Maureen McLoughlin: Binge eating, overeating & recovery from the pain of loss
Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
Do you feel stuck in a never ending cycle of good intentions and a longing to change only to find yourself back where you started from or worse? Coaching is a collaborative process which can help you to understand the thoughts and behaviours which drive you and help you to make the changes needed to get to where you want to be - free to live the life you deserve.
I am a coach with a special interest in binge eating, overeating and recovery from the pain of loss.
Binge Eating and Disordered Eating
Are you struggling with binge eating or overeating? Is your relationship with food troubled? Do you feel desperate to break free from the vicious circle of dieting and bingeing and dieting again?
Why is it, when we can make a fair go of the rest of our lives that we can’t get control of our eating habits?
If only you had enough willpower you think? But willpower has little to do with it. The truth is as soon as you even think about restricting your food intake a whole cascade of biological processes are unleashed. Your brain sends out powerful chemicals to prevent you from starving and you become obsessed with thoughts of food. Cravings and the urge to eat are all consuming and impossible to resist and, for many, that means a ‘loss of control’ eating. Dieting becomes harder and harder each time you try as your body and mind adapt to surviving the self-imposed famine.
It is exhausting and painful as you blame yourself and the feelings of shame can be overwhelming.
Shame is a dangerous emotion as it eats away at the very core of us - at the way we see ourselves and the beliefs we have about how others see us. It causes us to judge ourselves very harshly and see ourselves as somehow flawed. It makes us want to hide and invokes a self-defeating cycle of negative behaviours which keeps us stuck. But it doesn't have to be this way.
For many, binge eating becomes a way of coping with difficult emotions. If we can learn to be still and accept those negative thoughts for what they are – just thoughts and not commands which must be obeyed - we become stronger.
Please know that you are not alone – help is available. I know that the idea of attending a binge eating group can be terrifying and it is my job as a coach to ensure that the group provides you with a safe space to share with others. We always begin with a commitment to confidentiality, kindness and compassion and to listen without judgement.
We are so busy judging ourselves we become convinced that others are judging us too in the same way. For so long your bingeing has been in secret how can you possibly open up to strangers? Listening to others talk about their experience makes us realise that we are not alone and can give new insight to our problems. It can help you to identify your own behaviours and differences better and give you practical tips for coping.
The bond and feeling of connection that often grows within the group is a powerful thing. Speaking to others who are going through similar issues to yourself helps you to feel less isolated and more supported. In being compassionate towards others we learn compassion for ourselves. It is a way of reaching out for help and for giving help to others and can be a strong catalyst for change.
Having first studied nutrition when I went back to university many years ago to study Herbal Medicine I went on to take various CPD courses. For a while I thought it was just a question of motivation and providing a set of dietary rules for clients to follow. Even though we spent time working on willpower and the ability to self-regulate it became clear that something more was going on for many people and I became interested in the psychology of eating and the complex relationship we have with food.
Studying with the National Centre for Eating Disorders and The Binge Eating Therapist has opened my eyes to the need for a more holistic, humanistic approach. Binge eating and compulsive eating can be a mask for what else is going on in our lives. Learning to be present and to experience our emotions can be enormously liberating. It frees us from fear. When we understand that restrictive thinking about food drives us towards the next binge we can listen to our bodies and learn how to satisfy our hunger in a way that is both appetising and rewarding. Recovery training shows that an alternative way of living is possible.
We are more than our thoughts. We can choose the actions that will best serve the way we want to live our life and the values we hold dear. As Stephen R Covey writes:
‘In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose. Ultimately, this power to choose is what defines us as human beings. We may have limited choices, but we can always choose. We can choose our thoughts, emotions, moods, our words, our actions; we can choose our values and live by principles. It is the choice of acting or being acted upon.”
And action is the antidote to fear.
If you would like to join one of my online groups please call 07808 401797 for an informal chat. I look forward to hearing from you.
The Grief Recovery Method
Unresolved grief is often at the heart of much of our pain. When we think of loss we primarily think of death and divorce but there are many types of loss. Redundancy and job loss can have a profound effect on our sense of self - of our status in the community. Loss of health, moving away from family and friends, loss of trust and the death of a much-loved pet are just some of the many life events that can cause us to grieve. The Grief Recovery Method is the only scientifically proven method that helps to deal with the pain of loss as we come to terms with our unfulfilled hopes, dreams and expectations for the future. It enables us to move from being a person consumed with pain and despair to someone who can look forward with hope. As a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, I will guide you through the 7-week programme as you take a series of steps that will help you to heal your pain and to feel whole once again.
I know how hard it can be to take that first step towards recovery but please let me help you. I will listen and never judge and can promise you complete confidentiality as we explore any issues you may have, helping you to discover less destructive ways of coping in the future.
Please call me on 07808 401797 to arrange a time to meet. I look forward to hearing from you.
Training, qualifications & experience
M.A. Continuing Education
Advanced Diploma: Practitioner Skills Eating Disorders and Nutritional Interventions
Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner
Grief Recovery Method Specialist
Advanced Integral Eye Movement Therapy Practitioner
CPD Working with Binge Eating : The Binge Eating Therapist
Areas of coaching I deal with
Other areas of coaching I deal with
Weight Management including weight loss and
Binge Eating Disorder
Loss and recovery from grief
Please call me to arrange a free chat when we can discuss the different packages I offer