A lot of my clients come to me fed up with food.
They are done with dieting, hate their bodies, and really just want to lose weight. Often times the biggest hurdle for them is that they just can’t seem to actually stick to the diets. Self-sabotage becomes a frequent topic of conversation. Their emails are usually laced with statements such as:
There is just something wrong with me.
I fell off track again.
I couldn’t control myself.
I feel guilty.
Often times it seems that food and guilt go hand in hand. Early on we often teach ourselves to take an all-or-nothing approach to nutrition. For me the choice was clear, I could either diet and get skinny, or eat whatever I wanted and gain weight. So I stuck with my diets for as long as I could until the rails started to fall off. First would come the intense craving for something I couldn’t have. I’d fight it for days, yet it was all I could think about. When I finally gave in, it was often in that all-or-nothing approach. The typical “I’ll start tomorrow” statement comes to mind.
The problem was when I started fresh the next day, I was miserable. I felt restricted, guilty, and out of control all over again. I wanted sweets and didn’t know why. I was frustrated with my constant hunger, yet wanted nothing more than to simply eat salad all day long. Then the cycle continued…
Recently a client of mine was sharing her struggles with emotional eating. She said she had experiences where she was indeed able to mindfully indulge; yet the obsessive binges still happened, and were an entirely different beast to tackle. When I asked how often she had those mindfully indulgent experiences, she hesitated. Truth was mindfully “treating” herself, happened few and far between.
What if instead of that once a month obsessive binge you were able to mindfully, and enjoyably experience a dessert three times a week? Free of guilt, and free of emotion? What happens might surprise you. The more you give yourself full permission to enjoy the foods you crave, the less likely you are to obsess over them. The less structure we place on our diets, the less likely we are to break away from it. Tweet it!
So next time you hesitate over whether you want that cookie I want you to really think about it. Will you avoid it with misery and obsess until you eventually binge on a dozen cookies, or will you stop and enjoy the one delicious cookie, mindfully, and without distractions, and then be able to move on!
Now it’s your turn…
Do you take an “all or nothing” approach to your food? What are you going to do to break that?
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