Building trust

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    • #3338
      Elena
      Participant

      Dear Gillian,

      i love the journey and creating a new mindset!

      I have some difficulties in believing what i am saying to myself sometimes when it comes to food decisions. I think i am honestly addicted to a special type of chocolate ( 300g of Oreo-Milka) The last 6 years i am always binging on the same thing.

      I am telling myself that i can do it anytime, in any quantity and in every moment. It is my choice. I wrote a hundred reasons down why i hate doing it and that the outcome is always a nightmare.
      But these words are actually not feeling true, more like a fake. It feels like i am trying to convince myself, just pretending that i am free to do it. But when the desire comes the feeling to do it is soo strong and a part of me wants to eat it so much that i am getting angry trying to talk it out of my mind. On my way to the shop i am talking to myself..you can do it, its your choice..remember how you feel, how you sleep, how low your confidence will be..i am afraid the urge to do it will always stay that strong because my brain is so used to it? I know that the brain can change as you mentioned but it feels like impossible to agree in that moment. If i am not eating it, something in me gets unhappy, thinking its not fair and so on but after eating it there was not a single time where i was okay with it..It is so hard for me to imagine that my genuine freedom of choice can resist this strong wanting. I want to cut i completely out of my life but on the other hand i feel like i am restricting myself over and over again.

    • #3339
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Hi Elena – I love this question, and thanks for posting. You are really getting to the heart of the issue here, and I hope it’s helpful for others who read this. Here are some of my thoughts:

      • You say you just pretend to be free and try to prove your lack of free choice by saying the desire is too strong. But this doesn’t follow; clearly you are free to do what this strong desire tells you to do – and that’s the point. You are free to overeat.

      • One thing I know for sure is that denying the freedom to overeat makes the desire stronger. I wonder if you are going through each part of the “Working Through” technique? Do you focus on the sensations and can you describe them in a reply to this post?

      • Whenever you don’t satisfy this desire, and you feel unhappy and that it’s not fair, this is a big opportunity for you to change your mindset. It’s crucial that you take a stand on those feelings, acknowledge that there’s nothing unfair here because you freely chose not to eat the chocolate on this occasion – and you can change that free choice at any time.

      • It’s not possible to cut it out completely from your life because it’s not possible to make choices about this for the future. You can only make choices in the present time and hope (plan, intend) that they add up to something in time. Even thinking that you could cut it out completely will add to your sense of not having freedom of choice about this and the sense that you’re restricting yourself.

      I’ll be talking more about this in the Week 4 Webinar on Sunday, and meanwhile it will help you to do the exercise at the end of Week 3, “Exploring Freedom”.

      Let me know if you’ve got questions about this – and everyone is more than welcome to join in with any thread to ask or comment!

    • #3342
      Elena
      Participant

      Dear Gillian,

      thanks a lot for your answer! I was reading it several times today and i kind of felt a feeling of relief when you mentioned again that i can only make the choices in that moment and my sense of freedom to choose increased straight away. I just realised how often during my day i am trying to say no to things before the situation comes up. Restriction on many thing.

      It is actually very difficult for me to explain the sensation that comes with it.The thought how delicious and tasty the first bites of the chocolate will be keeps me wanting it so much ( my cue i guess). And that is the moment my inner fight/conversation starts. I get nervous, my body feels restless and it takes me two minutes to leave the appartment and stop caring what my mind is saying all the time..( i should not do it, its gonna be a nightmare the whole next day, you need to resist it) .
      While i am bying it i am already thinking how to stop it and that i have to find a way out of it.SO actually most of the time i feel sad but in that moment for the first bite its the best feeling.
      If i don´t do it i noticed such a rebellion in me that i am gonna go the next two days in a role bying the chocolate and even sometimes more. SO i am kind of afraid to resist. It does not feel like freedom of choice so far because the wanting feels incredible true in that moment, so that not doing it would be the prohibtion AND i am left with a very strong feeling of unfairness.

      But the more i am listening to the videos the more i understand my pattern and what really kicks in for me is that i like the idea of deciding only in that moment.

      I am curious ..isn´t it frightening not to know how i will decide in that moment? I feel like i need to set these restrictions in order to not do it but i feel your words a totally right
      So are you not afraid of a cravings at all? Because you know that you can always do it? And are you still experience sometimes very strong cravings or are they also going to be less intense?

      Very fascinating for me!!!!

    • #3345
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      More than anything else, Elena, the shift in mindset that will make the biggest difference for you is around freedom of choice. As you say, “often during my day I am trying to say no to things before the situation comes up. Restriction on many things.” And you feel relief with the thought that your choices are always open to you in the future. This is very good; it is the light at the end of your tunnel.

      Your description of the sensations of desire are nothing other than symptoms of your denial of choice: inner fight, nervous, restless, rebellion, unfairness. It would be good for you to continue to look for the sensations of desire, rather than your prohibitive reactions to it. It may take a while for you to grasp this.

      It’s also worth noticing that your restrictive/prohibitive mindset around food is not confined to this particular problem with overeating this chocolate. The image I get is that you prohibit (successfully) all day and maybe for a few days, and then go into rebellion with this particular item. Yes?

      Yes, it is frightening to open up to a genuine freedom of choice, but only if you are unable to manage desire. And you find it tough to manage desire when you don’t feel free to overeat. It’s a vicious circle 🙁

    • #3354
      Elena
      Participant

      Dear Gillian,

      it feels like i am coming closer to some fundamental things/thoughts i want to change and see what will happen.

      Today i went to the city and i had a great dinner with friends. I choosed my food due to the question how i will feel afterwards and tomorrow morning. That is a very great question and makes life easier.
      After that i went home seeing a delicious ice- cream palor.
      And while i was walking closer to it, i did not feel any wanting of going inside. But then i was thinking: Even if i want to have ice cream now, would i ever eat it without regretting it? My choices is always no anyways, i am never okay with eating it and that created a small craving. IS that the perfectionism you are talking about?

    • #3357
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Yes, Elena, it looks like that’s an example of abstinent/perfect creating a rebellious craving. Great for you to notice that. I’ll be talking about that in Session 6 and about how to become a bit less perfect without going too crazy with it. It will be best to cover other things first so that you are able to apply that when we get to it.

    • #3371
      Elena
      Participant

      Dear Gillian,

      i made a great experience yesterday. The last few years i never ate less than 300g of chocolate at once. Yesterday i really wanted to go and get one but before i went i also wanted to calm down. So i listend to the mp3, reminding myself of choice and especially the outcomes of doing it. So for the first time i went and bought a 100g one. Until that everything was fine and i felt kind of proud. But then i tried to stick to my plan to only eat the half of it. I couldn´t so i ended up eating the whole one. Still much better than 300g but i was wondering..why was i not able to stick to my plan? I felt proud and guilty..now next morning i noticed that i did not sleep well and that i am afraid that i will not stick to my plan next time again.

      I have watched the last videos already 4 times, they are incredible helpful to me !!!!

    • #3373
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Wonderful. Thanks for posting your breakthrough, Elena. You see why I recommend making your choices at the shops whenever you can do that. It’s much more difficult to leave something like that uneaten when it’s in your home. And, I understand there may not be a 50g version. But don’t underestimate, this is a big leap forward for you. Be careful not to feel ‘locked in’ to the 100g now!

      As for the poor sleep, I wonder if you have been eating this 300g chocolate every single day? For ever? On holiday for example? Are you never away somewhere where it isn’t available or you simply don’t think about it? I ask to see how much of your not sleeping is to do with the chocolate and how much your attitude.

    • #3378
      Elena
      Participant

      Good Morning,

      i actually do not know, i guess it is both? I wake up during the night many times, feeling full, kind of to much energy in me but yes also a lot of thoughts..But for sure the next morning my stomach feels acidic and i feel queasy. If i have an egg before going to bed it is different. I am not eating it every day but i used to do it 3/4 times per week, combinded with fast food actually.

      I am also wondering if you have any scientific research about how food influences our mood?You mentioned it in one of your videos and i found it interesting. Because this is one of my big motivations to stop doing it that my mood is more balanced.

      Many greetings

    • #3379
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Elena, this is the best published research I’ve found that’s available for free online:

      Psychoneuroimmunology Meets Neuropsychopharmacology

      – but it’s not such an easy read! To simplify, a great many people are linking anxiety or depression with low-grade, systemic inflammation – which could be caused by stress, but also by the food we eat.

      On Sunday, the rest of the ELO site will become available and towards the bottom of the Course Dashboard you’ll see a section, “Your Food and Your Health” – this is all about inflammation and the food that causes and cures.

      Take care not to take this in as a set of rules. Make changes gradually. Pay attention to the outcomes you create, (eg when I eat x I feel more anxious, etc).

    • #3426
      Elena
      Participant

      Dear Gillian,

      thanks a lot for the research, it took my few days but it was really interesting to read!

      I can say that i learned a lot about my mind the last few weeks and since 10 days i am more and more able to transform all the known material into practice. The best moments/experience were the last few days.
      I bought one of my favorite protein bar which is about 50g. I always feel guilty to eat the whole one but i also like it a lot after my training. So i decided to eat the half of it and the next half maybe later or the other day. This sounds so easy for some people but i was never able to keep chocolate in my house. Doing so i found out that the taste of the chocolate itself is a huge huge huge cue for me. So after realsing it i became aware of it and the only thing i did was accepting my wanting to eat more in that moment. I was simply asking myself if i would regret eating all of it. And the most amazing part was that actually after few minutes i was studying and not even thinking about it at all..

      I am still eating a lot to much sugar i guess, since i have it almost every day and my long term goal is not to eat it anymore. But i also see a rebellious side coming out if i am thinking about it. So you mentioned that you stopped eating pizza for few weeks just because you were curious how you will feel if you do not have it. And i was wondering which part is missing in my thoughts to do so as well..Because not feeling addictive to sugar would be a great long term goal..

      Thank you sooo much for spreading life-changing-informations 🙂

    • #3427
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Elena, you say your long term goal is not to eat sugar anymore, and you see a rebellious side coming out if you think about that.

      If you shift that goal to, “I’ll eat less sugar just for now, just for this moment in time, and this might end up with me eating less and less over time and maybe it won’t” then you keep your options in the future wide open and your sense of rebellion will subside.

      I find it helpful to exaggerate my wide open options: “maybe from tomorrow I’ll start eating nothing but sugar every day for the rest of my life.” It’s not likely I’d do that but it helps to make the point that I’m always free to make any choice.

      Good to read about the progress you’re making. It looks like you are already eating less sugar, so something seems to be working 🙂 and it’s no doubt got a lot to do with feeling free to choose rather than giving yourself orders and demands.

    • #3429
      Louise
      Participant

      Hello Elena, just to say I found your posts and the replies so interesting and useful. You describe so well the feeling of panic and desire that I get when I walk past our local shop, where I often stop and buy unhealthy food to eat addictively. I would make excuses to go to the shop, so that I could buy food to eat addictively. I am writing down how my mood is after I have eaten addictively and find this very useful, because after the ‘high’ from the sugar I find myself irritable or sad, so I make a written note of that. I also get a lot of migraines when I eat unhealthily, and not only do they make me very ill, I also lose a lot of time because they wipe me out for 2 or 3 days. These nearly always happen after I’ve eaten addictively, so I am making notes on that too, as it is easy for my mind to block out those consequences until it is too late.

    • #3430
      Elena
      Participant

      HI Louise,
      thanks for your comment, it is cool to hear that it is helpful for others as well:-) Yes i know what you are talking about and writing it down is a great idea. I also started it because i sometimes forget about the bad emotions afterwards in that moment of addictive desire.
      It is such a great journey and i wish you more of these “ahaaa-moments”.

      Many greetings

    • #3431
      Elena
      Participant

      Dear Gillian,

      thanks a lot for your quick responses all the time !!!
      It feels like i am finding missing parts in my puzzle and the outcome is incredible cool.
      How do i feel after i have eating this or that, is the replacement of going on a scale and checking my weight. I feel so much better to set new priorities, it feels more real to me.

      While i am practicing some questions are coming up.
      In one of your videos you mention that you suggest to eat in the best of health, so it is important to know what is healthy.So my question is, how can i get informations lets say from a nutritionist without feeling looked up in a cell? Is that counterproductive or even impossible?

      And i am also wondering if it is a common thing that people feel like they are fighting with reality when they are choosing not to follow their addictive desire? I mean e.g if it rains outside i know i´ll get wet if i am going outside. I simply accept it, makes sense to me. Not following my addictive desire feels like something inside myself does not want to accept the reality or fact ( in that case feeling bad afterwards) that with the sugar comes a bad outcome.

      I am sorry to ask that much 🙂

      Many many greetings

    • #3434
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Elena, for your question about getting nutritional information without feeling locked up in a cell, take a look at my webinar replay for Week 4 – go 50 minutes in from the start.

      As for your question about fighting reality, consider that your desire to eat arises in your mid-brain (limbic area) which evolved as a survival system during times when food was scarce, frequently totally unavailable, entirely seasonal, and relatively bland. Our modern food and its availability has happened in the blink of an eye in terms of the whole of human history, so there’s a huge mis-match with our biology.

      Your desire is saying, “eat as much as you can or you’ll die” which is why it feels like you’re fighting with reality when you don’t satisfy it. Your desire prefers sweet taste because it means the food probably isn’t poison, which tends to be bitter, and is probably at its most ripe which means it’s at its nutritional best.

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