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Letting go of overeating and restrictive eating

By Charlene Rayburn

depressed womanLooking back over what I learned from Chapter 1/Workshop 1 in Am I Hungry®?, I would say that noticing my thoughts about the 3 Eating Cycles was somewhat like having conversations with 3 different lovers:

Overeating Cycle:

OC: Don’t even think you’re going to change our relationship. You know you can’t live without me. I’ve ALWAYS been here for you. I comfort you when you’re down. I entertain you when you’re bored. I soothe you when you’re anxious. I’ve been a part of your life almost every day. We’ve had way too many good times for you to give this up.

Me: You’re right, we have had some really great times, and you have been there for me. But, like a relationship with an abusive partner, you’re hurting me. You’re affecting my health, you’re helping me to deny my true feelings and enabling me to not deal with the underlying causes. Things have to change.

Restrictive Cycle:

RC: You’ll be back. You don’t know how to live without me. Unless I’m there to tell you what to do, you’ll get out of control. Someone has to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. I paint the rosy picture for your future and tell you step-by-step how to get there. That’s exactly what you need.

Me: It’s true, I am a bit afraid to venture out on my own without you, but this just isn’t working. Your “shoulding” and “guilting” techniques are tearing me apart. I’m not perfect, and the ups and downs of hope and disappointment are like a life-long roller coaster ride. I’m exhausted, and I just can’t do it anymore.

Instinctive Cycle:

IC: I’m there for you. I’ll be your supportive, natural guide to the healthy and vibrant life you envision.

Me: You seem too good to be true and I’m skeptical.

IC: I’ve always been there for you. I’ve been waiting for your return.

Me: But, I don’t know if I can live without OC and RC. They’ve been a part of my life for so many years.

IC: I’m a part of you, listen to your own wisdom and you’ll find me. We’ve always been together and that will never change. No matter how many times you stray, just look for me, and I’ll be there. This is not an outlined step-by-step plan, rather it is a one-step-at-a-time plan. We can get there together, you just have to trust.

Me: Okay, we’ll see. I really do want to believe you. I’ll just take it one step at a time.


About the author

Charlene Rayburn, CVCC, lives her passion for mindfulness and intentional leadership by serving as a personal and professional leadership coach, by managing a department of dedicated employees for a Fortune 500 sized health insurance organization, and by facilitating Am I Hungry?® workshops and coaching sessions. She has coached extensively with individuals and groups outside the corporate world, as well as with executives, leaders, and teams in non-profit, private, public, governmental, and educational organizations spanning the globe. Charlene received her coaching certificate through the Center for Coaching Mastery at Coachville, LLC, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management from Davenport University. She is a member of the National Management Association. One of her most emotionally challenging and rewarding experiences was serving as a volunteer at the Center for Battered Women. Charlene currently lives in Michigan and enjoys spending time with her husband of over 20 years, reading, learning, cooking, practicing yoga, and watching her grandson grow, who lives with his dad, her stepson in Fort Worth, Texas.

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