Posts Tagged diet mentality
This is Part VII of The Diet Mentality Series, (visit The CEDRIC Centre Blog
for immediate access to all articles in this series).
Welcome new members of our community! You’ll fit right in here if you are an emotional eater, binge, restrict, or struggle with anorexia, bulimia or some other stressful way of relating to food and want to learn how to stop.
Over the past 2 months now we’ve been exploring in detail each of the key aspects of thinking and behaving that make up what we at CEDRIC call The Diet Mentality.
Last week we covered the topic of weight and how our attachment to a certain size or weight impacts us. I asked you to contemplate a brief series of questions to do your own inner exploration of this topic and from the feedback I received you learned a lot! Good on ya!
This week we are going to begin a little exploration on another of your favorite diet mentality topics: Exercise! Don’t ya just love it!!!
One aspect of The Diet Mentality that you must be on the lookout for in order to step free of that old way of thinking and step into an effortless relationship with food and a natural weight for your body without dieting is the pattern of restricting the amount of food that you are ‘allowed’ to have.
In a rational, functional relationship with food, what you are physically hungry for is what you are ‘allowed’ to have. And the only one who ‘allows’ you is you. Not the other people you’re eating with; Not Jenny Craig; Not Dr. Bernstein; You!
Your primary responsibility where food is concerned is to wait until you are hungry to eat something. Your next responsibility is to learn to stay present while eating and to identify and listen to the cues of comfortable fullness you are eating naturally. You are not responsible to buy into anyone else’s ideas of what you should have or how much.
Have you ever wondered why you, or some of the people you care about, seem to feel compelled to do things that they say they don’t want to? Do you ever find yourself doing things like overeating, or calorie-counting/dieting, or drinking a bit too much, or spending a bit too much, or procrastinating on things, or isolating rather than socializing? Well if you’d like to finally understand what’s really going on behind the scenes (in your head!) to make you behave in ways you know aren’t good for you or that will ultimately cause you stress, read on.
In order for you to completely understand why you do what you do and what you can do to begin to think, and therefore, behave, differently, I’ve put together a kind of step-by-step flow of logic that will help your brain shift out of confused, stuck thinking and into rational, reasonable thoughts that will influence you to behave in ways that will enhance all aspects of your life. ’Cause, let’s face it, you know that some of the things you do aren’t the best choices, you may even have tried to stop or cut back or make some big lifestyle changes. But if you haven’t understood what’s really driving you to do those things in the first place, you can’t be successful for long, and instead will likely feel more stuck and hopeless rather than inspired and confident.
If you’re at all a believer in the concept that your thoughts create your reality, the following logic flow will help you to feel more solid and grounded in clear thinking. This means you will be confidently more present in the world and able to enjoy your food, drink, exercise, free time, and socializing more while being less likely to use any of those substances and behaviours to cope with stress or emotions such as anxiety, anger, insecurity or sadness.
The following is a list of basic premises you must accept in order to heal from any stressful patterns of thinking and behaving and live life to the fullest. I encourage you to read this over on a daily basis for a week and you’ll be amazed at the shifts that occur in your relationship with yourself and with others, with little or no effort on your part.
This week I’m sharing a brief but invaluable tool for any of you who would like to be able to trust yourself to be around any food, in any quantity, any time. Sound good?
If you follow these steps, you will quickly be able to identify when you’re using food to cope vs. when you are just confused about what to eat and how much, and getting anxious because of that.
If you’re at a point in your use of the core CEDRIC Method tools where you are able to manage your stress in rational, life-enhancing ways, you’ll also be able, in a 2-3 weeks, to trust your body to know what and how much it needs, and as a result, you’ll feel much more peaceful and at ease in your body and around food.
Okay folks, we’re coming to the end of this series of Natural Eating Q&A articles and today I want to focus on releasing all or nothing thoughts.
This week, we have a little twist on the theme, with a specific focus on how our learned helplessness and the irrational, all-or-nothing thinking that’s at the root of it, makes this process of recovery so much harder and longer than it has to be. In fact, if you put even a few minutes of effort a day into catching the all-or-nothing stories we’ll be reviewing over the next few weeks, and responding as I suggest, you will see an immediate – I mean immediate – shift in your anxiety level and in your focus on food and use of food to cope. Not only that, but those stories just won’t come up anymore. You’ll never have to hear them again!
So! 2 weeks ago we looked at The Diet Mentality in detail. Last week, we looked at the definition and characteristics of Natural Eating. This week, I’m going to be brief. Really, I am!
What happened with your answers to the questions about your goals and your definitions of success from last week? Did you take the time to answer those questions and really get clear on what you would consider a successful outcome of our work together? I hope so.
Well hullooooo out there! It’s week 2 of our Natural Eating series and about time we fully looked at natural eating defined. Last week, we explored the antithesis or maybe we could even say, “the nemesis” of Natural eating…..(insert ominous theme music here….): The Diet Mentality. This nasty way of thinking turns you against your body and against yourself, and sets you on a vicious cycle of diminished self-esteem and increased self-harm and loathing. It’s got to go people!! But if you’re reading this then you’re already on it!
Natural Eating is a term which describes the simple and easy relationship with food. You eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. It’s that simple. This is the basis for a natural relationship with food. Most natural eaters feel drawn to make honouring choices, choices that are in alignment with their overall life goals and passions. But whatever they choose to eat, natural eaters do not think about it much at all. They certainly do not carry guilt and shame, not do they fear the judgment of others around what they have eaten or what they would like to eat.
Those of us fueled by the Diet Mentality are so busy fretting and worrying over what to eat and how much, and letting those decisions be dictated by external forces, that it really is amazing to us to see someone who knows within themselves when they’re hungry and when they’ve had enough. But we can learn to be like them! We can learn to tune into the signals from our body about its level of hunger and fullness and we can come to a place of truly respecting ourselves so well that we won’t eat a lot of foods which make us feel sluggish, bloated, or headachy.
Certain foods which you have labeled as “bad” become loaded with energy and judgement. This judgement is passed on to you for eating these foods or for even thinking about eating them. While you gnaw on a carrot, you may judge or envy others for eating certain foods that are on your “restricted” list. You may feel as though everyone is watching you, watching what you order or noticing the more-than-ample portion. Eating in restaurants can be torture for someone who has rampant Diet Mentality. Their worth is completely wrapped up in their body and their relationship with food, and they believe that everyone else thinks the same of them. Therefore, everyone must be watching what they have ordered and judging it in the same way they are judging themselves. This is not so.
You may have noticed when you’re eating with friends and family, you can’t even really be present, pay attention to what they’re saying, or really enjoy their company because you are so focussed on food and your body. This is just a coping strategy, trying to draw your attention to the unmet needs for security and acceptance in that moment, which your Diet Mentality only serves to exacerbate.