Posts in Skills
Living a Deliberate Life Using Life Skills to Promote Self-Care: Tips from an Expert An interview with Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW

Those of us who have struggled with overeating know that it is not uncommon to turn to food when life feels overwhelming. What many otherwise competent, high-achieving people don't realize is that overwhelm is often created when we fail to engage in effective self-care because we think we have "more important things to do." Usually this involves attending to the needs and care of others while we put our own self-care last on our "To Do" list. There is a way out of this pattern, however, and it's as simple as planning ahead. When we become skilled at planning ahead for success by organizing our lives, we not only function better, but we often find that we have more, not less, free time. That free time may be used to relax, take a walk with our partner or children, or to simply do nothing, and it fuels us in ways that overeating cannot.

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Changing the Conversation…

From a quick check of the mainstream medical literature, the “War on Obesity” appears to be in full swing. The alarm is audible everywhere, at our medical conferences, in our offices and hospitals, from government leaders, within our schools, and for many of us, within our own households. We, as health care providers, are trained to believe that fat is the enemy, and that, beyond a certain BMI, we must recommend weight loss (or at least maintenance of a stable weight during periods of growth) in order to promote health. Our training is so focused on outcomes (e.g. weight and BMI) as indicators of health, that we actually feel progressive when we focus on “healthy lifestyle choices,” rather than on simply eradicating fat through weight loss.

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Lessons from a turkey sandwich!

At my most comfortable, natural weight, I knew what I was having for lunch every day.
 
It was my third year in medical school, commonly believed to be the most stressful, but I tend to gain weight when I am stressed, so that was not the reason. And it was also not what I was eating that brought me to this comfortable, sane place with food and my body. It was how.
 

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“You become what you think about…”

My favorite quote from the business literature is, “You become what you think about most of the time.”[1] Focus on what you don’t like or don’t want in your life (fat, dieting, food rules, your least favorite body part (more on this later), your worst habit), and that’s exactly what you are likely to get more of. Have you ever noticed how the more you focus on restricting calories or avoiding certain foods, the more you want to consume? You get what you think about.

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Book Release: Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating: Psychological Strategies for Doctors and Health Care Providers and Discount Code!

I am delighted to report that my new book, Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating: Psychological Strategies for Doctors and Health Care Providers, was released this week. The book is co-authored with eating disorders therapist, 7-book author, and eating psychology expert Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. Eating psychology is about the “how” and “why” of eating, rather than the “what,” and it helps us to understand the patterns of thought, emotion and belief that cause some of us to restrict calories, overeat, or alternate between dietary deprivation and mindless over-consumption. It is these patterns that often underlie what we ultimately recognize as weight gain, weight struggles and metabolic dysfunction. Understanding and addressing these patterns is an important step in healing overeating, chronic dieting, and weight cycling, and Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating seeks to help doctors, health care professionals and patients do exactly that.

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