And You Can, Too!

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Photo by Jamie Haughton on Unsplash

In the last year, I did two things I absolutely 100% believed I could NOT do.

I let go of two somewhat related burdens and I am literally lighter. I lost, got rid of, let go of 240 pounds of excess baggage!

First, I lost all the extra weight my body was carrying around.

I now weigh about 43 lbs less than a year ago.

After years of gaining and losing, cleaning and detoxing, my body finally let go of a lot of inflammation and is working like a well-oiled machine. My metabolism, previously non-existent, now miraculously works. I can…


How I Overcame Toxic Ambiguity

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Photo by Jake Melara on Unsplash

I was married before, a long time ago, for 8 years. My husband at the time, deep in the throes of what he now believes was a midlife crisis, left me for his student, a woman about half his age whom his sexual obsession with propelled him into a new life without me.

We have been sorting through the demise of our relationship over the last few months, for the very first time in twenty-five years. As far as pathological lying goes, he wins the award for keeping both of us on a short leash for years both before and…


How to Free Yourself from Old Body Tapes

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Photo by Ashley Green on Unsplash

If you are carrying weight on your body that feels extra, and perhaps struggle a little or a lot with disordered eating, you probably know the story:

Despite our rejection of the oppressive societal norms perpetuated by the ‘beauty’ industry;

Despite our philosophical support of the fat liberation movement and our acceptance of our larger, different-from-the-norm-size;

Despite the distorted mental tapes we internalize and carry about how women (and men) should ‘look’;

Despite the valid, angsty emotions that drive the overeating (that we now know could be bad, gut microbes causing cravings);

Despite the genetic predisposition towards gaining and holding…


The Top Ten Things to Know and Do!

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Photo by Bruna Branco on Unsplash

I have struggled with a tendency towards holding on to extra weight and the excruciating pain of stubborn fat loss for as long as I can remember, going back to at least four years of age. I have lost and gained the same 20–30 pounds about 15 times over several decades. (for more on those stories see Part 1 here.)

I have followed a whole foods diet for several decades, since I was a teenager, in varied iterations. I have also done a lot of emotional work on my compulsive overeating, only to discover slowly, painfully and over time, that…


The Sins of the Father Are Still With Us

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Photo by Tammy Gann on Unsplash

One. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

The domestic violence in my house at the hand of my father was terrifying for me, as a small person. I remember my father spitting on my mom, pulling a door off its hinges, punching me in the face, slamming my sister against a wall, ripping the phone from the wall. I remember the fear I felt being home. I remember the stinging words he called me- “Shit Ass!” as he turned over the yellow formica kitchen table, crashing a full meal with a rare treat of strawberry shortcake…


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Photo By Fauxels on Canva

You may feel easily compatible with your new partner about the big things that matter, like a shared world view, your professional goals, whether you want to have kids, or sharing money and bills, but how do you know if you are compatible when it comes to ingesting food?

Your long-term relationship may have successfully navigated the map of her weird family, their waxing and waning sexual appetites, or made peace with his trail of dirty dishes and stinky socks. But does their requirement every Friday night for pizza and beer drive you nuts?

What to do about deep ideological…


Another Story of the Empty Nest

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Photo by Khaled Ghareeb on Unsplash

My daughter, with whom I have lived for all 21 years and 8 months of her life, is launching herself in 3 days. I am driving her to the college she is transferring to and I will definitely have to leave her there. OMG!

Yes, my house will be cleaner and yes, I won’t have to listen to the loud banter of online gaming at all hours of the day and night, but oh my heart, I will miss this girl.

She has an identical twin sister who was Baby A, first out of…


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When I was a little girl growing up in New York in the 1960’s and 70’s, orbiting in the very air around me was this whispered shameful secret about the 6,000,000 of us Jews who had perished under Nazism during WWII.

It was a burden so enormous, a truth so vile, that it could not be held if spoken aloud. It was uttered under the breath, as if that could lessen the velocity of its impact on our collective heart and mind.

The ‘Sshhh’s’ when the topic was raised were followed by a dead, blank look on the adult’s faces…


Or How to Open Up to Life and Death!

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I have often inadvertently pissed people off by speaking openly and honestly, violating the constraints and strictures of the majority culture of the USA, aka White Anglo Saxon Protestant decorum.

My Jewish-styled directness is shared by many other people of my ancestry so I am not alone, but it doesn’t feel that way. I may be extreme in my rebellion against the repressive structures that have led to so many stupid, inane, absurd misunderstandings- even wars- between friends, families, nations.

I am amazed by how the culture of silence has caused such irreparable harm. I think of the woman who…


Sculpture in Germany of very beautifully fat woman
Sculpture in Germany of very beautifully fat woman

Photo Credit: Sculpture near Lake Constance, South Germany on Canva

Becoming an Under Eater

How I Let Go of Compulsive Overeating

My fear of over eating has left me.

My fear of being over weight has left me.

My shame is ready to follow close behind my fear, in a bold ‘Kiss My Ample Ass’ curtsy.

In this past year, I have lost more than 30 pounds. I have been here before, about a dozen times for a total of around 250 lost and found pounds.

I see beauty in fat, thin, tall, short and different bodies. …

Rhyena Halpern

Health Coach & End of Life Doula who loves to write on Wellness, Third Act of Life, Death & Dying, Autoimmunity, Trauma, Food & Weight. rhyhalpern@gmail.com

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