Thank you for sharing your insights and amazing experience. What I found especially helpful in what you shared is that there was no “magic” change that helped you. What helped you and has been helping you is perseverance, patience and repetition with Gillian’s concepts.
This was so helpful for me to read because even though I know better, there is still part of me that is searching/hoping (actively or not) for a “magic quick fix” to this problem. Even if I don’t act on it, I think to some degree I will default to this way of thinking.
I have experienced your Vacation Mode Eating Experience (love the phrase!) but it comes in the form of excitement when my husband takes the kids upstairs for bath time after dinner. My brain will say, “Yippee! Now you are alone and can reward yourself! Let’s go to the snack cabinet and find something naughty and delicious to unwind with…and you can sneak eat it which will give you the thrill that you are looking for!”
However, after staying with this feeling and not acting on it, I can see that what I really want is to relax. But the association is still there with the events; the cue for this pattern is that once they leave and go upstairs to start the bedtime routine, my brain sees this as an “exciting opportunity” to eat highly rewarding foods as a “treat” for my long day…and searching for the food in the snack cabinet is “thrilling” and I think I am “getting away with something”. I should change my name for this to Bath Time Mode Sneak Eating Experience…ha ha ha.
The good news is that I rarely act on this anymore but the cues/triggers are still there. Sometimes I feel “caught off guard” by my AD when these feelings surface, but just like you Anne Marie I have been practicing techniques to stay with my AD and let is pass, and it does! And now, when my husband rounds up the kids for bath time, I can prepare myself for the feelings and work through them, reminding myself that this is what I really want: to feel in control and lessen the grip of AD in my life.
Yesterday, I too, had a huge victory. We were celebrating my niece’s birthday and I had every intention to NOT eat the ice cream cake because I wanted to wake up feeling energized and with a stable mood. I had very little conflict about this decision because I was able to stay with myself and remember my motivations. Happy to report that I woke up feeling great physically and mentally as well as so proud!
Here’s to a great week to everyone and THANK YOU Anne Marie for sharing your insights and experiences. I need to be reminded of what really works so that I can focus my precious energy on real solutions!