The one thing that must happen to shift your eating permanently

If questioning our mind is also known as meditation, then identifying our thoughts and asking four questions–especially when they are stressful–is a process of developing a deep, unconditional friendship with ourselves.

Opening up to looking at this mind, and seeing what it’s saying (and taking it to inquiry) is not so easy.

But noticing what takes you away from simply eating when hungry, and stopping when full….those are thoughts in the mind. Those are feelings that have followed thoughts.

The good news is, we can question them. We can actually meditate.

We can practice, just a little bit, each day.

We can notice what we feel is “too much” about life or “not enough” about life.

Go easy on yourself with this.

Identify one thought only at a time, when you feel like eating when not hungry or starving yourself when your body needs some food.

Just one thought (the one on top, as Byron Katie says) and question it using The Work.

1) Is it true?

2) Can I absolutely know it’s true?

3) How do I react when I believe this thought? (I get scared, lonely, angry, sad…and I eat)

4) Who would I be without this thought?

Can I find turnarounds? The complete opposite of the thought?

Bottom line: if you have stressful eating, then you are thinking in a stressful way, and feeling in stressful ways, and these beliefs are based on lies.

Lies make you eat too much, or not enough.

Question them, and the eating will shift.

Much love,
Grace
Other upcoming events:
  • June 27th East West Books evening 7-9 pm.
  • June 12-16, 2019 Breitenbush Retreat with Tom Compton
  • Summer Camp for The Mind Online Inquiry
  • Divorce Is Hell 8 week course Aug 18-October 13, 2019 Sundays 11 am PT/ 7 pm UK with Nadine Ferris France
  • Year of Inquiry begins Sept 8, 2019–a whole year of monthly topics in The Work, and sharing inquiry together
  • always freeFirst Friday inquiry power hour (90 mins) 7:45am PT

How do you stop in the middle of a binge? (+still time to join Eating Peace Process)

I was tortured by eating. It felt like a nightmare.

The worst part?

The experience of a binge. Eating like a crazed person, then feeling sick, stuffed and horrible (and often forcing myself to vomit).

The origin of the word “binge” comes from nautical terms. It meant to soak a wooden vessel in water, so the wood would swell and the boat wouldn’t leak.

What if we were like that–believing we’ll “leak” with emotion, energy, fear, emptiness, hunger–unless we binge.

We think we’ll lose air, we’re frantic, we’re full of urges, we’ll sink to the bottom of the ocean…so we binge.

Eating Peace Process has begun, and we’re still in the Foundations Module. These foundations are practices and exercises that help us open up to our suffering with food and eating and our bodies, and find some other ways to be with What Is without violence or control or willpower.

I love what someone asked in one of first our private group calls yesterday: how do I stop in the middle of a binge?!

In Foundations I offer several “calming down” exercises like tapping, or shaking, or writing unedited for five minutes.

I suggest meditation on a daily basis, and invite everyone to begin to practice meditating, whether you’ve done it before or not. Start with five minutes.

All these foundational activities, which include wondering about ourselves in new ways by answering questions and journaling….are all great and everything….

....but how do we stop in the middle of a binge?

Holy smokes.

That could be the hardest place to “stop” of any place in the cycle of this compulsion. Right in the middle of the height of the energy.

First of all, even though it can seem practically impossible, it’s helpful to question the belief: I can’t stop, this is too much, it’s too difficult to pause.

Is that true?

Who would you be without that thought?

I have found a few more ideas that have worked well for me, too.

The good news is, the more you practice pausing, stopping, waiting….the easier it gets. The mind literally un-hooks itself from the cycle called “BINGE!”

If you find stopping practically impossible, then simply feel what it’s like to be WILLING to stop in the middle of a binge.

Give yourself loving kindness–no one binge eats who is happy, peaceful or feeling at ease in life. Binge eating is a response to upset and urges to survive.

Being gentle and caring with yourself can be one of the most important steps to take at all–that you’re eating for good reasons, and you’re willing to find out why and to stop, since it isn’t ultimately working for you.

Much love,
Grace
If you still want to join Eating Peace, it’s not too late. You can begin with the Foundations Module immediately when you sign up, and listen to the first live call via recording.
Module One is released May 15th. I won’t open Eating Peace Process again until January 2020, so if you want eating peace help, sign up here. We meet until August 15. Everyone has access for lifetime, meaning you’ll always get the chance to join when I offer it again.
Joy of Inquiry on Eating
“I feel like I could do the work on the exercises and images that came up for the rest of my life. I actually watched it in two sittings, stopping between writing the turn-arounds to the actions that undermine peaceful eating. Thank you, thank you.” 
 
A Combo of Gratitude and Fear
“In intending to watch the videos, even now I have the familiar feeling of being sooo scared. I feel tears coming to my eyes. I am so grateful for your work…which has put into words what I am, and what I have experienced. Tears of gratitude for your open and honest sharing.”
 
The Why Behind Eating
“I have read CBT books and worked with nutritionists but neither of these methods addressed in detail the intense emotions and intricate thought processes that your videos mention – and which resonate with my personal experience. T 

hank you for trying to help people like myself as we navigate the why behind what is happening.”
 
Information about the full immersion program is here: Eating Peace Process

The one question to ask if you’re freaking out in this moment.

For everyone on my eating peace mailing list, and you grace notes readers too: thank you for sticking out all the announcements about Eating Peace Process starting today. It closes tonight at 10:00 pm. We start our first live call tomorrow at 9:00 am.

Tomorrow, I’ll go back to the usual videos and weekly news for eating peace (and the free grace notes, too).

Eating Peace consists of a lot of content, exercises, videos, live calls and a secret private facebook group (optional) for those who want to connect with others inside the program.

But honestly, whether or not you ever join an online program in self-inquiry and doing The Work of Byron Katie or understanding the inner world around a specific problem or compulsion, like weight, body image, eating, food….

….there’s one thing you can do today to settle down and perhaps find more rest than you normally do.

This is true for any self-sabotaging behavior you’ve got going. Eating, drinking, smoking, working, cleaning, obsessing, relationship-fantasizing, worrying.

Surprise: it’s another question (don’t we love questions for the open-mindedness they support)?

The question is: Can I just be with what is happening right now, and let it be here?

Can I allow life to be as it is for me today?

I feel like eating, I feel worried about my boss, I feel anxious about my business, I wonder when I’ll die one day and from what cause, I stress about my kids, my spouse, the health of my friend, money, who’s winning the game.

And on, and on, and on.

The mind is genius at imagining and creating and wondering.

What happens when you do NOT think you can let life (or your body, your weight, your cravings) be here right now, the way they are, in all their glory??!

What I notice is I fight the thing, the energy, the issue. I find solutions. I’m on a rampage internally about fixing it.

I’m anxious and trying NOT to be. I’m compulsive and shouting at myself NOT to be.

There’s an argument, and I’m losing and winning and losing and winning and of course….losing.

“Argue with reality and you lose, but only 100% of the time.” ~ Byron Katie

Who would you be without this story that you absolutely CAN’T LET THINGS BE AS THEY ARE in this moment?

Hmmm.

But.

Aren’t we supposed to be doing something about how bad things are? Like making more money? Losing weight? Quitting our disorders? Running our lives?

Are you saying I should just stay in bed all day?

LOL.

It never means this. The mind loves to jump to that conclusion. It wants to do something….Yesterday. 

The mind likes control and management and getting what it wants, when it wants it. Nothing more or less will do.

What if we could be with what’s happening, and trust the process of pausing? What if we could simply notice that awareness of sitting with All This is perfectly OK and we’ll probably want to get out of bed eventually.

My first husband used to talk about his mother giving a dire punishment to her kids when they acted out of line: Go Sit In A Chair. 

NOOOOOOO!!!!

They had to sit in a chair. It was like a time-out only before time-outs were a thing.

They’d sit, and sit. And then start to step down in front of the chair and see how far they could stretch into the room without leaving contact with the chair.

Can you picture a kid doing that?

It becomes a game. If you tell me to sit in the chair, I’m going to figure out how to wrestle around with it and get my way, or get away with something, or sneak.

Diets or Rules About Life can be like that inside our own hearts and minds.

The rule is pronounced and we feel anxious, or try to press the boundaries to see how far we can push without leaving the chair.

Sneak eating, isolating with food, sneaking out to smoke, dreaming about escaping or moving to another country without telling anyone, sneak drinking, buying stuff online, watching junk TV when we believe the rule is “accomplish something and use your time well every second of every minute of every hour” (and other perfectionistic thinking).

This thinking can get much more dire and dark than any of these, too.

It’s like in the fairy tales when they say “You can go anywhere in the entire castle, but NOT BEHIND THAT CURTAIN!!”

Of course, where do we want to go?

Behind the curtain.

Turning the belief around: I can handle being with this right now. I simply can be with it. I can let it be here. I am not in charge. Everything has led to this moment now, and I can sit here and cry, scream, yell, sigh, laugh, wait, be without doing anything about it.

I notice when I don’t do anything about my problems and I also LET them be there….they are not so daunting. My thinking becomes less dramatic.

I don’t have a heart attack sitting in my chair letting things be the way they are.

If you feel desperate TODAY….the one powerful question to sit with (the answer is YES).

Much love,

Grace

Sign up for Eating Peace Process here. We meet May 2-August 15. Everyone has access for lifetime, meaning you’ll always get the chance to join when I offer it again, without any extra fee.

 

Joy of Inquiry on Eating

“I feel like I could do the work on the exercises and images that came up for the rest of my life. I actually watched it in two sittings, stopping between writing the turn-arounds to the actions that undermine peaceful eating and investigating the worst things. Thank you, thank you.” 

 

A Combo of Gratitude and Fear

“In intending to watch the videos, even now I have the familiar feeling of being sooo scared. I feel tears coming to my eyes. I am so grateful for your work…which has put into words what I am, and what I have experienced. Tears of gratitude for your open and honest sharing.”

 

The Why Behind Eating

“I have read CBT books and worked with nutritionists but neither of these methods addressed in detail the intense emotions and intricate thought processes that your videos mention – and which resonate with my personal experience. Thank you for trying to help people like myself as we navigate the why behind what is happening.”

When we turn to the “problem” with kindness and an open mind, what we already know begins to wake up

“All of the sudden, one day you wake up and you say ‘I’m done’….What you already know starts to wake up. What you already know.” ~ Adyashanti
Last Saturday morning I so enjoyed offering the last live Eating Peace webinar on mental beliefs that get in the way of our peace with food, eating or our body image.
Get out a pen and paper and listen to the replay right here.

It means so much to me to receive all the comments and emails about the help given from this webinar to those who are suffering with either a wee bit of food and eating trouble, or a big lot of eating pain.

I shared some of my story on the webinar….but it was brutal.

Almost daily, I experienced agony around eating. I hardly ever had a normal, peaceful meal. I hunted for food, I overate, then under-ate. I binged then purged.

I really needed help. It was a nightmare.

In my history I saw almost twenty therapists if you count them all, I went into a six-week in-patient program for people with disordered eating, I did Course in Miracles, Twelve Steps, Living Binge Free, and quite a few programs for self-improvement like est, TM, a 9-month program called People House and even got a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science to understand the mind and emotions better.

It was a group therapy program that helped most of all.

That was where I found freedom from the more extreme behavior….and then The Work of Byron Katie.

Those two components were what saved my life, literally, from having my head in the toilet forcing myself to vomit, or constantly dieting, or feeling fear in the presence of good foods, or feeling disgust in the presence of mirrors.

Group work and self-inquiry. What a powerful combination.

My mind felt like a very bad neighborhood, and like I just could not find my way out.

My thinking was violent, fearful, dramatic and desperate when it came to my views of the body I lived in, eating, and ultimately relating to the world with a need to eat.

Ugh, that was rough, to say the least.

Now, I’m dedicated to continually looking at mind, thinking, beliefs and how they pile together to form fear and an urge to grab, worry or isolate.

In today’s video I share more about how these both worked, and why.

And meanwhile, if this sounds like an adventure you’d like to take with me and our eating peace group right now….I’d love to have you join me. Our first live call is Thursday, but live calls are only a part of the program.

This program is the only one I offer where there is content material pre-recorded, personal exercises, journaling, meditating, watching video lessons and webinars, and inviting you to follow on your own and do it in a way that works for you.

Most of the work I do with people is live: solo, retreat, and meetings where we all do The Work of Byron Katie. I consider myself having little to teach, but that the true work is about identifying your stressful thoughts, and then applying the four questions and finding turnarounds.

However, in this work, with such desperation, angst, and anger (like I had myself) I began in 2015 to put together offerings around eating and mindset to help people find a second of peace, then another second, then another.

So many people who contacted me to work on eating issues said “I don’t know what I’m thinking!!!! Please help!!! I just FEEL HORRIBLE!!!!”

So I started developing a program they could follow that would help get relaxed enough in the first place to settle into self-inquiry and not panic about the food or weight.

As it turns out, that first program I offered to a lovely group of 14 people. Then, after receiving fantastic feedback, I rewrote it, and I offered it again….then I offered it again after rewriting it again, and then repeated the overhaul yet again and offered it again.

No Eating Peace Process has ever been the same. I keep taking what works, and leaving out what doesn’t.

Eating Peace Process is something I hope you can follow on your own step by step, and also find answers to your questions by being in a group of people who share the same thinking, who have suffered from these thoughts.

These are people who are devoted to finding the truth for themselves through the process of inquiry, slowing down, awareness.

Eating Peace is not a program about dieting or food plans. You can be on any food plan or way-of-eating you want.

This work is about the internal disruption that results in our reaching for food, or resisting food, or hating our bodies.

People who are perfectly normal in weight or even thin, people with athletic bodies, people with twenty pounds to lose, people with a whole lot of weight to lose….all benefit from this mindful work.

It’s about our bodies, but it’s NOT about our bodies. We must start with where we are and what we have, with this body we’re in, and this mind we’re using….

….and begin to treat it with kindness.

In eating peace process, we start with Foundational work to help us commit to a return to kindness, even if it doesn’t feel natural or normal for us.

It is our true nature to be accepting, joyful with food, compassionate with other people and ultimately with ourselves.

How do I know?

Because of how “right” and easy it feels when I’m there.

If you’d like to join me on a group program of sharing, inquiry, learning, and awareness….I’d love to have you in Eating Peace starting this week.

Read about it and sign up here. Everyone who joins has lifetime access. You can join any future live session, you will have updates and new lessons as they get developed and added.

This is a process in motion….always blossoming with what is now and what is next.

Like life.

“We human beings can be addicted to anything. Anything to distract from present pain, discomfort, dissatisfaction, the notion that something is incomplete. There’s a sense of lack, a sense of something’s missing. That’s where it begins. Then our lives become a search for what’s missing…The basic disillusion is that something [food, eating, exercising, getting thin] will complete me and make me whole. It will take away the pain of being human.” ~ Jeff Foster

If you’ve had this experience about food, eating, compulsive eating, emotional eating, a body that isn’t right, cravings that are wrong….

….and you’d like to explore it on a deep internal level (not a technical fix, like a diet)….

….then I’d love to have you join me in the Eating Peace Process. A journey in understanding, and no longer waiting for happiness in the future and such unhappiness with food, eating and your body as it is right now, but instead to explore mind and questioning all the difficult oppositional thoughts we have about eating.

Joy of Inquiry on Eating

“I feel like I could do the work on the exercises and images that came up for the rest of my life. I actually watched it in two sittings, stopping between writing the turn-arounds to the actions that undermine peaceful eating and investigating the worst things. Thank you, thank you.” ~ EPP Participant 2017

A Combo of Gratitude and Fear

“In intending to watch the videos, even now I have the familiar feeling of being sooo scared. I feel tears coming to my eyes. I am so grateful for your work…which has put into words what I am, and what I have experienced. Tears of gratitude for your open and honest sharing.”

The Why Behind Eating

“I have read CBT books and worked with nutritionists but neither of these methods addressed in detail the intense emotions and intricate thought processes that your videos mention – and which resonate with my personal experience. T hank you for trying to help people like myself as we navigate the why behind what is happening.” 

Much love,

Grace

Information about the full immersion program is here: Eating Peace Process

Question the belief: This is Urgent

Reality has some funny plans sometimes…and one thing I know is that arguing with it really doesn’t work well.
So I knew not to believe the thought “this is urgent” the other day when during the live webinar, things went wonky.
Worry, urgency, running away, anxiety, nerves. 
These feelings and images accompanying them used to always lead to eating for me. Really, almost 100% of the time.
Rolling with reality is so much better. Surprisingly, even magnificently better.
So, here’s what happened with the Eating Peace webinar:
Right in the middle of it, construction outside caused all the electric power to blow in my entire home. 
Which means no internet, no computer, no lights…and no more webinar.
(Working at home can have a few drawbacks, but not many. This is pretty unusual. We’re building a small-almost-tiny home in our back yard).
Today, five trucks are parked outside and machines are sounding loud, men are literally calling loudly to one another, so I’m switching the plans here and we won’t be meeting today either.
Instead, we’ll meet for the final time for this free live webinar on this Saturday morning April 27th at 7:30 am PT. This time might work even better for some of you…who knows?
I trust the Way of It now. Even when I don’t….I know what to do. I inquire.
To question worry, nervousness and the horrors in our minds is one of the most profound reliefs I’ve ever experienced.
Questioning this thought that something, anything (including the urge to get that sugary food or take another bite) is an emergency is a huge step in becoming binge-free and obsession-free.
In my video today, I share about how to question this concept (it’s actually the first of the seven stories I suggest questioning in the eating peace webinar): THIS IS URGENT!!
Have you noticed the unrest, the worry, the anxiousness when you have a craving for food? Or the trance you fall into when you eat? Or the images flashing through you of food, weight, self-criticism?
The mind screams “This has to happen NOW! You have to pull it together NOW!” or “You have to eat it NOW!”
Who would you be without that story?
Without my own story of “this webinar has to happen right now, today, since that is when it was scheduled”….I get a new idea to offer it on Saturday morning for the last time.
I’d love to have you join me live if you have special questions about the power of self-inquiry and The Work of Byron Katie when it comes to this whole eating thing, or any questions about the Eating Peace Process (which I’ll share how the program works at the end of the webinar).
The last live webinar will be Saturday, April 27th 7:30 am PT. Set aside 90 minutes. Join me live right here. No opting in required.
And for more about the urgent story and how to question it, no matter what’s bothering you (even very frightening memories, or gigantic cravings to eat) then watch here:

Much love,

Grace

 

Eating Peace: No God, No Diet, No Right Way–Standing on Your Own Two Feet With Eating.

First, an announcement special for you who are an Eating Peace reader. In preparation for my upcoming Eating Peace Immersion starting again in May, I’ve created a new Eating Peace webinar:

Three lies we believe that keep us obsessing, managing our bodies and avoiding inquiry…instead of eating peace. 
At the end of the webinar, I’ll share about the eating peace program and you’re welcome to ask questions to see if it’s right for you. If you want to receive alerts for the webinar right into your Inbox so you don’t forget it, you can sign up to receive those here.
The webinar times for next week are here:
  • Tuesday, April 16th Noon PT Join HERE
  • Thursday, April 18th 10 am PT Join HERE
  • Friday, April 19th 9:30 am Join HERE

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

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
We’ve believed it about food, eating, ways of eating, right food, wrong food, the size of our thighs, our weight.
The way I’ve eaten is WRONG WRONG WRONG. I have proof. Look at the evidence.
I was soooo “good” for awhile and then I “blew it” and ate through half the junk food in America.

We’ve been talking about shame lately….but it’s such a cycle of doom.

All our fears, dread, trauma, and difficulties appear, and the belief is “I can’t handle it” or “If I have fear, sadness or anger, I’m WRONG” or “I’ve committed a crime” (by what I’ve eaten)….

….and then “I might as well EAT!” (and we stuff ourselves).

And not only did I have judgments about what I was eating, and what really good perfect people eat, but I also had many judgments about emotions, and expressing them.

Having strong emotions them meant I was TOO EMOTIONAL! Something’s wrong with me!

Who would you be without the belief there’s something wrong with you because you’ve experienced compulsive behavior–with food, eating, exercise, following your emotions, or anything? How would you treat food without the belief that if you eat it, you’re wrong? How would you treat yourself?

Without this belief that something’s wrong with me because of how I’m eating, I’m curious.

Without the belief, I’m LESS fixated on food and eating, and more open to what else is going on.

A sudden sense of self-compassion enters my awareness.

Maybe it’s OK not to “know” all the answers when it comes to food, or to focus so acutely on every bite that enters my mouth in such a rigid way.

Turning the thought around: there’s something RIGHT with me because of how I’m eating. And yes, I mean the binge-eating or the junk-food eating or the desperate eating.

What is it expressing? What’s “right” about it?
Now that’s a fascinating and wonderful question.
It helps us be open to understand what’s going on….a first step.
If you’d like to learn more, join me for the webinar I’m offering, coming up 3 times next week (and 3 times the following week as well). Sign up for alerts for the webinars right here.
Eating Peace: Working With The Dread of Eating Wrong...and The Belief
Eating Peace: Working With The Dread of Eating Wrong…and The Belief “I Might As Well Eat!”
Much love,
Grace

The first step to ending shame about eating: share what you’d prefer to hide.

One of the deepest most agonizing and painful feelings people with eating issues have….is shame.

I’m ashamed of myself for having this experience, for doing this type of eating, for thinking the way I think, for feeling the feelings I feel. 

Shame stays alive with secrets, hiding, keeping things to yourself. 

I found shame stayed alive through withholding myself, through not saying what seemed true for me. 

I wanted to hide the fact that I had eating issues, and even after I was no longer having any “disordered eating” episodes, I STILL wanted to hide my eating history.

Such a disgust around what I had done with food. 

The medicine for shame? A first profoundly powerful step is to share what you’re feeling with another human being–an individual, a group, it doesn’t matter–and be willing to enter that lack of safety. 

Today I talk about shame, some secrets I wanted to keep hidden…and also answer some questions about the upcoming Eating Peace program. In brief: the program has morphed and changed constantly. Honestly it’s worked brilliantly for some, and not for others. 

I’ve been learning for several years how to deliver what has worked for me with having a normal joy of eating and food, instead of suffering around it (as well as my body). 

It’s like my own eating peace program is how to share it with you, or really how to share it with my previous version of myself–the one who was so ashamed. 

Basically in a nutshell: the newest version of Eating Peace Process will start May 1st.

Participants will begin some practices step by step into their day to study eating, silence, thinking and inquiry (The Work of Byron Katie). 

We’ll do only the foundational practices for at least 2 weeks before moving on to more focus on the underlying patterns around compulsion. It’s my desire that everyone feel comfortable, and not so ashamed, when it comes to this eating thing. 

Most important of all when it comes to shame, in general? 

Identifying what you’ve experienced, done, thought or said that you feel is worthy of shame, and questioning it!

I didn’t want to talk about my eating for several decades. Too ashamed! But talking about it was what was required, for peace.

Eating Peace: Are you using self-abuse and militant control to solve your food problem?

We’ve all done it in order to lose weight, or make some kind of change: Boot Camp, Crack Down, Force, Dictatorship….Violence.

We’ve read 850 books on diets and nutrition. We believe we know what to do.

Maybe there’s something we’ve been missing, though. Something emotional, some beliefs about cravings and food and eating and our bodie, some information and awareness we haven’t been tracking in the mind. 

Every time I applied control and force to myself, they persisted. 

What if your reaction to control and force is actually a voice for integrity? A voice that’s suggesting somewhere very important you need to examine, or understand? 

Who would you be without your story of fear, dread, anger, loneliness, despair? Who would you be without the story that life (including you) can’t be trusted in this moment? Who would you be without a story of out-of-control or must-fix right now?

It doesn’t mean you have to flip to the opposite and become passive, non-active, give up, quit trying.

Curiosity about your cravings might be one of the most interesting, brilliant things you’ve ever done. 

One way you can do it is to pause for 60 seconds.

Write what you are mentally concerned with–whatever’s on your mind. Notice, let it be random, it doesn’t have to make sense logically….it’s giving a craving and an imbalance the life it needs to live to become aware of it clearly, and understand it.

Much love,Grace

P.S. Eating Peace Process, an in-depth program for those of us with eating concerns, will start May 1st. Our focus is ending the repetitive cycle, working with self-inquiry, and finding the dance between what is and what can be, with loving compassion.

Are you a food addict? Does this label support you? Or make it worse?

Does it help you to identify whether or not you’re addicted to food? Has it worked for you to call yourself a Food Addict or Compulsive Overeater?

This was a question someone asked, and I love what it helps us look at….the definition of addiction itself, and what supports us in ending the suffering.

We all know addiction basically means to be caught in a negative cycle of “having” to use a substance, eat that food, “do” something that relieves pressure or brings some pleasure….

….and that when we do it, it feels briefly good but overall, the whole cycle basically sucks. It has terrible side effects (in the case of eating, feeling bloated, sick, nauseated, frightened, discouraged, guilty, condemning of the self, angry with the body). 

It does seem the process we’re calling addiction is whatever happens when we’re “hooked” and we feel like we can’t stop.

But it’s clear that with all the deep studying of whatever we’re calling addiction, it’s profoundly helpful to focus on the cause: difficult feelings, suffering, pain, trauma, anxiety, fear, rejection, betrayal. 

What I find most helpful of all is knowing that nothing is permanent. Everything changes. Many people who were once addicted, no longer are. 

It doesn’t matter ultimately if you say you are or are not by definition “addicted”. What is most important is noticing. 

Watching the movement and energy and thinking that happens in each moment. 
Feelings, thoughts, memories, urge to bolt.

Who are we without our stressful or negative or fearful thoughts about what we encounter, including our memories?

Allowing them, perhaps, to pass through…and return to where they came from. 

Much love,Grace

P.S. Eating Peace Process, an in-depth program for those of us with eating concerns, will start May 1st. Our focus is ending the repetitive cycle, with loving compassion.

What if you want to lose weight? Then aren’t we supposed to diet?

The first time I ever decided I had a “problem” with my body weight, I was 14. 

The usual solution is to follow a diet and exercise program. Right?

I want to weigh less, so I’ll change the food itself and I’ll exercise more. “So simple” we say. 

It’s a math problem! 

We’ve all heard over and over how food plans and dieting and exercising in ways we find unpleasant and controlling our food doesn’t ultimately work. 
It doesn’t get us to where we truly want to be: A person who doesn’t even think about over-eating or under-eating. Someone who doesn’t have a concern or fear or rebellion about eating. 

I was once at a conference standing in the tea/coffee line with a doctor, having a lovely conversation. We had a long time, as the line was very long. 
When I mentioned that I had an eating disorder for many years, she said “oh, you’ll probably need to be vigilant about that for the rest of your life, right?”

What?!

No. 

How did I move into a much greater peace with eating, food, and weight?

I worked with the heavy weight of my emotional life. It was very heavy. 
I still experience swirling emotions, grief, heartbreak, anger, anxiety, nervousness. These are simply experiences that appear to be common, bubbling and normal for me. I’m not emotion-free. 

In fact, in the past, when the weight of my emotional life was so heavy, before turning toward my emotional experience with compassion….
….my goal was to have zero intense emotions. 

I could tell they came in and took over, and I wanted to shut it all down.
Who would we be without this story that being upset, troubled or anxious is bad or wrong? Who would we be without the story that the emotional and feeling life is torturous and must be avoided? Who would we be without the thought my feelings are frightening?

Sigh.

It may not feel comfortable, but it does feel human. For me, to be human is to feel. What I notice is….having feelings is a part of reality, whether I like them or not.

You want your body to be thinner?

Let’s turn it around: I want my thoughts about feelings to be thinner. I want emotional experience to be thinner.Just start with ONE fearful or troubling experience. You don’t have to handle all your terrors, upsets or grief at once. Begin with one, and study it, investigate it, chew on it, allow it in, allow it to be digested and to pass through you with understanding.

One of the best ways to do this? 

The Work of Byron Katie. 

Start with one difficult emotional experience where you felt betrayed, cut off, unloved or hurt, and take it through the four questions, then find turnarounds.

It may be easier to handle than you think.

It’s certainly worth the trip, because on the other side is a relaxation about having emotions without shame, and allowing them to live with compassion. 

When this happened for me, I simply didn’t feel like binge eating, or starving myself, anymore.

“Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector–mind–rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen, and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This is the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise.”  ~ Byron Katie

Since the beginning of time, I was trying to change my weight and my body and my eating so I could be happy. This never worked, because it approached the problem backward. What The Work gave me is a way to change the projector–mind–rather than the projected–my body, the food. 

I thought there was a flaw on the screen–my body itself–and I tried to change it constantly. I also tried to change this feeling and that feeling, trying to change myself and all “my” flaws when they appeared.

It was futile for me to try to change the projected image–the body, the food, the diet, the vision of perfection in the future, my feelings. 

What worked instead was to clear the lens by questioning the beliefs and feeling the turnarounds with surrender, acceptance, trust. 

I always say, if I can stop having an eating disorder and really notice the obsession to think about food is no longer present, then anyone can.

Much love,

Grace