How Can Your Loved Ones Help Your Recovery?

Who are the people in your life that support you in recovery? Does anyone even know what you are going through?

Eating disorders can be isolating. Learning to open up and build relationships with the people around you can be a huge leap forward in your recovery.

So much of the therapy and family groups I’ve participated in have set the false expectation that your supporters need to be careful not to trigger you or say things that make it worse.

I do think it is helpful when supporters learn how to help you in the best way possible, but that isn’t always realistic, some people are going to say things that aren’t supportive. You get to choose how to interpret that.

What if your husband or relative comments about how much food you are eating? Or maybe something about your body? Or someone says you couldn’t be struggling with disordered eating because you look fine?

Their comments are neutral. They only hurt you because of the thoughts you have about them. Maybe you think “are they right?” “I guess that’s evidence that I am fat and ugly”. We can make ourselves miserable with these thoughts.

But what if anyone else’s comments were neutral? It would be a lot easier to accept the support that they do offer without feeling miserable when they say the wrong thing.

Learning to filter your own thoughts and choose your own thoughts is empowering, but it is also difficult. Be patient with yourself if you find yourself offended or upset. Just notice that your thoughts are creating your emotion.

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Growth Mindset

When you’re stuck in a cycle of bingeing and battling with food it can be easy to get discouraged. But what if it is an opportunity?

What if facing your battles with food is your greatest opportunity to grow?

I am so grateful for my battle with food because it has taught me how to manage my mind and increased my self-awareness. I know that I can feel any emotion so I’m not trying to numb the pain when anxiety or depression come around.

My understanding of my potential has increased. I don’t feel like I’m doomed to struggle with food for the rest of my life. In short, I’m a better women for overcoming my struggles.

So why not see your disordered eating as an opportunity?

It is your chance to grow and become the next version of yourself. And it all starts with taking a look in and understanding that your thoughts and your emotions aren’t beyond your control.

If you want help in your journey of understanding the power of your mind, send me an e-mail at krista@kristacouchcoaching.com and we will set up a FREE mini session.

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What is Healthy Eating?

What does a healthy relationship with food look like?

This is a complicated question and it’s something I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating. We all have such different perceptions of what is healthy and how we should eat.

Here are a few tips on how to decide what a “Healthy” relationship with food looks like for you.

Your Body Feels Good

My husband has a lot of stomach issues, so the foods he feels healthy eating are sometimes different from the foods that energize and satisfy me.

We eat foods that we both can feel healthy eating and both have a good balance. Sometimes you have to really consider how your eating choices are impacting your energy and strength. Sometimes this includes a lot of trial and error.

You Honor Both Hunger and Fullness

The skill of tuning into your body and knowing when and how much to eat is emotionally and physically important. Learn the signs your body gives you when you’re hungry and full.

For example, when I’m hungry I begin to slow down, crave food and my mind gets a little foggy. Then when I’m satisfied, my food doesn’t taste as good anymore and I don’t feel the need to eat anymore.

You Eat and Then You Move On

Obsessing over the food I ate has been a regular habit for most of my life. Until I learned to practice managing my mind and using thought work. I would be able to tell you everything I ate and when I ate it for the past week. Then I’d binge and I’d spend days feeling guilty and punishing myself.

Now I can eat and then move on with my day. I still plan and remember my meals, but it doesn’t determine my mood for the rest of the day.

You’ve Found Your Groove

I’ve heard judgement from the body positivity community about anyone who wants to be healthier and I’ve definitely heard the other way around.

A healthy relationship with food requires that you let go of all this chatter and eat in the way that is best for you. Only you know what you need, I’m just here to give you the tools to help you discover what you want your relationship with food to look like.

E-mail krista@kristacouchcoaching.com for a free session today. I work with people from all over the world.

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Trauma

I’ve talked to many people with binge eating disorder and bulimia who have significant trauma in their lives. If you carry the weight of trauma, big or small, this message is for you.

Your past is in your past. Everything that you’ve done or has been done to you is in the past. 

At this moment, you are safe and okay.

The reason your past still effects you is because the thoughts you have about it at this moment.

And I’m not saying those thoughts are wrong or invalid.

But if your thoughts are creating pain and causing negative cycles in your life, I have good news.

You can change thoughts. You get to think whatever feels good and serves you. Really diving into the deep, uncomfortable thoughts and understanding them in a new way can free you from the weight they cause you.

You deserve to have the pain of your past taken off of your shoulders.

The things that cause you pain don’t have ANY POWER. You have the power. This is a beautiful thing because nobody can take that away from you.

Having trauma and having an eating disorder doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you. And when you begin to see that, everything will change.


And in case you are interested in a FREE session with me to see changes in your life, e-mail me at krista@kristacouchcoaching.com

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Happy Relationships Have Nothing to Do With The Other Person

Happy relationships don’t have a single thing to do with how the other person is acting. If you aren’t happy in a relationship, you have all the power in the world to fix it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it is ok to be in an abusive relationship. Hear me out though.

There have been times where I have needed other people to love me so desperately because I didn’t love myself. If they didn’t love me in the way that I needed them to, I was upset and made myself miserable.

And as long as you depend on someone else to make you feel lovable, you won’t feel lovable. Believe me, I’ve tried it. You have to love yourself in order to feel lovable.

And when you love yourself, it is a lot easier to love and be loved.

Before I met my husband I went through a breakup and I realized something, I was never going to be happy with someone else because I wasn’t happy with myself.

When I met my husband, I was so happy on my own. But he is awesome and I just enjoy loving him. And there aren’t so many unrealistic expectations. I didn’t need him to love me because I already loved me.

So what’s the point of a relationship if you don’t need to be loved by someone?

It’s someone to love. You get to love someone even when they don’t love you. You get to enjoy how amazing the feeling of love is. You don’t tolerate an abusive relationship, but you also don’t expect anyone to be perfect.

It’s freeing, it’s beautiful and it’s definitely worth celebrating. So love yourself and love all the people in your life, it’s such a beautiful feeling. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Emotions

Our emotions determine all the actions we take in our lives. Yet so many people don’t understand what it feels like to experience certain emotions. This is because very few of us actually experience emotions.

Many people resist emotions, react to them by acting out, and distract themselves with food or their phones. It can be so easy to distract or buffer our emotions in our world that has so much abundance, but their can be negative consequences.

An eating disorder is direct consequence of resisting feeling our emotions. While using any disordered eating behaviors, you are escaping your emotions.

I used to be very distant from my emotions and anytime I felt something uncomfortable I’d run away from it.

The solution is learning to feel your feelings.

Understanding what different emotions feel like make all the difference in how well we understand ourselves and why we have a roller coaster relationship with food.

Here is some helpful steps that can help you become more familiar with emotions:

Don’t Judge It

If you judge sadness, anxiety or any other emotion you won’t be able to fully experience it. Just see it as a sensation. Be curious about it instead of scared of it.

Describe It

Go into detail and describe what it feels like. Think about like a scientist would. What does your body feel like? I know when I get sad I feel warm and an empty sensation. When I’m excited, I feel strong and energized.

Name It

Understanding what an emotion is and how you feel it will offer you so much emotional intelligence. You will be able to observe yourself and the actions you take in your life in a whole new way.

The worst that can happen is an emotion. The more you learn to feel your emotions and embrace them, you will experience your life in a new way. There is nothing to be scared of when the worst thing that can happen is an emotion.

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Vulnerable Binge Times

Is there a pattern to your unhealthy eating? Do you find yourself overeating in the evening? Or finding yourself losing control when you eat a certain food?

This is the perfect time to plan ahead and know what you are going to do. Something helpful is having a thought you can practice thinking.

Lets say you always overeat sweets at night and feel guilty. What if when it comes down to the moment you know exactly what you will eat and you feel confident instead of overwhelmed by the amount of food you eat.

For example, tonight I plan on eating dinner and then a snack after. Putting your snack on a plate or in a bowl is helpful to set a clear start and end to the meal. When you are done eating, it is time to do healthy behaviors like self-care and spending time doing things that you enjoy.

Building a habit of structured eating will give you more and more confidence that you can sit through your “vulnerable times” without falling into a full blown binge.

For me, knowing my body can handle food and knowing that I can eat it again when the next opportunity comes around gives me confidence and trust in myself. And every time I face a situation that would have turned into a binge, I don’t have to think twice because I know that I am not going to binge.

Believing in yourself and your ability to handle it before you are faced with an uncomfortable situation makes all the difference.

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Why You Binge

You binge because you believe bingeing is easier than sitting through the urge to binge. 

Sometimes the urge to binge is so habitual that you forget to investigate why you experience it so often.

An urge is always masking a feeling. Maybe you feel anxiety, discomfort, sadness, anger or shame. The second your brain registers that you are feeling something uncomfortable. BAM! Urge.

If you become comfortable with feeling any emotion, the need for bingeing is gone.

Learning to feel confident feeling these emotions has been some of the hardest work of my life. But at least I’m not missing out on half my life.

I invite you to start this work. I’d be happy to schedule a FREE session with you to teach you about your emotions. Just send me an e-mail at: krista@kristacouchcoaching.com

You binge because you believe bingeing is easier than sitting through the urge to binge. 

Sometimes the urge to binge is so habitual that you forget to investigate why you experience it so often.

An urge is always masking a feeling. Maybe you feel anxiety, discomfort, sadness, anger or shame. The second your brain registers that you are feeling something uncomfortable. BAM! Urge.

If you become comfortable with feeling any emotion, the need for bingeing is gone.

Learning to feel confident feeling these emotions has been some of the hardest work of my life. But at least I’m not missing out on half my life.

I invite you to start this work. I’d be happy to schedule a FREE session with you to teach you about your emotions. Just send me an e-mail at: krista@kristacouchcoaching.com

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How to Resist the Urge to Purge

How to Resist the Urge to Purge
Young woman in pain lying on couch at home, casual style indoor shoot

Already overeat? Can’t stop focusing on the food in your stomach?

Healing your relationship with food requires that you learn to feel comfortable with keeping food in your stomach.

So dive in and embrace the discomfort. Your relationship with yourself and your body will grow as you learn to feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable. So get out a notebook and practice this exercise when you feel desire to purge.

1. Put Your Mind Onto Paper

Write down all the thoughts and feelings you have and put them all onto a piece of paper.

2. Notice the Emotions You Feel

Guilt? Embarrassment? Shame? Humiliation? What does it feel like in your body?

3. Treat Yourself Kindly and Remember an Emotion Won’t Kill You

Whether it is physical discomfort or emotional discomfort, it will not last forever. Be curious and let yourself experience the intensity of your emotions without escaping by purging.

You deserve a life free from disordered eating and the lasting physical and emotional consequences. If you want more tools for overcoming bulimia and binge eating, send me an e-mail at krista@kristacouchcoaching.com.

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Embracing the Negative

We can be in a really big rush to get to “Recovery”, the destination where all our problems with food are gone and everything is better.

But when the really uncomfortable emotions come up along the way, we run straight from recovery. The discomfort is just too much.

What if I told you that all the growth and learning happens when we experience discomfort and have to grow? What if I told you feeling sad or anxious can be a good thing.

Don’t be too quick to run away from pain that you forget to grow through it.

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