My dad was a candy salesman and we had a garage full of candy. At a young age I got fat and miserable. My relationships at home and school deteriorated. I began to starve all day and binge at night. As much as I wanted to control my food, and no matter how many diets I tried, I couldn't lose weight and keep it off. I couldn't get free from the compulsion to eat.
Seeking a solution, in the 1970's I went to India. I was introduced to meditation and massage, both of which changed my life. I knew I'd found a deeply satisfying way to connect with people and help them heal. Meditation -- mindfulness -- became a powerful tool in my recovery from compulsive eating, but not right away.
I developed a medical situation that required me to stop bingeing and starving. I was a single mother with no one to look after my children if anything happened to me. As much as I wanted and needed to stop, I could not. I was a working woman at a job I loved but, due to the food hangovers, I was increasingly unable to show up. Due to shame and depression, I stopped seeing my friends. I loved my kids, I loved my friends, and I loved my work, but the food was more compelling.
Eventually most of my day was spent eating and passing out. Food didn't taste good any more. And it was creating such havoc. But I felt as if I had no choice in the matter. I was in utter bondage.
Food promised me a rose garden and delivered thorns. It gave me twisted versions of things I wanted in life but didn't know how to get. For example, it gave me a false sense of comfort, pleasure and love. And it gave me oblivion -- a false sense of peace -- by numbing me to my feelings. When these plastic roses faded, I was left with the thorns of regret, shame and despair. And still I couldn't stop.
I wanted to turn this around desperately. I knew how I wanted to eat. I'd read all the articles, all the books on healthy eating. I knew the calories and the nutrition. I had a food plan from a doctor and a food plan from a sponsor. They all made perfect sense, and I envisioned success, but I was unable to follow through. I thought there was something wrong with me - that I hadn't found the perfect diet, that I had an inner saboteur - but it turned out there was nothing wrong with me. I just hadn't found the culprit: craving. And I hadn't found the way to get free from craving.
Then I found a support group for compulsive eating. This group changed my life. It taught me that I was addicted to certain foods. It taught me that instead of satisfying my hunger, these foods increase it. It supported me in transitioning to eating food that does not make me hungry for more. And it supported me in not eating over my feelings.
I wanted to learn everything I could to resist craving, to make healthy food choices, and to have my feelings without eating over them. I added more resources. I did therapy and meditation. I connected with my body through exercise, massage, yoga and dance. My weight came off. I got healthy again. I began to enjoy my family, friends and work. My spiritual life began to blossom. And - miracle of miracle - for the most part the food cravings subsided. If a food craving did come back, I was able to not give in.
The feelings that I'd been stuffing with food began to come back and they made me want to eat. They felt like food cravings. For many of us, uncomfortable feelings get translated as hunger. When I wanted to eat, I now knew that there was a feeling underneath the hunger. Stuffing my feelings with food was no longer an option. I wanted to learn how to have my feelings and not eat over them. I learned to use a variety of tools from the support group, therapy, and meditation. Today I can feel a wide range of feelings. They feel like feelings not hunger, and they pass. With mindfulness I can watch them rise and fall. After 40 years of stuffing my feelings, it's a miracle and a joy to have a full emotional life, a healthy body, and a good life. If this miracle can happen for me, it can happen for you. And I hope to watch this miracle happen for you.
In our sessions together I will gladly share with you the tools for success
in healthy eating.
It is my passion and calling to help you get free to live your radiant life.