A snippet from the Food is Not the Problem web-based program.
This week I thought I’d share with you one of the weekly discussions/exercises from my new Web-Based Program. This discussion is on the topic of Natural Eating. I’ve attached a copy of the Natural Eating handout as well and encourage you to make use of it!
If this article resonates with you and you’d like to experience a life free from your stressful relationship with food, I hope you’ll consider joining our web program, attending a workshop or taking part in some one-on-one counselling. You don’t have to continue to feel stuck and ruled by food one more day.
Many folks when they hear the term “Natural Eating” begin to imagine whole grains, vegetarianism or perhaps even a raw food diet. Something beyond wholesome, something restrictive, something granola-cruncher-esque.
Well, that’s not what we mean when we use that term. Natural Eating for us means simply eating in response to your body’s natural cues of hunger and fullness and also to its signals of what it specifically needs.
Yes, when you stop feeding or restricting your body from a purely reactive/emotional place, you find quite quickly that your body not only knows exactly how much it’s hungry for and when but it is also very clear, and able to communicate to you quite clearly, what it needs in order to feel its best.
It really is effortless to eat naturally, it’s the diet mentality that is the problem: The head space you’re in, the stories you tell yourself about what you’re “allowed” and what others will think, the stories about what you have to weigh or what you have to look like in order to relax your rigid all-or-nothing approach to food and start listening to your body.
Many clients have shared that they began our work together with the following story in their heads: “I’ll just get a little information now, then I’ll go and diet and lose the weight, and then I’ll come back and really start using these tools.”
Now the obvious problem with that is that they have been dieting in some form or restricting in some form or focusing on food as the problem in some form for years already – in some cases, decades! And yet, because of the all-or-nothing thinking, they can’t see that at the same time as they are reaching out for something completely new as a solution (our work together), they are telling themselves they can’t do it, can’t be successful, that they can’t really trust themselves and that the only real solution is to keep dieting – which they’ve been doing already in some form for many, many years.
Many times I’ve heard people say, when they begin to understand but don’t quite “get” how their diet mentality and misplaced efforts towards healing have undermined them, “But, if I stop dieting and do this Natural Eating thing, that would mean that all those years were a waste! I can’t do that!” “I’ve been taught by diets and society that I have to look a certain way, weigh a certain amount and that the only way to be that is to restrict, to focus on food. And even though that diet mentality hasn’t actually worked yet in any lasting way, I can’t possibly just trust my body – I can’t let go of some external guideline and just listen to my hunger and fullness cues!”
To any rational mind that makes no sense at all; to persist at something you now understand will never work only because you’ve been at it for so long???? ….but having been immersed in that diet mentality, all-or-nothing brain for many years myself, I understand it completely!
As much as those men and women understand intellectually that what they’ve been trying for so long can’t work/doesn’t work, they still, on some level, hope it can because they don’t know what else to do, and because they’ve been told by key people in their lives or by the diet industry that the problem is not the concept of restriction, it is them.
Therefore, they can’t really believe me. They can’t really trust that it’s that simple. They don’t believe that they can actually trust their bodies because of the diet mentality training they’ve received and the emphasis that has been placed on their weight and appearance as the key to their happiness and peace of mind.
But that’s the crux of the issue: The diet mentality you’ve been taught to believe in is the problem, not you! And as long as you keep putting any faith or trust in the diet mentality as having anything at all but suffering to offer you, you will only stay stuck. You have to begin to get that. As soon as you can allow for the possibility that that’s true, you are beginning to step free and you can be very quickly successful with this process of eating naturally and being a natural weight for your body effortlessly.
Explore the Natural Eating handout, print it out and post in on your fridge. Give yourself the gift of reinforcing these new ways of thinking and being around food a bit each day and you’ll be amazed how quickly you return to your natural state of being physically and mentally.
Have a fantastic week!
Whether you prefer one-on-one counselling (in-person, by phone, or email), our intensive and transformative workshops, the self-help approach with the book, or our Food is Not the Problem Online Membership Program, take action today to have a stress-free relationship with food. Sign up for our free newsletter today (see the left top side of your screen). Newsletter subscribers receive exclusive product discounts and are first in line to get on all the latest new at CEDRIC.
© Michelle Morand, 2010