Classic and Creative Counseling and Psychotherapy in San Francisco and San Mateo, California
 

Carol Jaron, Marriage & Family Therapist
Carol Jaron
MS, MFT, CHT

 Carol Jaron
Marriage & Family Therapist &
Practitioner of Clinical Hypnosis
~ Professional ~ Integrative ~ Intuitive ~

Therapy for Adults / Adolescents / Families
Rapid Trauma Resolution
Anxiety, Self Image, Loss
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
Food & Substance Abuse Issues
Personal & Professional Relationships

 

Understanding Eating Issues During the Holidays

Yes, that time of year is arriving again, where for many of you and your families, food is a huge part of celebrating. Many may think of the wonderful smells and tastes while being surrounded by loved ones, yet for some of you, it is a very different picture. Those with eating disordered behaviors such as bingeing, vomiting or laxative ingestion after meals, heavy restricting with food, over-exercising or simply constant overeating when not hungry often DREAD the holiday season. Some deal with this overwhelming anxiety (one may not even be aware of why he or she is so on edge), by over-planning each meal or event in advance; obsessively counting carbs calories or fat grams, and coming up with strategies to avoid explaining to others why they are not eating certain things, or just pretend to eat like everyone else so they will go unnoticed. In addition, much intense focus for anorexics goes into "How am I going to not eat no matter what?" Or, in the case of one who binges and then excuses themselves for a period of time to purge the food, the planning may be more like, "I must set up how I can get in and out of the bathroom unnoticed and where I can hide my stash of food." Others may eat unconsciously without stopping until they feel past the point of fullness, almost going into a type of numbness, followed by a sense of shame, and self disgust, and resolve to begin a "diet" tomorrow. All of this comes often comes alongside of comments or teasing from some family members or friends. Even if these behaviors are pointed out in a well meaning way, if the comments come across as judgmental or as poking fun at the person, it can feel quite humiliating and hurtful which simply drives him or her to start the cycle of Self hate, out of control eating, bingeing or starving and purging, all over again. These acts are hard to just stop once started because they pull you out of your body and awareness.

I use the word out of control to contrast the feeling you may have that others are attempting to control you. This can be one component of why you have any of the above behaviors around food. It is important to remember that it can be difficult to feel totally independent around family or certain people you grew up with, even if you love them to pieces. Sometimes you might find yourself taking this feeling with you into other relationships outside of the family, even work and school situations. If things begin overwhelm you, reverting to the same eating styles you are unhappy with can happen. However some get a lot of support or help for themselves or from a professional who works with eating issues and find they can become healthier and begin to be at peace within. Even so, the holiday time of year itself or, once again just being around situations that revoke memories conjuring up powerlessness around food and self image kick up the old control or counter control ("I'll show you, you can't control me! I'll eat whatever I want!") urges and the struggle begins.

The most important thing to remember is that there is always another way to do it and it takes a lot of  without blame of others or self-punishing and shaming. Listen to your wise body around times of eating anything, as well as how you use and take care of your body. Be aware of your feelings about yourself before you get into the height of the season. Find ways to stay centered without forgetting to stay in touch with your truest self when around others that bring up your body image related fears. Remember you are so much more than how you look in your clothes. You have so much to offer the world that goes far beyond your appearance. Sure, we all want to look healthy and present our best and it is normal to have some concerns when looking at our appearance because we are bombarded with media and those who fall for the popular image every day! Yet when you come into your own acceptance and eventually develop strengths in how you want to live your life in a way that holds meaning, you will shine!!! Exercise and appropriate nutrition are significant, but the results on lasting health of body and self-acceptance have more of a chance of permanence, when paired with a reason to love having yourself here.

There is so much more I could share on body image, your life's passion and self empowerment. Look for more soon, and I welcome the chance to work with you in person. Until next time, treat yourselves like gold and find others to be around that support and even adore you!

All the Best,
Carol Jaron, MFT

 

            Carol Jaron, MS, MFT, CHT
            Offices in San Francisco & San Mateo
            (650) 464-4387
            (415) 541-5004
           
      caroljtherapist@yahoo.com

The information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive or a substitute for one on one care by a mental health professional, such as myself. If I can be of assistance to you or your family, I encourage you to contact me. PLEASE NOTE: If you have a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

2008-2015 Carol Jaron, MFT.  All Rights Reserved.    

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