Hello all. We are moving through our series of questions on the in’s and out’s of Natural Eating with this week’s question:
How can I trust myself around certain foods when every time I get around them or have them in the house I binge?
This is such a common question in my work with clients. Regardless of whether they restrict, binge or purge, I am confident it will hit home with anyone who uses food to cope.
The simple answer is this:
Stop focussing on the food!! Food is not your problem. Instead, whenever you notice you’re getting anxious around certain foods or even thinking about being around them, ask yourself these questions:
- Separate from food and body image, what just happened or what was I just thinking about that might have made me feel anxious or insecure?
- What was I telling myself about that thing / person / situation? (Best to write this out rather than do it in your head or your old automatic learned helplessness thinking will take over without you even realizing it.)
- Is there any all-or-nothing thinking in those stories? In other words, what is the absolute fact that anyone would agree has been proven, and where am I making assumptions and telling myself things should be a certain way or something will absolutely happen a certain way?
- How else could those situations go? What other possible outcomes or alternative actions are there?
- How would I like it to go?
- What do I need to do to make that ideal outcome a greater likelihood than the all-or-nothing, learned helplessness one?
This step-by-step process is the path to freedom from food as a coping strategy and from weight and body image preoccupation and from stressful relationships and unfulfilling careers. It works on everything because what you’re really learning here is how to think rationally and logically about things and not magically and fearfully. With this new way of thinking rationally, every aspect of your life gets easier. Decisions get clearer. Your confidence increases greatly, and you feel like you are finally living.
You will never achieve your goals by focussing on what you’re eating or what you are wanting to eat or on what you weigh. I know it’s hard to believe that because all the diets and all the magazines etc., etc., say that you must restrict and you must exercise your pants off. The truth is, as your own life experience has shown you, if you manage your emotions and stress with food or other harmful coping strategies like self-compromise, co-dependency, alcohol, drugs, or isolation, you will continue to need that coping strategy until you find other life-enhancing ways of managing and ultimately reducing stress.
The CEDRIC Method does both simultaneously which is why it is such a fast track to recovery for any stressful pattern.
Everyone needs a little help learning these steps of rational thinking, not because we aren’t intelligent or capable, but because we’ve been automatically defaulting into fear-based thinking for so very long that we do it without even realizing it, even when we think we’re using our tools properly.
If you feel peaceful after the above process you’ve done it properly. If you don’t, your old learned helplessness thinking got in the way, and you need a little help. Don’t worry. You can and will get there. We are here to show you how.
So, let go of the focus on food and weight and instead, whenever you notice you’re thinking of those things, ask yourself the questions as listed above. You will feel better. And the more you practice, the easier life gets and the less you will think about using food to cope, let alone actually do it.
Let us know if we can help you sort a few things out and fine-tune your use of these resources.
And do let me know how this homework goes for you. I know it will help.