One of the hardest things for people to do to overcome overeating, especially people who have received any co-dependent training, is to hold themselves to the core value of honesty. The reason for this is twofold:
- We often (usually) don’t even know what we truly feel and want and need. We might know something doesn’t feel right or good or okay but we have our inner critic immediately judging our feelings and so we mistrust our emotions just as we mistrust our hunger and fullness cues.
- We are scared crapless to piss people off! Let’s just admit it! We don’t want to upset anyone. The way we’ve been trained to see the world makes it so if someone is upset (sad, angry, scared) by something we did or said it means we’ve done something wrong; we’ve been mean; we are B.A.D.! And we sure as heck don’t want to be the bad guy because the bad guy gets ostracised, rejected and judged and that’s not good! We don’t want anyone thinking, feeling or saying anything about us that isn’t nice and warm and fuzzy. And so we compromise ourselves and so the pattern continues.
And just in case you’re still wondering if this applies to you, here’s how to tell:
If you have any food and body image stress, or if you binge, or struggle with restriction (dieting or anorexia or orthorexia (an obsession with eating “clean”)), or purging (through exercise, laxatives, or vomiting) you can guarantee that you have a high dose of co-dependent training.
Likewise, if you struggle with alcohol use, the healthy expression of anger, isolation or procrastination, anxiety or depression, you have had the same training. In other words, you’re in great company, only it’s rather like the plague; most everyone has got it but it isn’t something that you really want!
So, thinking and behaving in these ways is truly nothing to be ashamed of or judge yourself for. You come by it honestly, and if you could be doing things differently you would. That’s where I (and my CEDRIC team) come in! There’s lots you can do to change that old confused way of looking at the world and your place in it and to step free of that way of thinking and feeling and behaving completely and for good. Yep! It’s true! (Don’t just take my word for it: Visit our web site for tonnes of client feedback.)
- The number one thing that will make your healing journey take longer than it needs to, is your fear of being honest with yourself.
- The number 2 thing is your resistance to/fear of being honest with others.
Both of these fears and all the stories that trigger them need to be addressed and overcome in order for you to have the self-esteem and self-respect that you need in order to feel safe and secure in the world and to trust yourself to have integrity (do what you really believe is right) regardless of where you are or whom you’re with.
And in case you’re wondering, yes it is impossible to get over your stressful relationship with food and feel comfortable in your own body without that. This is because your current use of food to cope (as well as any problems with anxiety or depression, isolation or procrastination etc.) stems from a lack of trust and confidence in yourself to take care of yourself first; that you will not compromise yourselves for others.
This has to change in order for you to feel peaceful enough and to feel good enough about yourself to only engage in behaviours that will enhance your life. It’s that simple.
So, if you’re ready to create lasting change let’s begin.
First know that it is always – and I mean always – easier than you think it will be to identify what you really think and feel and it always goes better than you think it will and produces greater results than you expect when you are respectfully and appropriately honest with others.
I have been working with clients directly around these issues for over 19 years and have seen this to be true time and time again for my clients as well as in my own personal life.
For this week, let’s start by exploring #1: Being honest with ourselves about what we truly feel and need. This is easier than #2 and it naturally leads to greater comfort with being honest with others.
- Notice when you want to eat and aren’t hungry or are telling yourself you can’t have what you want even if you are hungry. (You can also do this exercise by asking yourself to notice when you’re feeling anxious/insecure/embarrassed/ashamed if you find that easier to notice right now.)
- Then ask yourself what you were just thinking. Don’t censor it. What’s the first thought that comes to mind? No one else needs to know. And just so you know, allowing yourself to be honest about what you’re truly thinking and feeling in any situation doesn’t “attract more of it” like the magical thinkers believe. You’re already thinking and feeling that way. Allowing yourself to be honest about it gives you the greatest opportunity to step free of it.
Just as the two-year-old will cover their face and assume you can’t see them if they can’t see you; the magical thinking (Drill Sgt.) part of your brain assumes that if you don’t acknowledge what you’re really thinking or feeling that means it isn’t happening and that means you can get away with not dealing with it.
Well, we can see the two-year-old just as easily as we can see that pretending you don’t have a problem doesn’t make it better. In fact that approach to life is a huge part of why you are where you are.
The clients who move the fastest through this process are those who are willing to let themselves be honest with themselves about their true fears and feelings. Those who try to be politically correct or “good,” “nice,” or “not attract bad ju ju through thinking unkind/petty thoughts,” stay stuck on the surface of their awareness, repeating old patterns, feeling more fake and phony and stuck every day. Believing that this ‘being more aware’ thing isn’t working when really they’re not allowing themselves to try.
So, do your best to be honest about what you were thinking when you noticed you were triggered, and then when you have written out that thought/those thoughts ask yourself:
“What am I telling myself about that that makes me judge it or myself as bad/wrong/petty/needy?”
And then ask,
“Where does that story come from?”
“Why do I think they are right and my own needs, thoughts, and feelings are wrong?”
You will learn a great deal about yourself in this way.
And if you’d like to take this a step further or move more rapidly through this key piece of the puzzle just email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. My team and I would be happy to help.