Help for when you feel stuck in painful habits
It's painful to be caught in a 'bad' habit, like overeating sugar. You may feel scared or overwhelmed, especially when you feel out of control.
You may know better, have wonderful intentions, and be filled with lots of heart and insight, and yet struggle to put this knowing into action.
You may feel competent in other areas of your life – work, family, or your inner life – but find yourself getting stuck, over and over, in sugar.
You may wonder if you'll ever be free of this habit! Or you may feel just plain ticked off and irritated.
This can be so frustrating and discouraging – especially when you're conscientious, sincere, and trying so hard.
Ouch – I can relate.
Why change can feel so hard
Being stuck in a bad habit can feel so painful that you decide – “Enough!”
It may feel like the only way you can change is to be hard on yourself or to try and be as 'good' as possible. But when change is based in punishment, is driven by perfectionism, or fueled by anxiety – a sense that we're falling short – it doesn't work, and it feels awful. It's no wonder we resist this 'help!'
When this 'help' doesn't, well, help, we can blame ourselves for not doing better.
We can be equally frustrated by the growth process. Most of us have an internal picture of what we think growth – or our lives – should look like.
When our lives don't match this mental picture, we panic, thinking there's something wrong. We compare ourselves against this ideal and fall short.
This feeling that 'something's wrong' or that 'I'm falling short' fills us with stress, anxiety and inner tension that worsens the very habit we're trying to change.
This can show up in a number of ways:
Bad habits aren't your fault
It's not true that change is impossible, or that there's something wrong with you, or that you're falling short. You merely need a different approach.
It starts with the ground floor - what's behind eating too much sugar. There's something so tender underneath this 'bad habit' that's driving you nuts.
We all have times when we feel stressed, overwhelmed or like we don't have what we need. We can feel lost, uncertain, and insecure.
And many of us carry pain from past experiences in our bodies. This pain gets pricked in our daily life and stirs us up, physically and emotionally.
When we feel overwhelmed, when our pain gets pricked, or when we feel exhausted and stressed, we can reach for some kind of warmth and nurturing – like sugar – to help us feel better.
Then, when this morphs into a habit, and we get more and more stuck in it, we don't like ourselves. We feel bad for our 'bad habit.'
This is where our need for compassion steps in.
What you need to change your habits with sugar
The answer to habit change isn't being hard (or harder) on yourself. The answer is found in three things:
In teaching over 1,000 students and listening to their sugar stories, these three things are what I see over and over as laying the foundation for change. Emotional support is especially crucial. Nearly everyone needs more of it, for modern life can feel lonely and disconnected.
That's one reason why I created this course:
In The 30 Day Lift, you'll receive support, tools, practices, and understanding to give you greater confidence and competence in helping yourself through the process of changing your habits with sugar.
This course is designed to help you compassionately reframe your experience with sugar so that you can honor your body's natural limits.
This is not a diet (you won't find information on what to eat) nor a bootcamp, nor a course on what or how to eat. Rather, it's a course on nourishing, supporting and growing the internal resilience, strength and levity that helps you make external changes with sugar or other painful habits.
In the course, you'll receive daily emotional support to help you when you feel panicked, overwhelmed, or frustrated.
You'll learn how to apply self compassion to the process of habit change, so you can create more nourishing self talk and build resilience , that internal sense of, “I trust myself to move through this.”
And you'll receive help to reframe how you see the growth process, so that you can relax and settle in to your healing rather than feeling like you have to try really hard and make it happen on your own.
This course is especially designed for highly sensitive people and those who want a gentle approach.
My time with Karly's kind, encouraging, occasionally self-deprecating, humorous and loving voice was very healing for me. She gave me practical tools, planted phrases for showing myself support, lent tips for building a supportive environment around me, and led me in a very inviting and non-threatening way through a kinder re-framing of my developmental wounds.
After my fabulous experience with the 30 Day Lift I signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra's "Shedding the Weight" meditation course and it is astonishing how much more helpful I find Karly's work to be.
I found that [Karly's] combination of maternal warmth, self-kindness, down-to-earth humor, and theoretically-grounded cognitive behavioral approach delivers a rather holistic and intelligent healing experience, whereas [Oprah's] course seems to gloss over attention-starved psychic wounds with repressive positive thinking and irritating generalizations.
Karly's focus on integrative thinking, embracing ambivalence, acknowledging pain, caressing neglected parts of my psyche, and "being the adult in the room" provided an encompassing platform that helped me immensely. I'm really sad that it is over! Honestly, if I could do a 365 Day Lift I would!
- Jenn Lindsey
I understand why this feels hard
My name is Karly Randolph Pitman. Growing human(kind)ness, the name of my website, means to soften self criticism and shame, and to claim the wholeness that is our birthright. This work of mine arose from two things - from my own experience with 20 years of multiple eating disorders, chronic depression and anxiety, and from bearing witness to others' stories of challenge, growth and rebirth.
I created the 30 Day Lift seven years ago, and thousands have been touched, moved by the insights you'll find here. Now I've folded all I've learned since then into a new, updated course for 2019.
One fundamental insight is about how to settle into the healing process rather than forcing it.
'Settling in' to the healing process is how you:
Be filled with ease rather than stress
I want you to feel empowered and whole – to feel empathy and understanding for the places where you've gotten stuck, knowing you did the best you could – while also feeling empowered to change.
I want you to know in your bones that your self worth is not tied to your habits, and to feel relief from needing 'to get it right all the time.' I want you to feel courage when facing difficult emotions or situations, knowing you can handle it, and knowing that you're not alone.
And I want you to experience joy and levity and the freedom that arises from making choices – even if those choices are hard – especially when those choices are hard.
Healing your relationship with sugar or any painful habit will help you experience greater well being, which impacts how you relate to yourself, to others and the world. Rather than feeling pressured to produce your 'best self,' you're able to relax and rest in your imperfection , sharing your true self, in all its wonder and width and breadth.
This creates ease and a space where you can genuinely connect with
softening the pain of isolation that often accompanies bad
habits, and welcoming in
greater connection and intimacy.
These are the deeper reasons why The 30 Day Lift was created, and what it's designed to serve.
"I want to tell you how much the 30 Day Lift has done for me. I’m 63 years old with a lifelong sugar addiction, and so far this is the only course that has REALLY helped.
Your spiritual and caring approach makes all the difference in the world to one who has tried to punish and criticize herself out of the suffering. Your course is brilliant."
- Carol Heffler, United States
Thank you so much for your 30 Day Lift course. It has helped me tremendously. I was bingeing out of control on sugar and baked goods for 3-4 months before your course due to crazy premenopausal hormones.
I have now been sugar-free for 39 days and I feel wonderful. Your teaching about being sensitive and learning to be kind and compassionate to ourselves was very key for me.
- Diana Morgan, United States
Each day you'll receive a message from me to build the mindset that helps you make changes with sugar and other habits.
You'll listen and learn how to use self compassion in the daily, nitty gritty of your relationship with sugar so you can eat less sugar without being overwhelmed by perfectionism, stress, and trying too hard.
Bonus: Help for cravings, night time, resistance and boredom
How to participate:
The course begins Monday, May 20th and ends on Thursday, June 20th. Each day for 30 days you'll listen to message from Karly. You'll receive an insight, a practice, and ideas to structure your day and nurture yourself through the process of habit change - especially if you're trying to eat less sugar.
There's also a private, closed Facebook group where you can connect with your classmates, share your insights, ask questions, and more.
After class ends in June, you'll continue to have access to the course materials so you can use and reference them.
Live class teaching and Q&A
Join Karly for four live Q&A webinars. You can join these webinars from anywhere in the world and from many different devices.
Q&As are on Thursday, May 30th, Thursday June 6th, Thursday June 13th, and Thursday, June 20th at 1 p.m. Central.
"I had been suffering from terrible cycles of overeating and compensatory dieting, and for years I couldn't figure out what was ‘wrong’ with me. Karly introduced me to the radical idea of self-love, which has changed the way I feel and act about essentially every aspect of my life.
By learning to accept and care for myself one moment at a time, I have been able to shift one after another of my painful patterns, in far-reaching and lasting ways. I no longer binge on sugar, or any food. I have come to feel entirely comfortable and beautiful in my body, which has responded to my new self-care by evolving into its most effortless, strong, lithe, and joyful shape.
By letting go of my obsessions with self-mastery and perfection, through Karly’s practices, I have freed up energy for more interesting and important pursuits, like my writing and my family.
I never thought I could be a flexible, intuitive person, who feels safe and comfortable flowing with the ups and downs of life – but now I absolutely am, thanks to the inspired work of this remarkable teacher.
You will never be the same, and you will never look back!"
- MHP, United Kingdom
In their own words, the most helpful part was....
I'm on day 17 of your 30 Day Lift. I’m 28 now and I’ve been on this 'food journey' now for as long as I can remember. Not only do I have food issues, but I have a digestive condition to throw into the mix, which tends to make everything more confusing.
I really want to thank you for your work, Karly. I freaking love your vulnerability. It helps me to remember the beauty of sharing my own 'dark sides,' because we all have them. And we can all heal faster and with more grace when we're all committed to the honesty and love it takes to allow ourselves to be seen.
This 30 Day Lift is helping me with food stuff as well as just softening all of my compulsive behaviors. The concept of self-compassion has come into my life in so many ways over the years, but you have had the most genuine impact. Thank you again from the depths of my heart."
- Lauren Godlove, United States
"Karly is a pioneer, with what I consider to be a holistic, grounded and complete program for sugar sensitives like myself. Until I found Karly, I did not use the phrase sugar sensitive. Karly has helped me to grow and blossom and heal in a natural, organic healthy way.
I have been inspired by her courage in sharing her strengths and her weaknesses. She has shown me by example that I do not need to be "Perfect" to live a full, successful life.
Karly has taught me that becoming binge free is a process and I find that my desire to sooth myself with food has diminished and been replaced with loving self care most of the time."
- Rhianne NewLahnd, Arizona, United States
I just wanted to thank you Karly, with so much love, for the work you are bringing forth. I and am now doing the 30 Day Lift. For the first time in my life, I am opening, shifting – and I truly thought I had done it all. I’ve done retreats with Geneen Roth, studied with many “experts,” and this is the first time I really feel something changing within me – it is terrifying and fantastic!! Last night my son was having ice cream, and my go-to thought was, “Oh, it’s Friday night, I “deserve” some too”…..AND I felt the desire, AND also my integrity, that not eating the sugar and staying true to the loving promise I made to myself was so important to me. OMG!!! Just SO much gratitude to you.
- Liz Murray, United States
I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying the 30 Day Lift! WOW!!! It is so comforting hearing your voice every day and having that encouragement each day. I am on day 3 of my container of "sugar free." I am basically remaining sugar free in all my meals.
I am keeping a journal throughout and doing my best at following through with all my tasks. It has been so awesome, I really love this format!
I actually had a very stressful moment at work today and I thought I need to eat something. But I actually told myself "It is ok dear one, you can handle this" and voila, no sugar consumed!!
- Lizanne Miskelly, North Carolina, USA
I’m Karly, your guide through the course. I help highly sensitive people gently heal the soft addictions of sugar, food, and perfectionism. My approach helps you create a more compassionate relationship with yourself so you can experience more rest, play and power; connection, joy, and self trust.
There is a deeper story that lives underneath the surface story of your struggle, and this story is both more true and more merciful. It's this story that I help midwife into being. There is so much beauty - and so much tenderness - that lives in and underneath our struggles.
Growing human(kind)ness, the name of my website, means to soften self criticism and shame, and to claim the wholeness that is our birthright. This work arose from two things - from my own experience with 20 years of multiple eating disorders, chronic depression and anxiety, and from bearing witness to others' stories of challenge, growth and rebirth.
I write books, essays, and courses, teach classes, and speak to groups.
I offer this teaching in service to all who feel the shame of human stumbling and who yearn for wholeness, and to a desire for a more relational, compassionate, and connected world. Underneath all my work you'll find a love for the human heart and its resilience, depth and courage.
I live in Austin, Texas with my husband Patrick and our family, two dogs, a very frisky cat, lots of dust bunnies, and beautiful oak trees. I love good stories, good music, good food, good words, lifting heavy things, and long walks.
Uncertain about whether you can do it?
It's easy to frame bad habits as something 'outside' of your wholeness, something that doesn't or shouldn't belong – as if your health includes everything BUT this painful part.
But any kind of overdoing – sugar, work, food, perfectionism – is not a detour from your goodness. It's a deeper embrace of it: where all of you is welcome and included.
It's a paradox, but this compassionate embrace is what helps you shed habits that hurt.
If you've struggled with a compulsive habit, and you feel a nudge or desire to change – even if you don't feel like you know how to do so – then you're at a turning point in your journey.
Some part of you is longing to grow.
We all carry capacities inside that can feel dormant or undeveloped – capacities like telling ourselves no, feeling uncomfortable feelings, and standing in our strength.
There are other qualities inside us that also long to express themselves, to emerge and grow – qualities like trust, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and patience.
We may not trust these capacities or ourselves – we may think they don't exist or are impossible. But they're there.
These qualities long to express themselves through you, to be born into the world. But like all that is 'low and lowly,' they aren't born through victories or successes, but through the things in you that feel small and shameful: through the least of these, through the very thing you're struggling with.
Perfectionism, overdoing, or a 'bad habit' are opportunities for healing, how these capacities grow and arise in you. Like the mud that cradles the lotus blossom, your 'bad habit' is the very place where you emerge in your fullness, and where your story of being 'shameful' or 'bad' can fall away.
So while this journey may feel scary, new or uncertain, it's a great place to be!
Whether or not you choose to take this particular course or
whether you find help elsewhere, I want to
thank you for embarking on this journey. Thank you for your
courage, desire and yearning, for opening both to the vulnerability
and the new life that longs to emerge in you.
May your dreams be supported with kindness, care, and support, and may you find ease. Blessings and blessings to you.
"My experience in using the 30 Day Lift – particularly on round 2 (I’m using it to change other behaviors beyond food as I found it so helpful the 1st time around) – is that all the safety that Karly has built into the beginning of the process is making it safer and safer for me to give up my self sabotaging behavior. Karly has shown me that giving up these foods (and ways of behavior) is really about growing my self love and kindness."
- Char Brooks, United States