counselling psychotherapy

Sydney Eating Disorder Treatment

Health at Every Size Manifesto by Linda Bacon

HAES bookHealth at Every Size (HAES) by Linda Bacon is one of my most referred books to clients who are struggling with food, weight and body image concerns.  Check out the HAES Manifesto in its entirety below:  

THE HAES MANIFESTO

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.

Assumption: “Overweight” and “obese” people die sooner than leaner people.

False! Almost all epidemiologic studies indicate people in the overweight or moderately obese categories live at least as long— or longer—than people in the normal weight category. The most comprehensive review of the research pooled data from 26 studies and found overweight to be associated with greater longevity than normal weight. (3) Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys I, II, and III, which followed the largest nationally representative cohort of U.S. adults, also determined that the “ideal” weight for longevity was in the “overweight” category. (4. 274)

Assumption: Being “overweight” or “obese” puts people at significant health risk.

False! Epidemiological studies rarely acknowledge factors like fitness, activity, nutrient intake, weight cycling, or socioeconomic status when considering connections between weight and disease. Yet all play a role. When studies do control for these factors, increased risk of disease disappears or is significantly reduced. (5) What’s likely going on here is that these other factors increase disease risk at the same time they increase the risk of weight gain.

Assumption: Anyone who is determined can lose weight and keep it off.

False! The vast majority of people who try to lose weight regain it, regardless of whether they maintain their diet or exercise program.(6, 7)This occurs in all studies, no matter how many calories or what proportions of fat, protein or carbohydrates are used in the diet, or what types of exercise programs are pursued. Many studies also show that dieting is a strong predictor of future weight gain. (8-14)

Assumption: Weight loss will prolong life.

False! No one has ever shown that losing weight prolongs life. Some studies actually indicate that intentional weight loss increases the risk of dying early from certain diseases. (15-20)

Assumption: The only way for “overweight” people to improve health is to lose weight.

False! Most health indicators can be improved through changing health behaviors, regardless of whether weight is lost. (5) For example, lifestyle changes can reduce blood pressure, largely or completely independent of changes in body weight. (1, 21, 22) The same can be said for blood lipids. (1, 23, 24) Improvements in insulin sensitivity and blood lipids as a result of aerobic exercise training have been documented even in persons who actually gained body fat while participating in the intervention. (24, 25)

Assumption: Health is declining as a result of an “obesity epidemic.”

False! While it’s true that we’re moderately fatter than we used to be, life expectancy has increased dramatically during the same time period in which our weight rose (from 70.8 years in 1970 to 77.8 years in 2005).26 That’s right, government statistics predict that the average kid can now expect to live almost eight years longer than his or her parents! Not only are we living longer than ever before, but we’re healthier than ever and chronic disease is appearing much later in life. (26) Death rates attributed to heart disease have steadily declined throughout the entire spike in obesity. (27 ) Both the World Health Organization and the Social Security Administration project life expectancy to continue to rise in coming decades. (28, 29) We are simply not seeing the catastrophic consequences predicted to result from the “obesity epidemic.”

Blame Economics

Why do these faulty assumptions continue to proliferate and why isn’t the reality more widely known? There can only be one explanation when science so blatantly contradicts popular thought: economics. There is a huge industry that benefits from widening the boundaries of what is considered a problematic weight, including weight loss centers, supplement makers, drug companies, physicians, and purveyors of diet books, foods and programs. Even scientists benefit by getting research grants and serving as consultants, or by running weight loss centers at universities. Convincing us of a crisis can also aid government agencies in obtaining congressional funding. And expert panels that create public policy and determine research funding are populated by individuals with financial conflicts of interests.

That said, I do not believe that those engaging in this damaging paradigm are part of a widespread conspiracy. We are all raised with the assumption that fat is bad and permanent weight loss can be achieved through dietary change and exercise. These assumptions are so strongly a part of our cultural landscape that they are regarded as self-evident, and few even consider questioning them. As a result, many well-intentioned, caring people unknowingly collude and transmit this cultural bias. Also, there is little reward for questioning these assumptions, other than peace of mind. Indeed, for a professional to challenge these ideas is tantamount to career suicide; this is in stark contrast to the large financial/status incentive for supporting the old paradigm.

What Can You Do?

Refuse to fight in an unjust war. Join the new peace movement:

“Health at Every Size” (HAES). HAES acknowledges that well-being and healthy habits are more important than any number on the scale. Participating is simple:

  1. Accept your size. Love and appreciate the body you have. Self-acceptance empowers you to move on and make positive changes.
  2. Trust yourself. We all have internal systems designed to keep us healthy—and at a healthy weight. Support your body in naturally finding its appropriate weight by honoring its signals of hunger, fullness, and appetite.
  3. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Develop and nurture connections with others and look for purpose and meaning in your life. Fulfilling your social, emotional, and spiritual needs restores food to its rightful place as a source of nourishment and pleasure.
  • Find the joy in moving your body and becoming more physically vital in your everyday life.
  • Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and seek out pleasurable and satisfying foods.
  • Tailor your tastes so that you enjoy more nutritious foods, staying mindful that there is plenty of room for less nutritious choices in the context of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
  1. Embrace size diversity. Humans come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Open to the beauty found across the spectrum and support others in recognizing their unique attractiveness.

References

  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.
  3. McGee, D.L., Body mass index and mortality: a meta-analysis based on person-level data from twenty-six observational studies. Annals of Epidemiology, 2005. 15(2): p. 87-97.
  4. Flegal, K.M., et al., Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity. Journal of the American Medical Association, 293(15): p. 1861-7.
  5. Campos, P., et al., The epidemiology of overweight and obesity: public health crisis or moral panic? International Journal of Epidemiology, 2005.
  6. Miller, W.C., How effective are traditional dietary and exercise interventions for weight loss? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(8): p. 1129-1134.
  7. Mann, T., et al., Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer. American Psychologist, 2007. 62(3): p. 220-33.
  8. Stice, E., et al., Naturalistic weight-reduction efforts prospectively predict growth in relative weight and onset of obesity among female adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1999. 67: p. 967-974.
  9. Stice, E., K. Presnell, and H. Shaw, Psychological and Behavioral Risk Factors for Obesity Onset in Adolescent Girls: A Prospective Study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2005. 73(2): p. 195-202.
  10. Coakley, E.H., et al., Predictors of weight change in men: Results from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 1998. 22: p. 89-96.
  11. Bild, D.E., et al., Correlates and predictors of weight loss in young adults: The CARDIA study. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 1996. 20(1): p. 47-55.
  12. French, S.A., et al., Predictors of weight change over two years among a population of working adults: The Healthy Worker Project. International Journal of Obesity, 1994. 18: p. 145-154.
  13. Korkeila, M., et al., Weight-loss attempts and risk of major weight gain. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999. 70: p. 965-973.
  14. Shunk, J.A. and L.L. Birch, Girls at risk for overweight at age 5 are at risk for dietary restraint, disinhibited overeating, weight concerns, and greater weight gain from 5 to 9 years. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2004. 104(7): p. 1120-6. APPENDIX ? 279
  15. Williamson, D.F., et al., Prospective study of intentional weight loss and mortality in never-smoking overweight U.S. white women aged 40-64 years. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1995. 141: p. 1128-1141.
  16. Williamson, D.F., et al., Prospective study of intentional weight loss and mortality in overweight white men aged 40-64 years. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1999. 149(6): p. 491-503.
  17. Andres, R., D.C. Muller, and J.D. Sorkin, Long-term effects of change in body weight on all-cause mortality. A review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 1993. 119: p. 737-743.
  18. Yaari, S. and U. Goldbourt, Voluntary and involuntary weight loss: associations with long term mortality in 9,228 middle-aged and elderly men. American Journal of Epidemiology, 1998. 148: p. 546-55.
  19. Gaesser, G., Thinness and weight loss: Beneficial or detrimental to longevity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1999. 31(8): p. 1118-1128.
  20. Sørensen, T., et al., Intention to lose weight, weight changes, and 18-y mortality in overweight individuals without co-morbidities. PLoS Med, 2005. 2: p. E171.
  21. Fagard, R.H., Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of hypertension in the obese. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 1999. 31(11 Suppl): p. S624-30.
  22. Appel, L.J., et al., A clinical trial of the effects of dietary patterns on blood pressure. New England Journal of Medicine, 1997. 33: p. 1117-1124.
  23. Kraus, W.E., et al., Effects of the amount and intensity of exercise on plasma lipoproteins. N Engl J Med, 2002. 347(19): p. 1483-92.
  24. Lamarche, B., et al., Is body fat loss a determinant factor in the improvement of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism following aerobic exercise training in obese women? Metabolism, 1992. 41: p. 1249-1256.

Excerpt from Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight © 2010 by Linda Bacon.

May be freely distributed, provided that it remains in its entirety and this copyright message appears. More info at www.HAESbook.com.

About Jodie

asseeninmaster2 (600x124)Sydney soul-centred psychotherapist, therapeutic counsellor, eating psychology and transformational 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.

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

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

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

35 Awesome Quotes to Help Heal Your Relationship with Food & Body

EatingDisorderQuotes35 Awesome Quotes to Help Heal Your Relationship with Food & Body

“I wish we could treat our bodies as the place we live from, rather than regard it as a place to be worked on, as though it were a disagreeable old kitchen in need of renovation and update.” Susie Orbach

“Compulsive eating is basically a refusal to be fully alive. No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul. We refuse to take in what sustains us. We live lives of deprivation. And when we can’t stand it any longer, we binge. The way we are able to accomplish all of this is by the simple act of bolting — of leaving ourselves — hundreds of times a day.”  Geneen Roth

“When you feel like you would rather die than live another day with an eating disorder, know that I used to feel that way too. Search deep inside yourself for the part that wants to live.” Jenni Schaefer

“To eat slowly, then, also means to eat deliberately, in the original sense of that word: “from freedom” instead of compulsion. Many food cultures, particularly those at less of a remove from the land than ours, have rituals to encourage this sort of eating, such as offering a blessing over the food or saying grace before the meal. The point, it seems to me, is to make sure that we don’t eat thoughtlessly or hurriedly, and that knowledge and gratitude will inflect our pleasure at the table.” Michael Pollan

“What you need is some balance in your life: to know when to say no and when to say yes, how to ask for help as easily as you give it, when to let other people live with the consequences of their choices, how to be honest with yourself (always) and forthright and direct with other people (most of the time), and why it’s important to give up striving to be perfect and accept your perfectly imperfect self.” Karen R. Koenig

“The greatest gift you can give your daughter is do everything you can to heal your own relationship with food.” Marc David

“The longing for sweets is really a yearning for love or sweetness.” Marion Woodman

“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savor it.” Evelyn Tribole

“Once you consider the extent of the magical thinking that tends to be tied in to the fantasy of thinness, you can understand how threatening it is to consider the idea that you may never get the thin body you crave. It means that you never get to become the person you want to be. Wow! No wonder it’s so painful to let go of the drive to lose weight! Accepting your body is not just about physicality, it’s about accepting who you are, not continuing to wait until you become the person you imagine being.” Linda Bacon

“At the end of the day, it’s not about the food. Yes, it’s true that many people who have chronically engaged in anorexic, bulimic, and bingeing behaviors need nutritional guidance and a re-education about the importance of portion size, the food pyramid, and responding to body cues for hunger and fullness. But treatment that focuses almost obsessively on calories, goal weight, and recordings of food eaten and purged, winds up exacerbating the clients’ existing obsessions about body image, weight gain, weight loss, and food groups.” Lisa Ferentz

“Emotional eating is an attempt to deal with a tough problem, feeling, or situation we don’t otherwise know how to deal with, and often don’t even know that we have without some kind of symptom to remind us. …..When we strip away the judgement of our emotional eating, and stop calling it a disease, a defect, a problem in and of itself; we can finally see it for what it is: An alert that something in our life needs our attention. Something completely unrelated to food or our weight. Be grateful for the reminder. It might be saving your ass.” Isabel Foxen Duke

“From a soul-centred perspective, an eating disorder is not a disease, mental illness or mental disorder – it is a sickness of the SOUL. Our food, weight and body symptoms carry important messages regarding our biological, cultural, emotional, psychological and spiritual hungers and suffering, and can potentially bring us value, meaning and purpose in life. Eating disorder recovery treatment which neglects to address spirituality fails to address the whole woman.” Jodie Gale

“Because the sad, wretched, poopy truth here is that you cannot be actively investing in the diet industry and actively investing in the improvement of women’s lives. The diet industry profits from women’s low self-esteem, the perpetuation of body dysmorphia, and an increasingly impossible beauty standard. We know these things have long hindered women personally, emotionally and financially. And we know that dieting leads to all the shitty things in the world – decreased mental and physical health, lost dollars, chronic illness, fatigue, light-headedness, malnourishment, disordered eating and body dysmorphia (and in my case SCURVY) – and yet somehow not weight loss. So, an investment in the diet industry is an investment against women. Period.” Virgie Tovar

“We need reminders, rituals to feed our sacred hunger, ways to devote ourselves to the divine spirit within us. Whatever our chosen practice, we need to do it simply for the sake of doing it, not for any outside reward. The point is to find a way into the purity of mind that is our Buddha nature.” Gabrielle Roth

“This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.” Marion Woodman

“When you are mindful of your body, you get to know how your body reacts to stress and emotions…You can use your body as a tool for healing by doing self-massage, exercise, relaxation techniques, and yoga.” Susan Albers

“Move your body in ways that you love.” Marc David & Emily Rosen

“At the heart of every eating disorder, whether it is compulsive eating, bulimia or anorexia, there is a cry from the deepest part of our souls that must be heard. It is a cry to awaken, to embrace our whole selves… It is a cry to deepen our understanding of who we really are. It is a longing to know ourselves in mind, body and spirit.” Normandi & Roark

“Learning to connect more deeply, to move more consciously, to nurture, and to have more mercy and affection for your own body will naturally help you bring these qualities forward in other places and relationships in your life.” Brantley & Millstine

“We may ignore or deride the messages of the body but its rebellion demands to be heeded because its language is the authentic expression of our true selves and of the strength of our vitality.” Alice Miller

“Since childhood, food has been the most evident symbol available for expressing her struggles and failures and triumphs with an emerging sense of self.” Kim Chernin

“Our bodies and their symptoms are our biggest allies in this endeavor, because nothing gets our attention as quickly. Our bodies are a wonderful barometer of how well we’re living in the present and taking care of ourselves.” Dr Christiane Northrup

“When you eat from the farmers market, you automatically eat food that is in season, which is usually at its most nutritious. Eating in season also tends to diversitfy your diet…” Michael Pollan

“How we do food is how we do life. Every meal is a metaphor for how you show up in the world. Are you present? Are you complaining? Are you multitasking? Add love, celebration, time, communion, and gratitude to every meal and make every meal the best meal ever.” Marc David & Emily Rosen

“People always ask me, ‘You have so much confidence. Where did that come from?’ It came from me. One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl … It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see. Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.” Gabourey Sidibe

“If you want to give birth to your true self, you are going to have to dig deep down into that body of yours and let your soul howl.” Gabrielle Roth

“I have a body, and I am not my body”. Roberto Assagioli

“Mindful eating isn’t linear. It’s more like a spiral taking you deeper into knowing how to care for yourself.” Michelle May MD

“Some people are confused why I am so ‘anti-celebrity-food-fads’. In a time where everyone is now a nutrition expert, let me explain why. It’s because anyone giving nutrition advice has an ethical responsibility that the information they provide is 100% accurate and will not cause any harm, but they don’t follow this ethic…because of the large amount of eating disorders and illness that I am witnessing, as a direct result of information given by unqualified nutrition ‘experts’ I am absolutely horrified by a lot of the nutrition information given by people unqualified in nutrition.” The Nutrition Guru & The Chef

“There was a phantom woman in my mind that I was comparing myself to, and I had to force her from the dressing room. When she was gone, I looked at my body, the body that had kept me alive for nearly thirty years, without any serious health problems, the body that had taken me where I needed to go and protected me. I had never appreciated or loved the body that had done so much for me. I had thought of it as my enemy, as nothing more than a shell that enclosed my real self, but it wasn’t a shell. The body was me. This is your real life. You’re already living it. I removed the clothes and stood naked before the mirrors, turning this way and that. I was round and cute in a way I’d never seen before.” Sarai Walker

“I was fierce as I prayed, protecting her innocent right to self-love, and I saw that she would be the first in a long line of women to fully and truly love her own body, her femininity, her fleshly beauty, her sexuality, with unapologetic self-celebration.” Jesua

“A concern for social suffering and social justice argues for ending the society-wide war on fat, while continuing the search for scientific understanding of obesity’s causes and consequences. As part of that larger project, we need to both reframe the way we talk about obesity or fatness, and change how we approach it as a public-health issue. Among other things, we should tell the public the truth about the “biomyths” — partial truths about weight and health that everyone believes but have little scientific credence. Each of us should listen to our own fat-talk and work with others to create fat-talk-free zones where human value is not attached to body weight. Finally, we should launch a nationwide campaign against fat bullying that makes blatant weightism or sizeism just as intolerable as racism, sexism, and homophobia.” Sarah Sweeney

“I really hope that this media presence of larger bodies continues and at some point the angry haters get lost in the joy of celebrating all bodies. I hope we can glorify not just fat bodies, but all bodies. Short, tall, wide, narrow..all of them! Bodies are amazing and we should never feel shame for the shape ours is.” Sarah Harry

“I am here to tell you that your emotions won’t kill you. You are fully capable of feeling them and moving on. With emotions, resistance is persistence. The more you push food down with food, the stronger your emotions become. Often they end up spilling out in ways you don’t expect. The reality is that just allowing yourself to acknowledge emotions decreases the intensity, but we often cut it off by eating before we allow that to happen. Here is the truth….emotional eating doesn’t take away your problems. In fact, emotional eating only serves to take away the emotion for about as long as it takes to finish the food and then you usually feel worse. So, stop lying to yourself. Stop telling yourself that food will solve your problems. Stop telling yourself that you aren’t capable of dealing with your emotions. Stop telling yourself that your emotions will kill you. They won’t! If hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the solution! The great thing is that you can widen your window of tolerance. By addressing the emotional issues that created the emotional eating patterns and gaining healthy coping skills, your window will get bigger.” Michelle Lewis

“Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates ‘thin’ with ‘healthy’ is the problem.” Linda Bacon

“If you feel inclined to move you body because it feels good and energises you, or if you decide not to have a slice of chocolate cake because your body feels feel and satisfied already, then I believe you are in a healthy relationship, and I wish you and your body a long and happy life together. However, if something strapped to your wrist is saying you’re not good enough, fit enough, or thin enough, then perhaps you need to say “sorry, it’s over. It’s not me….it’s you!”  Kyla Holley

“Think of your body like a magical garden – always growing and changing, full of color and life.” Dr Christiane Northrup

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

About Jodie

asseeninmaster2 (600x124)Sydney soul-centred psychotherapist, therapeutic counsellor, eating psychology and transformational 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.

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

Want to stop feeling crazy around food?

want to stop feeling crazy around foodWant to stop feeling crazy around food?

For over half of my life, I felt crazy around food!

As a 5 year old child, I used to stand next to the ‘fat’ kid at school so I wouldn’t look so fat (I wasn’t!). At 8, I started wearing a t-shirt in the backyard swimming pool so no-one would see how fat I was (I wasn’t!). By 13, I was suffering with bulimia. I was at war with my body and stuck in my eating disorder until I was 26. After passing out on a London tube platform from lack of eating, I knew it was time to get help – I found myself an amazing soul-centred psychotherapist and started my adventurous journey to recovery and beyond.

The dominant disease and illness model touts eating disorders as a disease/mental disorder/mental illness. I have never suffered with a disease, mental disorder or a mental illness and I have never worked with anyone suffering with these medically orientated labels. If I am completely honest, I don’t like the term ‘eating disorder’; it’s pathologising to our soul’s suffering and the symptoms that carry important messages which can potentially bring us value, meaning and purpose in life. I do however, work with the most courageous and creative women, who have had to, for whatever reason, develop extreme measures with food and body as a way of managing biographical, existential and/or spiritual trauma and crisis (Gale 2008, 2010). I’d love to hear your thoughts about this, please comment in the comments section below!

It is possible to fully recover and truly blossom in life, even after many years of suffering. Women looking for recovery from body image problems, yoyo dieting, chronic dieting and eating disorders are drawn to my non-pathologising approach – often after many failed attempts to heal – because it provides a holistic, forward thinking and soulful perspective for transformation and growth.

Earlier this year, I qualified as one of the first psychotherapists in Australia to be certified in Eating Psychology, a truly soul-centred approach! I am so excited to bring this work to Australia. In the next few months, I will be spending much of my free time preparing my first online course and a weekend workshop.  In conjunction with this, I will be running a 12 week coaching program to help women stop feeling crazy around food. This is based on my 40+ years of personal experience/recovery as well as my training in soul-centred psychotherapy, Dynamic Eating Psychology™ and Mind Body Nutrition™ .

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

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

********************************************************************************************************

Love your body week

September 7- 11 is the Butterfly Foundation’s Love Your Body Week .

“Eating disorders and body image concerns present a huge problem for both males and females across Australia, however there continues to be an enormous lack of knowledge in Australia surrounding these issues. The reality is that they are extremely common, affecting an increasing number of people each year. Research indicates that poor body image can play a significant role in the development of eating disorders, as it can often lead to risky dieting and exercise behaviours. As one of the most modifiable socio-cultural risk factors for eating disorders it is important that every Australian works toward developing their body confidence. Building positive body image is a good way of promoting protective factors, making a person more resilient.”

For more information on how to join and celebrate your body, click here!

********************************************************************************************************

How do you feel about your body?

Most people believe they can change the way they feel about their body by losing weight or changing the way their body looks. We think by hating ourselves enough, it will motivate us to change.

“Body hate

It crushes the soul.

It robs us of our power.

I t drains our energy.

It has us wasting our time in over-exercising.

It has us wasting our time in foolish diet strategies.

It stops us from being more intimate with others.

It inhibits the flow of love. It weakens us.

It slows our personal development.

It attracts to us the kind of relationships that often wound us.

And it’s a damaging legacy to pass on to our children.”

(Marc David, Institute for the Psychology of Eating)

Find out in this short video what it is that really needs to change.

********************************************************************************************************

PHOTO CREDIT: CANSTOCK

About Jodie

asseeninmaster2 (600x124)

Sydney soul-centred psychotherapist, therapeutic counsellor, eating psychology and transformational 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 is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy and helping women to find value, meaning and purpose out of their suffering.

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

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

As seen in banner profile2

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

As Seen In Banner Profile (600x79)

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

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.

10 soulful books for eating disorders and other food, weight and body issues

Eating Disorder Books

10 soulful books for eating disorders and other food, weight and body issues

After 20+ years preoccupied with yo-yo dieting and disordered eating, a recovery journey and then training as a psychotherapist – in 2008 – I completed my Master’s thesis, Call off the Search: Eating disorders a symptom of psychospiritual crisis.

The context that I hold throughout my research is that eating disorders are a serious sickness of the soul – not a disease, mental illness or mental disorder – these are terms that are widely used within a disease and medical based model; a model that is seriously pathologising at times and failing many who suffer not only with eating disorders but those who struggle with other food and weight issues – such as yo-yo dieting, obesity and addiction to excessive, brutal and self-punishing exercise regimes.

Viewing eating problems in this way is not a new phenomenon – transpersonal and psycho-spiritual schools of thought have held this context since at least last century! The great news…there is an increasing base of evidence to support this way of healing and working with food, weight and body image issues.

As part of my own recovery and later research, I have read countless books on dieting, weight, body image and disordered eating. Although not limited to these, here are some of my favourite books because they consider the soul sickness as well as the emotional and spiritual hungers that underlie eating problems. The tips you will find in these books for recovery are based on self-exploration, care of the soul, intuition and mindfulness.

Eating In The light Of The moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship With Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling

by Anita Johnston Ph.D.

Anita Johnston has helped millions of women around the globe through her eating disorder treatment programs, conferences, retreats, online women’s circles and her soulful book, Eating In the Light of the Moon. She weaves together multicultural myths, folktales and legends with depth of insight and practical, transformational exercises. Eating In the Light of the Moon will nourish your body, mind and spirit.

You can participate in the Light of the Moon Café online.

Women, Food and God: : An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

by Geneen Roth

Geneen Roth, one of my favourite authors on eating difficulties, writes that food, diet and weight related issues are an attempt to fix something that has never been broken. I couldn’t agree more – we are already good and whole; our journey is to realise this!  

Women Food and God comes with guidelines to help you change your relationship with food for good. This book is a great resource regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs.

Addiction to Perfection

by Marion Woodman

I first heard of Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman throughout my psychotherapy training and have personally attended her BodySoul Rhythms® Intensives. Woodman’s work holds the context that a hunger for spiritual fulfilment is at the root of all addictions and eating disorders.

Addiction to perfection  addresses the hidden causes of compulsion through case studies, dreams and myths. Woodman teaches that through discovering the wisdom and power of the feminine, it is possible to find freedom from addiction and eating disorders.

Fat is a Feminist Issue

by Susie Orbach

Suggested to me by my therapist many years ago, Fat is a Feminist Issue is the first book that I read about fat that wasn’t a diet book! It will change the way you think about fat by challenging dominant mindsets about dieting, weight and body image. Susie Orbach discusses from a feminist perspective what it means to be feminine, nurturing, sexy and confident.  Fat is a Feminist Issue will help you on your way to body acceptance as well as helping to calm your anxieties about food. I also love her other books: Hunger Strike and On Eating.

Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight

by Linda Bacon 

Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem. The solution? Health at Every Size (Amazon).’

Based on scientific evidence, this book will show you how to give up the battle with fat, tune in to your body, boost health and self-esteem, find joy in movement and feel good in your body right now…regardless of your size.

Health at Every Size turns what you think you know about health and weight on its head.

Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, and the Pursuit of Thinness

by Margo Maine

Many books on eating disorders have largely focused on the relationship with the mother – this is only part of the story. In Father Hunger, Margo Maine explores the emptiness experienced by women whose fathers were physically or emotionally absent—a void that leads to unrealistic body image, yo-yo dieting, food fears and disordered eating patterns. I love this easy to read book!

Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

This book is full of feminine spirit; it is nurturing, compassionate and provides essential tips for overcoming your obsession with dieting, weight and food. Written by two nutritionists with over 30+ years of experience, Intuitive Eating will guide you towards rebuilding a healthy body image, making peace with food, honouring your hunger and coping with your emotions without using food.

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food

by Susan Albers PsyD

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food, is jam packed with mindfulness skills, practices for relaxing the body in times of stress and ending your dependence on eating as a means of coping with difficult emotions. This book will help you to distinguish between emotion-driven hunger and physical hunger. The layout makes it a great book for snacking on!

It’s Not about  Food: End Your Obsession with Food and Weight

by Carol Normandi & Laurelee Roark 

If you are struggling with worries such as what to eat on a daily basis, dieting, loathing your body, looking outside of yourself to feel better – then this book is for you. It’s Not About the Food will help you to understand your relationship with food, your feelings and your thoughts. You will learn how to honour your physical body as well as your spiritual self.

Which book would you add to this list? Please comment below 🙂

Do you need support for your eating problems?

For years eating disorder sufferers have heard that they are ‘difficult to work with’, ‘stubborn’ and that their ‘disease’ or ‘mental illness’ is for life. This is not my experience personally or professionally. Over the last fifteen years I have witnessed many women heal, blossom and grow. If you are suffering – it is imperative that you find a treatment program with soul and a psychotherapist who can work at depth with the underlying issues. For residential treatment, check out Nungkari Treatment Centre

For more resources on eating difficulties – you can follow my Eating Disorders page on Pinterest.

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

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 is the Disordered Eating Consultant at Nungkari Treatment Centre, former Assistant Clinical Director at Eatfed, 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 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 Indigenous ‘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.

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.

 

Addiction Recovery: The Starting Point for Recovery is Hope, Not Abstinence

damian-280x280Guest blog by Damian Grainer, UK Addiction Specialist, Therapeutic Counsellor, Coach, Trainer and the Founder & Director of Emerging Horizons.

Addiction recovery: the starting point for recovery is hope, not abstinence

“You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there. A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to wake up, to sprout, and to grow.” Thich Nhat Hanh.

For me the starting point for recovery is hope, not abstinence. I see it as my job, and that of any counsellor or psychotherapist, to hold hope for the individual seeking recovery, until it can be fully internalised and experienced by the individual, whose current perception of themselves is often one of failure, helplessness and shame. Hope can be nurtured by exposure to success – people who have done it themselves and where recovery is visable.

Psychosynthesis psychology has a wonderful concept known as bifocal vision. Bifocal vision involves seeing both the being – with emerging purpose and immense potential – and also the person as they present in the here and now, with their current struggles and difficulties.

When working with any addiction it is always worth noting:

  • Everyone can recover
  • Not everyone will recover (but the majority do overtime)
  • We don’t know who will recover
  • So…give everyone a chance to recover

Far too often, I find practitioners who have set “glass ceilings” for their clients, often citing the client’s complexities of need or lack of motivation as the reasons why they cannot progress any further. If there is no hope, there is no motivation. If there is no vision, no purpose and no meaning, then sustained motivation is unlikely. There is growing evidence of the significant impact that the therapist’s own expectations have on efficacy of interventions and this is particularly so in addictions.

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” Goethe.

Recovery capital in addiction recovery

A concept that has gained great ground over the last few years is that of ‘recovery capital’; a term used to describe the collection of personal, social and community resources that are available to individuals to help start and sustain recovery journeys. It is a way of looking at the strengths and assets that individuals have. For example:

I get up in the morning because I have to, I have a vested interest in my work and my family – this is part of my capital. Relationships and community ties are some of the things that help me to manage and adapt to adversity and the unexpected.

If the individual suffering with addiction had no resources, no social buy in, why would they give up the one thing that in the short term comforts them and provides them with some purpose or connection?

Positive psychology and the 5 ways to well-being

 “If what we focus on is magnified by our attention, we want to be sure we are magnifying something worthy.” Sue Annis Hammond.

Whilst it is important to acknowledge someone’s suffering with attention and compassion – of equal, if not greater importance, is to recognise their qualities, strengths and their gifts to the world. This is especially pertinent when the individual is highly self-critical, may lack confidence or is trying to find evidence to confirm their self-limiting view of themselves and the world.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) was commissioned to develop a set of evidence-based actions to improve personal wellbeing. The NEF completed a large scale analysis of research on wellbeing, with a particular focus on ‘Positive Psychology’. Having come up with a list of the key common findings, they were tasked with reducing these down to a simple and workable message that would support people to adopt behaviours that promote wellbeing, in a similar way that the public health message of ‘5 a day’ aims to encourage healthier eating.

5 ways to wellbeing (800x558)

This work led to the development of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

What has been interesting is how quickly this has been adopted by the growing recovery movement in the UK; both mental health & addictions. Last week I was training a recovery coach, who self-managed his own recovery, exclusively using the 5TWB, monitoring his life around these 5 core behaviours.

 

 

The importance of relationship, connection and belonging

Holt Lundstad et al (2010) showed that having supportive relationships was a bigger predictor in decreasing mortality than giving up smoking. The importance of authentic relationships (quantity and quality) is essential to wellbeing. It is especially important for individuals addressing an addiction where their social needs and identity may be intimately linked to the culture of addiction they have lived in – with its rituals, beliefs, roles and relational networks.

Connecting or being connected works on a multiplicity of levels and is both intra (within) and interpersonal (between).  For the person suffering with addiction, it is about building or utilising existing networks of support, be that through family, friends, peers, mutual aid groups, the wider recovery community, community groups and associations. It is also about overcoming the possible barriers to relationship and connection: shame, stigma, attachment difficulties, limiting core beliefs, issues of trust, pride and social competence.

For the counsellor and psychotherapist, ‘connect’, is as much about how they connect to the client as to how they are connected in their own lives. I believe that the more connected we are, the more likely we are to create the conditions where the client is empowered or supported to establish new and/or rebuild existing connections that support them in their chosen life journey.

Having a sense of autonomy is also important in overcoming addiction. Paradoxically the greater our sense of belonging, the greater our sense of autonomy is likely to be. Because connection is so important, I would suggest that a more proactive approach to working with the client’s network of support is called for. Examples of this would include incorporating social behaviour network therapy and/or systemic therapy as standard practice in addiction treatment along with interpersonal effectiveness skills.

Spirituality and mindfulness are essential to well-being and addiction recovery

“…the ability to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and actions – in the present moment – without judging or criticising yourself and your experience.”  Jon Kabat-Zinn.

From a holistic perspective, it goes without saying that diet and physical activity play a key part in wellbeing and addiction recovery. For me, the application of mindfulness based psychologies and teaching to support the maintenance of recovery, resilience and wellbeing is also key and should now be the norm and a definite in any credible relapse prevention program.

My beutiful world worksheet (758x637)

 

In addition to mindfulness training, a willingness and ability to appreciate beauty and experience moments of awe – which often connect us to a deeper sense of who we are – also supports and enriches the recovery process.

Finally, it is worth noting the significance of reframing recovery as a “learning process”  with opportunities to gain mastery over new skills, do what is important and experience greater autonomy with plenty of opportunities to give back and engage in altruistic activities.

 

About Damian

Damian Grainer (MA. Dip. Couns) is trained in psychosynthesis psychology, therapeutic counselling, life and performance coaching, substance misuse, management and engineering. He has worked across a range of substance misuse and mental health services; spanning areas such as engagement, medical and non-medical community treatment and residential rehabilitation. With particular expertise in change management and leadership, Damian has a strong track record in the implementation and turnaround of large, recovery orientated, integrated substance misuse services and treatment systems. He has special interests in group work, mutual aid, conflict resolution, mindfulness based practices to support healing and wellbeing and community development and regeneration. Damian is passionate about helping others to connect with their values, meaning and purpose and translating this into action.

The team at Emerging Horizons offer cutting edge recovery solutions underpinned by a vigorous commitment to supporting the development of world-class recovery support services in the UK. They have delivered training to some of the largest voluntary sector provider agencies in the UK as well HM Prison Services, Probation Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts.

Connect with Emerging Horizons on Facebook for the latest in addiction and well-being news.

About Jodie

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 author of Addiction: A Psychospiritual Perspective, featured in CAPA Quarterly. She has post graduate training in addiction and ‘women’s business’. She is an ‘approved service provider’ for South Pacific Private Addiction and Mood Disorder Treatment Centre and works in private practice, treating addiction recovery and 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.

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