I have just always liked food, even to the point of food addiction, I’d say. About six years ago when I changed to a whole, real food diet for gastrointestinal health issues, I saw the huge effects different foods had on me (and my brain). I promised myself that for the rest of my life I would keep eating whole, real food that I tolerated well, and I would stay away from processed foods and foods that inflamed my body.
I have failed at times in this, sometimes by conscious choice and other times by rash decisions. But I have always come back to where I need to be, and I want you to, too.
I don’t know what’s in your head. I don’t know the life experiences or the kind of parents you have had. I can’t help you.
But I do believe you can help yourself from the inside out. You really can. I genuinely hope that you succeed in changing any mindsets that keep you locked in place. Here are some questions to challenge your food and weight concerns, and also some encouragement for you today.
Lies We Tell Ourselves
“It’s too much to lose…”
“I am 50 pounds overweight. I’ve lost 8.1256, but I have 50 more to go. That overwhelms me because the number is so big….”
This is all fairly objective information which is easily verifiable by measurements and a BMI chart, except for the “number is so big” part. Is it “so big?”
If I told you that you had to pick up 50 sticks in the yard, would that be scary? Or that you had to go to the store 50 times this week? Or find 50 things in your house that you HAD to get rid of? It would be hard, but I know you could do it.
“So big” is one pound at a time. When you start thinking about 100 pounds or eating this way for forever, that’s when it becomes SO BIG. Too big! Focus on today. Focus on this meal. Focus on this bite. Focus on the little, and the “so big” becomes reality over time, in small pieces.
“I’m doubtful I can do it because food is too delicious…”
Is the food too delicious? Then, and I’m not kidding, choose blander, whole, real foods. (First and foremost, your diet needs to be mostly whole, real foods anyhow. If it’s not, you need to start there.)
But if you’re still overweight on real, whole foods, then it’s time to make it even more whole and more real. For example, I consider roasted and salted nuts as real food—BUT plain, raw nuts are even “more real.” And boy do I eat a heck of a lot less of them!
I consider homemade mashed potatoes as real food, but I eat a lot more of those than I do plain baked potatoes with just salt and pepper.
You have to eat. But if you overeat, you may need to set boundaries around the flavor of your food.
“I have too much stress in my life…”
Do you have too much stress in your life? Why? Do you need to let go of negative relationships? Do you need to change the dance of a negative relationship to empower yourself? Do you need to back out of commitments you promised you’d do? Do you need to change jobs? Do you need to move?
Most of my stress comes from how I think about things and also taking on too much. Maybe if I can change how I think about things, I can change how I think about and treat food. Maybe if I don’t take on too much, I won’t need to self-medicate my stress with food.
“I think I am too weak…”
Do you think you’re weak? Why? Do you have low self-esteem? Do you have too much self-doubt? Are you too perfectionistic and you can’t live up to your standards so you don’t try? Are you in a relationship which berates you daily?
Can you think of times and areas you are strong in? If so, you’re not weak, you are weak in specific areas and just need some work in those.
I repeat: You are not weak. You have weak areas that, once you identify and choose to deal with, you really can reconstruct with the rebar of change, self-acceptance, and love.
You are strong. Look for your strengths and use them to administer to your weaknesses, and you will see your food life change.
Challenges We Face
“I don’t like to prepare food or cook…”
Would it help to prepare food with a friend? Could you eat more raw food? If you lost weight, would it be easier to cook because your knees would feel better? If you’re eating real, whole foods right for you, would you have more energy? Would one of your children who likes to cook be willing to make things you can eat if you explain to them you need some help losing weight for good?
You can navigate around this! Find a way! Talk it out with a trusted friend or family member!
“It irritates my husband (or wife) that I eat this way and won’t eat or drink with him (or her) and our friends…”
Are you neglecting yourself and your own needs in your marriage and food is simply another expression of that? Could you find something to share with your spouse, like a steak or a glass of dry, red wine that wouldn’t tip your eating over the cliff? Are you being too condescending towards your husband or wife with regards to his or her eating habits? Could you be a little less rigid and still succeed?
Relationships are the best, but only if you bring your whole self and your best self to the table.
These are just a few thoughts. Maybe you have more! Maybe you can share some inspiration for others in the comment box! It’s Christmas time, and this is probably the biggest six-week food challenge of the year! Let’s support one another. Even if you don’t like people. 😉
Don’t spend too much. Don’t eat too much. Don’t take on too much. And let your emotional baggage go.