The Eden Diet Newsletter
July 2009
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JOIN US This Month in Celebrating Liberation from the Bondage to FOOD!
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In This Issue
The Eden Diet Partners with Joyce Meyer Ministries
Interview with Marleen Williams, PhD
Coming Soon! The Eden Diet E-Book
Dr. Hancock's Blog!
On The Radio
A Battle With The Flesh
Online Eden Diet Support Group
Now at MARDEL'S!
On Television
Great GIFT!!!
Dr. Hancock's Book Signings
REVIEW Dr. Hancock's Book

The Eden Diet Partners
with Joyce Meyer Ministries


  Click on the link below to visit the Hand of Hope donations page, and help feed hungry children worldwide.


Interview with Professor Marleen Williams
  marleen williams 

Interviews with Christian scholars and professors on the subject of weight control.

Dr. Rita: This month, we're honored to have as our guest Professor Marleen Williams, Ph.D. Dr. Williams is a clinical professor of counseling psychology at Brigham Young University, as well as a specialist in women's mental health. Since her licensure in 1996, Dr. Williams has authored nearly 40 professional counseling publications, 50 professional papers, and has given over 80 professional presentations in her field. Welcome, Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams: Thank you for inviting me.


Dr. Rita: As I understand it, your research and clinical work focuses on eating disorders, trauma, and depression as they relate to a person's spirituality. Is that correct?

Dr. Williams: Yes.  I have a strong interest in women's health and wellbeing and how that relates to spirituality.  I have come to strongly believe that our spiritual lives can improve both mental and physical health.  


Dr. Rita: Have you found any common threads of pathology among patients with the different eating disorders? For example, what motivates them to eat, physical hunger or emotional or other factors?

Dr. Williams: There is very compelling evidence that most eating disorders are not just about food, eating and weight.  The eating problems are only the tip of the iceberg.  They are the visible and behavioral expression of much deeper concerns.  Women with eating disorders usually struggle with other concerns such as relationships with other people, autonomy and control, perfectionism, difficulty understanding and regulating emotions, abuse, sexuality and other psychological struggles.  Food and control of eating are used to compensate for other problems that seem unmanageable to the person.  Overeating, excessive dieting, bingeing and purging become a way to cope with problems that seem insurmountable.  

Dr. Rita: Does this suggest that there are common threads in treatment, as well? (Hint: I've heard you talk about "Intuitive Eating." What is that and how does it help people overcome those various eating disorders?)

Dr. Williams:  Often the function of the eating problems is to distract the person from these other concerns.  Overeating, purging, or ignoring signals of hunger and satiety from the body are mechanisms that are used to stop emotional pain.  The person becomes disconnected from these normal signals from the body that tell us when we are hungry and when we are full.  Eating, or refusing to eat is then an attempt to stop feeling emotions rather than related to natural body signals that tell us how to care for the health of our bodies. Intuitive eating strategies help the person to reconnect with natural body signals for hunger and satiety.  It also teaches how these signals differ from other body messages about emotions, fatigue, stress and other psychological concerns.  When the person is able to recognize and face the underlying issues it is easier to discern whether one is hungry or whether what is driving the eating is emotions such as being lonely or sad.  Eating helps hunger but does not stop loneliness.  Intuitive eating helps to stop emotional eating and learn to face and solve emotional problems rather than trying to block them with food solutions.


Dr. Rita: I understand that two dietitians coined the phrase "intuitive eating" in the recent past. However, if I remember right, Somebody Else planted those hunger signals into us in the beginning. Perhaps He should get some credit, what was His name????

Dr.Williams:  I certainly agree with your conclusions.  My own spiritual beliefs are that God created our bodies and designed them to have natural mechanisms to help us care for these wonderful creations.  Studies on eating habits of little children have shown that when left to listen to natural signals from the body, most little children tend to choose to eat healthy, well-balanced diets.  It is only when we become exposed to unhealthy patterns and habits that we lose awareness of these God-given signals for how to care for our bodies.  When we honor the gift of these natural signals, we honor the Giver of these signals.   

Dr. Rita (chuckling): Yes! Isn't it funny that all of our science points us back to the wisdom that God gave us in the beginning?

Dr. Rita:  I think most people are familiar with the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia, but would you please define the disorder "compulsive eating"?  

Dr. Williams: When a person becomes disconnected from signals in the body and eats in response to emotional distress, it sets up a compulsive cycle that is difficult to break.  The cycle starts with experiencing painful emotions or feeling 'out of control.'  If the person has few resources for managing these emotions and solving the problems that created them, they tend to experience deep shame and blame themselves for their emotions.  This creates even more painful emotions.  It is then easy to turn to a 'quick fix' to stop the pain.  A quick fix is any behavior that quickly alters emotions and soothes the pain but does not create a real solution to the person's problems and challenges.  Quick fixes always have other negative and painful consequences in addition to the original distress.  Examples of quick fixes are drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions, compulsive eating and other behaviors that stop emotional pain without really solving problems.  The original painful problems continue but the consequences of the quick fix add to the emotional pain.  This leads to more self-blame and shame but the person keeps turning to the quick fix to stop hurting.  Compulsive eating is difficult to change solely by self-control and willpower.  Real problems need real solutions.  Facing and solving life's challenges is more helpful than turning to food for comfort.  Recovering from compulsive eating also requires learning to love and value oneself rather than using shame and self-blame to try to change behavior.  Spiritual beliefs about God's love for all of His children and one's worth in the eyes of God can be powerful supports in reducing the shame and feelings of being unlovable that often accompany compulsive eating.  


Dr. Rita: You mentioned in one of our earlier conversations that you believe (like I do) that chronic dieting can predispose a person to eating compulsively. What's the connection?

Dr. Williams: Diets cut a person off from natural hunger and satiety signals.  The person relies on external direction rather than learning how to trust internal signals.  Diets do not take into account individual differences in metabolism, body type, food preferences, allergies, unique health concerns of the individual and natural body rhythms for activity and eating.  This can lead to constant hunger that is so unpleasant that the person cannot stay on the diet.  Research on dieting suggests that it is not a 'lifetime' solution to weight management.  Most people rebound when dieting because of changes in their metabolism in response to over-restriction.  Diets also severely restrict or try to eliminate certain foods by making them forbidden.  When we over-restrict or make foods forbidden, we tend to crave them.  This often leads to very rigid control.  If a person gives into the craving for the forbidden food they often feel so guilty that they binge on it so they can feel satisfied and then 'repent' later by over-restricting again.  This contributes to mindless bingeing on restricted or forbidden foods.  The person craves the food but then dissociates when eating it because they feel so guilty.  This mindless eating makes the eating less enjoyable and they overeat without ever really feeling satisfied.  Eating favorite foods mindfully and in moderation does not lead to permanent weight gain.  For most people, an occasional bowl of ice cream or indulgence in some chocolate will not lead to overeating or weight gain.  Listening carefully to body signals while taking time to mindfully eat and enjoy a treat helps a person to resist bingeing because they can enjoy the treat without shame and dissociation from the eating experience.     


Dr. Rita:  How does embracing the client's faith in God enhance the treatment of these eating disorders?   

Dr. Williams: I believe that it is very important for the therapist to accurately understand and honor the person's spiritual beliefs. When I understand what is important and valuable to my client, it is easier to help them use their own spirituality to strengthen recovery.  Scott Richards, a colleague of mine at BYU, has published a wonderful book through the American Psychological Association on using spiritual interventions to help women recover from eating disorders.  It is very useful for treating people from a variety of faiths and is well-researched.  

It has also been my experience that how a person conceptualizes God and their relationship with Him can influence how they treat their body.  When a person confuses God with an unloving or punitive earthly parent, they tend to see God as also unloving and punitive.  Helping them to understand God's love for them and see Him as a loving and concerned parent who cares about their emotional pain is very helpful.   

Another concern that I see sometimes with Christian women is confusion over perfectionism instead of becoming perfected through Christ.  When God is seen as punitive and unloving it is easy to think one must earn His love through perfectionism.  Normal human struggles and imperfections then seem insurmountable and the person feels constantly inadequate and unlovable.  Learning to trust in Christ's loving atonement and to believe in His perfect love for us can help a person let go of perfectionism and continue a healthy quest for growth and development while still feeling loveable.      


Dr. Rita: I've been told that some weight loss programs heap guilt and shame on participants who fail to become skinny. What do you think God would say about that? Does God require us to be skinny?  

Dr. Williams: As I have described earlier, shame and guilt often contribute to more eating problems than they solve.  I have often suspected that God has a much broader view of beauty than western media culture does.  God created such a variety of natural body builds and a diversity of color, form and physical appearance.  What God creates is beautiful in His eyes.  Perhaps if we could be more like Him, we could see beauty in more ways than is depicted by the media.  


Dr. Rita: How important is it to reject the shame and guilt that is heaped on us (or that we heap on ourselves) because of our past failures at weight control?

Dr. Williams:  I believe that love is a greater healer than shame.  There is no greater gift we can give to ourselves, a spouse, a child or a friend than to love them just as they are.  It has become apparent to me that often those we love the most are those whose weaknesses we most accurately see and understand.  Life would be very lonely if we could only love and be loved by perfect people.  God did wait until we were perfect to love us.  I love the Apostle John's statement that we love God because He first loved us (1John 4:19).  If there was more love in the world, there would be less psychopathology.  


Dr. Rita: To what extent does that involve filtering out deleterious media messages?

Dr. Williams: I think it is very important to help young people to process media messages rather than to just accept them as truth.   Learning how to think carefully and challenge media messages is increasingly important as we are being bombarded by advertising, images and inaccurate information.  For example, films usually portray only exceptionally thin, beautiful people finding love and happiness. In reality, films stars don't necessarily have lasting, healthy relationships.  Happy, healthy, lasting relationships can be found with people from all body types and shapes and are not dependant on being thin or beautiful in media approved ways.    

Dr. Rita: The world heaps guilt and shame on overweight people if they eat anything but carrot sticks and grilled chicken. However, what importance does God place on how a person eats?

Dr. Williams: I cannot directly speak for God but from what I understand I believe it would be more important to lovingly care for the body as a gift from God and to enjoy and appreciate the variety of food available to us.  The Bible speaks of God creating all kinds of food for man and does not limit food to certain vegetables and chicken.  In Genesis 1:29-31, God tells Adam that he created a great variety of plants and animals for food and only prohibits eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  He also tells Noah following the flood that "every moving thing that liveth shall be meat (Gen. 9:30)."  In the New Testament Timothy warns of those who command not to eat meat (Tim. 4:3).  The Bible also speaks of enjoying honey, milk, bread, butter and many other foods.  From these scriptures, I assume that variety in one's diet is acceptable to God and that He created this variety as a gift to us to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.  Again, being aware of our own body's unique health needs can help us to choose wisely for our own body.     


Dr. Rita: Professor, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today. I pray that God continues to bring healing to His people through your work, and that He blesses both you and your clients and students with total and complete health.

Dr. Williams:  Thank you Rita.  I appreciate the opportunity to share some ideas that I hope will be helpful to people in caring for their bodies and finding joy in the gift of the bodies that God created for us. May God bless you also.


Professor Marleen Williams:
Contact 801-422-3035

Coming Soon!

The Eden Diet E-Book...
e book

Dr. Hancock's Blog!
  Dr. Rita Hancock 

Visit Dr. Hancock's blog to read helpful tips on weight loss and positive encouragement!

Become a blog follower and receive inspirational messages for weight loss several times a month from Dr. Hancock

Here are a few Recent Entries:

  • "Weighing-In For An Identity?"
  • "No Money For The Book And Workbook?"
  • "Intuitive Eating and Christianity"
  • "Christianity and Gluttony"

On The Radio
radio mic

Dr. Hancock is going to be talking about The Eden Diet on The Author's Show (internet radio). It will be posted on the website on July 3rd. Listen in as she's interviewed by host Don McCauley.

You can also listen to Dr. Hancock's radio broadcasts
on her website's news page:




A Battle With The Flesh
Dr. Hancock's fourth Godly Affirmations CD, "A Battle With The Flesh."
  battle with the flesh 

Would you like to beat those childlike, fleshly impulses that compel you to eat when you're not hungry?

Dr. Hancock's fourth Godly Affirmations CD, "A Battle With The Flesh," is coming soon!

In Dr. Hancock's Godly Affirmations CDs, you are continually reminded of God's love, mercy, and truth, and that automatically helps you to think more positively the rest of the time. When you think positively and in line with the truth of God, you feel positive. Thus, you feel less stress, and that helps you overcome stress-eating and other forms of emotional eating.

"Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Overcome negative self-talk by recognizing it and practicing (positive thinking)"
-The Mayo

Visit The Eden Diet Online Store for other Godly Affirmation CD's to start your journey down the positive thinking track to a healthier, happier way of life!

Online Eden Diet Support Group eden diet blog

If you can't make it to any of our Support Groups that meet weekly, you may want to try our NEW bi-monthly online Eden Diet Support Group!

Designed to bring fellow Eden Dieters together to discuss struggles, triumphs, questions and encouragement, this forum can even help those who are currently in Support Groups during their days between groups!

Go to the link: EdensFreedomSisters to join!

(This is a Yahoo Health Online Support Group)


The Eden Diet Now at MARDEL'S!!
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We are very excited to announce
that Mardel's has agreed to offer
The Eden Diet in their stores, nationwide!



On Television


Dr. Hancock was interviewed on KSBI TV News with Monicha Price on February 23, 2009. The video is on's news page:




The Eden Diet Makes a Great Gift! gift

The Eden Diet has been a life-changing book for many (see our Testimonials page).

Do you know someone who could benefit from a Biblical and Merciful Christian Anti-Diet Weight Loss Program? Why not give it as a gift? Dr. Hancock will personally sign each copy.
CLICK HERE to purchase a copy!
autographed by author

 To go along with the book, consider Dr. Hancock's positive, godly, weight loss affirmation audio relaxation excercises entitled "A Walk on the Beach" relaxation CD, "A Walk in the Forest" CD and "A Picnic at the Lake" CD.

All three are now available on! (click on link below)  


Dr. Hancock's Upcoming Booksignings:

Saturday, July 11th 2009
11am at Mardel on 4848 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK.


REVIEW Dr. Hancock's Book &
Help Free Others from Bondage to FOOD!

the eden diet book

Review Dr. Hancock's book on
and become eligible to win a complimentary Eden Diet audio CD.
One out of three participants will win!"

Instructions on how to rate the book on

1. Click on this link: AMAZON 

2. Scroll 2/3 of the way down the page to the "Customer Reviews" section
3. To the right side of that section, click on the "Create Your Own Review" button.

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Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in your quest to 'thin-ness'.
May your QUEST be BLESSED!

Rita M. Hancock, M.D.