Women hush up diets over ‘fat-shaming’ fear – Daily Mail – 12/01/20

Women are getting embarrassed to talk about losing weight and going on diets as the body-positivity movement are highlighting the fact that it is no shame to be overweight or obese.

I agree it is important not to feel ashamed of your size and find compassion and acceptance for yourself whatever you weight but there is also the reality of how someone becomes overweight in the first place. Are they struggling to moderate portion sizes? Are they bingeing on certain foods? Are they emotionally eating to excess? Are they compulsively eating to escape life’s challenges or deal with boredom or loneliness? These are just some of the reasons that people can gain weight and these reasons are not healthy or conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

If the body positivity movement could stop looking at obesity from the physical appearance then perhaps we can break this attitude of people feeling embarrassed to talk about losing weight. As already mentioned obesity, in some cases, is a symptom of psychological and emotional problems. It can have many causes – it is not simply about eating too much. It is important to look at the reasons behind emotional and compulsive overeating. The so called body positivity movement is not addressing the complex nature of why some people are obese. They must stop just focusing on what someone’s appearance is.

I want to reiterate that it is not embarrassing or shaming to decide to lose weight through a healthy approach. It is important, however, to address all issues. A bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model is needed not just a diet.

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The stress and anxiety around this time of year is tangible. For many reasons people are anxious, hurried and feel under pressure. It is a shame that the meaning of the holiday is lost in the maelstrom of shopping, feeding, entertaining and generally trying to please everyone. This is even more exaggerated if you are suffering from poor body image and low self-esteem and consumed with the preoccupation of food and weight issues.

Struggling with destructive eating behaviours is hard work and can be exhausting both emotionally and psychologically. The strain of controlling food portions, counting calories, working out nutrients, purging with vomiting, laxative abuse, excessive exercise becomes relentless and the individual exists in their world but must live in the outside world. It can create an inner turmoil that is difficult to move away from. It almost becomes the norm and amongst the festivities it can feel even harder to hide and even harder to wear the mask of wellness.

There is no magic wand to make everything happy and jolly, even though it may be like that with all the decorations and lights.


Consider treating yourself with compassion and remember your recovery does not have to be perfect. An imperfect recovery is progress. Accept that anxiety will be a huge part of your journey especially at this time of year and take time out to breathe, meditate and spend time in your own space. Stay in contact with your peers, particularly if they are in recovery themselves. Have a support network that you can turn to. Be gentle with yourself and follow your food plan the best you can. Remember to celebrate your successes and learn from all your experiences through your recovery journey.

Give yourself the gift of gratitude – which is truly the message of the holidays. Take it easy and be at peace.

Rochelle Craig

Dec 2019


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For me, and probably a large percentage of the population, the first thing that comes to mind when we use the word “addiction” is an element of substance abuse, be that alcohol or drugs. In my relative naivety, the act of abstaining or sobriety simply related to the banning of these substances. I never gave much thought to what it meant, what it really meant.

My own battles are with Anorexia, an eating disorder which took so much but in a time of distorted cognitions gave me so much more.

My recovery hasn’t been linear, its been incredibly difficult in fact, but what it has given me is the opportunity to learn a great deal about myself and recognise the patterns of behaviour which are no doubt synonymous to an addiction

However ones addiction manifests itself, in essence the foundations, the rationales behind them are relatively consistent.

The over -eater, addicted to the thrill of a binge, the compulsive exerciser lured by the euphoric high at an extra mile or the restrictive eater empowered by their ability to control their food intake.

I have come to understand my illness so much  more when thinking in terms of addiction and it has empowered me to be able to take responsibility for my illness. The mental dialogue I constantly had with myself was powerful and deafening, it felt deep rooted and manifested itself in behaviours that I was addicted to but only because I knew that by in endorsing in these behaviours the screaming voice would be silenced.

Complete and total abstinence from these behaviours was hell. I cannot give enough gravity to the pain that it caused me, the confusion that I felt at the manipulation I was experiencing. My illness was telling me that to cope, to make everything better I needed to go back to the comfort of restriction, to return to exercise so that I could get that precious control back.

The reality is that complete and total abstinence was in fact the only way that I was going to recover. I don’t mean simply manage, or cope but recover. To turn that existence back into a life and then to watch it flourish.

I found the whole process incredibly exposing. I had been stumbling my way through a rather foggy recovery, maintaining that I NEEDED to exercise, I needed to count the calories and weigh the food items to be able to monitor my intake.

But who was I kidding- in reality no one but myself. From the outside looking in, everyone could see what I was doing, everyone could see that I wasn’t truly free, that anorexia had still got a clever and manipulative hold on me.

I thought I was in control of my recovery. I thought I was the boss, but it turned out that my illness was very much the chief and was causing nothing but a prolonged and agonising battle.

Sobriety was like pulling my trousers down and being exposed to every thought. Everything that Anorexia wanted to throw at me I heard and felt. My guard was totally down, I’d lost my coping mechanisms and felt naked in a storm- it was terrifying.

Now, I am thrilled to be able to offer my own experience as the basis for peer support and to raise awareness. Frequently, I can spot it in the emails and messages I receive:

“i just want to do some form of exercise, perhaps some yoga to build my strength”

“ I don’t want to drink milk as I’ve read it could cause…”

The reality is, that as with all addictions, we are addicted to a behaviour that gives us a greater sense of feeling. Whether that be control, the numbing of a pain, or a degree of self punishment.

Everyone is different but to really get to the core of those emotions we have to pull our trousers down and expose ourselves to these underlying emotions.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway”, you deserve to be exposed to this exhilarating experience of true freedom and liberation.

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Aims and Objectives:

  • To gain an understanding of the essential characteristics of Anorexia and Bulimia
  • To gain knowledge of the 12-step model for use in supporting sufferers


  • What is an eating disorder?
  • Characteristics of Anorexia/Characteristics of Bulimia (DSM V reference)
  • Research – anorexia and addiction
  • Cycle of addiction and its connection to anorexia/bulimia
  • Anorexia/binge eating/bulimia – the triple threat
  • Attachment Theory relating to eating disorders
  • Case Study
  • 12-step model and it correlation to the Nice Guidelines for working with eating disorders
  • Steps 1-12 summarised
  • Lily’s poem

5 hour CPD Certificates issued

Suitable for:

Counsellors Nurses
Psychotherapists Trainees
Psychologists Students
Dieticians Occupational Therapists
Nutritionists Teachers
Psychiatrists Youth Workers
Family Therapists Personal Trainers
General Practitioners Social Workers
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Outline of the CPD Workshop as follows:

Aims and Objectives:

  • To gain an understanding of a therapeutic treatment for obesity incorporating the biopsychosociospiritual 12-step model
  • To gain an understanding of how to integrate this model of treatment into your own practice


  • What research has demonstrated
  • Comparison between compulsive overeating/bingeing and DSM-V substance dependence criteria
  • Cycle of addiction
  • What is binge eating disorder?
  • Addictive behaviours often connected to compulsive overeating
  • Difference between Group Therapy and 12-Step groups
  • Family/personal history
  • The solution
  • Interactive Group Workshop
  • Abstinence – what is it?
  • Introduction and overview of the 12-step model and it’s use during and after therapeutic treatment
  • Integration
  • Thought for the Day

5 hour CPD Certificates issued


Suitable for:

Counsellors Nurses
Psychotherapists Trainees
Psychologists Students
Dieticians Occupational Therapists
Nutritionists Teachers
Psychiatrists Youth Workers
Family Therapists Personal Trainers
  Social Workers



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Getting through the holiday season without relapse is, in my opinion, easier than the ‘post-holiday blues’.

It is vital to be aware of the dip in mood, boredom, isolation, loneliness, disappointment and many other emotions that will come up during the celebrations but will also be very prevalent afterwards.

I have worked for over 15 years with addictions and eating disorders and it is always after an event that a person is more vulnerable to relapse and I have seen it.

It is the human condition to enjoy the anticipation of the event more than the event itself and then feel low when it is all over.

Having an eating disorder just adds another serious emotional aspect to dealing with this aspect of life.  After all, it is part of life.  Events will come and go but recovery doesn’t have to.  It must be the one constant that continues during the anticipation phase, through the event itself and after the event is over.

It is this awareness that will help with recovery.  It is this awareness that must be acted upon.

You can be one step ahead and prepare for the ‘post-holiday blues’ – have a plan for after the event.  Contact others in recovery, participate in mutual-help groups, continue all your basic disciplines that you know work for you in your recovery.

Most important of all be kind to your self and treat yourself with respect and compassion.

After all that is what this holiday season is all about.

Wishing you Peace and Serenity.

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How can you MODERATE an addictive behaviour?  The very word addiction means once you start you cannot stop, it means you are a slave to something, it means you are powerless over your behaviour, it means you are preoccupied with the behaviour, it means you cannot go through life without indulging in the addictive behaviour.  How are you meant to MODERATE an ADDICTION?  Totally impossible to understand this concept isn’t it?

However, the good news is that it isn’t the addictive behaviour that is the problem, IT IS YOU AND YOU CAN CHANGE IF YOU WANT TO. It is your inability to cope with life without indulging in the addictive behaviour.  It is your fear of letting go of a behaviour that is so deeply ingrained it has become your default setting.

What is it you are looking for?  What is it you are running away from?  Why is life so unbearable without this behaviour?  Why can’t you accept that sometimes your feelings will be unbearable/difficult/irritating/frustrating?  Why can’t you accept that sometimes your feelings will be overwhelming/too exciting/too depressing…………………..

I wish I could answer all these questions and maybe some n be answered in time, however,  what I can answer is that for what ever the reason – that does describe youand until you let go of the addictive behaviour you will never know life with freedom and joy.  You can remain a SLAVE to your behaviours or you can dig deep and find some courage to change and live a different life.

Recovery is about abstaining from the behaviours for a short time and then gradually introducing them back into your life in a well balanced and moderate way.  It is about compassion for yourself.  It is about learning about yourself and what makes you tick and how you can change the things that cause you to indulge in addictive behaviours.

These behaviours are : eating disorders/love addiction/compulsive exercise/excessive spending/internet addiction/porn addiction/obsessive relationships ……… the list is endless for they are the things that are part of life but you are indulging in them to excess………………… embrace change today………..do something different and break free.

http://www.livingroomherts.oc.uk                        www.piecebypiecerecovery.co.uk














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