Break Free From Abusive Eating™

A Holistic Approach to Feeding Yourself With Love.

Abusive Eating is a physical, emotional and spiritual problem that can be progressive and debilitating.  It is an act of violence against yourself.  In order to recover and live a life free from pain and suffering associated with this affliction, you need a multifaceted approach to healing.  The destructive behaviors associated with Abusive Eating can be caused by many biochemical and hormonal imbalances in the body and brain, making it extremely difficult to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits. We address all areas necessary to regain your health and reclaim your joy! 

Abusive eating encompasses a wide spectrum of behaviors and feelings.  For one person it can mean compulsive eating which results in obesity and depression. For another, it might be constantly thinking about your weight or the size of your thighs or waist, while monitoring every bite you eat and judging yourself for gaining a pound or two.  Some women feel that no matter how much they tell themselves they are not going to give in to that piece of chocolate or almonds in the pantry, they do any way, and then feel angry and judgmental for being so weak.

What all of these behaviors have in common is that each person ends up feeling more defeated, angry, depressed and hopeless after each episode.  They say over and over again, I’m going to stop this and then before they know it, they are doing same behaviors again and again.  They soon lose respect for themselves and joy and passion vanishes from their lives.

The Way Out

When treated correctly and compassionately, you can be free from Abusive Eating and enjoy a full recovery where you experience a normal, healthy relationship with food, exercise, your body and Spirit.

In my Break Free™ program, I help you to uncover the motivating seed that fuels your abusive eating behaviors.  There are always good reasons why you use food to comfort, to soothe, to escape, to nurture, to quiet the mind.  At some point, using food in this way probably did help you survive and get through very painful situations or challenges.  Now, food no longer provides that for you, yet the patterns of eating used to bring joy or deaden the pain still exist.  Somewhere in your psyche, there is a belief that if you use food you will feel better or at least, won’t hurt so much.

Try this one step: agree to not deprive yourself of any type or group of food for the next 7 days.  But that you will eat with complete attention to your food and your eating—even any snacking or grazing when it’s 2 AM!

Follow these guidelines:

  • Eat only when sitting down at the table
  • Eat with no distractions—that means no TV or reading, (soft comforting music is OK).
  • Slow down—put our fork down between bites.  With finger food, do not put another chip or nut into your mouth until the present bite is completely chewed and swallowed.
  • Set the table and eat off of a plate—not from a bag or carton or table cloth.

Try this for one week and consider journaling your thoughts, insights or feelings that arise.  I would love to hear from any of you if you to choose to share your thoughts.  You can email me at

You Snooze, You Lose: The Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss

Lose weight while you sleep.  Sound too good to be true?  Well, this is one time when too good to be true is yes, really true!  There is substantial medical evidence suggesting some fascinating links between sleep and weight. Researchers say that how much you sleep and quite possibility the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite. 

David Rapoport, MD, associate professor and director of the Sleep Medicine Program at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City states that while doctors have long known that many hormones are affected by sleep, it wasn’t until recently that appetite entered the picture. What brought it into focus, he says, was research on the hormones leptin and ghrelin. First, doctors say that both can influence our appetite. And studies show that production of both may be influenced by how much or how little we sleep.

How Hormones Affect Your Sleep

Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.  When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel satisfied after you eat.  Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which can stimulate your appetite causing you to want more food.

The combination can cause you to eat more often and consume more food resulting in weight gain. And in a recent sleep study conducted at the University of Illinois in Chicago on the connection between ghrelin and leptin, participants deprived of sleep, craved high carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods.

Sleep Study

It was in a Stanford study, however, that the more provocative meaning of the leptin-ghrelin effect came to light. In this research — a joint project between Stanford and the University of Wisconsin — about 1,000 volunteers reported the number of hours they slept each night. Doctors then measured their levels of ghrelin and leptin, as well as charted their weight.

The result: Those who slept less than eight hours a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but they also had a higher level of body fat. What’s more, that level of body fat seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns. Specifically, those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most.

Establishing Good Sleep Habits

Get a good night’s sleep every night with these simple steps.

Cut caffeine. Simply put, caffeine can keep you awake. It can stay in your body longer than you might think – the effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off.

Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it also causes disturbances in sleep resulting in less restful sleep.

Relax before bedtime. Stress not only makes you miserable, it wreaks havoc on your sleep.

Exercise at the right time for you. Regular exercise can help you get a good night’s sleep. Since exercise can be stimulating, it’s usually best to do it in the morning.

Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable. Keep the temperature between 55 and 70 degrees and keep the room as dark as possible. For some people, even the slightest light or noise can be disturbing.

Eat right, sleep tight. Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals before bedtime. A small protein snack may stabilize blood sugar and prevent a hypoglycemic drop in the wee hours of the morning causing you to wake up.  Don’t drink a lot of water right before bed either so don’t have to get up and use the bathroom.

Remove all electronics.  The noise, lights and electromagnetic currents from computers and TVs can interfere with sleep activity.  Remove them from your bedroom if at all possible.  At the very least, turn them OFF, not in hibernate and cover your TV screen.

Avoid napping. Napping can only make matters worse if you usually have problems falling asleep. If you do nap, keep it short. A brief 15-20-minute snooze about eight hours after you get up in the morning can actually be rejuvenating.

Try Natural Supplements.  There are some very good natural products that help induce sleep and don’t carry the harmful or addicting side effects as pharmaceutical agents such Ambien or Lunesta. Stay away from Tylenol PM or Benadryl too except for occasional use.

Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed. The bed should be used for sleep and sex only. If not, you can end up associating the bed with distracting activities that could make it difficult for you to fall asleep.