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Natural Eating Check In For Beginners

Natural Eating challengeHey all!

Three weeks ago I invited you to try a 3 week Natural Eating challenge.  I’ve received some incredible feedback about the changes many of you are experiencing as a result of this challenge. If you took the challenge and are still at it you may want to review the lessons on The List of Stressors or DS dialogue as those will undoubtedly come in handy.

 

If you’re a newcomer to this process, the Natural Eating challenge wouldn’t have been suitable for you. So, I’d like to issue a little invitation to any newcomers and any long time readers who would like to experiment with a Natural Eating refresher.

Give this a try for 2 days and see what you notice. Let me know @ mmorand@cedriccentre.com or just post a comment to the cedric blog.

I’ll break this into 2 segments – first, for those who restrict predominantly and second, for those who binge predominantly.

If you restrict:

  1. Notice when you are hungry (or when it seems like it should be time to eat) and you are not allowing food.
  2. Ask yourself “What am I telling myself will happen if I eat something now?”
  3. Ask yourself “What is important about that not happening? What’s going to happen if that first thing happens? And then what would happen? And then what?”
  4. Ask yourself “What would I like to see happen?”
  5. Ask yourself “What would need to happen in order for me to feel peaceful about eating until I’m comfortably full now?” (Please note, I’m not saying to do that, I’m just asking you to think about what would have to happen in order for that to be an option at some point down the road.)
  6. Ask yourself “What can I do to begin to make that a reality for me?”
  7. Remind yourself that any time you do not allow yourself to eat an appropriate amount each day for your natural body size, you are withholding a fundamental basic need for food which means that you are going to feel appropriately anxious and unsettled and insecure in your body and in the world.
  8. If you would like to feel less anxious in life, you first must sort out the answers to points 2 – 6. Then, and only then, will you be able to ask yourself to eat naturally and take good care of yourself without feeling overwhelmed.
  9. So, for the next 2 days, every time you notice you’re restricting in any way, read this over, ask yourself these questions and see what you discover. It’s best if you take the time to write down your answers to these questions each time. You’ll get so much more out of this exercise.

If you overeat:

  1. Notice when you want to eat when you are not hungry, or eating past the point of comfortable fullness.
  2. Ask yourself “What am I telling myself will happen if I don’t eat something now?”
  3. Ask yourself “What is important about that not happening? What’s going to happen if that first thing happens? And then what would happen? And then what?”
  4. Ask yourself “What would I like to see happen?”
  5. Ask yourself “What would need to happen in order for me to feel peaceful about stopping eating now, or waiting to eat until I’m hungry?” (Please note, I’m not asking you to stop, don’t expect that of yourself now, just gather the data of what would have to happen in order for that to be an option.)
  6. Ask yourself “What can I do to begin to make that a reality for me?”
  7. Remind yourself that any time you eat more than you are hungry for, you are not respecting the basic needs of your body for healthy food in reasonable quantities which means that you are going to feel appropriately anxious and unsettled and insecure in your body and in the world.
  8. If you would like to feel less anxious in life you first must sort out the answers to points 2 – 6. Then, and only then, will you be able to ask yourself to eat naturally and take good care of yourself without feeling overwhelmed.
  9. So, for the next 2 days, every time you notice you’re overeating or thinking about it, read this over, ask yourself these questions and see what you discover. It’s best if you take the time to write down your answers to these questions each time. You’ll get so much more out of this exercise.

This kind of homework assignment is what I call “reconnaissance.” It’s you observing yourself, and gently inquiring about your intentions and actions so that you can gather the data you need for 4 key purposes:

  1. To understand your behaviour (why you do what you do).
  2. To see clearly that there is a reason for why you do what you do. You’re not insane, you don’t lack willpower, and you aren’t stupid or incapable of “getting it.”
  3. To identify the underlying themes and triggers behind your use of food to cope.
  4. To begin to identify what you would need in order to step free so you can create a plan and begin to see yourself making progress towards your goals of a life free from food and body image stress.

This information will then inform the rest of your recovery and make the time you take to completely heal much less than it otherwise would be.

So, gather the data. Do the reconnaissance. Answer the questions and see how this insight into your fears and your needs helps you to naturally identify what really is the problem. Food is not the problem, let’s deal with what is.

My team and I are here to help you move through this healing as quickly as possible. We teach you how to have a healthy relationship with food and how to maintain a natural weight for your body, for life, without dieting and exercise regimes.

So, let us know what your 2 days of questioning turn up and what influence that information has on your use of food to cope. You’ll be surprised.

Love
The CEDRIC Centre - Michelle Morand

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