Mothers and our eating: is it their fault?

This is a little controversial.

Our mothers.

Don’t they have rather a lot of influence on our lives?


When it comes to eating, food, and body image, mother soften have passed along a story that’s quite intense about food, cooking, serving others food, eating, body shapes and what they should be.

They learned, just like we did, what was acceptable, good, perfect, or successful.

And they showed us.

Sometimes, they showed us very well indeed. 

It’s quite profound, however, to be the one who questions any painful story you’ve heard, or learned, or thought….when it comes to mother.

Here’s a story that may surprise you about my mother, and what I felt when she said “I’m so proud of you”.
I wasn’t happy.

Eating Peace Free 70 minute Masterclass. Sign up to be notified and join the webinar here. You have a choice of three times:

  • October 24th 9 am PT
  • October 25th 2 pm PT
  • November 11th 10 am PT

Free 8 day Eating Peace Experience Course November 4-11, 2018 on facebook LIVE. Opt in HERE to join and receive all the daly lessons.

Eating Peace Process 5 month Immersion starts in November. Registration will open at the end of October. Read about it here.

Eating Peace Annual Retreat. Learn more here. Jan 9-14, 2019 in northeast Seattle, Washington.

Much love,



How do you react when you don’t feel at home? Easy. I ate.

As I prepare for the new Eating Peace Process Immersion, coming up in mid-November, I’m creating two helpful (I hope) and complimentary events that I hope will support eating freedom and clarity, and give you the chance to experience online group connection and learning with me:

1) a brand new completely free Eating Peace Webinar on changing the stories that drive eating wars, and;

2) a one-week Eating Wars Challenge where we’ll be together daily from November 4-10 on facebook live to question and shift compulsive or emotional eating in our lives.

I’ll share more in upcoming Eating Peace Notes soon, including information on how to join one or both of these complimentary trainings.

The other day, I was reflecting on one of my first most terrible, dreadful “loneliness” stories.

The “I Am Lonely” story.

I am not connected, I am abandoned, I am alone, I am not safe.


This story is incredibly stressful.

When I believed it was the truth, what did I do?

I isolated, I tried to hold back tears, I slept a lot or lay in my bed…and I ate.

This is a truly powerful story to question. So let’s do it today (and you’re welcome to watch my live youtube on this right here).

I am not home.

Is it true?


When I think about this right now, today, I can still find the voice that wonders where home is….that isn’t so sure it’s here, now. But I really can’t know that voice is accurate.

The thought comes in “where else would home be, if not here?”

I can really see it’s not True.

But how do you react when you think it is?

Doubt enters my heart, and I feel it in my body. I believe I won’t be safe quite soon, and I’m not emotionally safe now. I can’t relax. I want to go home, like a little kid saying “where’s my mommy?”

And if you watch my story I shared on youtube, you’ll know that the way I reacted to this belief “I am not home” is that I ate.

I ate and ate and ate and stuffed and filled myself. I remember I knew how to say in French, “J’ai manger trop”.

“I ate too much!”

I said this many times to my student leader on my foreign exchange program who was probably about 24 and seemed so old and wise and capable. I remember her saying back to me “you’ve said that a lot!”


I’ve sat with many people in this stressful belief. Some people react by hunting for the perfect mate. Some people buy clothes and go shopping and try to enhance their environment with a feeling of “home”. Some people watch TV or movies, or join a ton of groups, or fill their time with way too many tasks.

Just watch, if you’ve held this belief that you are not ultimately at home, how stressful it can be.

I notice that I’ve felt source, reality, universe, God, were very far away somewhere and not listening to me. (I notice it makes no sense at all, really, but the images are of distance, outer space, being cut-off, feeling desperately sad).

Now….who would you be without this belief you aren’t home?

I instantly notice a sense of relief or wonder about this moment. It’s quiet, yet I can hear a lot of sounds–crows and eagles outside, a group passing by on bikes calling to each other, wind chimes on the front porch, a loud motor from the busy street in the distance.

But I suppose it would be fine if suddenly I was deaf.

And what would this moment be like without sight, without the belief you aren’t home?

I find there’s a trust present that I didn’t feel before. Something kind. I’m not assuming darkness or blackness means aloneness or separation.

Turning the thought around: what if you are connected? What if you are home?

I am connected, I am found, I am surrounded, I am safe.

Was that actually true for me at that time so long ago when I shared my story of being so far away in another country?


I had a group leader, I had adults who had welcomed me into their home to spend time with their family for the entire summer, I sang all summer with my friends in 3-part harmony during our bike ride adventure through France, I felt joy at the beauty I witnessed of landscapes and castles and camping in barns on hay, I learned that I didn’t need my parents or family around in order to be happy.

I also learned that something in me felt terrified and reached for food for relief, escape and comfort. I lost some of my innocence of childhood and discovered I had something vital to contend with—my inner soul’s desire to connect with other humans honestly (instead of food).

It was not easy.

I am still practicing and learning the living turnaround: I am home.

But what I can see is when I do not believe that I’m not home and there’s no hope in returning home, I do not eat wildly and desperately.

I notice a need to articulate my feelings and speak them. I ask for support and put myself in environments where I will receive it. I connect with other people–including all the clients and people who appear for groups–and we do this work, together.

I feel in this body, and in my consciousness, a sense of now, here, being, open.

Gratitude may appear. Thankful for this chair. Thankful for this tree. Thankful for this mind, these thoughts, these feelings even.

This. Nothing more required.

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
~ Wendell Berry

Much love,

P.S. All new Eating Peace webinar in the works, along with a 7 day Eating Wars Challenge (long-time requested, and I’ll finally do it). Stay tuned, the webinars will happen October 24th 9 am PT and October 25th 2 pm PT and again on the weekend November 10th 4 pm PT and November 11th 10 am PT.

The daily LIVE challenge will begin Sunday, November 4th and I’ll go live on facebook daily with a really life-changing important “story” to challenge when it comes to dissolving compulsive eating.

Eating Peace Process 5 month Immersion starts in November. Registration will open at the end of October. Read about it here.

Eating Peace Annual Retreat. Limited to 14 people. Learn more here. Amazingly, already this is filling even though 3.5 months away. Love to have you start the new year with eating peace Jan 9-14, 2019.

When should you follow a food plan? Yikes!

There’s a great debate amongst people who have noticed eating issues in their lives: there’s a right way and a wrong way to eat. Right foods and wrong foods. Good. Bad. Allowed. Not allowed.

You don’t even have to feel compulsive about food, or that you’re a binge-eater, or call yourself someone with disordered eating or emotional eating to get into this debate.

You can be a fairly normal eater, and still feel anxious about when, what, how, where or what time to eat, right?

There’s even a fairly new (in the past couple of years) diagnosis for a type of eating problem, called Orthorexia. It simply means someone who is obsessed about eating the “right” food.

When you have this trouble, you can’t stop reading labels and feeling concern about getting the right food into your body.

So how do we think about (or feel about) what’s right for us when it comes to dieting, following a food plan, having structure?

For me, there are two things you want to look at closely, holding them central to whatever you’re choosing around food and eating: 1) kindness and support and 2) fear.

Here’s what I mean.

1) When it comes to kindness and support and what, when and how to eat….are your ideas, or what you’ve learned, or how you are eating supporting you? Is it kind? Or does it have a punishing, restrictive, dictator-like feel to it–where your thoughts about yourself are that you can’t be trusted and you can’t do it right and you’re no good, wrong, and always out of control?

If this is your belief about yourself, then you may not be willing and open to see why you eat off-balance in the first place, and what your reaching for food actually is trying to teach or show you.

When I used to binge eat, I was grabbing for comfort, expressing my rage, and trying to escape, all at once. There were many deeply traumatic emotional disruptions inside of me that were being expressed by the way I ate.

I didn’t binge ALL THE TIME either. It was NOT constant. I had some more relaxed days, and some chaotic ones. As I began to listen to my cravings and manic attacks about food, I could find other alternate support, or sit and wonder what was going on within.

My craving and reaching were powerful experiences showing me where my mind was off-balance and my thinking was panicked.

Which brings me to the other element or experience to look at and hold closely when it comes to the project of “how shall I eat?” and that is, as I mentioned, fear.

2) Here’s what you can ask yourself when it comes to awareness of fear: What’s the worst that could happen? What are you afraid of most of all? What frightens you about eating x or not eating y? Is there something you believe you have to live without (besides food)? Is there something you believe you’ve lost, forever? Are you scared of something happening again that happened before, and it was terrifying?

What is most scary about this whole eating thing?

I used to be so frightened of being heavy, or “fat”. I was also frightened of being greedy, or having huge desire for something. Having huge cravings or desire was BAD BAD BAD. Not just with food, but with anything; people, success, money, things.

In any case, in the middle of wondering how to eat, and taking a look at what will help you calm down (not be so scared) AND what is most kind for you….

….notice that even if you’re never sure exactly how to eat for the rest of your life, you can be kind to yourself today, now, with hunger and fullness and eating. AND you can feel safe, here, even without being perfect, and without being an expert.

Much love,

Eating Peace Immersion starts in November. Registration will open at the end of October. Read about it here.

Eating Peace Annual Retreat taking enrollments. Limited to 14 people. Learn more here.

Much love,

Eating because you’re sad, overwhelmed, empty – what to do instead of eat

Eating Peace Immersion starts in November. Registration will open at the end of October. Read about it here.
Eating Peace Annual Retreat already taking enrollments. Limited to 14 people. Learn more here.

We all know what emotional eating in general is: eating because you feel uncomfortable emotionally, and you’re not physically hungry.

Sometimes, it feels like a huge cloud of discomfort…and it’s hard to identify what’s even going on.

We just gallop towards the food, in a panic of “feeling” without asking ourselves what’s up?

The other day, I had a surge of something that felt very sad and the voice within said “I need something”….

….like I need love, attention, distraction, soothing, clarity, peace.

I felt anxious.

I know when this happens, the thing to do is to quietly notice my own anxious thinking.

Instead of only being aware of the voice that says I need something and to quick go get something that would help alter my mood….

….I can ask with a listening and open ear to myself and my heart: what’s bothering you sweetheart?

It’s so much more loving AND exciting and interesting.

I suddenly realized a bunch of things that had crossed my world in a short period of time that all added up quickly to the belief and the proof that “they abandoned me!”

They left, they broke up, they dismissed me, they didn’t listen, they died.

Here’s how I handled the moment of troubled feelings within:

I might take credit for having the idea of doing it this other different and more effective way (vs eating, drinking, smoking, escaping) except that I think this reaction came from practicing The Work.

It’s just simply a by-product of wanting to become my own best friend and wanting to understand my own feelings and wanting, most of all, to question my thoughts.

Much love,

What is emotional eating? The one most important thing we can do to interrupt the cycle.

What is emotional eating and how do we stop?

Whenever we feel uncomfortable feelings, and we hate feeling them, the process of addiction actually works.

Kind of.

We feel very upset because of some contact with reality, with people, with difficult situations. We FEEL triggered, upset, troubled, and we want to calm down.

So, we eat, drink, spend, escape. We change the channel. We don’t feel bad anymore, we don’t feel guilty anymore. For about five minutes. Or a few hours.

Then, the medicine of numbing offered by our behavior wears off, and we feel then feel horrible about ourselves and our eating (or other behavior we dislike). We think we deserve punishment!

When we feel awful about ourselves, we think violence, control and punishment will create change. It can force something to happen (but it never works in a permanent, abiding way of course).

Here are the steps to enter a more compassionate state, vs the mean ruler voice that often steals our peace:

1) Notice you are experiencing emotions. I am filled with feeling. It’s uncomfortable. I may even begin to panic about these feelings.

2) Interrupt the cycle. Instead of reaching for something to eat, let’s pause and slow down. Just for 60 seconds. Can you wait for 60 seconds? Can you handle these feelings, without doing anything? Can you relax, even though emotions are running?

3) If you actually eat or do something to help you cope with your feelings, you’ve spun into step 2 on the Sin-Guilt-Punishment Cycle. You feel horribly guilty and like you are a terrible person. But it’s not too late to once again interrupt the cycle and question your thinking.


You’re a bad person, you are wrong…is it true? Are you sure that’s true? Who would you be without this belief?

4) If you still feel bad, and you believe punishment will indeed resolve your discomfort with experiencing feelings like anxiety, depression, or anger which led to escaping those feelings….pause and interrupt at this phase if you can.

Notice the meanness of that voice, and what a dictator it is. “You deserve to be punished, now that you’ve gone and done it again.” Is that actually true? Could something else be going on? Could you be reaching for love, peace, calm, understanding?

Self-Compassion can interrupt the cycle in any place on the merry-go-round. Self-compassion is kindness to yourself.

Self-Compassion reminds us that we can handle feelings, and they won’t kill us.

You can handle this moment. You can handle this discomfort. You can pause, breathe, slow down, and notice feelings are a part of you, not all of you.

Can you imagine someone or something that is very compassionate, kind, loving, unconditionally accepting?

This could be your guide. Your Compassionate Advisor. Maybe it’s God, the Force, Love, Life, a tree somewhere, a Guide, an Angel, A Fairy Godmother.

If you find that you absolutely cannot seem to stop the merry-go-round cycle of addiction: a) Believing your feelings are a sin or crime, b) suppressing or escaping from your horror or discomfort, from your feelings (by eating or whatever else), c) punishing yourself for being a bad person….

….then find people you feel safe with to connect with who can help support you in your feelings, and not want to crush them with an addictive process.

Twelve step groups, therapy groups, spiritual groups, retreats, support groups offer immense value for helping us connect honestly, and breaking this cycle.

You can end eating your emotions, and discover eating peace.

“Addictions are always the effect of an unquestioned mind. The only true addiction to work with is the addiction to your thoughts. As you question those thoughts, that addiction ceases because you no longer believe those thoughts. And as those thoughts cease, as you cease to believe them, then the addictions in your life cease to be. It is a process. And there’s no choice; you believe what you think, or you question it.” ~ Byron Katie

Is there something dangerous about being thin?

If you’ve spent some time, perhaps years of your life, wanting that other thin body….

….or years of your life wanting this heavy body to go away….

….have you ever considered you might not want the thin body?

Have you ever thought you actually might like, in some inner corner of your being, the body you already have?

What’s so great about thinness? Are you sure it’s all that great? Have you ever heard of “bad” things happening to thin people, or around thin people?

Have you ever believed those thin people are in danger, or need to be extra careful (like not only with their diets, but with relationships of certain kinds, or something else)? Have you ever thought those with the perfect thin body are missing something, or left out?

Have you ever believed heavy people are happier for some specific reasons? Or safer? Or more comfortable in certain ways?

It can be really interesting to discover what you really think that underlies your thoughts and beliefs about body shapes that scare you, alarm you, worry you, disturb you in any way whatsoever.

Who would we be without these interesting stories?

“Without awareness of our unconscious practices, we have little chance of freeing ourselves from the suffering they cause. So, practicing being aware of where attention habitually goes and the suffering it causes and practicing finding the willingness to direct attention to the experience of life we want to be having are powerfully helpfulas we work out our own salvation diligently.” ~ Cheri Huber 

Much love,


You should really be over this by now–is that actually true?

If you’ve had eating troubles of any kind, then your mind has likely said loudly to yourself:

“Really? You did this again? What’s WRONG with you? You should be OVER this by now!”

Let’s inquire into this thought today, with The Work of Byron Katie.

Is it true you should be over this “problem” by now?

Are you absolutely sure?

What I noticed over the many years I struggled with eating, food, weight….is that I wasn’t over it.

And to this day, there remain concepts to look at that have to do with food, eating, moving. I may not be binge-eating or purging or so extreme with food anymore, but there’s still noticing and awareness and change and interest in peace in every situation.

How do you react when you believe you should be over it, when you aren’t?

Very harsh. I become a Dictator about myself. Or I curl into a ball of sadness and despair.

Desperate, hopeless, angry.

So who would you be without the thought you should be over something that you aren’t over?

And we’re talking about food and eating and weight management and all of that here (although there are many other things people think they should be “over” that they are not actually over).

Without the belief I should be over something I’m not, I feel very curious about the behavior. I have questions. I feel a greater awareness, a willingness to support this person I apparently am.

I inquire. I want to look. I might even ask for help, join with others, find greater support.

I’d look and see what the eating was expressing. What was I afraid of? Worried about? What’s my relationship with reality in the minutes surrounding this eating behavior? What have I not looked at, or what am I missing here that I’ve been afraid to see, or concerned about?

What would make me think overeating, or starving, is the only solution or way to solve my discomfort in this moment?

Who would I be without this story?

Turning my thoughts around: I should NOT be over it, I should be over my thinking. 

What’s the message? “This” energy can’t stop until I face it, look at it, respond to it.

I might even notice that I can say “no” to eating, even if my mind offers this as an option, and cravings have begun. I can be over my “thoughts” in this situation. I don’t have to take action on everything my thoughts tell me.

Including eat.

Could the eating I’m doing and my relationship with food have something to do with my worries about life? They sure did for me. The eating helped me to identify what it was I was thinking and believing about people, what people thought of me, my condition, being small, the dangers of life, the unfairness, anything I might worry about.

I can look at what’s going on in any troubling situation, and inquire.

Thank you, disordered eating, for showing me where my perceptions have not been peaceful about reality.

Much love,


The Hunger-Fullness Scale: A Guide to Get You Back to Your Natural Way of Eating

So what is the hunger-fullness scale and why should we use it as a guide or a stepping stone to eating freedom?

Well for one thing, my favorite thing of all about this scale is that it’s really a felt sense within. Not another thing you have to read about and follow by studying a book.

This scale is something that’s felt in the body, with no absolute definition. It’s subjective.

It means you are the one in the driver’s seat…or really, your body is. Your mind and your “plans” are not in charge.

Your physical feeling sense of empty and full is the one in charge. Not your EMOTIONAL FEELINGS, either.

This contact with physical sensation has to include the part of you willing to slow down, check in with your inner sense of satiation, and honor it deeply.

In today’s video I answer a few questions I get about the Hunger-Fullness scale and talk about it a little more.

The Hunger-Fullness Scale can hold all diet plans, ways of eating (vegetarian, vegan, meat-eater, and any kind of format for eating, weight watchers or a diet if that’s where you are right now).

It can accompany any way of eating that eliminates some foods and adds in others. Always, the body and the sense of honoring it’s guidance leads the way.

You don’t have to be there instantly.

Just know about this scale of awareness, and practice.

You may have had your head, or counting, measuring, weighing and other methods of portioning food or following rules lead the way and be in charge for a very long time.

This is about seeing the freedom built into you as a human. This freedom and feeling gives you exactly what you need when it comes to boundaries and guidance with eating, if you’re willing to feel it.

And if you are not willing….you might ask yourself why not? What would override your hunger-fullness boundaries?

Whatever would override this scale is deeply worthy of exploring. It’s difficult to do at first, but oh so possible.

It’s so powerful, that turning towards it to look and understand whatever would override NOT EATING when you aren’t hungry and EATING when you are, can result in immense insight and awareness.

If you follow this hunger-fullness scale, you automatically return to the simplicity of eating when hungry, and stopping when full. No diet or control of any kind is necessary.

And as for inquiry…..this is very, very important. You have to know how to identify what takes you away from the natural process of the hunger-fullness scale within, and then question it.

If you’d like with guidance through the tool called The Work of Byron Katie for this process of inquiry, you might love the Seven Day Course for Dingalings. It’s helping people go through this profound practice one bite-sized amount at a time, for a week. Sign up for it here.

Much love,


Unlearning beliefs like “there is something wrong with me” (+ Eating Peace 101 starts Thursday)

In these summer months of heat in the hemisphere where I live, I’ve heard from many about their urge to cover their bodies, never go to the beach, and hide themselves from the world and all those critical eyes.

The other day, I received a note from an Eating Peacer that she closed her blinds and stayed inside all day because the only cool place outside was the lake, and she was never, ever, ever going to be “caught alive” (she said) wearing a bathing suit in public.

I remembered this kind of shame about the body, and how it actually escalated my eating behaviors and turned them into crazed eating instead of normal teen eating.

My thoughts were constantly filled with stress, as I tried to get a more perfect body. I starved myself, then binge-ate, then starved again, then worked out for hours, then ran five miles, then ate, then vomited….

….and repeated the swinging flip-flop back and forth with enormous pain.

I believed something was desperately wrong with me.

I always aimed to try harder, use more willpower, get it right.

Which, actually, I finally sort of did. Although, I’m not sure “I” did it (I’m pretty sure nothing actually happened because of my plans, honestly). But my failures did lead to giving up, in a good way, and stopping the pursuit of a perfect body.

I just wanted peace.

If you’ve felt the pull to peace, and it’s become the most important jewel in your relationship with food….then peace tends to rise above all plans, controls, or management of eating and your body and dieting.

The upcoming Eating Peace 101 telecourse is a good place to focus more openly and deeply on peace when it comes to eating, to food, to our bodies (no matter what weight) and to our feelings and thoughts.

We’ll be looking at our belief system, our ideas, our screaming internal thoughts and voices, and investigating our moments of following a craving, or overeating food, or pursuing at all costs the perfect body.

Who or what would we be like without our stories?

In today’s Eating Peace video, I talk about one key important belief everyone can question who’s ever had trouble with compulsive or dependent behavior of any kind, not just with food: there’s something wrong with me.

Why do The Work?

Because when we do, we unlearn all the decades, centuries of beliefs about thin, fat, full, hungry, good, bad, need, emptiness, control, power, eating, food, attraction, should, shouldn’t.

You are not your mind. You are not your weight or your appearance. You are not your personality. You are not the food you just ate, or the way you ate it. You are much, much vaster than that. (Thank you, Adyashanti).

Much love,


P.S. Eating Peace Process, the immersion, will begin again in November 2018 and meet through April 2019. Some will attend a January 4 day retreat in Seattle area (optional). All those in Eating Peace Process will have bi-monthly support from May through October. This is an in-depth program for those who are serious about eating peace, and once you join, you’re “in” for life. Stay tuned or learn more (not taking registrations yet) by visiting HERE.

Gratitude Eating (and not because you should be)

I’ve created a course just for brand new beginners to The Work called The Work for Dingalings (LOL).

It’s a Complete Idiots or The Work for Dummies Course where you’ll receive an email per day for a week. You’ll need 20-30 minutes per day to complete your homework.

To enroll (it’s entirely free) sign up here.


We’ve heard about the power of gratitude.

But sometimes, it’s very difficult to find gratitude when it comes to our relationship with eating, food and our bodies.

These have caused so much strife, hell, stress, desperation, self-criticism.

How can we find gratitude for the weird diet foods we’ve eaten, or the ugly foods we’ve placed before us, or the sick feelings we’ve had when it comes to eating, or the disappointment about our weight, or worst of all, the compulsion to eat when not hungry?

This is NOT a “should”.

But it’s worth trying anyway. The power of appreciation is immense–and maybe more magnificent than you ever imagined.

Take a moment today, and think about the service this relating to food, eating food has been for you.

When I think about my truly whacky disordered eating, it almost seems nutty to consider that experience in my life with gratitude.

But I can find examples of feeling appreciation for the wayI I’ve eaten:

  • It led me to explore psychology, peace, relating to other people, learning about all relationships, and improving my communication
  • it gave me a way to be different from my family, to rebel dramatically, to find freedom from rigid rules about life
  • it gave me a big Left Turn in my own life–I dropped out, I worked on a ship, I went to therapy
  • it brought me to my knees and put me on a spiritual path of acceptance, including myself and my emotions
  • I love the very taste, texture, joy of emptying and filling up every single day–I love eating
  • it’s helped me learn how to support other people also suffering from the same craziness with food

Today, you can try to simply find a sense of gratitude, of appreciation, for something about food, eating, and your body.

Feel it.

Especially before eating. Practice “thank you” and see what happens.

EVEN if you think you’re overeating, binge-eating, doing it wrong.

Without our stories, we are not only able to eat and act clearly and fearlessly, we are also a friend and listener to ourselves, our own bodies, our fullness and our hunger. We are people living happy lives when it comes to eating. We are appreciation and gratitude that have become as natural as breath, and eating, itself.
Much love,
P.S. Eating Peace 101 is coming: a six session class on Thursday mornings 8:00-9:30 am PT starting July 26th and will meet every two weeks (every other week) until October 4th. $295. Everything will be recorded. To learn more, visit HERE.
P.P.S. Eating Peace Process, the immersion, will begin again in November 2018 and meet through April 2019. This is an in-depth program for those who are serious about transforming their relationship with food from the inside out. Stay tuned or learn more (not taking registrations yet) by visiting HERE.