A Snapshot of Your Daily Life (And What to do to Make it Better)
We’ve all been there! You wake up feeling that same old anxiety begin to wash over you. Then you become conscious of your thoughts and they’re a churning blend of everything you need to do that day, all that you didn’t do (or didn’t do right) yesterday, and of food and of your body.
Even if you had a ‘good’ day yesterday and ate what you were ‘supposed’ to, that voice in your head is telling you: “You’re still not there yet! You’d better not screw up today!” And even if you somehow managed to get ‘there’ and you’re the weight and body size you’ve always told yourself you’re supposed to be, because you got there through restriction and behaviours that are neither life-enhancing nor sustainable, that voice in the back of your head is saying “It won’t last!”
And you haven’t even made it out of bed yet.
This is Part II in our Diet Mentality series. If you’re new to our community you can just start here or you can hop back two weeks to the discussion of The Diet Mentality and statistics and then look at last week’s key Diet Mentality point to make sure you’re up to speed. Either approach will be helpful. Just do what you can.
Another key indicator that you’ve got some Diet Mentality going on is if you feel obligated to eat what is placed in front of you – whether or not you like it and whether or not it is too much.
This might not seem like it has anything at all to do with dieting. But it has everything to do with the co-dependent mindset and all or nothing thinking that under pin The Diet Mentality.
You see, if you are so concerned with what other people think or what they would feel that you would compromise your body’s needs and not be authentic about what you like or what you need it is highly likely that you do this in other areas of your life too.
This is very dangerous as this way of being in the world creates great anxiety and insecurity because you really don’t trust yourself to take care of yourself and put your own needs first. This is, ironically, often why we start dieting, binging, purging or engaging in full blown eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder in the first place.
When I think back on the incredible insecurity and self-consciousness I used to feel just leaving my house in the morning, I think it’s truly remarkable that I was able to take part in classes such as yoga and meditation and personal growth workshops, etc., before my recovery from binge eating and exercise bulimia.
There was something in me that knew, as there clearly is in you if you are reading this, that there had to be some way for me to be in the world without feeling so bloody small and anxious all the time. I mean, others could do it. Or at least it seemed like they could. So maybe, just maybe, I could too. And so the 20-year-old me existed with fingers crossed; breath held; hoping for the best but fearing the worst, sheepishly inching forward. Ahhh, but at least I was moving forward!
Here’s a quick story about All-or-Nothing Thinking. So today, I was leisurely driving along on my way to an appointment, having left myself ample time to get from point A to point B. I had packed a lunch to take with me – a whole, skinless chicken breast that I had cooked the night before in garlic and sesame oil, (naturally making a few extra than I needed last night so my husband and I would have an easy, healthy lunch prepared); a container of fresh strawberries, washed, (I rinsed them well before I left the office this afternoon); an avocado; an apple and banana. Noticing I was feeling peckish and that my appointment was 90 minutes long, decided to eat something. I had one hand on the wheel and one hand on a chicken breast as I munched happily, listening to my favourite pop tunes playlist, which, at that point was serenading me with some vintage Fleetwood Mac, and enjoying more of that fabulous sun we’ve been having.
This article is part of a series: Relationships 101: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.
Oh yeah!!! We’re back with Week 5 of Relationships 101: Seeking to Understand Relationships
This series is my gift to you because I want you to have the greatest happiness and peace you possibly can in all your relationships. If you read and re-read this series until you really get it, and practice these key tools, you will find that all your connections get simpler, easier, deeper and more pleasurable for you and almost all of that happens without you having to have any “big” conversations and confrontations.
This week’s article and homework assignment (should you choose to explore it) will prove this, and you’ll be so amazed at how easy and safe relating to others can be. Oh yeah!!!
This week’s article “Seeking to understand” could just as aptly be called: “Allowing for the possibility that you have misunderstood someone.”
Last week I gave you a little task designed to help you begin to quickly get grounded in your right to feel and think as you do and to ask for what you need without guilt, shame, or insecurity and become self confident.
I’ll recap the core message, since I know it’s been a busy 7 days, and some of you may have forgotten, or not have yet got around to reading last week’s article, The Fastest Path to Self-Confidence.
The short version: If you’re using food to cope, you’re out of touch with reality.
There, that about sums it up!
Have a great week.
Just joshin’! There’s more.
Let me fill that statement above out a bit for you and then let’s move on to answering the question: “What can I do to feel more confident in my life as quickly as humanly possible, and in so doing, stop feeling so overwhelmed that I harm myself with binging, purging or restricting?”
Feelings are signals from your body about what you need or want. They are not good or bad, right or wrong. They just are. You have a need which triggers a thought, and immediately a feeling arises. A spiritual leader by the name of Ramana, refers to this pattern as “thought/feeling bundles”. The thoughts arise from the sense of an unmet need, and immediately, with seemingly no space in between, a feeling is elicited, and to the extent that we are conscious of them, the feeling is felt!
It is practically impossible to have a thought without a feeling attached to it. And it is not necessary to the healing process to try to separate them. What is important is that we begin to trust – to know on a gut level – that what we are feeling has arisen from a thought which was triggered by a need. That’s all. When we absolutely know this, we no longer spin our wheels and harm ourselves by judging the feeling. Instead, we just ask ourselves “What need do I have that is unmet right now, and what can I do about it?”
For this week’s article I am responding to a question from a reader, Anna, who, after reading last week’s article, Back to Basics, wanted some more specific information on how to overcome nighttime binging.
“I get an overwhelming sense that I need to eat at bedtime. It is almost like an obsession. I have not figured out what thought is triggering this yet. (At other times of the day it seems easier to figure out the thoughts that precede such events.) If I assume it is really hunger and decide to have something small, I am right into a binge and cannot stop with a reasonable amount. Any ideas?”
Ever feel afraid to make mistakes? You can’t expect yourself to do something perfectly the first time around. In fact, you won’t be perfect (i.e. never make mistakes) right out of the gate (or ever for that matter). If you expect that or believe that there are others who are able to do that, you will sabotage yourself and you will never move forward. If you carry the belief that you have to be perfect and that if you can’t be perfect and guarantee that you’ll not make a mistake you’re not even going to bother trying something, not only are you going to experience a very stifled and rigid existence but you’ll probably feel anxious and on the verge of a breakdown most of the time. That kind of thinking is supreme all-or-nothing thinking and it is what is keeping you stuck in all areas of your life, guaranteed.
If you use food to cope, you likely had a primary caregiver or mentor in your life who did not allow mistakes, someone who shamed, blamed, criticized or judged you for not doing something perfectly – or rather the way they thought it should be done.