Uncover your natural Eating Peace:

you don't have to figure this out alone

July 22, 2024 - January 16, 2025


1) CURRICULUM: Reveal, Release, Reclaim

2) LIVE CALLS Mondays 5pm PT, Tuesdays Noon PT and Thursdays 10am PT

3) COMMUNITY AND PERSONAL SUPPORT: online forum and sharing app for community and personal support, +monthly partner pairing (optional)

No matter how far down the road of craziness you've gone with food, eating and body image--and no matter how long you've been on it--eating peace is possible for you. 

EATING PEACE EXPERIENCE is an immersive program to end compulsion with food, take care of the body, and make peace with eating (and learn to relax with life).


Have you struggled with disappointment, boredom, anger, overeating, restrictive eating, weight gain, weight loss, trying to do torturous exercise, and buying weird packaged health food...and still you’re obsessed with food, plagued by cravings, and deeply disappointed with your weight, or, the way your mind runs around food?

It is possible to:

  • Feel the freedom of choosing your own personal clarity with food--eating your way, without judgment or being bossed around with "shoulds" or "have-to's"--while being incredibly kind to yourself (which doesn't look like rigid eating OR wild eating).
  • Catch the hidden, speedy images or impulses on auto-pilot in your mind so that you can interrupt the "over-ing" pattern and relax without eating off-balance
  • Deal with cravings so that you can handle them with clarity and strength, instead of them handling you
  • Follow a process of transformational mindset change where you can shift your identity as someone who does it wrong with food, and be normal about eating (no matter how many years you’ve eaten off-balance and no matter what your food conditions are)
  • Lose weight, if that applies to you, with peace being your #1 priority with every meal and the way you feel about food becoming kind
  • Investigate and bring the magic of awareness to the reasons you eat, and in doing this, experience yourself differently and change the way you eat naturally
  • Understand deeply that who you are is not an addictive eater or the overweight mess. You are a divine being living in a human body and this is a personal challenge you have the power to overcome.

You have what it takes to identify with loving kindness, not critical and shameful judgment. You may have been suffering up to now, but you don't need to anymore.

Sign Up for Eating Peace Experience July 22, 2024 - January 16, 2025

The Eating Peace Experience

"What I did not know coming into the program was how incredibly supported I would be every day... There are other people to connect with, and a lot of contact from Grace. I could not have imagined this. This daily, constant support as a part of the program is amazing. If I had realized the support, I would have felt resolved with any question of price or time. It’s a great comfort to know this program supports my lifestyle. I could never have seen it coming. Thank you." ~ Eating Peace student

The Eating Peace Experience is a way of life focused on one thing only: your peace with food.

Not another diet, exercise and willpower program, or complicated psychological analysis of compulsions. This program supports people who are tired of the pain of *thinking* about eating, food and their weight to shift how they think and feel, and act, when it comes to eating, food and their weight. 

This is possible for anyone who is willing to shift and question their belief systems and the thinking processes holding them back from healing.

You don’t have to know how….you only need to be willing.

We don’t have to believe everything we think. 

Eating Peace Experience is a practice in transformation. We orient ourselves towards kindness, gentleness, safety and power when it comes to what we’ve done and felt with food (and with our thinking about life)! You can find freedom from obsessive eating quickly. 

Solutions to address eating problems have existed for decades. Most of the solutions involve finding the right diet, and a priority on weight loss.

The focus is on grabbing the bull by the horns, growing your willpower and discipline, and concentrating your efforts on tackling this “problem” full out.

Often there are menus, shopping lists,  measurements for portion sizes, and a concentration on measuring, data, weighing and memorizing what you’re allowed or not allowed to eat.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Controlling the intake of food, and examining the contents of the food itself, is a fascinating and important study. In fact, in the Eating Peace Experience, I'll share some important insights that worked for me and you will receive lessons on identifying your own nutritional support to feed your brain, so you can add that into your healing if needed.

But most of us are experts at nutrition and dieting! And yet, still tortured by eating….we know what “should” or “shouldn’t” be eaten, but we find the cravings and emotional experience overwhelming.

Diets generally live in the realm of control and adding knowledge and documentation to each day, each meal, and each bite. It meant I could not be trusted to eat freely, so I needed structure and rules.

And it seemed like I couldn’t trust myself! I never knew what would happen if I walked into a room with a table covered with food! All hell could break loose! I felt so powerless! 

However, treating myself like someone who needed shackles and a leg bracelet that would beep if I went into a fast food joint was so sad, and something seemed off about it.

Was this really the solution? Was I really simply unable to cope in certain situations without eating? Is the only solution to powerlessness to tighten up the control?

Was it true that if I EVER took one bite of sugar, I’d keep eating from one end of town to the other, inhaling all the sugar in sight? Was it true that certain foods would forever freak me out? Was it really true I was unable to trust I could be in a room with loads of delicious food without obsessing about it, wanting it, and consuming it against my best interest?

It is your privilege and birthright to be in the world at a natural, right-sized body, freely enjoying the taste of food and not fearing it. In the Eating Peace Experience, we’re lightening our thoughts and hearts, so our bodies and relationship with food follows.

You can do this, with the tools we use. It doesn’t matter if you’ve felt mild concern with food and eating, and a constant need to lose ten pounds, or an intense rigidity around maintaining a thin physique…..

…..or if you’ve felt completely insane when it comes to food, like I did (which involved binge-eating, purging, starving and stuffing).

This program is about relaxing harsh control and willpower. It is about making tiny, safe adjustments in the flow of food in your daily life through understanding and being with yourself in a new way.

I once saw a video somewhere long ago, where one person I admired in the art scene was in a green room with others for a little pre-show fun and conversation, all being video recorded. There was something sweet on a large plate–either cupcakes or special cakes with elaborate designs, apparently expensive desserts shared with this group of entertainers.

One young man saw the plate and proceeded to ask the others in the room; "Who wants to save one for later because I need to do something with this plate right now so I don't start consuming these treats with a vengeance". He laughed.

People looked at him curiously, or made little jokes knowingly. Some took a treat and placed it near themselves to save. He asked one more time holding up the plate of delicacies “does everyone have a cake who wants one?!”

Then, he reached beneath a cabinet in the room, took out some kind of cleaning fluid, and sprayed the entire plate of the remaining beautiful treats with poisonous cleaning fluid, used to clean bathrooms. “Now, I won’t eat them all later!” he exclaimed.

When I saw that video, it had been many years since I had binge-eaten, or obsessed about plates of food like they were the enemy, and something to “fight” or wrestle with. But I still remembered the torture of feeling like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when it came to eating. I understood what that young man was doing when he sprayed the beautiful cakes with cleaning fluid.

I also did NOT want to live like that, ever again.

Violence, counting, control and willpower is often the only thing we consider will ultimately work, when we’ve been suffering with food.

There is another way.

It requires energy and “work”, but it’s an investigative work, not a laboring drudgery work or a forceful work, as so often offered in solutions to eating woes.

We question our conditioned responses to life, to food, to eating, to our thoughts about ourselves.

Our Eating Peace Experience is a path is to regain power, instead of feeling powerless when it comes to food. To work with our fear in a way that brings true safety and self-respect. And to be with emptiness or boredom by discovering satisfaction, fulfillment and joy.

It’s a method of permanent healing and change through un-training, un-doing, un-conditioning yourself.

process or method or experience is a series of steps and actions taken that add, enhance, shed light, offer discovery, and give you clear support for ending the imbalanced and agonizing experience you’ve had with eating.

In Eating Peace we rediscover our innate ability for sanity and freedom when it comes to eating–we were born with this ability to eat in balance.

If you’re ready to foster and grow true eating peace (and body peace) through thinking peace, while avoiding diets, drudgery, shame and willpower…..the Eating Peace Experience is how you can get there.

Experience a comprehensive deep immersion in online thinking, feeling and eating freedom.

What students say:

I’m only 8 minutes into the last video for EP and I’m bawling my eyes out in gratitude. I can’t even begin to describe how healing this program has been for me. Thank you so much for providing this experience, your wisdom, your ongoing support, and unconditional love every week, in every meeting. Just being able to show up in the moment however I am has been incredibly, incredibly healing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I like this format a lot, the presentation, which I like to watch and hear via the recording so I can pause it. And then the interactive work on live calls. Also, this particular subject, with its emphasis on feelings, seems to be particularly “opening” for me. With gratitude! 

Thank you Grace! The format was great. I enjoyed hearing the beautiful ways that people wrote their own responses. I also like how you summed up the techniques we already have been given at the end… it makes me feel more organized and less confused. 

In this program, I never lost interest, there was never anything that did not feel like it didn’t apply to me in some way. Some things really stuck for me, like the Stop/Go dialogue and the emphasis on using imagination – who would I be? I SO appreciate this topic – this is so huge for me and I’m so glad you gave this class. I would take the entire program again!

Grace is like the fairy godmother who is objectively and lovingly looking at what’s going on in behavior, thoughts and feelings. The content of the class felt comprehensive and well thought out. I would certainly recommend the course. Thank you.

Thank you for the wonderful writing and videos. I had a big breakthrough that came after watching a few of your videos again. I’ve realized that what’s been happening for me since the EPE course ended is that my inner mentor has been coming forward more and is now ready to be fully in charge….It’s been powerful for me to see that this is ME and not an external character….It’s so clear now. I feel an indescribable peace.

Grace, you have a REMARKABLE ability to embrace anything that comes into our Work, and weave it in. I love your light-hearted but serious style, and that you can tell your own stories. Looking back at what I wanted to get out of the program, I can say that I got a lot more than I imagined. Thanks, so much.

“Research shows that about 75% of all of our eating is emotionally driven,” says Dr. Susan Albers, PsyD who works at the Cleveland Clinic as an eating psychologist. “We eat not because we're hungry, but because we're bored, stressed or anxious.”

Harvard Health Journal writes “There is much truth behind the phrase ‘stress eating.’ Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary "comfort foods" push people toward overeating. Researchers have linked weight gain to stress.”

The Harvard Journal goes on to say that meditation, social connection and exercise are 3 key ingredients to addressing stress of all kinds. The Eating Peace Experience is a way to identify stress and clearly approach it in a new way.

The famous and beloved monk Thich Nhat Hanh had much to say about the pain of eating off-balance. He said:

“Don't chew your worries, your fear, or your anger. If you chew your planning and your anxiety, it's difficult to feel grateful for each piece of food. Just chew your food, spend time with your food; every minute of your meal should be happy. What we eat is very important. Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. Tell me where you eat, and I will tell you who you are. We are what we consume. If we look deeply into what and how much we consume every day, we’ll come to know our own nature very well. We have to eat, drink, and consume, but if we do it unmindfully, we may destroy our body and our consciousness.”

The Eating Peace Experience dives into changing at a profoundly deep level, so you actually become free and find a balanced weight without scarcity. We work in the realm of mindfulness, feelings, physical support, questioning our old beliefs, and living in freedom–we address our eating obsessions at the root level.  

You'll also make what you do more obvious. You'll see more clearly. You'll get to track what's happening for you, and make changes. This is habit-change using evidence based science.

You do not have to be controlled, or to follow, the directives of your unquestioned thoughts or your imbalanced brain chemistry. You can end the cycle of insanity. Your life includes the possibility of joyful, balanced eating.  

It is possible to end your obsession and concern with food, forever.  

I’m living proof. So are other people who have done this work.

Here’s everything you get when you join the Eating Peace Experience:

PART 1: REVEAL--Becoming clear about what does NOT work, and why even when we know what doesn't work, we keep doing it.

Stress--In these lessons you will fill your medicine kit with foundational support for understanding thought, feeling and how you are with food and eating, and having a body. We will dive deeply into common underlying beliefs about food, eating, feelings and the body and how they appear to mask other stressful stories.

You'll be offered simple ways to:

  • change your patterns with stress both physically and mentally,
  • be willing to feel hungry and satisfied,
  • drop the mental knife of shame and self-attack, and
  • get nutritional support for your unique body
  • make adjustments to your daily experience of eating that are perfect, safe and kind for you

You will be so relieved to discover a way out of black-and-white thinking and the diet mentality that often drives all-or-nothing eating with elimination of whole food groups and a deep inner idea that there are "good" foods and "bad" foods which make us "good" and "bad" for eating them.

Light up Shame Shadows (trauma, body image, connection). Many people who have suffered with compulsive eating have felt traumatized by people, life, and themselves in relationship. Even without more obvious trauma, many feel hurt, betrayed or abandoned at important times in their lives.

In this segment, we'll explore what happens when you feel "triggered"; your particular circumstances, the foods you reach for repetitively, your fears about not eating--or however your mind is wanting to manage the eating. We'll look at before, during, and after experiences of eating episodes, and you'll see where you've been blind or thinking distorted thoughts, or stuck in stress and fear about options.

When we attend to our shame and question it as the Truth, we can stop falling into the pattern of self-disgust. It is possible to rest in peace when it comes to eating, even though you have experienced difficulties. They do not need to trigger your eating any more. You'll learn how to find the place within that is supportive and trusting.

Trusting Who You Are with Food--You'll learn the tiny shifts you can make every day to change the way you're eating. It's fun, it will be easy, and you will always move towards the path of least resistance, not harshness and dictatorship that has so often hurt our relationship to eating and to ourselves. As we see what does NOT work so clearly, we move in the direction that does.

You'll get to track, give attention to and accept what happens as you move through your day with eating. There will be journaling. Even if you've had resistance to writing and communicating with yourself, you'll be offered a way through this process that supports who you are. You will not need to keep anyone or any part of yourself out.

PART 2: RELEASE--willing to question everything we know about food, eating, body, we turn towards what DOES work

Break Spells. A series of exercises in exploring the inner landscape of beliefs that keep us very stuck in eating off-balance, that we realize do not work. You'll get to question these spells (dissolve them) through self-inquiry and the power of four questions and turnarounds known as The Work of Byron Katie or IBSR (inquiry based stress reduction). Who would you be without your thinking? What happens when you turn your thought around?

Love Your Inner Baby--While a baby is not a fully developed mature human obviously, it is innocent and natural. It is a human being. A baby does not fear crying, or eating, or pooping, or feeling. We'll dive into learning and knowing what it means to be ourselves, beyond thought, underneath thought, with the innocence of that part of us we were born with: simply being, without judgment. We'll study feelings and beliefs we claimed about feelings, and question these beliefs. When we have unbalanced eating and over-weight or obsessive eating, we're almost certainly using food for something other than hunger. We will find out how to relax from doing this so impulsively.

Unmuffle your hunger. So many of us with eating issues have strategized that we MUST stop eating or taking in the world so much, to stop believing so much, to stop other peoples' disappointment or rejection of us, to stop the pain. Some of us are healers and helpers, because we want people to be OK with themselves, and we over-rescue, or over-extend ourselves and ignore our own hungers or inner "no" or "yes". Maybe you've even raged and controlled your hungers.

Here, we allow the hunger to live. We'll let ourselves be hungry, for more than just food. Wanting can come out of the closet instead of being shameful and hidden. We no longer need to feel as if we'll get in trouble if we want, desire, crave.

PART 3: RECLAIM: living our turnarounds, living a new way and learning from those who have traveled this path before us

Come to life’s table--We've all heard "the way out is through". Exercises in assisting our insights to who we actually are outside of our thinking will help us be at this table of life. As we relax with food and eating and begin to balance with our behavior, we'll start to look at where we get thrown off, so our mindset about life itself grows more loving and kind. Often, the reasons we dig into any kind of addictive or compulsive behavior is fueled by other aspects of our lives: learning to say "no", taking care of ourselves well, asking for what we want.

Be as you are and also ready for more. As we share the table of life with others, we get to feel and explore relationships of all kinds: love, romance, friendship, work, family of origin. We discover beliefs about sharing, being together, being seen, not being seen...and questioning these. We'll look at other thoughts about the body, health and appearance and how we get identified with suffering rather than accepting the flow of life and allowing change to happen with ease. It is possible to make simple adjustments to how we sleep, buy groceries, care for our hunger and fullness, care for ourselves, and relate to others. We're building a life we don't need to eat over.

Feed on Freedom. As we're willing to be here, just like this, we notice we can truly enjoy the journey. We can foster trust and find our safety in every moment--even a huge feast or a craving. True power can be embraced and cherished in a loving way. We know we're connected, and if we don't feel it every moment in the future, we know we're OK anyway. Life is helping us. We're not alone. The outside will match the inside, we're on our way.


You can join from anywhere in the world, and do this program from the privacy of your own home.  You will learn foundational practices for eating peace on key topics to deprogram stressful belief systems and rebuild your self-love, understanding and confidence around eating and your body image.

  • Money back guarantee: in the first 28 days if the program isn’t right for you, you can withdraw for a 100% refund
  • Presentation/Learning Video(s) to understand Eating Peace (this library of videos will be available for life, value $1998)
  • Weekly Q&A and Self-Inquiry/Coaching on Zoom Mondays at 5pm PT, Tuesdays Noon PT, Thursdays 10am PT all recorded (50+ group sessions at 90 mins each, many learn the most from these Q&As value $3388)
  • Group sharing in a private marco polo app: some people have gotten all their questions answered and their greatest support with this feature, without even being able to attend live calls (value $298+, community contact plus knowing your shares will be responded to by Grace)
  • email, messaging or marco polo app contact one-on-one with Grace for the entire program. (value $510)
  • Meditations for before eating, during eating, after a binge, dissolving shame, cravings (Value $94)
  • private course log-in with access for life (value unknown and platform must be maintained)

TOTAL VALUE OF EATING PEACE EXPERIENCE based on traditional assessments, expertise, experience and costs to deliver and make available:

$1998+$3388+$298+$510+$94 = $6,288

While the total value is difficult to assess and the freedom from overeating is priceless, there are a few things we've considered when it comes to the tuition. This is a high-touch program with individual attention, lasting 6 months, with ongoing support offered for every student.

*Emotional Eating groups or treatment settings for eating “addiction” or disordered eating range from $100-$200 per session 3 times a week ($300-$600 per week) for a minimum of 3 months and generally only focused on emotional awareness and support. Outpatient emotional eating groups are $1000 per week.

*Mindful Eating Programs are abundant and often only include the specific experience of eating mindfully at a meal plus body awareness–-these are included inside Eating Peace Experience. Most of these programs in mindful eating range from $497-$15,000.

*Inpatient Treatment or Health Stays start at $15,000 for 2 weeks, and are often more. One student who reviewed a comprehensive eating disorder treatment in her area of the US later compared her experience in Eating Peace Experience as offering the same attention and healing. The price of her local outpatient treatment program was $10,000 for one month, $40,000 for inpatient.

One-on-one therapy sessions at $145/hour would be $3,190 for this length of time meeting once per week only and would not include full curriculum, written email, video chat contact or 3 live group sessions per week

To register for Eating Peace

  • Enroll with one payment HERE. $2498
  • Enroll for a monthly payment plan of 6 payments $450/mo HERE.
  • Enroll for EPE program PLUS one individual session per month (6 solo sessions total) during the live program. Limited to only 5 students. Enroll HERE. $580/month
  • Here as a returning student interested in continuing your journey, and renewing or deepening your awareness? Please write to Grace to request your special code for a repeaters tuition.

Tuition, Refunds, and cancellation policy:

This program is very high touch and you are signing up for live calls, an ongoing tribe of committed peaceful eaters, course content, and regular access to our private forum and private sharing app.

100% Guarantee. If you decide you're unable to attend this course or it isn't right for you, you'll receive a 100% refund through August 20, 2024. There is no refund after August 20.

Frequently asked questions:

How much time will this take?

First, it may be helpful to consider how much time your eating and relationship to food and your body has taken? I spent hours with my head thinking about food, acquiring food, eating food, and hating myself. 

There will be curriculum to watch that adds up to a maximum of one hour per week (and often a lot less).

We have 3 virtual meetings per week: Choose just one, or all of them. Mondays 5pm PT, Tuesdays Noon PT, Thursdays 10am PT. Each meeting is 90 minutes. These are recorded and many participants listen to the recorded session as soon as they can instead of attending live. Tuesdays at Noon is exclusively for people in the current EPE program.

Something is offered in the way of support all week for your eating peace, plus support forums for sharing.

When will I stop eating or change the way I eat?

You will intend lovingly to observe yourself and learn with the deepest kindness you can find within, as your peaceful approach. You will immediately begin to challenge your old stories. Eating your true way is not eating out of control, panic, rage, rebellion or self-hatred.

Some people stop their extreme behaviors within a week or so, some take it more step-by-step over the weeks they’re in the program, some make big headway in transforming their experience to peace and then plateau awhile, then make a big jump to new awareness again. This program will support you in moving into a new way of seeing yourself, food and your life so that the way you have been eating (and thinking) becomes irrelevant and unnecessary.

Can I participate from Europe or in another time zone? When are the live calls?

You can participate from anywhere. We meet on zoom. You can check your timezone here to see when we meet in your local time. Monday 5pm PT (Seattle), Tuesdays Noon PT and/or Thursdays at 10am PT.


This approach to Eating Peace gathers three vital and important principles together, and lives out of them:  

1) Eating (or any consuming activity) is a part of the flow of in and out, up and down, of life….and everyone can live eating peacefully with that flow, like the tides going in and out…..everyone. Without any upsetting fluctuation in weight. You are not a special case that can’t be cured, no matter how long you’ve been suffering with this problem.

2) Eating, food, and body image has grown to have more importance in your world than it should because of your perceptions and unconscious, limiting, very stressed mental activity. You’ll learn what you need to say “no” to in your life, and most importantly, you’ll question the stressful lies you’ve been believing that drive off-balance eating.

3) Eating that isn’t peaceful can be an invitation to growth and expansion, a deep desire to return to balance. It may not be as difficult as you think. You can do this. 

To register for Eating Peace

  • Enroll with one payment HERE. $2498
  • Enroll for a monthly payment plan of 6 payments $450/mo HERE.
  • EPE + Solo sessions (total of 6 monthly sessions) for a limited number of five students $580/mo for 6 payments HERE.
  • Here as a returning student interested in continuing your journey, and renewing or deepening your awareness? Please write to Grace to request your special code for a repeaters tuition.

What people say about eating peace

"This class has been huge for me since I was so new to Byron Katie's Work. My sense of peace around food is wonderful and I thank you deeply for helping me find it.”

"Thank you so very much for your help in the wonderful program you gave. You gave me much to think about, and I can feel a sense of peace that I can’t remember the last time I felt. Thank you, thank you.” 

“The slides, the presentation, the fact that I could watch whenever I was able made it possible for me to participate from Australia. When I questioned ”I need to eat” one day at night, I suddenly remembered The Work. I turned it around “I don’t need to eat.” I couldn’t believe it worked. I didn’t eat, for the first time in years.

“I had an amazing night. Woke up around 2.30 and worked ‘I need to control my eating’. I clearly saw that fears are what drive the eating. It feels like I cracked the code! So simple. I've done some work on my eating but not at this depth! Thank you so much."

"What I did not know coming into the program was how incredibly supported I would be every day. I can be quiet, I can be loud, whether I reach out or not, I am supported. There is something every day. There are other people to connect with, and a lot of contact from Grace. I could not have imagined this. This daily, constant support as a part of the program is amazing. If I had realized the support, I would have felt resolved with any question of price or time. My experience was that Grace was clear, focused and directed. It’s a great comfort to know this program supports my lifestyle. I could never have seen it coming. Thank you.

Hello, friend.

Grace Bell here. If you'd like to hear my eating story, read on.

I was once obsessed with food, trying not to eat, binge-eating, and endlessly upset with my weight.

It all started age 14 when I went on my first diet with my mom. I had just graduated 8th grade, and more than anything, I wanted to feel confident and strong. It really seemed like a confident and strong person would be thin, athletic, independent, no-nonsense, smart and pretty.

When my mom suggested we go on a diet together, I thought it was a fantastic idea. I’ll get skinny. I’ll be like Seventeen magazine. I’ll weigh 124 pounds (or was it 118?) I’ll feel so, so good about myself and I’ll probably get a boyfriend for the first time.

So we began counting carbohydrates. Whatever those were. Anything sweet or baked had carbohydrates. We were allowed only so many a day.

We agreed to have dessert once a month on the 28th of the month, because that was my birthday date.

So I spent my 14th year, turning 15, having almost no sugar, ever. I grew about 4 inches and gained zero weight. I didn’t menstruate once.

That was the beginning of my push-pull tug-of-war with the desire to be thin, and the oppression of endlessly trying to curb my appetite.

Very quickly, I had a new belief in addition to the belief that being thin was extremely important:

I just want too much. Obv.

I thought I was so greedy. I thought I was the opposite of the strong, athletic, independent, no-nonsense, attractive young thin woman I wanted to be.

Instead, I couldn’t be trusted with food. I just wanted to gobble up all the foods I shouldn’t ever eat.

It made me only want to eat those off-limits and forbidden foods even more. I grew very ashamed.

Only a year later, when I was 16 and just finishing my sophomore year in high school, I went on a summer exchange program to France for 3 months. An amazing opportunity my parents suggested and paid for.

But once I was in France, unable to speak the language well at all, I felt inadequate and lonely. And the food thing was looming. I still believed I shouldn’t eat sugar or bread, because carbs are bad, and I felt dreadful anxiety about them every time food was served.

I found myself learning the phrase in French “J’ai tros mange”.

Which meant "I ate too much".

One of the student leaders said “you said that yesterday, too”.

My clothes tightened rapidly and my body ballooned.

I came home unable to fit into any of my clothes after only three months in France. I bought one pair of size 13 white denim bell-bottom jeans (the popular style at the time).

It was the largest size in the store. I wore them every day and changed only my shirts.

When I entered the familiar kitchen through the back door back at home in the US and set down my suitcase, my mom said “why don’t you go see your sisters downstairs.”

I rushed excitedly down the long staircase to the basement TV and teenage dance-party room, and jumped when a huge room of people shouted "SURPRISE!"

Everyone could see me. My enormous weight gain. I felt like a whale.

I turned red and I put on a strained smile, with my white bell-bottoms and what I believed were gigantic thighs, and stayed at the party for one hour before sneaking out and heading upstairs to my bedroom, saying I was jet-lagged and didn’t feel well.

I refused phone calls from my friends, and vowed to lose all the weight as soon as possible, before school started again. No one else can see me, I thought, until I'm presentable.

I starved myself, and was pleased to give away those white bell-bottoms only 3 weeks later, and start school again at least a size or two down in weight.

I was still heavier than anyone had ever seen me before, but I stuck viciously to my goal of getting thin again and soon it was like that hideous weight gain had never happened.

Thank. Goodness.

I still remember my stomach growling at school during second period, only 9am. I drank water to make it go away. I waited until the lunch bell to eat my brown bag half sandwich.

I swam, played soccer, ran cross country, and joined the gymnastics team. I was constantly doing sports. I read about nutrition and health. I avoided those carbs. They were “bad”.

And so was I, because I wanted them.

But I got very busy with high school, piano lessons, jazz ensemble, dance parties, listening to music, and making a few really close friends.

While I always wanted to be thinner and felt ugly in my bathing suit, my weight stabilized and my self-criticism didn’t stop me from being on the swim team.

It wasn’t until the next emotional crisis that things got bad again with food. When I left home for college.

I didn’t really know what came over me, but I was a ball of nerves. I didn't show it on the outside.

When I look back at that time of heading off to college, I realize I had hardly asked myself what I wanted to do with my life.

I really didn't know. I just knew I felt better after that horrible weight-ballooning summer.

College was the Big Leagues. Before leaving for my dorm in a distant state, my parents put on a big goodbye party for me, the oldest daughter.

The night of the party, I ate everything in sight.

My first outright binge.

I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed in the food. I felt like a vacuum cleaner, unable to stop.

Everyone was asking me what I wanted to major in. I had no idea.

I walked up to the “guest” bathroom on the second floor, started running a bath to drown out the sound, and forced myself to vomit up all the food. I had seen it done in the movies when someone ate poison. I succeeded.

I spent several months that first year of college eating very little, losing some weight, acting in a play on stage.

I held the demon at bay.

When the play and all the rehearsals and show ended, left with more time, I found myself moving to the food again. Another wild binge. Eating and eating until my belly felt like it would actually split. Then throwing up in a garbage bag in my dorm room so no one would know.

Not long after that episode, I got on an airplane and showed up at my childhood home again, dropped out of college more anxious than ever, and still afraid of carbs and being fat and like something was really terribly wrong with me.

The swing of wanting to gobble everything under the sun and cram it into my mouth and then avoid food for days got worse, and more extreme, and the episodes closer together. There were less frequent normal meals. I wasn’t sure what normal was anymore.

I read even more about diets and nutrition. I felt isolated, alone, and sick.

I saw an ad on TV one day with a woman saying how she couldn’t stop eating and how much she had suffered, and to call this phone number. It was called Overeaters Anonymous. I called.

I was only 19, but learning that my problem was with some kind of compulsive nature happening from within set me on a new track around the cure I was looking for: mental and emotional health, rather than a diet.

Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted a perfect diet and I wanted my body to be thin and I one-hundred-percent believed I needed to eat mostly salads and broccoli and had several years of focusing on "abstinence from binge-eating" but I thought there was something off with my mind and my feelings, so I focused more on those.

They seemed off whether I was eating or not.

For the next 15 years, I went to every cure for overeating, anxiety and difficult emotions I came across and every program for stress reduction or mental health improvement I could find.

Lots of OA meetings, two years of staying “on the wagon” and then falling “off the wagon”.

I went to Course in Miracles, est training, context training, Freudian therapy 3 times a week, group therapy, more individual therapy, meditation. I got a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science to understand human psychology and wellness.

All of these things were useful and sometimes fascinating. I loved learning theories about the mind, thought and human emotions and psychology.

I determined I had a relationship problem, a spiritual problem, a problem regulating emotions. I didn’t stop obsessing about food or binge-eating alternated by starving and purging and dieting. I never felt normal.

Maybe if I could just wake up, attain enlightenment, then all my conflicts with eating and weight (and life) would fall away. I went to the temples, the churches, and read of spiritual teachers.

Then, I went to the 9 day school for The Work of Byron Katie. Yes, it was another self-help leader, and I had seen them all. But Katie’s program somehow landed and affected me in just the right way, at just the right time.-

She was sharing and teaching how to question your thoughts and not take them so seriously. She said “don’t believe me, do it yourself”.

But here’s one of the reasons why I think it made such a difference for me personally.

We were invited to consider our thoughts about food and meals and our body image during the activities and exercises that were happening for two days out of the nine-day training.

I wasn’t surprised that I had wildly stressful thoughts and beliefs about the body and food...but what I was surprised about was that many other people had the same stories, that these were topics we might want to look at to explore our mistrust of the world and reality itself, or the story of food itself.

Later at Byron Katie's Annual Mental Cleanse, people are invited to fast to cleanse the body if they choose. Green juice and watermelon juice are offered.

Many people participated and noticed extreme thoughts of worry about hunger, energy, fatigue, foggy-thinking. Even though they knew they were safe and secure.

I saw the way the brain simply generates thought about safety and comfort, and determines need based on sensations, even when there's a longer-term goal at hand.

I noticed I had been walking around believing it was constantly possible to not get enough support or nourishment, and grabbing it when I couldn’t stand another moment of scarcity or hunger.

I believed I had to get my act together alone, and that I was a complete nut-job.

In any case, I learned how to actually challenge my beliefs very deeply. I saw the only way I would ever uncover peace was to realize I was thinking, and that when my thoughts were stressful, they weren’t true.

And this was honestly, the beginning of the end of my obsessive eating, thinking, feelings about food and lack and suffering.

Don’t get me wrong, the mind didn’t stop.

But I realized that food was beautiful, and my friend, and a chance to join with something out in the world on a daily basis, literally.

Perhaps I began to notice....just a little bit....that my thoughts were not the enemy, nor was my psychology.

I noticed, I didn't need food to experience peace. I needed it to survive physically, sure, but not emotionally. I understood the difference.

I realized I didn’t need to torment myself with thoughts about not having enough in the future or having too much in the future (or the past).

This went for far more than just food. This had been my thinking about money, time, love, life itself.

My thoughts would appear, along with anxiety or anger or hopelessness, I’d feel them, but then I’d see I didn’t HAVE to believe them.

I then could take clear, powerful action. I had the ability to drop below spin-thinking (binge-thinking), stop trying to make it stop, and do what worked.

One of the most important parts of all of this was seeing that thinking troubling thoughts, or feeling upset, is not a crime. I could allow difficult experience to pass through like a storm. I could also respond effectively to situations causing stress.

One by one, I began to document and collect the false thinking patterns I had been accustomed to believing that kept me over-eating, under-eating, over-thinking, obsessing, being compulsive, feeling anxious, feeling disappointed, not being able to relax.

There were repetitive underlying beliefs about not having enough of something wanted, and having too much of something unwanted.

I then also realized I could be in movement--in action--without a fierce tight fist.

One day, I came across the benefits of ayurvedic medicine, and found help with a practitioner who gave me a long questionnaire and helped me find ways to work with food that were fascinating and supportive to my particular body type and conditions.

Another great insight was learning from a woman who had cleared herself of extreme allergies by eliminating junk foods without being harsh about it, and eating like a "caveman" as she called it.

I also discovered Julia Ross' work with amino acids and took glutamine for stress and to rebuild the brain I had been draining for so many years, and it did wonders for me. It was like a deep relaxation came in, and I took glutamine for about 2 years before not needing it anymore.

Instead of knuckling down on sticking to a food plan, I could follow what worked even when part of my mind didn’t want to. I could take the path of least resistance, which was not overeating or undereating.

Turned out, I never binge-ate or fell into the compulsive eating hamster wheel again. Amazingly, it wasn’t even interesting anymore.

Oh yes, I had stressful thoughts. But they didn't "make me eat". My stress was completely unrelated to an urge to eat over it.

I felt normal.

In the back of my mind, I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever I could to help out others suffering from such insecurity about eating, appearance and fear about not getting it right. People who wanted to consider the role of food and eating in their lives with less stress, not more rigidity.

So I started breaking down the system of applying self-inquiry and transforming beliefs to compulsive habits with food. Eating Peace Process was born.

I would teach it in a group, learn what seemed to work and what didn't, and upgrade the process.

The Eating Peace Experience, as it's now called, has been updated and refined over many years of working with groups of people to help them step beyond their compulsion and access peace and freedom with food.

Which is what I want for you.

Because when we’re obsessing about doing it right, not having enough, life being too uncomfortable....then the world doesn’t have the full YOU joining with us.

It’s amazingly powerful to know your thoughts will never tempt you beyond your comfort, that you will never damage yourself by over-eating or under-eating because you think it’s the only way to express what you need.

It’s incredible to know you do not have to react to the commentary of the mind, and that you can become a truly powerful, kind-hearted human when it comes to eating.

But most of all, it's amazing to see what you will do when you aren't plagued by eating wars. When your body and brain are working together in harmony.

What is your peaceful life?

The Eating Peace Experience is a program that helps anyone, no matter how crazy they’ve been with eating, to find their way home to eating peace.

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