The easiest way to let go of self-judgement and set about the sometimes challenging but also fun and exciting experience of truly living life to the fullest, is remind yourself daily of the following premises until they simply become the way you live your life; no reminder necessary.
- The truth of human nature is that there is always a valid reason for why we feel and behave as we do.
- Your feelings are always perfectly appropriate for what you are telling yourself about the situation or person that seems to be triggering them.
- Your behaviours are always just a reaction to what you’re feeling, which, as I’ve said above, is just your natural response to what you are thinking/how you are perceiving the situation at hand.
- Therefore, it makes no sense whatsoever to judge or shame yourself for how you feel or what you do.
- What does make sense however is to learn:
a) To immediately identify what you’re thinking (ie. what’s triggering you to feel and behave as you are) and then;
b) How to quickly assess whether your perception is accurate or not, or whether you need more information to decide.
This is Part V 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 last week we 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.
Whew! We’ve covered a lot already and we’re only about half-way through the key characteristics of The Diet Mentality. No wonder it’s such a quagmire and that we need guidance and support to find our way out! That’s what my team and I are here for. So read on and take another step toward the light.
This week’s Diet Mentality trait is a BIGGY!
You engage in all or nothing thinking regarding food and meals. Meaning:
You set strict goals and guidelines for yourself and if you waver from them at all or miss a step/day/meal you feel like a failure and make harsh judgements about your lack of willpower and inability to follow a plan. (more…)
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.
Last week we had a great exchange on the web-based program. Actually, we have a lot of those. It’s always such an incredibly open, respectful environment for sharing and learning. But this one in particular mirrored a recent article in which I discussed how to be okay with and taking care of yourself when you know others are upset with you. So I thought I’d share an excerpt of our dialogue here to help you to truly step free of the self-compromise and self-judgement that keeps you using food to cope.
The main story that was causing this individual such stress was this one:
“I am telling myself that it is impossible to make a decision which is honouring to my values AND guaranteed not to hurt others. (To, me that seems true.)”
My response was something like this: