7 ROUTES TO ENDING ADDICTIVE EATING PATTERNS
Addictive or compulsive eating is a complex issue with many factors effecting development and recovery. In many cases the usual interventions actually make the problem worse. Quick fixes will not work but there are many ways to address and improve our condition.
“What is necessary to change a person is to change their awareness of herself."
Abraham H. Maslow
We need to move from our resistance of what is to complete recognition and awareness of our experience with compulsive eating and every other experience, physical, emotional, mental and psychological.
Action: Write a history of your relationship to food and eating including: the development of the problem with all the “clues” that something was not right, the emotional, physical, social, mental and spiritual distress that food, eating and body issues have caused and all the unsuccessful interventions you have tried.
“We are already experts at tension, but we can develop a talent for ease”
Relaxation of the body changes the chemical experience in every cell, moderates emotions and diminishes obsessive thinking.
Action: Set a regular time to do relaxation practice using the WiseHeart Weight Mastery Morning & Evening Practices CD ( http://www.wiseheartweightmastery.com/page/922591) or any guided relaxation practice. As you practice, your mind will quiet more quickly and the level of tension in your physical body will gradually decrease, both in stressful situations and in general circumstances
“We cannot be open to what we may be given, until we release what we have”.
Releasing our resentments of ourselves and others, demands for a quick fix for our eating and other problems, of just our old ways of thinking and acting in life are important to initiate the deep change required to overcome addictive eating patterns.
Action: Write out your resentments, secrets, resistances to change, frustrations and fears about life, behavior patterns and personality traits that have undermined your life and consider sharing these with another person, a therapist, spiritual person or 12 step sponsor or anyone else you could see yourself releasing all this information to.
“The only thing that really feeds us is meaningful connections”.
The hunger to connect deeply with ourselves, others and something greater cannot be denied, but can be distorted and distrusted. There is often a long road of cautious exploration to rehabilitate this natural inclination.
Action: Create support, professional, self help, spiritual, colleagues, companions or any other group of people you can find common positive interaction with. Isolation is a major factor in relapsing and increasing intensity with addictive eating patterns. One of the very few facts in obesity reduction research is that people that stay well, stay connected.
“We live out our lives according to the patterns we design”
Once old patterns are recognized and interrupted we must fill that space with consciously chosen and practiced ways of living or the pull to those old patterns becomes irresistible. From the cellular level to the thoughts we think we must creatively craft our greatest desires and make every effort live them out.
Action: Write out one simple change in your eating patterns that would help you feel much better. It might be including a serving a vegetable, cutting out one type of food or a specific change in your pattern of eating, perhaps eating breakfast. Focus on changing that one small pattern not trying to change your whole life at once.
“People who consider themselves victims of their circumstances will always remain victims unless they develop a greater vision for their lives.
Working on removing our old visions of ourselves and our lives and creating new ones is just as important as any concrete material steps we may ever take to change our addictive eating habits. The vision we hold ultimately determines whether we will persist with behavior change.
Action: While relaxing imagine yourself as you would be at your healthiest. Imagine thoroughly, seeing yourself at ease with food, happy in your life, noticing what you would think and say, even what would challenge and scare you and how you would successfully deal with that. Often this makes us emotionally distressed, but keep up the work, resolutely returning to the vision of yourself being strong and well.
“We are what we repeatedly do.”
Doing something once is interesting, doing it repeatedly is mastery. Repetition is a key to mastery. Only when we have repeated our wellness behaviors as many times as we have repeated our illness behaviors can we really tell if they are working for us.
Action: Make a commitment to make 1 small change for 40 days in a row. Use a small change, this is to practice persistence not alter your world just yet. If you miss a day start again. When that change becomes routine, pick another. Keep them small, relevant and repeatable.
Any one of these routes can move you forward on your journey to freedom from compulsive eating. Together they form a solid foundation for ongoing wellness and exponentially increases your chances of ending your addictive eating patterns forever.
There is freedom from the food fix – Easy does it, but do it!