Are you struggling with food addictions?

Related image

Many of us at times develop unhealthy relationships with food.  A little while of feeling bad after maybe overeating and seeing its effects we are able to reign our behavior in and there’s not much harm.  However sometimes this unhealthy relationship can be ongoing and can start to cause other parts of our lives, relationships and recreations for example, to not function well.  When this happens, a food addiction might have formed and may call for more specific intervention.

Some signs to keep in mind:

  1. Eating more than planned when you eat certain foods.
  2. Keep eating certain foods even if you are not hungry.
  3. Eat until you feel sick.
  4. If unable to get a specific food, go out of your way to obtain that food.
  5. Eat certain foods in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with family or doing recreational activities.
  6. Avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available.
  7. Have problems function effectively at your school or work because of food and eating.

If you checked a good many and have been experiencing these for over a month, it may be that it is time to seek further support.

Feel free to contact me for a free consultation if you feel this may apply to you.  I have been working for over 10 years  with people that suffer from all types of addictions and can help.

7 Ways to Begin Managing Stress

Stress is something that happens to us daily.  There’s good stress.  You know the type that makes you show up for a meeting on time and also enabled you to prepare the night before.  There’s also not so good stress.  The kind that wears at you and makes you want to run and hide (or eat chocolate, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette, etc… )  It’s the kind that may start out as good stress but then added to all the other little worries morphs into something that is not helpful.

There are a few things you can do when you start to feel this negative stress come on that may help you gain control and not run and hide.  Some such as the first item may seem deceptively simple. We tend to take these for granted but often they are neglected resulting in a low threshold for negative stress and its effects.

1.Take a drink of water.  Many of us stay dehydrated and when we are dehydrated it is more difficult to reduce stress hormones and that feeling of tension.

2. Take a breathing break.   Concentrate on long slow exhales. When we are stressed we hyperventilate (longer inhales than exhales) which signals the body to go into “fight or flight”.

3.Eat well.  Eat meals with a variety of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  Attempt to eat something with protein and fiber at least every 4 hours while awake.  This will keep blood sugar from dropping low enough to signal a stress  response.

4. Walk or do some sort of exercise.  Just 15-20 minutes a day will reduce stress hormones in the blood; 30-60 minutes will optimize this.

5. Shrink your to-do list and focus on only the top 3 tasks.  If that’s too much, shrink it to the most important task you can do right now.   Looking at 20 items can be overwhelming but when you are focusing on just the next step, you feel more in control.

6. Nurture close relationships.  Contact someone positive whom you want to keep in your life.  Soak in some of their positive energy to help give you more resilience.

7. Get enough sleep.  Work on things that will help you get better sleep like cutting out caffeine after 5pm.  Getting 4-8 hours of sleep a night enables your body to clean up toxins and excess chemicals like the stress hormone cortisol.  Sleep helps to give you a “clean slate” for the next day.

*If still no relief, reach out to a support group or professional assistance through a counselor or other healthcare provider.


Personal Practice Challenge – Self Judgment

The third sections of Judith Hanson Lasater’s book “Living Your Yoga” focuses on Self-Judgment.  She reminds at the beginning of the section of the yoga sutra that says the posture should be “steady and comfortable”.    She then goes into describing how we set certain expectations on ourselves and have certain thoughts in regards to our practice that gets in the way of our personal practice.  She discusses how we are a culture of “No pain, no gain” and how this is not necessarily the focus in yoga.

Her suggestions for this month is 1)Write down your internal dialogue right after your personal practice.  Keep notes brief and do not try to interpret. Keep track and note how the dialogue changes over time. 2) If you find yourself forcing in asana or other parts of your live ask, “is this in the spirit of yoga?” 3)If you notice that someone else is judging you, don’t be quick to agree or to internalize the judgment.  Think about what happened and agree only if his assessment aligns with yours. 4) If you are going into a situation about which you feel anxious, tense, or afraid say to yourself, “I am perfect just as I am” 5) Rather than approaching your yoga practice from an attitude of no pain, no gain, how about no pain, no pain? and 6) Do not criticize yourself, anyone else, or anything for one hour.  If this feels like too much, commit to doing it for the next 5 minutes.

These suggestions or homework feels quite freeing to me.  We spend so much of our time worrying about not meeting expectations that we forget the only real expectations are to grow and learn.  This should be interesting  lesson in letting go.

Weekly Wellness Post – Burn Out

Burn out, I think on some level we all have experienced.  I am studying for my CCS (Certified Clinical Supervisor) and one of the areas I’m reviewing includes the identified stages of burn out by Edelwich and Brodsky.  What I have found interesting about these stages every time I have read about them in the past is that the first stage involves “Enthusiasm“.  This is described as a tendency to be overly available and to give a lot of oneself due to the motivation and excitement.  I think many people forget when they are burned out that at one time they probably had an excitement for what is burning them out currently.  A lot of time we start our work with a certain idealism or a vision of “how things could be”.

The next stages include “Stagnation“.  This is described  by stating “expectations shrink to normal proportions and person discontentment begins to surface”.  Basically this happens when we have a desire to make something happen or to do our work a certain way and we get thwarted.  Frustrations start to mount up as we realize we can’t do what we had set out to as easily as expected and we see no movement toward our goal or vision.  This can happen when a company also doesn’t encourage collaboration and has a very dictatorship culture.  Or this can happen when a person does not have a full understanding of the field they are going into and only see a small window of the bigger picture until they are actually doing the work.  Other ways this could happen is that environmental factors such as  unexpected reduction of supplies  or resources occur that could be related to a natural disaster or unusual fluctuation in the economy.

The third stage is Frustration.  This is described as “difficulties seem to multiply and the helper becomes bored, less tolerant, less sympathetic, and she or he copes by avoiding and withdrawing.”  So what happens in stage 2 worsens.  No relief or help is available or received and the goal/vision gets further and further away.  At this point feelings of hopeless sink in and people start to give up or not care as much.  This leads to the fourth stage.

Apathy.  Apathy is characterized as “depression and listlessness”.  At this point a person may have forgotten why they entered their line of work in the first place.  They may seek help or quit job.  Some may move on to a more severe form of depression/anger and become harmful to themselves or others.


I think the main point to take away from these identified stages is that the main culprit is a feeling of lack of control. There is much different companies can do to help a person prevent burn out.  Some things include more collaborative style of decision making and planning in which you not only elicit feedback from your staff but they see you use it.    Other things include having resources like EAP for staff to use to help them personally figure out how to take back control of their lives.  Helping folks have more work/life/family balance like incorporating family events or exercise initiatives into the regular work day.  Some people feel burnout b/c they feel they lost control in another area of their life so if they feel like work is taken over and the vision they had for the family or health is not coming to fruition they can feel burn out and project it onto the work place.  Helping employees work on balancing work and home can be extremely helpful.

Individuals can also retake their lives back by indentifying their roles and what parts of their roles are not meeting their own vision and expectations.  Next step would be examining this vision and expectations to see if they are realistic.  If they are not then taking some time to develop more realistic expectations might be in order.  If they are realistic then breaking the steps toward reaching these goals into manageable and measurable pieces would be helpful.  Once we know what the next step is, how we are going to do it,  and when we are going to do it then we are back in control.  The feelings related to burnout will start to diminish as we make progress.