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 VI in our Diet Mentality series (visit The CEDRIC Centre blog for immediate access to all articles in this series).
If you’re new to our community, welcome!
You’ll fit right in here if you are an emotional eater, find that you binge, restrict, or struggle with anorexia, bulimia or some other stressful way of relating to food and want to learn how to stop.
All righty! In the past few weeks we’ve covered:
- The perils of both just arbitrarily restricting the amount of food you’re “allowed” to have regardless of your true hunger levels; and
- Of feeling obligated to eat what is placed in front of you – whether or not you like it and whether or not it is too much.
- We’ve also addressed the stress of labeling foods as good/bad legal/illegal and the nasty consequences of doing so.
- And we’ve talked about what happens when we get stuck in rules about when we can eat rather than just listening to our body’s natural cues of hunger and fullness.
- My last article discussed the biggie of engaging in all or nothing thinking regarding food and meals.
This week we’re going to explore the topic you love to hate: Your weight!
In the diet mentality perspective on life your weight is the central focus of your life.
You base decisions about what you can have, do and be on how much weight you have lost or gained.
Therefore, if you have gained a bit you feel deserving of punishment and will attempt to restrict yourself or isolate yourself.
If you have lost weight you feel more deserving of “treats” and feel more positive self-regard.
The truth is, once your self-esteem becomes attached to a number on a scale or a particular pant size you’re in big trouble. This is because now you’re attaching all your worth to one thing which makes any human obsessed about that one thing, which means we get in there and micro-manage that one thing and pretty soon we forget how to just be normal and natural and let our body do what it naturally does (eat when hungry, stop when full and be a natural healthy weight without effort).
For this week’s article I thought a wee review (intro to you newcomers) of a basic principle on how to overcome an eating disorder would be in order. In my own healing journey, the more I was reminded of this basic premise, the faster things went and the easier life became. I see this phenomenon repeating with my individual clients as well, so here goes.
Simply put, if you’re restricting, overeating, purging, hating your body (no matter whether you’re truly overweight or underweight), feeling depressed, feeling anxious, drinking often, taking drugs, numbing out regularly to the T.V., or spending money you don’t really have on stuff you don’t really need, you are using a coping strategy.