Diet is a 4-Letter Word

The psychology of eating

The Tight Pants Freak Out

Is your self-worth tied to a number on a scale? I didn't think mine was. I was wrong. Read More

Bon appetit


When I followed the link to your previous entry "Healing from my eating disorder", I noticed an interesting Freudian slip. You wrote, "Before that I studied ineffective coping skills - like using good and exercise to cope."

It is revealing that you used "good" when you meant "food".


Nice catch! I will fix that. :)

self-esteem self-help

"It's not about the weight." That's the most profound sentence in the article. It's never about the weight. It's about that one thing that we can control, regardless of how out of control the rest of life appears. In my practice I have seen hundreds of women protect themselves with layer after layer of body armor to protect against the advances from men, as a passive-aggressive response to an intimidating partner, and for myriad reasons. And it goes back to that one statement: "It's not about the weight."
Thanks for this article.

Thanks Jan!

You're right. It's not about the weight. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember that, though...

I need help. I'm so tired.

When I read this article, I thought "that's me!". That's what I think. All the time. I'm so tired of it. I have a therapist but I'm not sure she fully understands how bad it is. For me it's definitely the way the clothes fit. Is it really not about the weight? I don't understand it myself. Yes, it's about control. Yes it's about not being good enough, ever. It's about my failures and my past. "You've experienced a lot of loss and trauma.", my therapist reminds me often. So now what? What do I do now? How do I stop myself from obsessing? I've put on weight recently and I don't know how much. I stopped weighing myself and the thought scares me because I know it's a lot. The worst part of this all is that I am trying to conceive with my husband and I know this has to stop. I just want to find my new normal with food and exercise and I just can't seem to find it. Part of it is stress and the stress in my head too-probably mostly. But how do I stop? Am I really just to journal and call my friends and see my therapist till it's over? Help me. Advice very much appreciated.

"I need help. I'm so tired." Affirming the "Stuckness"

Your statement, "I need help. I'm so tired," are more than a plea for help; they are affirmations of exactly what you DON'T WANT. If you follow my logic for just a moment, see if those words are words of empowerment or of victimizaion? There is no judgement here, I simply am asking how does it feel to say or think those words? In my estimation, the words are not empowering, and it appears that what you DO want is to BE empowered.
Because you have a therapist, I am reluctant to say too much, even though you clearly say, "Help me. Advice very much appreciated." What I am willing to say is that your life will transform when you begin with self-awareness. How aware of YOU, are you? In other words, do you hear the power/disenfranchisement of your self-talk? Now because I do not know you, I have no way of knowing if you are holding onto some body armor in a psychological attempt to protect you from the advances of others. I do know that it is common to pile on layers of fat when any sort of abuse has taken place. In this case, forgiving the abuser and more especially, forgiving YOU is paramount to achieving the optimal health conditions, both in weight and emotional sense. When I say forgive, I do not imply a pass for anything which may have happened. It is simply important to let go of anything we hold onto that is not in our best interest. My guess is two-fold in this case: 1. Stop trying to LOSE weight, and instead begin the process of self-love. When you "lose" something, your mind goes on the hunt to find it, so trying to "lose weight" is a mis-placed process. It's better to strive FOR something; in this case, optimal health and well being. When you are self-loving enough to YOU, you won't need to hold onto the pains, the layers, or the flab. When you honor your SELF, you will simply honor yourself enough to do what's best for the WHOLE of you, mind, body, spirit, emotions. It only sounds cliche that self-love is the answer. The truth is, self-love IS always the answer. I hope you will begin to cultivate self-awareness and really hear and see and feel the ways in which you are holding onto the armor and weight. WITHOUT JUDGEMENT, start to release any old messages that don't support you FULLY. And when you feel the fear, allow it to pass by, and do something really nice for you. As you develop the new habit of being good to you, if you're paying attention, you will see benefits in EVERY area of your life.

Thank you for your reply. I

Thank you for your reply. I don't feel judgement from you and I understand the concept you are speaking of. As you might have guessed, I have suffered through a lot of abuse, loss and trauma. I sometimes get sideswiped by heavy duty emotions. During those times (like when I posted earlier today) I feel very little control of myself and it is so difficult to bring myself to a place of positive affirmation. I'm not sure why old horrible thoughts haunt me each new day but each day lately has been a huge struggle and a fight. I have also suffered a more recent loss which I believe is the one that I am having the hardest time "letting go" of. I think a return to journaling will help me and probably returning to yoga now that I am physically able to return to it. I think it will help with my crazy wild-horses-type thoughts. I appreciate your reply. It helped shed some light on some things that were in the dark.

Thanks for the discussion

Thanks for responding, Jan! I completely agree with what you had to say. I would be happy to recommend a few books and websites for you to peruse if you think that would be helpful. Let me know.


Hi 'Anonymous'. It's nice to read your reply. I wonder if you took a moment to read it as if someone else wrote it, if you would see anything 'pop' out. What I think you might see is a handful of negative affirmations beginning with, "I have suffered..." and "I get sideswiped..." "I feel very little control...." "It is so difficult...." "Lately has been such a...." "Horrible thoughts haunt me...." "I am having the hardest time letting go...."
You may or may not notice the negative affirmations more as a third-person reading this paragraph. In my estimation, self-awareness is the place where change and positive transformation take root. And with that said, it need not take a lot of pain to make change. Once the appreciations for any event can be seen -regardless of how nefarious the event was, then we can see what we get for holding onto the emotional attachment. And make no mistake, there is a payoff or we would not invest the energy in holding onto the pain or memories as we have perceive the event. As for shedding the light, well thank yourself often for bringing the parts of you into the light. It's much easier to see in the light than it is to see in the darkness. Stay in your light as much as possible and enjoy the day. I wonder what would happen if for each negative affirmation, you redirected each statement into a positive affirmation. And I wonder what will happen if you became ultra acutely self-aware of all the words you form in your head.... I wonder what shift would take place if you fell in love with you and forgave yourself without judgements.... And finally, YOGA YES! The human organism is meant to be in balance, and when the mental/emotional portion is overwhelming, balance your whole 'self' with physical activity; and conversely, if you are physically out of balance, do some positive emotional activity such as journaling. You've got this!

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Mary E. Pritchard, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Boise State University.


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