Thursday, April 17, 2008

Changing Beliefs about Eating

I found a great web site today that gave me a great deal of insight into learning to change our relationship with food. Although I have now reached a healthy weight, I am still finding it a challenge learning how to trust myself with food and with eating. The web site, although it is aimed at bulimics and anorexics, has a lot of wisdom to offer those of us who have been emotional over-eaters. Link. One of the recommendations from that site was for us to examine what beliefs we hold about eating and about food that are negative beliefs that hold us back from trusting ourselves with food. Once we understand what those beliefs are, we can then "reframe" them into something positive that will assist us in changing our thought patterns and behavior. These are some of the beliefs that I have held, and how I would like to change them.

  1. I always want to overeat. Change to: I eat the right amount of food to satisfy my hunger.
  2. I like to get really full when I eat. Change to: I enjoy a comfortable feeling of satisfaction with the amount of food I eat.
  3. I am afraid I will be unable to maintain a healthy weight. Change to: I easily and effortlessly maintain a healthy weight.
  4. I love food more than I love anything else. Change to: My life is big and full and food is just one part of it.
  5. If I get hungry, I'll starve. Change to: When I'm hungry, I can eat the right amount of food to feel satisfied.
  6. I think about food all the time. Change to: I stop thinking about food when I'm not hungry.
  7. If I let myself eat the amount of food I want, I won't be able to stop myself from overeating. Change to: I pay attention to when I am full and satisfied and easily stop myself at the right point.
  8. I can't trust myself around food. Change to: I implicitly trust my body to inform me when I am full and satisfied with the amount of food I eat.
  9. If I eat foods that I really love, I'll never stop eating them. Change to: By giving myself permission to eat the foods I love, I am able to eat them in the proper portions.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Emotions Stored in Fat?

Along my weight loss path, one of the primary issues I have dealt with has been how to work with my emotions without turning to food. In addition, especially at the beginning of the process, I ran into quite a few issues, such as neck and back spasms that had no physical cause, but were obviously emotional in nature, stemming from anxiety and fear. All along, I have thought that as I lost weight, I also released a lot of the emotions I was feeling at the time I originally created the fat cells (or stored energy in them, however you wish to describe it). In other words, that we store our emotions in our fat. I’ve spoken to other people who have lost a lot of weight and gotten mixed reviews of this theory. From a scientific perspective, this would not seem to make any sense. However, for me on an emotional and spiritual level, it really resonates. I have emotions and memories being released that very much relate to what I was going through around the last time I was at the same weight. I feel fortunate in that I have a very good support system, a loving husband and good friends, because learning to find other outlets for my emotional eating has been challenging.

Differentiating between emotional hunger and real hunger is something I always have to evaluate, not to mention figuring out the third type of hunger I have - mouth hunger, that is, the true pleasure I get from the taste of good food. Not everyone feels this - my husband doesn't really, he just eats to stoke the fire.