Ep 0043 – Get off the roller coaster of all or nothing thinking!

Laurie and her recorder
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Back home from our anniversary trip, I head off with my other constant companion, my Roland-05 recorder to hike and record episode 43.

Podcast Recap

Our 20th anniversary trip inspires me to ponder how ‘all or nothing’ thinking has screwed me in the past and to celebrate our improvement in getting off of that roller coaster. A Whoppin’ Big Bravery shout-out goes to Michelle for courageously calling the bravery hotline and thanks to Sue and Cheryl for welcoming new listener, Heather and new Spark People team member, Christina.

Laurie and Mark on the California Adventure roller coaster

We have fun on the California Screamin’ coaster at Disney’s California Adventure

Laurie and Mark on the ferris wheel

We celebrate 20 years of true love on the ferris wheel at California Adventure

Mark and Laurie wearing Mickey Mouse ears at the Napa Rose Restaurant.

Mark and I don our Club 33 mouse ears for our anniversary dinner at Napa Rose


See more of our anniversary trip photos on Facebook.com/compulsiveovereatingdiary

Cheryl’s blog, Wellsprings and Dragonfly Wings

Sue’s supportive comment

New Brave Companion Heather’s comment. Please welcome her!

Michelle’s post on the Who are the brave companions page

Our new “Who are the Brave Companions” page. Come tell your story!

Episode 41 – that Michelle called to comment on

Eating in the Light of the Moon: How Women Can Transform Their Relationship with Food Through Myths, Metaphors, and Storytelling This is the Amazon.com link to the book recommended by Kendra and enjoyed by Michelle.

Catch up with Laurie

My Spreaker page. Please follow me there if you are on Spreaker.

My Instagram page at LaurieDreamWeaver

FaceBook Page if you want to sign up for our email list by clicking Tiger the Cat’s Sign-up button

The Spark People Team we created for listeners of Compulsive Overeating Diary. Welcome new team member, Christina! So far, we’re up to eleven team members, and we would welcome some more! 10/22/14- no longer an active team due to lack of participation

Laurie on Tumblr

My new page with instructions for all of the ways (so far) that you can send audio and lend your voice to this podcast.

New free way to leave voicemail http://speakpipe.com/laurieweaver You can also click the blue button on this page that says ‘send a voice message.’

Bravery Hotline

Leave your comments, questions, feelings and stories on Laurie’s podcast voicemail hotline – 206-350-6445.


Host: Laurie Weaver

Main Theme: I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1

I’m Letting Go (Josh Woodward) / CC BY 3.0

Resource of the day

All or Nothing’, or ‘Black and White’ Thinking and Depression
An interesting article about how depression can be caused or maintained by All or Nothing thinking by UK-based, Uncommon Knowledge, a company dedicated to spreading reliable, helpful and easy-to-absorb information on the most common psychological difficulties faced today and mental health in general.
Comments box:

16 thoughts on “Ep 0043 – Get off the roller coaster of all or nothing thinking!

  1. Michelle

    Hi Laurie, welcome back. I am so glad you had a great holiday and some victorys in your journey to recovery. The subject of your podcast today was very familiar to me, many times I have had certain expectations for an event or an occasion, then when my expectations were not met I became angry or sad.
    We miss out on life when we react like this, and there is the key work reacting. We must learn to accept and work with life’s setbacks rather than reacting.
    I have to say it is weird and cool to hear my name (and voice)on the podcast. Hearing my voice was not as bad as I expected, in the past something as simple as this could have led to a binge.
    I wanted to share a strategy that I received from my therapist for handling the robot aliens when they come for you. The strategy is called , BINGE-EXTINCTION and I Love this term because it means the end. This strategy is very similar to what you are doing Laurie with your podcast and by talking through what is bothering you. It is about changing the patterns in the brain that lead us to binge.
    Binge Extinction Strategies:
    Binging is usually an attempted solution to one or both of the following problems:
    *poorly managed hunger(dietary over-restraint)
    *difficulty tolerating intense emotions
    * Set a timer on your phone or oven for 5 min- 10 min increments, or whatever you think you can manage, start with a minute if you like, it is up to you.
    * distract yourself during the delay, exercise, do a hobby, read,ect. whatever works for you.
    *If you still need to binge when timer goes off then do so
    *if you managed to not binge during the delay time then count that as a victory.
    If you are going to binge do so Mindfully,
    *take the food out of the container and put in on a plate or bow, sit down and eat.
    *with each mouthful stay aware and notice taste, texture,consistency.
    *when the food is gone ask “what do I want now?”
    *again allow yourself to eat the food mindfully, participate in the experience without judging yourself.
    *Identify the feeling that triggered the binge
    *be curious and compassionate with yourself
    * ask yourself what need am I trying to meet
    After the binge stay with your Mechanical Eating schedule:
    I have had a recent success with this method just last night when I came home from work to find that my fridge door had been open for hours while I was away, fearing I would have to replace all the food in the fridge, anxiety set in, the large chocolate bar in my cupboard was calling my name, I decided then and there, I looked at the clock noticed the time, first 5 min,went by then 10 minutes, the urge passed so I decided to go to bed feeling good about my victory. Early in my therapy the robot aliens came for me, because I was so angry at the time, I was binging before I even knew it and then remembered the strategy. I may not be successful every time, but every time I am successful I am creating a new pattern in the brain, and this the way to recovery, and by discovering what emotions and feeling are triggering the binge. It is the combination of these things.
    So same thing Laurie is doing, just in a different way, different things work for different people.
    For this to work for me I am not focused on losing weight, but am focused on nourishing my body with healthy foods and feeding my self enough, because before I was not even close to eating enough for needs and energy requirements. I am feeling good and have lots of energy.
    I wish all the brave companions out there, to find a path to recovery that works for you, because going around the same circle only leaves us feeling less of who we truly are, amazing !!
    *A couple of good books (audio)about the brain and how it works or Nero plasticity are Superbrain and The Will Power Instinct.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Michelle, I’m so glad your brave phone call didn’t rock you in a bad way. Brava for adding your voice to the show. It really does make a difference in encouraging other brave companions, AND me 🙂 It’s also fascinating and helpful what you are sharing about your therapy. I’ve heard about Nero plasticity and can’t wait to look into the audio books you mention. It is really hopeful to think about brain retraining, that just because we have laid down one set of habit patterns in our lives, doesn’t mean that we can’t change. I think I stumbled onto some of this by my podcast recording. I have to identify my feelings in order to tell the story of my life with food impulses and by doing that, I have started to train myself at all times to identify my feelings. Sounds weird, but most of my prior emotional life was numb, depressed, or rage. Knowing what I feel has helped not only curbing the robot alien attacks, but has also helped with many of my relationships.

      Also, Love, Love, Love the Binge-extinction steps – especially the good nutshell of the causes:
      *poorly managed hunger(dietary over-restraint)
      *difficulty tolerating intense emotions

      Both of these have been at play for me most of my life. Since I started the show, mostly number 2 has been the culprit as I have not been restricting food type and I’m starting to do really well at identifying hunger and fullness signals at last. Great to have more alien robot defense weapons in my arsenal!

      I’m thrilled that you are making so much progress and have made a good match with your therapist. It is a wonderful ripple effect that you are sharing such valuable info with us and that you are modeling bravery.

      1. Michelle

        I admire how rational you both sound. I could do this mental exercise if the urge occurred when I was home or by myself, but I find it impossible to locate my brain when I am at a social gathering and everyone else around me is having a great time eating and eating every thing they want without any restriction or concern. I get this feeling that its not fair and anxiety, I dont want people to notice that I’m not eating like them, I want to fit in, so I end up eating more than I want. My husband works at a winery and there are a lot of parties! When you add wine, people eating all around me, I just lose all mental power. Still trying, but its so hard socially to overcome this. Thanks for the tips.

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Hi Michelle Mc! (I’m trying to find some way to indicate which of the Michelles I’m speaking to) I really hear you on the social front. That was totally difficult for me and the scene of many “What the hell” decisions on my part. I think it was even worse when I was sticking to a food plan of some kind, because of my feelings of deprivation and being pissed that THEY get to eat what they want. I notice too, that much of my rage is about others having what I do not – goes back to those locked ice-creams that only my brother was supposed to get I guess. Since I started the show and have been talking, talking, talking my feelings out, or discerning them 24/7, I do see a switch starting to happen in my brain. I go to all social occasions and truly give myself permission to eat what I want, as long as it is ONLY items I truly want. This makes the social event more about people and finding the most delicious thing. Even if it is very high calorie, it turns out better than a little of every single item – many of which are not even that great. I think you are making a really good point that I will explore as one of my topics. What IS behind that feeling of “Why not me?” and party/occasion food? Of course I LOVE wine, and so that would be a challenge. Though wine tasting is fun, and maybe I would try to think of it that way. Sip just enough to get the flavor. With my husband, sometimes I want to have a beer with him, and I’ve discovered it works for me to pour half of a beer into a glass I have. It fills the glass so I can carry it around at parties and sip it with the rest, but I’m only drinking half of the calories of a whole bottle. Same idea as wine spritzer (evil bastardization of wine, that 😉 I think I would prefer smaller amounts of the real deal with fine wine. Thanks too for your story on the Who are the Brave companions page. I think we share the introvert/extrovert gene. I love to be alone in the mountains talking to myself, but I also love to speak or post comments with all of you. It is the perfect world for me! As a bonus I get to meet up with Sandy and I figure someday, other brave companions might be in my area to meet too. Hugs for you and your son!

          1. Michelle Mckinney

            Hi Laurie- I finally got a chance to listen to podcast 44 today while I was working. It was great! Very insightful and full of tips. I even went to podcast 12 and listened to that. When I was just beginning to researching binge eating, I did a lot of reading about OA and do like the AA idea that addicts have an allergy to alcohol, food, drugs-whatever the addiction is, and have a more extreme reaction to an agent than other people might. . I do feel at times, when I’m at a party, my senses go in major overdrive, I’m overwhelmed with smells and desires. And when I do eat, my taste buds are going wild with sensation. So I do feel that I my desires, my compulsions are a little bit more extreme than others there might- I guess thats why its called an compulsion. But I do agree, there are better ways to handle it than to get angry and think its unfair. I have been working on the issue and think the anger does come from being overly strict and restrictive with my diet. I like very much your idea of eating what the others are, just in smaller portions. I did go to a Mexican restaurant a few months back with friends, and I was the only one not eating chips and dip. One of my table mates there asked in front of everybody why I wasnt eating the chips and dips, which made me uncomfortable since it goes against my longing to belong and fit in. I have a very unusual family background and life story, so I try very hard to compensate for that and show new people that I am just like them even if my life history is very different than theirs. It can be hard when you don’t quite fit the categories and people just don’t know where to place you at times. I’m like one of those new music artists that record companies struggle with because they don’t fit the existing music categories.
            Anyway, I have a work party to attend to tomorrow, so I plan to use some of your tips. I’m also bringing my own desert and special drinks. I think it will help me feel better to know that I am having desert, just not the desert they are having. Its a potluck so it wont too obvious that I’m eating something different than them. I keep trying to learn and better handle my triggers. Oh and thanks for letting me know that Mark enjoyed my ‘story,’ that was nice. The garden is calling me, gotta go…

          2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Hi Michelle, boy can I relate to that ‘Alien’ not quite fitting in feeling that you describe so eloquently. I so get the drive and desire to fit in with the ‘regular’ folk. I also believe that some food substances can trigger our pleasure centers moreso for us, than for the average bear. All of this journey is a bit of an exploration I think. Your party plan sounds great! You will be able to eat, but not stand out. I’m sending you great strong vibes for you to enjoy yourself and to enjoy every bite of food without regret. Mark too is out now in our garden, much smaller than yours, but we do have the eternal growing season that makes it fun for him. Let us know how the party went for you, I think other brave companions are very interested in this topic, as am I. 🙂

  2. Cheryl

    Just finished listening to the podcast and was particularly struck by your comments at the end about how you and Mark are learning to be more honest with each other; how that, in turn, derails those feelings of defeat and surrender (my word, that’s what I feel like when the same thing happens to me); and you can then move forward and enjoy life instead of taking two steps back again.

    As the podcast was closing out I was struck, also, by a line from Josh’s song: “I’ll admit I was just a guest inside my skin…” They left me thinking about how often I fail to speak the truth to MYSELF making me what Josh said, just a guest in my own skin, not recognizing me for who I really am. AND the lengths to which I will go to keep that truth, whatever it is, from bubbling out into the cold, hard light of day. That usually includes SOME kind of cookies!

    That scenario has been trying to play out in my journal the last couple days. Reading through Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book about finances, “Peace and Plenty”, has brought to light some things I’ve really not been aware of in my life. Journaling through them makes this a real learning process for me. But yesterday in the chapter I read about financial myths we learn from our families, for the first time I saw a surprising connection between a money myth I have and an ATTITUDE about MYSELF that causes me time and again to seek solace in food. I haven’t journaled about it. I couldn’t. I tried all morning and my journal is still lying open on my desk. The realization has left me with more questions about how I see myself than I know what to do with.

    So even though you were talking about saying your truth to each other, I’m beginning to see how important it is to stop being a guest inside my own skin and start laying claim to ALL that I am. I know that self-acceptance is where that weight loss journey really must start . And at some point tonight or tomorrow I’m going to have to finish writing that journal entry. The more I think about it, the hungrier I get for a cookie or chocolate. I think I’m afraid that once I verbalize the truth of how unfair I’ve been to myself over the years (and I expect I’m going to have to grieve through some things in regards to that), the more I’m afraid I won’t be able to make any lasting changes to make a difference. That leaves me standing on a slippery, chocolate-covered slope at the moment. (With 788 calories left for dinner…)

    I know this all sounds kind of cryptic, but like you with your issues with Mark, some things need to be struggled through in private. Sometimes I wish I could afford to find an actual therapist that specializes in eating issues as Michelle has done. I’ve appreciated Michelle’s thoughts and tips so very much. Maybe I can pick some good stuff up by osmosis? And I have to say it was totally cool to hear her speak her own words. It gave a certain sense of “See! We’re all just normal people here!” to the podcast. So thanks, Michelle, for being brave enough to do that. You’ve got a lot on your plate keeping up with two teenagers. It’s really special that you took the time to do that.

    1. Sue

      Hugs Cheryl. It is a hard journey, but learning to accept yourself as you are now is both important and challenging. I’ve learnt how so much of what I think and feel is rooted in my childhood and it takes time to rewire the thought processes.

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hey there Miss C! That line from Josh’s song was the kicker for me. It made me realize I wasn’t LIVING my life, I was avoiding my life in order to numb my feelings. Here’s a link to where you can download the entire song for free from his website – Love that Josh! I also bought the entire album that song came from for $5.00 because I loved all of the music so much. I think you are doing really well facing down some long-term issues and writing your truth for us. Therapy is wonderful, and as I’ve advised others, maybe you have some sliding scale therapists in your area. I’ve had therapy for as little as $5 per session when I was self-employed. But if not, feel free to vent here or on our Spark People team or anywhere else the brave companions may be. You can even call the bravery hotline and scream if need be! We will all be here to journey with you as time and chance allows. Hugs, Hugs, Hugs. Remember, my friend, without YOUR encouragement, the podcast and this blog would not have made it past day 3. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Am I just a “guest” in my own skin? | Wellsprings & Dragonfly Wings

  4. Happy With My Body

    I have had a bad week. A really bad week. Horrible, actually. After seven weeks straight of no bingeing, I suddenly started again. I feel so bad, like such a failure. And what I do when I get those feelings is that I withdraw. I pull back from interaction, both in real life and in social media like instagram. Today I listened to this episode of your podcast Laurie and it really struck a chord with me. The theme of all-or-nothing is so important and something I really can relate to. But what really got to me this time was what you said about “lost” brave companions , those you haven’t heard from for a while. How you wonder about them and that there is no way for you of knowing what happened to them. It has only been one week that I have been away but I still want to tell you: I withdrew. But I didn’t stop listening to your podcast and I didn’t stop finding comfort in your words. You and your podcast really mean a lot to me. Tonight I have thrown out the rest of my binge-food and come tomorrow I hope and pray to be back on track again. Thanks for your wisdom. And for simply being out there. ❤️

    1. Sue

      Dear Happy, I so love the nickname you have given yourself. I felt compelled to respond to your post as you are so NOT a failure to have gone long without bingeing. It sounds like you were experiencing a small blip in a journey which had seen much progress. Please be kind and gentle with yourself. As you continue to listen to these podcasts you will hear Laurie share many highs and lows in her own journey. How you pick yourself up from this and any other mishsap is so important. It is like the “all or nothing” thinking you mentioned; this is a minor hiccup not a major disaster. Laurie and others have shared how they bounce back from such episodes, but I am sure you will find whatever works for you. Big hugs!

      1. Happy With My Body

        Thanks Sue. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer and support me! I am still struggling with getting back on track. Unfortunately I am not there yet. And for me, that is the hard part. How to “snap out” of the twisted mindset that keeps me in a binge mood. I am moved by your comment and wish you all the best.

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hugs Happy. I know I touched base with you at the time on IG, but I am sorry that I wasn’t really available emotionally or physically here to reply to your brave post reaching out. That puts you on the bravery report for SURE! I’m so grateful that Sue stepped in to share her compassion with you. Thanks too for saying what you did about the lost brave companions. You are so right, that we tend to isolate and withdraw when we are dealing with these issues we share. I do wonder and hope for the best when they go dark into radio silence – just as the BCs have wondered about me, when I’m not as communicative as usual. It is part of our nature. I think part of the key is for those of us who can, to step up and support those who need it, just as Sue did here. And for those of us who wonder, to realize that when people withdraw it is much more likely about them than us. (more my lesson than yours, my friend, in this case). I’m going to talk about bingeing and recovering again on day 103 when I record. It seems to have been a wave crashing among the BCs lately. Slips and challenges occurring and I think it’s worth discussing. Hope it will help, and I would love to hear your comments when you get there 🙂

  5. Sue

    Oh, Happy, thank you for responding to my post. I’m sorry that you are finding this so tough. Good for you for being brave and pressing through by having online contact whilst still struggling with this episode. Sometimes it is hard to move away from the mindset that says “well I’ve blown it so I might as well continue and blow it big time!” I hope that you are able to find the reason for this current blip in an observational rather than self-critical way. Big hugs.


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