5 Steps to End Emotional Eating

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock (I'm swaying back and forth as I'm typing this... it feels nice.  I must be very tired.)

The pendulum is back into a comfortable rhythm--thank goodness!  I always look forward to this part.  Knowing/remembering that it's coming is a new skill and even newer than that is using that idea to calm myself when things are still stormy inside.

What the heck is she talking about?!  (tired. She said she is tired remember?)  Oh yes, that's right. Carry on!

I think I have a pretty great (as in large) capacity for change.  I am willing to do it, and I like it, and... yeah... that's enough.  But my change process can be pretty dramatic and often represents a pendulum swing into the opposite direction of its previous inhabitance.

I was focusing on my body and doing things to lose weight and my body wasn't changing... and I got clear with my intentions with myself and here on the blog and was going to learn to love myself (and my body) exactly how I am right this moment... and then the pendulum swung.  So, it was over there in "health nut land" and then it swung to "drive-thru land" and I knew that "drive-thru land" wasn't right, but the only thing I could think to do if I wasn't going to focus on changing my body was to "not care" anymore.  So, I cut even more of my hair off, barely put on any makeup most days, and started wearing a rotation of my most boring clothes.  And I didn't care how I looked, and that was somewhat liberating... but along with not caring how I looked, I wasn't caring FOR myself either.  ...and that wasn't quite working.

FINALLY... yesterday... driving home from a very intense physical experience that left my body battered but my soul soaring (Camp Pendleton Mud Run.  woot!) I remembered how good it feels to be active.  After a week or so of lousy eating and very little activity I was feeling it (lousy) and when I felt like myself again today I realized/remembered that I can care for my body as part of my self care without it being about weight loss (duh).
starting at the top left and going clockwise: 1. shoes (before), 2. the waiver i signed that said i would be okay with dying in the run (i wasn't actually...), 3. muddy pile of clothes (after) and, 4. shoes (after)

So, now it seems like it's time to share something I learned at my Bioreprogramming session last week.  To be clear in my intentions, I don't plan to practice these as a weight loss technique or to change any part of myself.  I plan to practice these as a strategy to put foods in my body that enhance my whole life experience and make being me as pleasant as it can be. :)

I practiced the hell out of #1 today... and not just about food either... about lots of stuff (every fear or doubt or worry or consuming, obsessive persevoration).

Here they are, the 5 Steps (I'm going to use) to End Emotional Eating:
  1. Acknowledge what I want, then thank the part of me that wants to care for me in that way, and ask for some time.  "I want a pizza.  Thank you to the little one inside who wants me to feel full and satisfied by that experience.  I'm asking not to make a decision right now.  In 15 minutes if I still want it, I can have it.  For now I will have something healthy" (this practice will imprint a new pattern on the brain "i want it and i'm not going to have it right now")
  2. Imagine myself after having had the food/food experience I am craving.  Close my eyes and feel the feeling, make it disgusting... (this practice will train the brain to associate these binge foods/experiences with pain.  the brain will instinctively move away from pain).
  3. Doubt it.  Deliberate it.  Discuss it in my head.  "I want it, but I shouldn't..." say it over and over and over (this practice again plays to the brain's aversion to pain.  Doubt is painful, it will eventually take over and make the "no" decision just to end the doubt)
  4. Define the results of a healthier choice.  See myself as the results of my choices.  Have a clear vision for the future and how I want to feel.  See and feel it in real time.  (this practice will associate pleasure with the healthier choices)
  5. Answer "who am i?" question as it relates to these issues.  "I am a woman who makes thoughtful choices about what she puts in her body.  I have high standards for myself and my health." (this practice lays the foundation for a new program to operate from.  train the brain to believe this as reality and the impulses will fall into line)
There is so much to say about this Bioreprogramming stuff, but really you could click the link and get a much better sense than I can give you.  Instead, I'll just touch on something I find particularly interesting about it right now...

The brain is powerful, but impulsive... again, it's kind of like a teenager.  It has the strength of an adult yet the depth of understanding of a child.  Left untended the brain can and will run the show--running programs that have been imprinted over time or inherited from ancestors.  It is primarily focused on survival and the only way it knows to survive is to repeat what it's done before.

The brain is certainly not the same thing as the mind... the mind is made up of so much more than that... and what's fortunate about this is that the MIND can reprogram the BRAIN.  The mind (and all that entails) can make changes to the way the brain operates, allowing it to still believe it is running the show all while it's running the programs we put into it.

And it's simple too.  Repeating a mantra, making intentional language choices, just asking/telling it to do something different... it changes the program.

Nice brain.  Thank you brain.  You're doing a good job.