Friday, July 17, 2015

7 Steps To Stop Feeling Guilty

Got guilt?  

Feeling guilty for what you're eating may distract from a stronger guilt and/or shame about having needs and wanting more (of anything).

What's the difference between guilt and shame?

Guilt can be understood as being about something that you did or did not do.  It references behavior and actions.   People feel guilty when they think they've done something wrong, or when they choose not to take action.   

Guilt sounds like:  "I've done something really bad and wrong."

Shame about who you are as a person, your essential character.   It's not that you've done a bad thing, but that there's something essentially bad about you.  Shame is often associated with secrecy and leads to isolation.

Shame sounds like:  "There's something really bad and wrong with me."

Here's how to get rid of guilt:

1.  Think of something that makes you feel guilty.  What is your "crime"?
"I feel guilty for eating that pizza" or "I feel guilty for wanting ice cream"

2.  Identify what the behavior means about you.
"I want too much and I have no self-control.  I am completely weak."

3.  If your guilt was not attached to food/weight, what might you feel guilty about?   "I'm not happy in my relationship" or, "I resent my friends/family."

4.  What are your rules for yourself about wanting and feeling?  "Don't want too much.  Don't be selfish.  Be happy with you have because other people have it so much worse.  Don't complain.  Don't be a whiner.  Who do you think you are?  Don't be full of yourself?  Don't be angry.  

5.  What do you imagine is wrong with your character, your basic and essential self?  "I'm needy.  I'm too much.  I'm not enough.  There's something missing in me.  I'm not lovable.  I'm deficient."

6.  Where did you learn to relate to yourself this way?   "Childhood, family, experiences in school, relationships with friends and/or romantic situations."

7.  What is another way of looking at this situation and your behavior? 
"I'm still learning to identify and process my feelings.  I have conflicts about wanting more out of life, and that makes me feel needy.  Wanting more is not bad, or shameful, but human.  I will be curious about where in my life I feel deprived, so I don't turn to food to get "more" or to express my conflict over wanting more out of life by eating"

When you identify and process your core guilt and shame, you'll be less likely to attach your guilt/shame to your weight, food or body image.

That's how you make peace with food!

Dr. Nina

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FREE 3 Day Video Challenge: 

Crack The Code of Emotional Eating!

<<<< CLICK HERE >>>>>

Friday, July 10, 2015

3 Ways To Boost Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself, the respect you hold for yourself, and your overall sense of worth.  

Here are three ways you can improve your self-esteem:

#1:  Accept the full range of your emotions!

"I'm really oversensitive and dramatic."  This comment attacks the "emotional/feeling self" and the underlying message is:  "I'm too much for anyone to handle" or "My feelings are a burden to others."

We live in a society that turns normal human reactions into something negative.   People are urged to be "strong" and not give in to their emotions.  
  • Sad?  Take an anti-depressant for depression.
  • Anxious?  There's a pill for that, too!
  • Angry?  Go to an anger management class.
Sometimes, huge feelings become actually "feeling" huge.   Consider how intense issues are said to be "weighty" or "heavy."

If your self-esteem is based on being "strong" and not expressing feelings, challenge the notion that strength equals a lack of emotions.  

#2:  Accept that perfection is unattainable

Ever say something like, "I can't stand my gross, squishy stomach.  I'm so disgusting"

If your self-esteem is based on your "body self" the underlying message is:  "I have to be perfect to be lovable."

When you objectify yourself, your primary relationship is often to your own body, instead of to people.

If you're waiting to be "perfect" before you consider a romantic relationship, change jobs, go back to school or leave your marriage, you're defining perfection by a number on a scale.  

Often, that definition of "perfection" changes as you near your goal, the finish line moving farther out of reach, along with your willingness to take risks.   

When you accept imperfection, it's easier to start now!

#3:  Trust the positive views other people have of you!

Self-esteem has a direct impact on the quality of your relationships.  If you feel good about yourself, you'll trust that others also hold a positive view of you. 

Conversely, if you judge yourself, it's easier to believe that others are judging you.  When you're  overly self-critical, you're susceptible to accepting criticism from others and even staying in unhealthy relationships.   

When other people like you, accept, admire, respect and cherish you... believe them!

That means giving up an idealized view of perfection - in terms of your appearance, your internal emotions and conflicts, and your achievements. 

Giving yourself and the people you love the right to be "perfectly imperfect" will improve the closeness and quality of your relationships.

Self-acceptance refers to balancing different facets of yourself, holding onto the features you like about yourself, along with those you'd like to change.  

Dr. Nina

*     *     *     

FREE 3 Day Video Challenge: 

Crack The Code of Emotional Eating!

<<<< CLICK HERE >>>>>

Friday, July 3, 2015

How To Silence Your Inner Critic

Are you eating as a way of escaping a loud inner voice?  Do you tell yourself things like:

You're not good enough
You don't deserve to be happy
You're such a loser

Or worse?

Food can momentarily take you away from that internal critic, the part that attacks your spirit and stop you from living your best life.

(Hint:  a quick way of identifying your inner critic is to catch when you talk to yourself in second person "You're a loser" rather than, "I'm a loser")
Here's how to silence that mean voice: 

Imagine a mental courtroom.   You're well-acquainted with your internal prosecutor/ critic.  Now, cultivate an internal defense attorney.   

When the prosecutor says you're not good enough, OBJECT.  Then, take the floor and demand evidence for these accusations.   Remember, a judge will tell you:

Feelings are not facts.

Feelings are not admissible as evidence.  If you "feel" like there's something wrong with you, challenge that notion.  If you "feel" like you should be in a different place in your life, challenge that, too.  Give your defense attorney an equal opportunity to be heard.

When the internal prosecutor accuses you of not being good enough, don't accept it as the truth.

Demand that the prosecutor define "good enough" (by the way, that is subjective and NOT a number on the scale).

What criteria form the basis of this accusation?  Is it your weight?  What else?

Present alternative evidence to the court

Think about how you actually live your life.  If you're reading this, there is likely a part of you that is proactive, hopeful and willing to consider new perspectives.  If you have tried and failed many diets, you're not a failure - you're really tenacious.

When you weigh the evidence and judge for yourself, chances are you'll come to a different conclusion than if you only look at yourself from the eyes of a prosecutor.

Stop punishing yourself for crimes you haven't committed.  

Liberate yourself from that inner prosecutor and feel better about yourself, so you won't use food for comfort or distraction or restrict food to give yourself a sense of wellbeing.

Dr. Nina

*     *     *     

FREE 3 Day Video Training: Crack The Code Of Emotional Eating!

<<<< CLICK HERE >>>>>

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How To Comfort Yourself (Without Food)

How do you talk to yourself?

Here are some things I've heard this past week:
  • I'm so mad at myself for eating all those brownies.  I'm such a loser.
  • Why can't I get a grip?  What's wrong with me? 
  • I woke up feeling gross after bingeing yesterday.  I'm disgusting.
  • I hate myself.

The way you talk to yourself impacts the way you feel, which in turn influences behavior.  If you're harsh, you'll feel AWFUL - and way more likely to eat for comfort or distraction (just to escape yourself!).

Changing the way you respond to YOU is absolutely key to making peace with food. Here are three crucial steps you can implement right away:

#1 Choose your words carefully

Let's say a friend ate brownies and was really upset.  Imagine telling her (or him), "I can't believe you scarfed down those brownies.  You are such a loser."

Um.... probably not.

So what would you say to a friend?    

For starters, how about, "Eating brownies is not a criminal offense so please don't punish yourself."  

Then I'd wonder, "What was going on with you before you ate those brownies?  What were you feeling?  Thinking?  What would be on your mind if you weren't beating yourself up for having brownies?"

Keep in mind:

Stay curious, not critical.

If you wouldn't say it to a friend or a child, don't say it to yourself.

#2 Acknowledge & Ask Questions

If a friend felt physically gross after a binge, I doubt you'd say, "You have no right to your feelings.  You should just suffer, you loser."

Acknowledgment sounds like,  "I know you're feeling terrible.  You feel sad and defeated and upset. What would make you feel better right now?  

Practice saying this to yourself.   "I feel sad and upset.  What will make me feel better?"

Acknowledging emotions is validating.  Asking questions helps you find answers. 
I promise you, that feels way better than calling yourself names!

#3 Take care with your tone

The same words can feel very different depending on what tone you use.  If you ask, "What do I need right now?" in a warm, caring, interested tone, you'll feel good, comforted and safe.

It's quite another to use the same words in a cold, exasperated tone of voice.

Tone is essential.  A soothing tone can feel like a verbal hug.

Talk to yourself as you would talk to someone you care deeply about!  By stopping the criticism and cultivating interest and support, you'll be able to comfort yourself with words.  When that happens, you won't use food for that purpose!

As with everything, practice makes progress.

Take good care of yourself, today and every day!

Dr. Nina

FREE 3 Day Video Training: Crack The Code Of Emotional Eating!

<<<< CLICK HERE >>>>>

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    3 Foundational Steps To Starting Your Weight Loss Journey

    Today's guest blog post is from Kerry Tepedino, a holistic health expert who shares her own experience with disordered eating and her tips for recovery.   

    Take it away, Kerry!

    "...One of the hardest things about being overweight is how you feel about yourself.
    I know, because I’ve been there.

    I want to share a story with you… hopefully one that will help you see that no matter what your current age or size, you can change the direction of your health.

    There was a time when I had an eating addiction and body image disorder. I was prone to binges instead of feeling my feelings, purging to let go of the guilt of the binge, and then doing it all over again.

    It was a deadly, painful cycle that kept me spinning in confusion, frustration, and sadness.

    I remember a defining moment I had when I was driving in my car one day and I clearly understood that I needed to make a decision, for I couldn’t keep living my life this way. I needed to “end it” or decide to heal.

    Thank goodness I decided to heal.

    I dove deep into studying the power of food, meditation, yoga, and self-reflection. I began to sit with my emotions, instead of eating them away. I started to slow down and breathe, instead of filling my plate with more things to do. I stopped hanging out with people who were toxic.

    I want the same for you, so I’ve mapped out some simple steps that can help you get started…

    3 Foundational Steps To Starting Your Weight Loss Journey:

    1)   KNOW YOUR WHY: Ask yourself WHY you want to get healthy. Why is it important to you? This piece is crucial so you push through the days where you want to give up. It will help you stay focused and connected to something bigger for yourself.

    2)   KEEP IT VISIBLE: Once you discover your WHY, write it down and place it in multiple places where you can see it often: the bathroom mirror, next to your bed, at your computer. Keep your WHY at the forefront of your mind and take “mini vacations” throughout the day where you stop, close your eyes, and focus on what your WHY will FEEL like once you’ve attained it.

    3)   SET YOURSELF UP TO WIN: Now that you know your WHY, it’s important to set up the steps you need to attain it. Fill your pantry with healthy, EASY TO GRAB snacks and meals. Set your workout clothes out the night before for the next day. Get an accountability buddy or join a community of like-minded people who are focused on being happy and healthy.

    The key here is to get started right away with these simple steps for anything you put off to “Start tomorrow” may never happen. Otherwise you will continue to get the same results you’ve gotten in the past… and those aren’t working for you anymore.

    As soon as you finish this article, take one inspired action to your goal.

    If I could do it, so can you!"

    About Kerry:

    Kerry Tepedino is an internationally recognized Holistic Health Practitioner, Certified Counselor of Nutrition, and Craniosacral Therapist.  She is also the founder and host of the widely acclaimed Global Health Summit, bringing together world renowned masters of health and mindset, causing transformation in thousands worldwide. 

    Kerry’s personal experience of recovering from an eating disorder and low self esteem led her to master holistic living and create a peaceful mindset, which she now helps others master. Her unique approach of shattering the toxic conversation in one’s head has resulted in her clients breaking addictions, losing weight, increasing energy, and relieving stress, so they can finally have the life and health they deserve.

    Kerry speaks often on live and virtual stages, and has been interviewed on NBC, keynoted SDSU, taught at Whole Foods, writes for the Huffington Post, and more.

    FREE GIFT: Start your 3-part video series “7 Day Weight Loss” for free!

    Global Health Summit 2015 is FREE online event ( Jump in on these upbeat expert interviews with host Kerry Tepedino. Interviews are filled with weight loss tips that actually work from super star experts in the field. You will learn how to stop yoyo dieting and get EMPOWERED with your health to make peace with food and feel FREE! Join us and discover how to naturally lose weight with lasting results. Grab your spot now we are launching Monday 6/1.
    Click HERE to join this free Summit!

    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    How to Accept Yourself

    When you think about the concept of self-acceptance, what “self” do you think of first?  The one in the mirror?   Because there is so much more to you than meets the eye.  

    In this video, I'll show you how to find a renewed sense of self-acceptance and feel better about yourself. When you feel good, you won't turn to (or against) food to comfort, numb or express yourself.

    Go ahead and WATCH now!

    FREE 3 Day Video Training: Crack The Code Of Emotional Eating!

    <<<< CLICK HERE >>>>>

    • I’ll show you how to track the real triggers, so you can figure out exactly why you’re eating, instead of focusing on food.
    • I’ll help you change your focus because it’s not what you’re eating – it’s what’s eating “at” you.
    • I’ll give you a super-quick diet plan - and guess what? This diet does not involve food. It lasts a short time, but it will impact you for the rest of your life.
    • Even if you think you know everything there is about dieting and emotional eating, I’m here to tell you that there is another way.


      Saturday, May 9, 2015

      Having A Plan Of Recovery


      Eating disorders do not discriminate.  Men, women, boys, and girls of all ages and ethnicities have eating disorders.  

      I'm so pleased to introduce this guest essay from writer Patrick O'Neil, who shares his experience of struggle and hope.  

      Here is his story:

      "Recently I found myself backstage at a show.  I'm not really into shows anymore, especially not large ones.  I used to work in the music industry and I have attended more than my fair share of loud rock and roll concerts.

      But last week when my friend invited me and I tried to make an excuse not to attend, she countered with, “come on, it’ll be fun.” And even though I knew that it wasn’t going to be fun, I somehow let her talk me into it. It’s not just that I don’t really go see live music anymore, it’s also that I’m not the social type. I don’t really enjoy standing around making small talk in a room full of people.

      And yes, my friend is here, and so are her friends, and friends of friends, but it still feels awkward. 
      And now here I am stuck in the corner a of a crowded dressing-room, surrounded by people drinking a ton of alcohol, as some wannabe Hollywood scriptwriter that I have just been introduced to, yammers away about herself. Feeling trapped and disingenuous I try to nod my head in response at the appropriate moments, yet all the while wishing I were anywhere else but here.
      These types of situations are why alcohol was invented. And years ago if I was stuck at such an event I would have headed straight to the booze and after a few quick shots, none of this would have mattered. Only I no longer have that card to play. I used up my “getting loaded” allotment a long time ago. Besides alcohol just wasn’t doing it for me, I needed something much stronger. I needed to feel the warm rush of heroin, and only then was I comfortable enough to deal with life and all the people in it.

      Yet, the same old story prevailed, my addiction took over and what had once helped me cope was now ruling me. I went from being a musician/artist to junkie/criminal, and then my addict career abruptly ended when I was arrested and incarcerated.  I make some lame excuse to free myself from being corralled by the wannabe scriptwriter and slowly back away.

      But when I turn around I’m face to face with a table full of junk food. Band riders always call for snacks, and this one is no exception. There are bowls of chips, cold cuts, pizza and the customary cookies and candy. And herein lies my other addictive behavior—eating. 
      Years before I ever discovered drugs or alcohol I learned to abuse food as a way to suppress my feelings. My parents were more involved in their lives than they were in mine and I was left alone a lot. This led to many hours spent in front of the TV while shoving copious amounts of food into my mouth in an early attempt to lessen the pain of abandonment. Yet something about overeating triggered a self-loathing that was years ahead of my then adolescent self, and I soon found myself purging the junk food I was eating.

      This led to a learned behavior that I didn’t even realize others suffered from. It was something that I thought I had invented. Only my binge eating and purging faded away when I found that drugs and alcohol worked a lot better. Yet now here I was an adult in his fifties with fourteen years clean off drugs and suddenly I’m dealing with bulimia all over again.

It was quite a shock when my “dormant” eating disorder returned. I had switched careers and moved to a different city with the idea of reinventing myself. Although I had no connections and little in the way of support, I had high hopes and many expectations that I would be able to piece it all together. Luckily things did come together, but not without a lot of stress. Plus I was attempting to achieve greater goals in my life than I had ever tried before. 

      And with this all came an anxiety that I was ill prepared for. I experienced panic attacks for the first time in my life, and then, seeking that old familiar solace, I started abusing food. Segue to four years later and I was purging on a daily basis, only with years of recovery from drugs and alcohol under my belt I figured I should be more evolved than that, which led to even more guilt and shame, and instead of seeking help I pretended it just wasn't there. But my teeth and gums were suffering, I was not losing weight, I was gaining, I was getting more and more depressed and I constantly felt that I was living a lie.

Eventually I was so stressed out that I told my Narcotics Anonymous sponsor. He has worked with me for years and even though this wasn’t about drugs, it was about my addictive behaviors. Surprisingly, well at least to me it was, my sponsor totally understood, in fact he himself has issues around overeating.  Yet when he pointed out that the first step of NA states: “We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives had become unmanageable.” I realized just how powerless and unmanageable my life had once again become.

      But this also gave me hope. I have fourteen years clean off drugs and alcohol and I have kept clean by attending meetings, working the 12 steps, and maintaining a rigorous involvement in the program. My situation had originally seemed so hopeless, yet here I was years later still off drugs. I could do this with my eating disorder.

      A week ago I went to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. It had been years since I’d attended one, and unlike that first time when I was new to the idea of recovery, and not quite able to grasp the concept that it could also help me with my bulimia, this time I felt totally at home.

      Instead of just being a silent observer I introduced myself and shared my struggle. I was given a newcomer packet and phone numbers. And I walked out of there with a renewed sense of hope. I have yet to implement an OA plan of recovery, but I am taking it one day at a time, and feel like I am finally in the solution.

      I survey the food table and spot a platter of crudités, arranged around a bowl of gloppy blue cheese dip. I fill a small plate with broccoli florets, celery stalks, and baby carrots and slowly start eating them. Having something healthy to munch on takes my mind off the junk food, which lessens the cravings, and I am able to not indulge in any of the other snacks that I know will trigger another episode of purging. 

      A quick glance across the room and I see that the wannabe scriptwriter has captured another victim, and the crowd by the liquor has grown considerably. The show is now over and the backstage area has become incredibly even more crowded. I casually make my way towards the exit and walk outside. The cool air hits me and I toss the empty paper plate into the trashcan. 

      I have another day of not eating badly or purging, and I know I can do this."

      Patrick O’Neil is a nonfiction writer from Hollywood, California. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including: Juxtapoz magazine,, The Weeklings, RazorcakeSensitive Skin, Fourteen Hills, and Word Riot. He has been nominated twice for Best of the Net, and is a regular contributor to the recovery website AfterPartyMagazine. Patrick holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles and teaches at AULA’s inspiration2publication program. His upcoming online course: Food Is Not The Enemy: The Language Of Eating Disorders, will allow writers of all levels to address their eating disorders, fears, and negative self-images. 

      Patrick’s debut memoir: Gun Needle Spoon, from Dzanc Books, will be available June 9, 2015 — an excerpted in part French translation, Hold-Up (13e Note Editions) was published in France in 2013. For more information please go to:

      Gun, Needle, Spoon is also available on Amazon:

      *          *          *          

      FREE 3 Day Video Training: Crack The Code Of Emotional Eating!

      <<<< CLICK HERE >>>>>

      • I’ll show you how to track the real triggers, so you can figure out exactly why you’re eating, instead of focusing on food.
      • I’ll help you change your focus because it’s not what you’re eating – it’s what’s eating “at” you.
      • I’ll give you a super-quick diet plan - and guess what? This diet does not involve food. It lasts a short time, but it will impact you for the rest of your life.
      • Even if you think you know everything there is about dieting and emotional eating, I’m here to tell you that there is another way.