The Art of Letting Go: Attachments

Baby dressed for halloweenChange is not easy for many people. Over time, we develop beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that give us a feeling of certainty in the world and make up our identity, and identity is a big thing for people. It is the skeleton that defines who we are. This makes it very hard for us to let go when it seems like we have to give up a bone from our skeleton and we are afraid we will not be able to stand properly.

People are a lot like monkeys. If you want to catch a monkey, you can put a cage with a banana in front of it. Once the monkey holds the banana, the monkey is trapped, because their hand will not come out with the banana. Monkeys are not smart enough to know that if they let go of the banana, they will be able to slide their hand out of the cage, so they stay trapped.

People hold on to beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that trap them like bananas and are afraid to let go of them even when they rot and smell.

For most, letting go of a banana means that we will no longer be able to maintain our identity. Allowing change means that we will be crippled or handicapped. I think this is because they consider letting go as a form of giving up and since childhood, they have heard millions of times “Never, never give up!” and interpreted it as “Never let go”.

Read more about how to free your mind


Anorexia: Healing through Creativity

SingerCreativity and self-expression are wonderful ways to recover from an eating disorder. Not eating and overeating are ways to control your life. Creativity happens when there is full control and can even be a form of meditation.

When I was young, I had many throat infections. My mom’s solution was always to take me to the doctor and give me antibiotics. This was a major part of my life for about 10 years. I took antibiotics about 6 months every year as a kid. It freaks me out to think about it now. When I grew up and learned more about the connection between physical problems and emotional states, I discovered that my throat infections could have been a result of being unable to express myself. Funnily enough, when I started writing at the age of 14, they disappeared.

I also learned that self-expression can be a cure, so since then, whenever my throat starts playing up and I have that familiar dry tingle threatening to flare, I sing! I turn the music on at full volume, or do it in the car, and sing! It does magic. One day and the infection is gone.

Using art for self-expression is a wonderful way to regain control over your life. You are on your own, creating what is in your mind. No criticism, no expected outcomes, just you and your creative flow, so you can feel how your body obeys your commands.

In any creative form, there is a sense of freedom that anorexic people desperately need. They have the freedom to try new things, the freedom to make mistakes, the freedom to express themselves, the freedom from rules and boundaries – basically, the freedom to be themselves.

Also, immersing ourselves in creative art can work as a great distraction from thinking about the emotional challenges that take over otherwise. Anorexic people continually think about their “distorted body”, about food and about their problems. Keeping busy and doing something creative is like putting a sign on the door saying “time out” from thinking and hopefully those thoughts will never come back.

People are different and find different forms of self-expression, but all of them are wonderful and can help in healing and recovering from anorexia or other eating disorders.

Read more about how to heal yourself from anorexia

Anorexia: Love Your Body

Model smiling with diet symbolsWomen with Anorexia have issues with their body image and a feeling of helplessness and inability to control their life. The combination of these challenges makes them seek control in any way and not eating seems to them a great way to gain control.

Society around us obviously contributes a lot to the negative body image and self image girls have during childhood, through their teenage years and later on into adulthood. The image of an anorexic teen girl can be misleading. There are also many women are anorexic who need help.

One way of healing is learning to love your body.

Loving your body is giving yourself the permission to feel good physically and it must be done slowly, with love and with patience. If you are a parent or someone who wants to help an anorexic person, just saying, “You need to love your body”, will not make the required difference.

The best idea is to help the anorexic person search for good things – positive thoughts, encouragements, small bits of progress and every little achievement – to help change their perception of their life’s reality.

Read more about loving your body and curing anorexia

Anorexia: How to stop worrying

Horribly skinny boyAnorexia is a very debilitating disease. While it looks like there is a physical problem, the real problem is the one we cannot see with our eyes but the one we can see with our heart. As hard as it is to accept, choosing not to eat is a way to deal with difficult emotions.

Most eating disorders are the same. Eating (too much) or not eating (at all) is the solution to worry, to fear, to shame, to confusion, to failure and to guilt, and gradually, the simplest strategy seems to be to shut down the desire for food.

I do not know if you have ever fasted for fun, for health or for weight loss. There is a point when you no longer feel hungry at all. I think it is important for people to feel this point to understand that we can eat or not eat at will. To survive, we really do not need much food, so someone who chooses not to eat, really does not feel hungry, but still has those emotions that he or she tries to keep away. If you want to help a person who has anorexia, remember that focusing on the food is (again) working on the symptom and not the problem.

The best solution to anorexia is increasing the emotional intelligence. The first step is to recognize the feelings and the second step is to manage the feelings.

Today, I will focus on tips to mange worrying.

Worry is a feeling of fear from a possible bad future. People go to the future inside their head and imagine something bad, then come back to the present carrying the fear of this possibility. If it seems to you not to be real, it is because it is not. We all do this in some form, but some people have a problem distinguishing between their imaginary future and the present and those people do not just worry. They have what we call an anxiety attack.

Here are 10 tips to address worry or, in its severe form, anxiety, that may be a trigger to choosing not to eat. These are good for anyone, whether they have anorexia or not, and can help you help another person too.

Read more about how to stop worrying and recover from anorexia

Anorexia: Exaggerated Perception

Young anorexic manPeople with eating disorders like anorexia often have an exaggerated perception of life. It is as if they see the world through huge magnifying glasses and things that seem minor to others seem huge and overwhelming to them.

If you have anorexia or any other eating disorder, or if you have a child that has it and you want to help, it is important to focus on the thoughts and the mindset and not on the food. Not eating is not the problem. It is the solution that people with a distorted perception find for their problems.

Avoid trying to convince them to eat. It only makes things worse. Anorexic people need control, not a nagger.

Avoid punishing a child who has anorexia. It only increases their helplessness and their desire to control something (ANYTHING) in their life, like what they eat, when they eat and how much they eat.

Generally, anorexic people have a very bad self-image, considering self as useless, not worthy, a failure, stupid, an idiot, etc, and they use every little thing that happens in their life to reinforce it. They use their glasses to look for proof they are worthless and they do not consider single events as temporary or coincidental, but as part of their identity.

Here is a list of thoughts that make big things out of small things and demonstrates the effect of the huge magnifying glasses anorexic people wear. Each one you get rid of will reduce the magnifying effect.

Read more about how to treat anorexia

Don’t eat and run

Messy baby eating with spoonGal and I used to eat whatever our parents ate. We went to the supermarket and picked from the shelves the exact same things we had seen our parents choose or whatever was on sale. It took us 5 years of managing our own economy and a sick girl to discover that what we eat and how we eat has a strong impact on our life. Some things you just cannot learn at school.

It happened more than 20 years ago and since then, we have learned more and more about what to eat to be healthy in body and mind. I know that not everyone is convinced that healthy eating is the right solution and I understand. After all, the concept of “health” is very wide. When I sit with my clients at a cafe and order iced coffee with ice cream and whipped cream, I am 100% convinced it is healthy for my soul. So we may not agree about what food is healthy, but I think we can all agree on how to eat.

We live a very fast lifestyle. All the people around you will tell you they have no time – no time for the kids, no time for fun, no time for hobbies, no time for friends and no time for eating. Many shops and massive businesses have come to life to cater for this “fast food” lifestyle. We grab a shake, eat a meal on the way, in the car, during a meeting, while watching TV, during phone conversations and when reading a book. We think we are saving time, but we are making it harder for our digestive system to make the best of our food and this creates a never-ending cycle. What we eat is not digested properly, we lack essential nutrients, we feel tired, we become ineffective and what usually takes us 2 hours, suddenly takes us 4 and we have just lost 2 hours of our precious time, so we need to catch up and save time by grabbing some fast food or eating our healthy food on the run.

Read more about healthy eating habits

Anorexia: Warning Signs

Anorexic girlOne of the things every parent will tell you when his/her daughter is diagnosed with Anorexia or any other eating disorder is that they could not see it coming. I am sure they mean it. Parents do not want to believe their child is having a problem, including me. It is mainly because most of us think that it says something about us. Maybe it says we have failed and we are not good parents. The problem with this fear is that it clutters our thinking and makes us blind to the warning signs of anorexia.

Be brave! Keep reading and look carefully at every photo, even though they are scary.

Having a child with Anorexia or any other eating disorder requires strong, brave parents who manage to help their child despite what others might say about them. The problem with Anorexia is that everyone can see it. Most kids do not do a very good job hiding it.

A couple of years ago, I worked with an anorexic woman who was 40 years old and weighed about 25kg (55lbs). Trust me, that was scary! It is not something you can hide very well. When I was in hospital with her, in the mental ward, there were other girls there and not all of them were teens. They looked like skeletons! But it is much harder to notice anorexia when it is developing and people often say, “She’s just a bit skinny, that’s all. She’ll get over it”.

Read more about how to detect anorexia

The "Light Thinking" Diet

Fruit and fruit juicesYou may have been on a diet at some stage in your life and your diet may not have been successful. If not, I am sure you know someone who has had this experience. Dieting requires a lot of effort and it is very frustrating when it does not produce big enough results or when the effects disappear as soon as you stop the diet.

I have always believed that fat was a result of heavy thoughts, because the mind is a powerful thing. Now, I have the research to back it up.

The show “You are what you eat” showed people they had full responsibility over what they ate. I think they can call it “You are what you think”, because a recent research discovered that our thoughts have a direct impact on what we eat – we gain weight when we have “fat thoughts”.

In recent times, “light” became a keyword for food shoppers. We are convinced that in order to be healthy we need to eat “light” food – no fat, no calories, no sugar, no salt, etc. Well, our body reacts badly to it. The more we try to be healthy, the harder it is to lose weight.

Why is that?

In a research done in Yale with the really cool name “Mind over milkshakes: Mindsets, not just nutrients, determine Ghrelin response”, participants were given milkshakes with 380 calories. Each participant was given the same 380-calorie milkshake on two different occasions – once, they were told that it was “The 140-calorie Sensible Shake” and the other time, they were told it was “The 620-calorie Indulgent Shake”.

Read more about how to lose weight

Ronit’s Parenting Bible: Food

Happy girlMany parents have issues with kids and food. I have to say that running a family and making sure they stay healthy is not easy, especially when your kids are babies and your heart aches with them whenever they are sick.

I added the connection between food and health to my bible after a huge pain of trying very hard to get rid of Eden’s pneumonia when she was just an 18-month-old baby. By the time she was 2 years old, Eden had been sick with pneumonia 3 times already and had been constantly on antibiotics and inhalers. Before those scary 6 months, I had never thought about what I ate and had just gone to the supermarket and bought the same things my parents and Gal’s parents had.

One of my friends, who was trying to help me, told me Eden should eat certain things and avoid eating others to improve her health. I thought she was not normal (which was true, but in a good sense) and that food had nothing to do with germs and health problems. It was only later, when we discovered Eden was sensitive to dairy food, that I realized just how tight the relationship between food and health was.

Food, and only food, was the difference between having a very sick girl (with pneumonia that 6 months of antibiotics could not fix) and having a healthy girl that went to see the doctor only once in the following 20 years. Food, and only food, was the difference between being anemic and having a healthy iron level. During my second, third, fourth and fifth pregnancies, while every other woman had to take iron tablets, my iron level was strong and stable, even the doctor was shocked. Food, and only food, was the difference between Gal having sinus surgery to unblock his nose and not needing that surgery until today.

I figured that since my goal was to have healthy kids, what goes and does not go into their precious bodies was going to be in my parenting bible.

Read more about how to be a good parent

People are Dying!

Junk foodMy friend said to me, “Look around you. There are more sick people than there ever were. The food we are eating is not nutritious enough. There is too much antibiotics in meat, too much processed food and too much cancer. People are dying because of extra use of chemicals in their life. What’s your opinion?”

I had to make a decision on the spot. I knew she wanted me to support her for her kids to recognize it as something “all mothers think”, not just her being fanatic. The problem was that it was just her being fanatic.

I said, “Really?! I am looking around and I’ll tell you what I see. My dad is 77 years old and he is a pretty healthy person. My mom is 71 years old and loves doctors and medication. 6 years ago, she came to visit us and we travelled around the North Island of New Zealand for 12 days. We spent most of the day on our feet and even trekked (with then 3-year-old Noff) for about 6 hours. My mom did very well and she was 65 then. My dad did even better than she did and he was 72 years old. I am looking around and what I see is that those sick people who eat junk, food that is not nutritious enough, consume too much antibiotics with their meat and gobble up cancer-inducing processed food, those people live longer”.


Before you think I am crazy, here are the facts.

Read more about junk food and life expectancy