Growing human(kind)ness is a therapeutic approach to heal addictive patterns with food. Grounded in the latest scientific research about addiction, overeating, and human development, its compassionate approach offers a map for the inner work of healing the roots of food compulsion.
In your quest for healing, you’ve probably come across lots of information on nutrition, health, and weight loss. These are the “how tos,” the external behaviors that you want to be doing. Growing human(kind)ness offers 6 practices, a map for the inner work that makes the outer work “stick.” Rather than short term change, we offer tools for lasting transformation that respect your dignity and inner strength. (We call these tools “practices” because that’s exactly what they are – practices to use over and over again.)
We offer a balance between “weigh and measure” and intuitive eating programs for an integrative approach that eases the vacillation between bingeing and restrictive eating. By pairing growing human(kind)ness with excellent support (we are interdependent beings who need community) and a strong physical foundation (supporting the body and brain with vitamins, minerals, and sound nutrition), you can heal a compulsion to overeat.
Growing human(kind)ness works by creating safety and fostering emotional healing, necessary components for healing. The 6 practices work together to change the thought patterns and beliefs about how we care for ourselves. They also heal shame, soothe the emotional brain, lower stress and anxiety, and foster integrative functioning – the ability to sit with an impulse without acting on it. Lastly, they offer a way to grieve and care for the deep seated emotional wounds that are the ground level source of suffering.
As you remove the blocks, soften the shame, and rest in safety, you’ll find that you can stick to your food plan without “white knuckling” it. The result of this process is a gentle shift in your behavior. Your ability to care for yourself without food improves. You’re less responsive to stress and less prone to overeat. Your counter will (resistance) quiets. Your attachment to food decreases. You unhook from powerful cravings.
While freedom from bingeing is an important side effect, those who’ve used this approach also report greater self compassion, self love, and self esteem, and less perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, and anxiety.
Kindness, not punishment, is the doorway to change.
Grounding – Regular, rhythmic self care and loving boundaries leads to consistency, capability, and safety – a message of self assurance that says, “I have what I need; I am strong and capable.”
Nurturing – Meet your deepest needs for empathy, love and belonging – to be seen, heard and understood – with compassionate awareness. By attuning to your inner landscape, you’re able to shift on the outside and care for your needs without food.
Flowing – Lower anxiety, cortisol (stress!), and overarousal by caring for your sensitivity, creating energetic boundaries, and moving with the ebb and flow of life.
Acceptance – Mourn your limits and grieve what you can’t change so that you can move forward into action, accepting what you can change.
Centering – Unhook from obsessive thinking, perfectionism and guilt by questioning “shoulds,” thoughts and beliefs. Shift your thinking to be kinder, supportive, and balanced.
Compassion – Create an inner sanctuary, a place of safety and rest. Soothe shame (your anxiety about being “bad” or “flawed) with unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion. Soothe emotional hurts by offering them care and compassion.
Growing human(kind)ness was created by Karly Randolph Pitman after struggling with eating disorders like sugar addiction, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, body hatred, and orthorexia for over 20 years. While this therapy was created to heal compulsive patterns with food, it’s also applicable to other addictive behaviors. For more information on this therapy or about its approach, contact Karly at karlyp (at) firstourselves.com or peruse this glossary of terms.
Talk to other women in our free forums who are using these tools. To learn how to use these tools, try Heal Overeating: Untangled or the sugar workbook, Becoming Binge Free: The Growing Human(kind)ness Therapy for a Happier, Thinner Sugar Free You.