Thursday, March 17, 2016


After suffering with Bulimia and Binge Eating for years, I found Robin and realized she might be able to help me out. Here is what happened after working with her.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Since the 1960’s Weight Watchers has been a moderate representative of the diet industry, and has helped millions of dieters deprive food and closely monitor their effected weight. Today, Oprah Winfrey has decided to encourage more people to do the same.

In October of 2015 Weight Watchers sold 10% (6.4 million) shares to Oprah for 43.2 million dollars. By the end of the day Weight Watchers stock doubled, making Oprah 70 million dollars. But as with all diets, the allure of the fantasy dies and so did the ‘Oprah effect’. Weight Watchers stock has tanked since January, with a steep declining trajectory. Could it be the influx of newer easier weight loss apps and gadgets? Or maybe the growing movement to reject the dogma of the body-image culture?

In a recent Weight Watchers commercial Oprah declares,

“Inside every woman is the woman she knows she can become.”

In other words, what she’s saying is in every woman is a thinner woman wanting to get out. In every woman is a picture programmed into her brain of what she’s supposed to look like and without question, it matches societal dogma as thinner and more attractive.  

In another commercial she states,

“Let’s let 2016 be the year of our best bodies.”

In this she’s inferring that in order to have a better body, it must be thinner. This is a wonderful example of both dogma and stigma.

Dogma is defined by a set of principles or beliefs given by authority that is irrefutably true. Stigma is consequential to those beliefs, in that a person’s reputation is negatively defined by not meeting those standards. These messages sent by Weight Watchers emphasize the dogma of thin-supremacy.

The principle is that thinner people are smarter, sexier, healthier, have more self-control, and are more important and valuable to society. Thin people are superior people. The stigma then is that fatter people are unintelligent, unattractive, lazy, and worth less to society. Fat people are inferior people.

Without questioning the validity and credibility of these beliefs, they have become sacred to society. Enough so that even with her affiliation with some of the most prolific and popular spiritual teachers of today, Oprah still hasn’t transcended the controlling grasp of thin-supremacy. It’s no wonder she feels she has a thin woman inside her waiting to get out and that her thinner body is a better body in 2016.

Unfortunately, the hundreds of trillions of dollars spent on acquiring the ideal dogmatic body is an indication of how many people believe in it and are fearful of resulting stigma. But with awareness comes knowledge. 

There has been a shift in what the consumer is looking for, which could explain why Weight Watchers is struggling, despite benefiting from a few months of the ‘Oprah effect’. Many people aren’t buying into the body-image fantasy the same way they used to, and they might actually be less influenced by stigma. Enough so that Oprah might realize she already has a better body, when her investment isn't enough to keep her from getting hungry and wanting to eat.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


When someone comes to me for help, they are seeking guidance for how to rid the horrific side-effects of dieting. These effects are described as chronic anxiety, paranoia, panic, fear, and obsessive thinking about size, weight, clothes, food, and restrictions. They are ridden with incessant pressure to fix their body, anxiety about food, and are heavily burdened by the daily task of starving in order to feel safe and adequate in their body.
When you look at the negative emotions one has about themselves, it's clear why the abuse and dysfunction of dieting is rationalized as a worthy cause. The obsessive mental focus on restrictions, food, and exercise are promoted as “healthy”, with the underlying belief that all of the negative emotions will go away once their body is good enough.
The problem with this focus is that it misdirects and projects the original emotions one has about themselves onto the body. But in fact, the emotions were there prior to believing weight-loss would make the uncomfortable emotions go away. Once an individual believes fat loss will make them feel better emotionally, fat becomes the focal point of cause and effect. In other words, if you feel ashamed and you believe losing weight will make those feeling go away, the unintended consequence is that gaining fat becomes a cause of shame.
For me, days after a traumatic sexual assault, I decided losing weight would help me direct and control intolerable feelings of loss, darkness, shame, fear, chaos, and disorientation. Because I didn’t understand the trauma or recognize why I felt ashamed, my first instinct wasn’t to fix the experience, but rather to blame and fix myself. My way to resolve feelings of inadequacy, failure, and chaos was through organization, order, and control of food, and through a fantasy that fat loss would make me feel powerful and safe.
I consciously made my diet and body my unconscious cause and effect.
Once I began to successfully restrict food and lose weight I experienced feelings of peace, calm, quiet, safe, and order. But the moment I deviated from the safety of my diet, my coping mechanism became my biggest enemy. It became a bigger cause of failure and emotional pain than the original trauma itself.
Feelings of failure, inadequacy, shame, chaos, disorientation, and panic came flooding back, but worse. The only focus that would remove those feelings was to eliminate the damage. Purging, excessive exercise and obsessive dieting took over. Like a rabbit hole, I was sucked into a vicious cycle of mostly shame, fear, panic, anxiety, starving, and severe psychological pain.
At its worst I would have to exercise to burn at least 1200 calories a day and would starve enough to binge and purge 8-12 a day. All just to feel fleeting moments of safety. Ninety percent of my day was spend in horror and heavy depression, especially when I realized there was no way out.  It wasn’t until I had decided to commit suicide that the process unraveled.
In the end, I had to get down to the original emotions and detach them from my body. I had to experience those emotions as a soul, not a body, giving me clarity, perspective, and freedom from the torture of trauma and the suffering of my coping mechanism.
The people who come to me for help, I understand. I know what Hell feels like and despite feeling inescapable, there is freedom. But not without going into the original emotions, and not with coping mechanisms to escape.
When you have the humility to willfully surrender ALL coping mechanisms you accept responsibility for your emotions. You open your mind to recontextualize trauma, and have compassion for yourself and others. You open your soul to the grace necessary to recognize illusions, and the freedom from having to be defined by them.
There is freedom, and it isn’t with a coping mechanism. Once you open yourself to what you are afraid to feel, you are given perspective. Here is a session with a client where I discuss the insanity of dieting and the truth of what your desire to lose weight is hiding.