beautiful! (The Butterfly Foundation).

Sunday

Head on over to Join The Revolution and make positive body image your focus  – spread the word far and wide! Join together with others to challenge how we should look, feel and think about our bodies!’ (The Butterfly Foundation).

Monday

Loving my body is a radical step towards health in a sick society.

loving my body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday

‘We are dominated by everything with which our self becomes identified. We can direct and utilize everything from which we dis-identify ourselves.’ (Roberto Assagioli, 1969).

Check out the full version of Roberto Assagioli’s Body Feelings Mind Mindfulness Meditation.

I have a body (800x596)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday

Check out Anita Johnston’s Light of the Moon Café online retreat

 

Thursday

Let’s shift the focus from weight to health at every size!

HAES book“Health at Every Size: The New Peace Movement

We’re losing the war on obesity. Fighting fat has not made the fat go away. However, extensive “collateral damage” has resulted: Food and body preoccupation, self-hatred, eating disorders, weight cycling, weight discrimination, poor health. . . . Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat. It’s time to withdraw the troops. There is a compassionate alternative to the war—Health at Every Size—which has proven to be much more successful at health improvement—and without the unwanted side effects. 1, 2 The scientific research consistently shows that common assumptions underlying the war on obesity just don’t stand up to the evidence.” Linda Bacon (HAES).

1.Bacon, L., et al., Size acceptance and intuitive eating improve health for obese, female chronic dieters. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2005. 105: p. 929-36.

2. Provencher, V., et al., Health-at-every-size and eating behaviors: 1- year follow-up results of a size acceptance intervention. J Am Diet Assoc, 2009. 109(11): p. 1854-61.

Friday

If only they knew they had such sweet bodies.

sweet bodies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

We are beautiful image via Pinterest.

Loving my body image via Balancing States of Mind.

Linda Bacon. Health at Every Size: The New Peace Movement.

If only they know they had such sweet bodies image via Pinterest

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

About Jodie

Sydney counsellor, life-coach & psychotherapist Jodie Gale is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders. Her experience includes a Master’s thesis on eating disorders titled ‘Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis’, (you can read an excerpt here), post graduate training in addiction and ‘women’s business’, work experience in the ‘Eating Disorder Unit’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation) and Women’s Health NSW. She is an ‘approved service provider’ for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating eating disorders as well as other women’s issues in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.

 

Learn How to Eat Mindfully with Geneen Roth’s Raisin, Chip & Chocolate Exercise [Video]

Geneen Roth Raisin Chip Chocolate (800x800)Learn How to Eat Mindfully with Geneen Roth’s Raisin, Chip & Chocolate Exercise [Video]

One of my favourite mentors in the field of food, weight and body image issues is Geneen Roth, author of Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, When Food is Love, Feeding the Hungry Heart, When You Eat at the Refrigerator Pull Up a Chair, Women, Food & God and Lost & Found.

In my private practice as a therapeutic counsellor, life-coach and psychotherapist, I have worked with 100s of women from all walks of life; many of them have suffered with food, dieting, weight and body image issues. Alongside therapy, I often recommend this Raisin, Chip & Chocolate exercise to learn how to eat mindfully by Geneen Roth featured on Oprah.com.

 

The Raisin, Chip & Chocolate Exercise is a useful tool if you are:

  • Using food to soothe, punish or distract yourself
  • Bingeing or overeating
  • Depriving yourself of a wide range of foods or food groups
  • Missing what you eat
  • Questioning whether you even like the food that you are eating
  • Wondering how the food you are eating is affecting you
  • Labelling foods as good or bad
  • Associating memories with certain foods
  • Suffering with disordered eating/an eating disorder

The Raisin, Chip & Chocolate Exercise can help you to eat mindfully and develop:

  • The mindfulness skill of ‘noticing’
  • Presence to what and how you are eating
  • How to eat without distractions
  • Emotional satisfaction by the eating experience

Before you start you will need:

  • 2 raisins
  • One corn/tortilla chip
  • 1 wrapped chocolate

Psychological safety

As with any psychological exercise /visualisation, this exercise can evoke strong feelings. Please make sure you seek appropriate support if you are suffering with disordered eating/ an eating disorder.

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

About Jodie

Jodie is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders. Her experience includes a Master’s thesis on eating disorders titled ‘Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis’, (you can read an excerpt here), post graduate training in addiction and ‘women’s business’, work experience in the ‘Eating Disorder Unit’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation) and Women’s Health NSW. She is an ‘approved service provider’ for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating eating disorders as well as other women’s issues in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.

Eating Disorders and Body Image: Psychosynthesis Disidentification Meditation (Body, Feelings, Mind)

Eating Disorders and Body Image: Psychosynthesis Disidentification Meditation (Body, Feelings, Mind)

This meditation was devised by Roberto Assagioli and is in his book, Psychosynthesis (1969). It is now widely used in mindfulness based therapies including ACT: Acceptance Committment Therapy. It should take about 20 minutes. This meditation is useful for fostering and observing, authentic self and helps to move away from being overly identified with body, feelings or mind and thoughts.

Put your body in a comfortable and relaxed position, and slowly take a few deep breaths. Then make the following affirmation, slowly and thoughtfully:

I have a body and l am not my body. My body may find itself in different conditions of health or sickness, it may be rested or tired, but that has nothing to do with my self, my real I. I value my body as my precious instrument of experience and of action in the outer world, but it is only an instrument. I treat it well, I seek to keep it in good health, but it is not myself. I have a body and I am not my body.

I have feelings and I am not my feelings. My feelings are diverse, changing, sometimes contradictory. They may swing from love to hatred, from calm to anger, from joy to sorrow, and yet my essence—my true nature—does not change. ‘I’ remain. Though a wave of feeling may temporarily submerge me, I know that it will pass in time; therefore I am not this feeling. Since I can observe and understand my feelings, and then gradually learn to direct, utilize, and integrate them harmoniously, it is clear that they are not my self. I have feelings and I am not my feelings.

I have a mind and thoughts and I am not my mind and my thoughts. My mind is a valuable tool of discovery and expression, but it is not the essence of my being. Its contents are constantly changing as it embraces new ideas, knowledge, and experience. Sometimes my mind refuses to obey me. Therefore, it cannot be me, my self. I have a mind and thoughts and I am not my mind and my thoughts.

Who am I then if I am not my body, feelings or mind  I am a centre of pure awareness, love and will. This is the permanent factor in the ever-varying flow of my personal life. It is that which gives me a sense of being, of permanence, of inner balance. I affirm my identity with this centre and realize its permanency and its energy. I realize that from this centre of true identity I can learn to observe, direct, and harmonize all of my psychological processes including my body, feelings and mind. I choose to achieve a constant awareness of this fact in the midst of my everyday life, and to use it to help me and give increasing meaning and direction to my life.

As a shorter version

I have a body and I am not my body

I have feelings and I am not my feelings

I have a mind and I am not my mind

I am a centre of pure awareness, love and will.

NB: Some psychosynthesis practitioners prefer to use ‘more than’ instead of ‘not’. I use both. If you are a Psychosynthesis practitioner, feel free to comment below regarding ‘more than’ or ‘not’.

Self Reflection

Which aspect were you most identified with?

Is there one part that you barely know?

How could you build a better relationship with these 3 aspects?

What was it like to realize that you are a centre of pure awareness, love and will…and not in fact your body, your feelings or your mind/thoughts?

This is a powerful exercise. You may want to find a psychotherapist experienced in this kind of meditation to help you work through an over identification with the various parts of who you are.

Alternative meditations

You can change this to suit any area of your life that you wish to separate and disidentify from.

For example:

I have a mother and I am not my mother

I have work and I am not my work

I have an eating disorder and I am not my eating disorder

I have things and I am not my things

I have a victim subpersonality and I am not my victim subpersonality

Let me help you Transform Your Relationship With Food, Body & Soul™. Book your sessions here!

About Jodie

Jodie Gale MA Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy, Dip Therapeutic Counselling, CMPanzA, CMCAPA has a wealth of personal and professional knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders.  Her experience includes a Master’s thesis on eating disorders titled ‘Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis’ (you can read an excerpt here), post graduate training in addiction and ‘women’s business’, work experience in the ‘Eating Disorder Unit’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation) and Women’s Health NSW. She is an ‘approved service provider’ for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating eating disorders as well as other women’s issues in Manly and Allambie Heights on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.

Body Image & Eating Disorders: Stop the Fat Talk

Body Image & Eating Disorders: Stop the Fat Talk

 Tri Delta Fat Stats

54% of women would rather be hit by a truck than be fat.

81% of 10 year old girls fear being fat.

10 million women in the US are suffering with anorexia and bulimia. This is more than with breast cancer.

1 in 3 Australian females cite body image as their major concern (Mission Australia Youth Survey, 2010).

My Fat Talk Journey

I remember the first time I fat talked – I was 5. For the school photo, I stood next to the ‘fat’ boy so that no-one would notice how fat I was. The next fat talk etched in my memory was at 8 when I put a t-shirt on to go swimming in our backyard pool – I didn’t want anyone to see my fat body. I wasn’t even fat. On both occasions, I was a normal weighted young girl. 20 years of food issues, yo-yo dieting and body/self-hatred followed.

I was fortunate enough at 27 to find a psychotherapist who specialised in disordered eating and body image issues. Over time, I worked through my chronic low self-worth and self-loathing. It was a long journey back to health and well-being. It was also the start of my journey to become a psychotherapist and what Jung called, a ‘wounded healer’. Through my own experience, I now help women transform the way they feel and think about body and self.

Nowadays, I practise being compassionate and kind to myself. I no longer excessively exercise to burn calories as I did for most of my 20s and 30s. Rather, I swim regularly because I enjoy being held by the water. I have redirected my focus from a torturous longing to be skinny to being healthy and accepting of every size.

Internalized Images and the Inner Critic

Recently I went Christmas shopping online for a doll for my 3 year old daughter.  I felt overwhelmed with fear as I searched for one that did not have insect sized legs and a size 0 waist.   Although I don’t subscribe to measuring BMIs, from a medical perspective – if Barbie were a human being, her BMI would be 16.24 and would therefore fit the weight criteria for medically diagnosed anorexia.

Internalized images from children’s dolls and the media are in no way solely responsible for society’s eating and body image issues. But…they do make up part of our critical inner voice. What hope do women and girls have when the majority of dolls on the market and the images we are bombarded with, mirror such distorted and unhealthy body sizes. Fat talk reinforces these unrealistic beauty ideals.

Fat talking to ourselves and with friends and family doesn’t just affect women and girls suffering with eating disorders. Unfortunately, fat talk has become a part of our everyday lives. Due to the widespread use of technology, even third world countries are no longer immune.

If we are stuck in fat talk, it frequently starts on waking as we look in the mirror and get ready for the day. The mirror and/or the scales become a harsh critic that determines what kind of day we will have. A single pound can start a tirade of punitive, self-abuse that can torment us until the next weigh in when hopefully we have lost it again.

The crazy thing is, ‘I am fat’ cannot even be; Roberto Assagioli suggests that this is psychologically, grammatically incorrect. ‘I’ (self) cannot be fat! The ‘I’ is the essence of who we are. At the core – we are whole, unbroken, beauty, love and ultimately, a spark of the Divine (or nature, goodness, oneness if that fits better for you!).   Our work is to realise this.

Fat Talk Visualisation – Would you fat talk to a child the way you fat talk to yourself?

If you are willing, close your eyes and imagine yourself standing with a young child, perhaps 7 or 8 years old. Now say to her in your best fat talk tone,

‘You are fat’

‘You are disgusting’

‘You can’t wear that’

‘No you can’t go to the party because you look too fat’

How do you feel when you talk to the child in this way? You wouldn’t dare say this to a child. Yet…every time you fat talk to yourself, you are being self-critical and hard on yourself. Often what follows is a binge, a starvation diet or excessive exercise to soothe or punish yourself even further.

Now try this version in a loving and compassionate tone,

‘I love and accept you just as you are’

‘You have so many wonderful qualities’

‘Your body is sacred and you keep it in balance’

‘What does your body need right now – sleep, food, to dance, a swim?’

Now how do you feel? Can you feel the difference? If not, keep practising, it takes some time to shift a strong inner critical voice.

About Fat Talk Free Week

Fat talk free week was conceived by Tri Delta. Check out their 2012 youtube clip about Fat Talk Free Week.

What Can We Do To Eradicate Fat Talk?

Following are some suggestions to help you on your journey. Start with small steps…

Fat-Talk

  • Change the conversation we have with ourselves and others. Friends don’t let their friends fat talk – be a friend (Tri Delta)
  • If you are a mother (or a father), you are the biggest influence in your little girl’s life – lose the fat talk – she will learn it and internalize it from you

 Stop Dieting & Weighing

  • If you are dieting or excluding whole food groups such as carbohydrates – bring balance back into your life by eating all food groups in moderation
  • NEVER put a child on a diet. Instead, eat wholesome meals together and become active as a family
  • Ditch the household scales. If you must own some, buy the pink fluffy ones that tell you how wonderful you are
  • Stop watching TV shows that you use to torture yourself e.g. Weight loss shows where overweight people are tyrannized for being fat, encouraged to binge eat for temptation and excessively exercise

Mindfulness

  • Learn how to eat mindfully
  • Learn mindfulness meditation to help you to accept ‘what is’
  • Practise Roberto Assagioli’s ‘Body Feelings Mind’ Meditation (see my upcoming post)

Finding Balance

  • Become curious about and promote health at every size
  • Focus on uniqueness rather than comparison
  • Remember – you have a body but you are not your body, you are more than your body
  • Listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs
  • Be accepting, kind and compassionate to yourself
  • Focus on all of who you are – body, feelings, mind, sexuality and spirituality. If you are over identified with your body – get to know your neglected parts. Take some time to reflect on, ‘who am I?’
  • LOVE YOURSELF TO BITS

Resources

Psychotherapy

  • Do you want to learn more about the real you? Psychotherapy is a great way to support you on your journey of self-realisation
  • If you are suffering with an eating disorder, addicted to excessive exercising, or you have food and/or body image issues, contact a highly qualified PACFA registered psychotherapist who works holistically and at depth with eating disorders, food and body image issues. Changing your thoughts and mindfulness are useful techniques but not enough on their own for most people. There are usually deeply ingrained, underlying issues to do with low self-worth that need working through.

In the News

Since writing this article yesterday, I have just seen this article via the Butterfly Foundation’s FB page about realistic dolls for children

‘MOVE over Barbie, a new range of fashion dolls has been launched in Australia  to address growing concerns about the impact on young girls of negative body  image issues associated with dolls such as Barbie, Bratz and Monster High.

Unlike her now 53-year-old counterpart Barbie, the new Lottie doll has a  childlike form, modelled on the average nine-year-old girl’s body shape and has  practical clothes, realistic hair and healthy outdoor hobbies.’

Read more: http://bit.ly/Vff4UM

About Jodie

Jodie is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing. She has a wealth of personal and professional experience and knowledge in the field of addiction and eating disorders. Her experience includes a Master’s thesis on eating disorders titled ‘Call off the Search: Eating Disorders a Symptom of Psychospiritual Crisis’, post graduate training in addiction and ‘women’s business’, work experience in the ‘Eating Disorder Unit’ at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Eating Disorders Foundation (now part of The Butterfly Foundation) and Women’s Health NSW. She is an ‘approved service provider’ for South Pacific Private Addiction, Eating and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.

Let your light shine and live the life you have always dreamed of! Contact me now to book your first appointment.