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An Inspirational Quote

“If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

—Dogen Zenji

How To Stop Bingeing

By Catherine Carrigan,Catherine@totalfitness.net

Over the years, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job has been to empower both women and men overcome eating disorders.

I have helped clients who have suffered from disordered eating patterns literally for 4o or 50 years.

The benefits of freeing yourself from this addiction are legion.

Not only will you finally be able to achieve your ideal size, you will also experience dramatically less stress around food, holidays, family gatherings and parties because you will feel free.

As I could write a book about my experience with this subject, I would like to write in this newsletter about dealing just with the beginning stages of healing from this affliction.

 

1. Part of dealing successfully with any challenge is to recognize which stage of change you are actually in. Different strategies work at each stage of change.

The first stage of change is pre-contemplation. In pre-contemplation, the cons of changing outweigh the pros. Pre-contemplation is a far cry from action, where you are willing to make big changes. If you try to put yourself on a diet or structured exercise program at this point, more than likely you will self sabotage. If you are troubled by your bingeing, make an appointment with me to figure out which stage of change you are actually in so that you can take steps that actually stick.

 

2. Identify the emotions that trigger your bingeing. At this early stage, you can begin to observe which feelings set off your bingeing. Recently, I was working with a client, and she said to me, “I just start feeling bad and I binge so that I don’t have to feel what it is.” Make an appointment with me where I can use kinesiology to help you figure out what those feelings actually are. When I worked with that particular client, for example, she learned that the feelings that set off her overeating were low self esteem, depression and anger.

 

3. Identify the places and days of the week where you are likely to binge. My client recognized that she was most likely to overeat when visiting a grocery store. Using kinesiology, I was able to point out to her that her most vulnerable day of the week was Friday. If you know which places and which days of the week are usually trouble for you, you can take the steps of giving yourself extra support.

4. Recognize that the part of you that is bingeing more than likely is your wounded self. Your higher self wants to be thin, healthy and fit. Your wounded self, on the other hand, needs to be treated lovingly, kindly and carefully. If you try to threaten this wounded self or force him or her into a highly controlled program of eating or exercise, more than likely it won’t work. Make an appointment with me and let’s work together to figure out what will work to heal this aspect of yourself. In other words, a very smart trainer will know that it’s not about how good their exercise or eating plan is. It’s about YOU and what all of YOU, your integrated self – your higher self and your wounded self – needs in order to move ahead.

 

5. Start counting. One of the simplest ways to control anything is to count anything. Example: Bad day, 12 cookies. Really bad day: 53 cookies, ½ pint of ice cream. Better day: 6 cookies. Make an agreement with yourself that whatever you do, you’ll just start counting it. Simply by gently bringing the light of awareness into the situation, you will notice things starting to improve. Most people who binge actually want to stop.

 

6. As you progress, set up an anti-binge strategy. Here is one that I have found highly effective with clients of all ages, shapes, sexes and sizes. When you feel a binge coming along, follow these steps:

A. Eat red meat, usually at least 3 to 4 ounces. I recommend red meat because it’s the most grounding food. Most people who are bingeing are either in the process of disconnecting from their physical body or are already disconnected. When you are disconnected from your physical, you can eat and eat and eat and not even feel full. In addition to that, red meat is a protein food, and all your brain chemistry is made from the amino acids in protein. Eating red meat will begin to give your brain something of what it needs to feel better.

B. Drink a hot, noncaffeinated beverage, such as herbal tea. I recommend a hot beverage so your stomach will begin to get the message you have eaten something. I encourage you to choose something without caffeine because caffeine simply shoots up your anxiety level. At this point, you need to soothe yourself.

C. Wait 10 minutes. By waiting 10 minutes, you begin to allow your mind and body to get the message that you have eaten something already.

D. Then, give yourself permission to have whatever you like so long as you put it on a plate, sit down and eat it off a plate. Do not eat while standing up, standing in front of a refrigerator or in front of your pantry, out of a bag or while driving a car. You will need to sit down and eat like a civilized person. While you are doing this, don’t do anything else – don’t watch TV, talk on the phone, read your computer or a magazine. Just focus on what you are eating. Digestion is a downward process. When we multi-task while eating, we interfere with the digestion process and often our brain doesn’t recognize what we are doing.

You will discover that simply by following this process, your binge will more than likely be less excessive.

 

7. Heal your brain. Most people who are bingeing have unbalanced brain chemistry. I use a very effective technique from Total Body Modification, a kind of applied kinesiology, to balance 26 neurotransmitters in your brain. I also use personalized nutritional supplements. After having worked with clients who have eating disorders for some 19 years now, I have yet to discover a single one who had normal brain chemistry. When you give your brain what it actually needs, you will find yourself less frantic around food and much more able to control what you are eating. Recognize that because you are biochemically unique, what your brain needs may be different from what someone else needs. I use a combination of questionnaires and kinesiology to help you identify what that actually is.

 

8. Forgive yourself. Sometimes the hardest person in the world to forgive is yourself. I have great compassion for people with eating disorders because I understand some of the underlying problems that they are actually dealing with. Some of the issues I have discovered over the years include past sexual or physical abuse, head injuries, disordered brain chemistry, parasites, severe nutritional deficiencies and past history of extreme dieting or over-exercising. I remember one client who told me that when she was younger, she had dieted and exercised so much she was losing her eyesight. When you forgive yourself, that does not mean that you like what you did or condone it. Most people who have eating disorders are extremely ashamed. What it does mean to forgive yourself is to recognize that you are human, that you are always doing the best you can with whatever resources that you have at the time. Bring compassion into the picture as much as you can.

 

9. Assess your stress level. The recent client I worked with, I discovered that her stress level was a 7.5 out of 10. Although most of these days are usually dealing with a higher level of stress than we can comfortably dealing with, recognize that to heal an eating disorder of any kind, you will need to lower your overall stress level. How can you do that? By doing a stress-lowering activity every day of your life. Join my yoga or qi gong classes. Come in for a Reiki session, a Thai yoga body therapy session or ask me to teach you how to meditate.

 

10. Feel your feelings. As you get stronger, become strong enough to handle your own emotions. After having worked with virtually every kind of addict you can think of – alcoholics, foodaholics, workaholics, for starters – I have discovered that the common denominator in all addictions is unwillingness to feel your feelings. I tell all my clients you will know when you are done with your addiction when you can sit with yourself and have a panic attack, get really really angry, feel terribly lonely, tired or sad and not need to drink, eat, overwork, etc. etc. etc. etc. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you will stop having feelings. I am always telling my yoga class that yoga isn’t here to make our lives all cushy and soft – yoga is here to rock your world, to make us all strong enough inside and out to breathe through, feel and expand our capacity to handle life.

 

Honor your process and recognize these are a few of the places that I begin when working with clients with eating disorders.

 

Cattleya Orchid In My Studio

Cattleya Orchid In My Studio

Exercise Of The Month: Round The Clock Lunge

By Catherine Carrigan,

catherine@totalfitness.net

 

You can view FREE exercise videos by visiting the following link: http://unlimitedenergynow.com/exercise-library

 

Your exercise of the month is Round The Clock Lunge.

 

What’s so great about this exercise:

1. Practicing lunges in your gym workout can improve your athletic performance in sports like tennis, skiing, biking, running, volleyball, snowboarding, surfing, cycling, hiking, cross country jogging and many other sports that require lower body strength and endurance.

2. Lunges are compound movements, which means that when you are performing a lunge, you will be exercising many muscles at the same time. This is the most efficient way to work out.

3. You will be getting an aerobic workout while you strength train. If you were wearing a heart rate monitor, you would notice that your heart rate will go up while performing a round the clock lunge. This is the optimal way to strengthen your heart. Your heart rate will go up and then come down during your rest period after you complete the exercise.

4. Round the clock lunges challenge your brain. Because you are shifting your focus from front lunges to front angle lunges to side lunges to back angle lunges to reverse lunges, you will have to focus on what you are doing, be in the moment and think about what you are doing. Your nervous system will not go to sleep doing the same thing over and over again – you will wake up mentally and physically, training yourself to react in the moment, just as we do when performing in any athletic event.

5. Round the clock lunges challenge your balance. You have to have good balance to perform a good round the clock lunge in the first place, and adjusting your lunge angle constantly will make your balance even better.

6. Dynamic lunges challenge your core. You pull your navel up and in, activating your deep core muscles and getting the back of the body and the front of the body working together.

7. By challenging your brain, your core and improving your balance, you will have the side benefit of improving your eyesight! About 20 percent of your vision is devoted to proprioception. When you have good balance, you take the stress off your visual system.

8. You’ll notice a deep sense of relaxation after you are complete. Paradoxically, the deeper you work in your nervous system, the more you will relax. Many people try to relax by lying around and still feel tense. When you work deeply into your body, you can release the tension even more effectively.

9. Vary this exercise by holding hand weights or altering the rhythm. I demonstrated this exercise slowly for you in the video so you could see how careful I am with the form. Form is absolutely everything in exercise. Without good form, you injure yourself. With good form, you strengthen your muscles into good posture. Once you have excellent form, you can take this exercise up a notch by changing the rhythm – make some parts faster, some parts slower.

10. This exercise gives you the whole package – core stability, core strength, muscle strength, aerobic conditioning, power and balance.

To learn more about how you can work out safely and efficiently or receive a work out perfect for your body, email me at Catherine@totalfitness.net or call 678-612-8816 to set up an appointment today.

 

Reverse Plank

Reverse Plank

Client Testimonial: Harrison DeHart, Aiken, S.C.

 

 

“Before my visit, I felt trapped in the past by things I cannot change. I feel more free inside than I’ve felt in 18 years. Now I feel the power to make my own luck.”

Harrison DeHart, age 18, Aiken, S.C.

 

Catherine Carrigan’s comment: Over the years I have worked with clients of all ages. My youngest clients are newborn babies. My oldest clients are in their 90s.

I feel great compassion for our teenagers, who experience a great amount of stress without the resources that we adults have developed to cope with the challenges of life.

As a social comment, if you notice who is committing mass murders in our country, you will find it is invariably young men of high school and college age.

Five hundred years ago, these young men would have been apprentices, learning a practical trade under the guidance of older men who taught them how to embody their masculinity in a healthy way.

I believe that our young men need our love and support.

They need to be taught that it is O.K. to be a man.

In my many years studying the brain, I have learned that male brains and female brains work quite differently.

The average man speaks just about 7,000 words per day, while the average woman speaks about 20,000 words a day.

In addition to that, the part of a man’s brain that speaks is on the opposite side that listens.

When a man begins to open up and talk about his feelings, if he is interrupted, it is difficult for him to go back and retrieve his feelings, connect those feelings to his thoughts and express himself.

Not only do women speak more words every day, our brains are wired to listen and speak more easily. That’s why women typically interrupt, speak over each other and carry on conversations at a high rate of speed.

We women need to shut up and listen to the men in our lives. We need to honor their feelings and allow them to complete their thoughts before expressing ours.

In so doing, a man can finally release the stress he is holding inside.

I worked with Harrison after a series of stressful events in his life. His mother, Dana DeHart, brought him to visit me from Aiken, S.C.

I appreciate the special challenges of being a teenager in today’s society.

 

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose

My 6th Yoga Teacher Training Completed,

catherine@totalfitness.net

 

I am a big believer in education. It’s not just that I was Phi Beta Kappa at Brown University. I love to learn, and whatever I do for a living, my philosophy is to keep educating myself.

If you look at the great golfers – say Phil Mickelson for example – what you will find is that when they are at the height of their game, they will hire someone to take apart what they are doing so that they can take everything to a whole new level.

I just completed my 6th yoga teacher training, this one with Lillah Schwarz of Lighten Up Yoga in Asheville, North Carolina.

Lillah Schwarz, age 60, was trained by B.K.S. Iyengar and has taught yoga for 30 years. She was the first to open a yoga studio in Asheville.

For me, Lillah is a great example of how to teach yoga your entire life. She is an expert at teaching yoga in a therapeutic way – for healing the back, hips, shoulders, you name it!

Even though I have five other 200-hour yoga teacher trainings under my belt, I wanted to study with Lillah to take my entire yoga practice to a whole new level.

In my mind, when we stop being in a place of awe and wonder and even curiosity about what we do and how we do it, we’re done. I like to maintain that state within myself by continuing to grow as a practitioner.

Thank you Lillah!

 

 

Total Fitness Classes in Atlanta

 

Yoga Classes Meet Regularly

 

 

Monday mornings, 11 to 12:30

Tuesday and Thursday between 7:30 P.M. and 9 P.M.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 4465 Northside Drive 
Atlanta, GA.

Please go to McDonough Hall, second floor.

 

Qi Gong Class Meets Regularly:

Wednesday between 5:30 P.M. and 7 P.M.

1951 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA.

$15 per class.

 

 

 

 

 

Booking Appointments

Create Your Wellness Plan

 

To schedule an appointment to start putting together your personal fitness, nutrition or healing plan to help you get results, please contact us:

 

In Atlanta

 

Catherine Carrigan catherine@totalfitness.net, Phone: 678-612-8816