I meannnnn. I don’t actually HAVE any secrets. Because there aren't any.
You knew that!
Anyway, there are a lot of new people around here, so 1. Welcome! and 2. This primer is for you.
It's also for people who just don’t have the funds right now for personal coaching - which can be a very helpful thing to do for yourself, but isn’t required to turn your eating problems around.
And I’m putting together a group program that will closely mirror my 1:1 coaching program, just with more people, for less money. (It’s not ready yet.)
In the meantime, here is my work in a nutshell. There really are no secrets:
The first thing I teach people is what I call the Riley method, based on Gillian Riley's Eating Less technique. Briefly, it consists of this foundational understanding: You are an adult, in charge of your eating, and you’re free to eat or not eat anything. You’re free to make changes, and free to keep doing exactly what you’ve always done.
With that in mind, here is Riley’s method for replacing all your undesirable, unhealthy or uncomfortable eating habits with a simple pair of tools that becomes your new macrohabit for eating:
At the beginning of each meal, decide WHAT you’re going to eat, and don’t eat more than that.
At the end of each meal, decide WHEN you’re going to eat next, and don’t eat sooner than that.
That's it. WHEN and WHAT.
(I’ve talked before about some of the many reasons why this method sidesteps all the pitfalls associated with other frameworks for eating in recovery. But let me know if you have questions like: What’s so great about that?)
However, as you may be thinking, having a serious, tough-to-break habit like bingeing or overeating - maybe an addiction, even - doesn’t feel much like freedom. It feels like being in chains. Really solid, binding chains.
So the other major thing we do is skill-building. We go straight at how to break a bad habit, fast, and snap that chain at its weak point. Basically, we put a directive in place not to strengthen the habit. Instead, we weaken the habit. By NOT DOING IT.
And that's uncomfortable. We brace ourselves for the unavoidable discomfort. It gets easier, and a basic understanding of the neurobiology is helpful here. (I’ve gotten my best material on this topic from the work of Kathryn Hansen and Jeffrey Schwartz.)
That’s a very brief encapsulation of the work we do together, me and my clients. Yes, the devil is in the details. Yes, there are subtleties and tricks and some tailoring that takes place. Yes, support and accountability and getting your specific questions answered goes a long way and can speed things up a ton.
But the above is actually enough.
If your budget (or your library’s budget) permits, I suggest these books as well:
Secrets From the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again, Traci Mann. It’s impossible to stop bingeing and overeating before you stop dieting. Mann shows, once and for all, why dieting only makes us fatter. And will just a little bit never ever work. And she does it with science. http://amzn.to/2njLV0d
You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life, Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding. A clear and useful explanation of the neuroanatomy of habits and how we can break the ones we don’t want to keep. http://amzn.to/2oeM6Pf
The Brain over Binge Recovery Guide: A Simple and Personalized Plan for Ending Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder, Kathryn Hansen. A follow-on on to Hansen’s memoir of overcoming bulimia, this book is loaded with effective worksheets, plus the solid-gold advice to read and use only as much of the book as you need. http://amzn.to/2mSG06Z
Eating Less: Say Goodbye to Overeating, Gillian Riley. The simplest, fastest and most lightweight framework for ending overeating I have ever found. Plenty of practical implementation advice. http://amzn.to/2njKu1q
Be Less Crazy About Your Body, Megan Dietz. Full of sanity, as advertised. This book is less about how to eat than how to Just Say No to damaging beauty norms and diet culture. In other words, Be Less Crazy will transform your eating indirectly and painlessly. And it’s fre e: http://belesscrazy.com
(You can also download this list as a pdf, if you haven't already.)
Let me know how you go. And if you do want more support, and are wondering about 1:1 coaching with me, the details are here.