HEALING WORKSHOPS for Food Addiction & Binge Eating Disorders
Not everyone is ready or able to even consider a weight loss approach.
If you consider yourself to have more problematic patterns of eating then focussing on weight loss may be counter productive and not recommended for you. Trying to lose weight can actually fuel eating disorders and so we would encourage you to attend one of our
1 Day Healing Workshops as a first step to recovery and taking control.
THE FIRST STEP TO RECOVERY IS TO HEAL FROM THE INSIDE.
These 1 Day Healing Workshops are designed to help you recover from
Comfort or anxiety eating
BREAK THE CHAINS OF SUFFERING
The word 'suffering' is used here deliberately because these forms of disordered eating are a terrible affliction. Most people do not have a medical diagnosis as the majority of people suffer in silence, too ashamed or embarrassed to seek help, and often its even too difficult to even admit it to ourselves. When we do seek help, there seems to be little effective or timely help and a lack of lived experience when working with traditional experts such as dietitians, counsellors, therapists and GPs.
NEXT WORKSHOP: SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2022
Acknowledgement and Acceptance
It can take a long time and be a painful realisation that there is a problem, but taking the step of attending this workshop is a huge step forward in starting to heal and adress the issue. Here we focus on bringing the disordered eating out into the open, where its no longer a hidden secret, shameful part of your life. We release the negative feeling associated with your disordered eating, removing it from the shadows. Externalising the disorder, learning to separate the weight and habits from the person.
Pain and Forgiveness
To heal it is necessary to feel and release the pain. There is a cause to your disordered eating but we explore this in the next theme, however here we discuss in detail in a safe space how your eating disorder takes form. We identify the feelings both positive and negative which arise before, during and after a binge. We explore these feelings in moe detail so we can start to safely label feelings and how this affects our emotions and subsequent actions. Many people with disordered eating find it difficult to even identify a feeling as we suppress it quickly (with food) - so we don't even know how we feel. Again we bring this out into the open and externalise the behaviour separating it from ourselves as a person and any judgements we make about ourselves.
Your disordered eating is likely to have started as a coping mechanism. Whilst we do not provide counselling, pyschotherapy or ask you to regress to being a child we do undertake activities to reflect life stage triggers for weight gain and disordered eating. This is mainly achieved through a creative technique known as 'Life Lining' developed by the National Centre for Eating Disorders. This is a therapeutic approach to identifying and exploring potential causes of the start of your journey in disordered eating. This can be a profound experience and a catalyst in your journey of recovery. Some people find it can start from something as simple as a comment made about them to more significant issues relating to life events, certain people and experiences.
Thoughts, Feelings, Emotions, Emotional Suppression and Behavior
This is a crash course in cognitive neuroscience and here we explore the phsyiological as well as psychological relationship between thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours. This is not basic psychology but is a detailed educational piece to help your understanding of our thoughts, where they come from, their purpose, their power, how they create feelings and emotions and drive our behaviour. Over 90% of our thoughts are the same ones that we had the day before, formed by old habits that serve our current comfort zone/known space. We learn from the work of key contemporary neuroscientists such as Dr Joe Dispenza on why we think, feel and behave in current ways. Knowledge is power and understanding the way these current physiological and psychological circuits set you up to fail is a game changer in your journey of recovery.
Identity, Self Image and Self Talk
How do you talk to yourself? We all have an internal dialogue, they could be thoughts or just the way we think of ourselves as we go about our daily lives. It usually isn't something we say out loud but often is a way of thinking about ourselves and we develop an internal narrative where there is evidence that appears to back it up. This section focusses on identifying self limiting thoughts and behaviours. We explore self sabotage, procastination and look at how you currently identify with 'yourself' and how you back this up with negative, limiting self talk. You will quickly begin to learn about ways which seek to draw you back and keep you in old habits and old ways of thinking. We work together to develop a plan of new values and work on building a positive identity and narrative for your journey forwards.
Body Chemistry and Internal Triggers for binges
The odds are stacked firmly against us. The western diet of highly processed, sugar laden foods and added chemicals such as MSG has made it almost impossible to resist consuming more and more food. Willpower which is the conscious part of the brain makes up only 5% of your brain, thats why its important that we focus on your past and pyschological approaches - as this will unlock the 95% of the brain which is the sub conscious and then give you a real chance of success. Our carbohydrate rich diets result in chemicals which affect our bodies and drive us to want to eat more and more foods. Here we learn about appetite regulating hormones such as grehlin and leptin and the chemical composition of certain foods which keep us feeling hungry.
Body Chemistry and External Triggers for binges
We live in an obesogenic environment. Our physical and digital world is loaded with cues for us to eat. Eat when you're sad, eat when you're happy, eat when you're bored, eat when you're celebrating, eat when you're worried or anxious, eat to treat yourself - just eat whatever the reason. We are bombarded with prompts to eat - whether its marketing and offers in supermarkets, TV advertising or strategically placed sweets and cakes. We are even offered muffins when we order a latte! Food marketers capitalise on emotions, special occasions and seasons and we need to be informed and savvy so that we don't fall victim to their traps. Modern food supply is often laced with chemicals such as MSG and combinations of fat, salt, sugar and texture to reach our 'bliss point' encouraging us to buy more and eat more. 'Child Directed Marketing' is a term used to attract the attention of children and is used by food marketers to target your children. Being educated about this and taking control of what and when you put food into your body will empower you to win in these situations and ensure you can maintain your weight loss wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
The STOPP Method for Binge Prevention/Rescue
This will equip you to arrest and manage 'in the moment' binge urges. Once the idea is in your mind usually there is very little you can do, most of the time we eventually give in. Giving in is OK too, we don't promise to stop binge eating in one swoop but the techniques will give you space to reflect and choose to proceed from a more objective place and not your emotional pr physical urges. Gradually over time you will binge less and less and find yourself being able to pull yourself back until eventually the thought to even 'use' food in this way is a distant response. You break the neural connection.
Rewiring the mind for Binge Prevention
So we know more about who we are now and the environment we live in but what about the future? Is it always going to be a struggle? This part of the workshop focusses on developing new bespoke neural pathways to help us manage responses to uncomfortable, stressful or habitual situations. We will not tell you to light a candle or take a bath! Here we examine the purpose of a binge, delve deeper into our individual reasons for why we do it and also acknowledge how bingeing does benefit us in some ways. What voids are we trying to fill? What feelings do we not want to feel? What truth do we not want to face? Work here focusses on identifying those uncomfortable feelings, acknowledging and valuing them and then woth compassion designing your individual alternative responses.
This is sometimes painful, but always liberating and beautiful. You will never be the same person again.
Creating a vision for the future
This is where things get really exciting, where we learn that we can be greater than our environment, greater than our past and that we are creators of our own future. We use a range of tools and techniques including some meditation and visualisation to create a new future, a new self image and identity and you get to decide right here how you want to be. We work on deciding how you want to show up, create it, get used to it, embody it and expect it. We get to identify 'OLD SELF' feelings, thoughts and behaviours and start to re-wire the 'NEW SELF'. This is actually really powerful as we start to base our actions on the new self - you will reach a Eureka moment where you will think about or reach for the fridge and you catch your self saying "I don't do that anymore".
Due to the holistic and healing nature of these retreat style workshops they are held in person, with a nutritious enjoyable lunch and includes various healing activities throughout the day. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free options can be accommodated.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP LEAD
Each workshop is led by me, Victoria. In the workshops I will share more about my own personal journey and how my lived experience enables me to truly empathise and help others to build a way out of their current situation. I designed these workshops as I wanted to help others living this same experience. When I needed help there was very little support available. Most professionals didn't have the lived experience. They were a professor, doctor or counsellor but no-one truly understood how I felt and that I was just the next patient or client, or like I was on a timer. It felt like no-one really understood or cared. This was my personal experience, however that's not to say that these roles cannot offer valuable help for some people - in fact for some its life saving. But this just wasn't my experience.
These healing workshops have been developed from my own journey and academic study of psychology and eating disorders. I have worked in the NHS, and have training and qualifications in health coaching, eating disorders and psychology. I am completing a Masters Degree in Psychology specialising in Eating Disorders and Health Psychology. My health coaching is accredited by the Personalised Care Institute. My academic interests are beinge eating disorders, the role of psychological interventions after a diagnosis of a health condition (eg diabetes) and the science of personal change.
I am uniquely placed to understand where you're at.
I know how you feel and know the desperation we feel sometimes. Its not about vanity - its about our health, emotional wellbeing, our longevity, and being a good role model for those around us. And, as you will come to understand, being compassionate with yourself.
Healing Workshops Costs: £550 including lunch and materials.
Workshops are held on the last Saturday of each month.
Workshops are held in a converted barn in a pretty and serene rural village in North Essex. There is direct access to the countryside enabling time for contemplation in nature and we are neigbours to a wonderful equestrian centre.
The village has a small number of amentities including a village shop, a pub, boutique bed and breakfast, beauty salon, independent coffee shop and a patisserie tea room.
Come and join us to start your healing journey in a safe and non judgemental environment.
Easy access - We are only 8 miles off M11, Junction 8 and Stansted Airport.