Choice!!!!

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  • This topic has 50 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 4 months ago by Mo.
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    • #8096
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Gillian I’m relistening to webinar 2 on Choice. The example you give at the beginning just clicked for me. I had to hear it a few times before it did (I say that only to reinforce how incredibly valuable it is that you give us access) and this is a very new example you are using (again to say how incredibly valuable it is that you change these presentations, that you allow us to retake the course each time you give it in a year, etc.). This example works for my brain!

      I heard you say, what if each time you make a decision about whether or not you are going to eat something, it’s as undramatic as whether or not you’ll take a walk to a lake after you’ve already been hiking and your feet hurt. That you weigh out the pros/cons, you think about what you are really needing/wanting in that moment, you think about whether or not the option is available to you at another time if it’s something you’d really like but NOT in the moment, etc. There are a million times in my life when I’ve FREELY chosen NOT to do something because it was more important to me to get rest or to take are of some other need or because the outcome of that choice would have negative repercussions or because I could do it at another time when it would be more beneficial to me.

      And I love how I can use this for my next moment with addictive desire. I can see it as a simple choice like going to that lake when I’m already tired. If I eat this, how will I feel? I know you’ve offered that question forever, but thinking of it as a walk around the lake after hiking for hours…brilliant! It truly IS that simple.

      It’s funny how, for people like me, with what I have chosen to believe as “very strong eating issues”, eating extra food when I have a desire has taken on that dramatic, no choice, “eat this or you’ll die” intensity. But really, for a person without that drama, it’s simply, “will this walk around the lake make me feel good right now or am I really needing a rest?”

      Thank you thank you.

    • #8103
      Renée L
      Participant

      I love this perspective!

      Thank you for sharing your insight.

    • #8107
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Thanks for this post, Julie. I was fascinated to read it.

      I wanted to start the Week 2 webinar with a visual, an image of choice, and I wove a story around the picture. Here are two paths; you choose which one to take. It truly is that simple… provided you can see the options, the two paths open to you.

      When you deny choice, you believe there is no choice, so you feel restricted, and react to that with rebellious overeating.

      I do think it’s fear that camouflages, covers up one of those paths, making it seem like there is no choice. I see people can spend years with that fear blocking their view – while it’s possible to see through it in a minute.

      I came across a quote from Ella Fitzgerald recently, “It isn’t where you come from. It’s where you’re going that counts.”

    • #8108
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Wow Gillian, YES it is fear that has blocked me from seeing that there have ALWAYS been two paths, that I’ve ALWAYS been in charge, etc. And I’m guessing it’s because I was 11 when my mother put me on my first diet, and truly did NOT have a choice, so that patterning was imprinted early.

      Anyway, it truly is that simple, two paths are always open to me along with the consequences of each choice. And in so many moments of my day I’m choosing based on outcomes, without any drama or fear. I clearly see those two paths and make the best choice or I don’t, and then I reevaluate without and sense of failure as a human being. How funny that with food each choice can feel like life or death, like I’m either an ax murderer or a saint. I say that with a smile because not only is it ridiculous, but some of the other bad choices I make in other areas, where I don’t feel that sense of total failure, are far more significant (related to parenting, work, financial choices, etc.).

      I could go on and on…anyway huge aha for me.

      And as for the Ella quote, firstly, she’s my favorite female singer, and second of all, I love how hopeful and forward focused the message is.

      Thank you!

    • #8111
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Very appropriate, Julie, that you have this aha breakthrough on this particular course, as you set up my interview with Kathryn Hansen, and most others here on this course heard about it through that.

      I’m thinking, what goes around, comes around.

    • #8112
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      🙂 indeed!!

    • #8174
      Julia R
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing this Julie! We make it so complicated! I am going to re-listen to Gillian’s visual on choice.

    • #8176
      Leslie
      Participant

      Thanks from me too, Julie! I really appreciated reading about your reflections. I’m working on over and over remembering I really do have a choice and it’s about outcomes for me. The image of that being a lighter, more relaxed process is very helpful!

    • #8180
      Julia R
      Participant

      Again I am so very grateful for your post Julie! Last night near bedtime I started to search for a snack. I asked myself is that what I want? My answer was, I was tired and it was bedtime so I really wanted to go to bed. So that is just what I did. This morning I read my notes on Choice about going to the lake. And then I wrote your post, word for word in my notebook. And I realized, just this morning I had made a choice about my walk. Yesterday I went up a very step incline while doing my walk. During the day, I noticed my knees bothered me a bit. So this morning, I decided to go for a walk that was easier, as a way to take care of my body. Just as you said, I apply choice in so many areas of my life, everyday. CHOICE is so HUGE, because not feeling I have choice results in rebellion, deprivation, etc. And then the domino effect, choosing to eat, overeat, with all the shame, guilt, physical discomfort.

      Now I am going to ask myself, what choice do I want to make? Eating sweets, overeating and having that outcome? Or passing on the sweets, working thru desire and having that outcome? And either decision is fine. As Gillian said, my aim is to manage choices about food the same as I do the other areas of my life. And not doing this perfectly!

      This has been a HUGE WOW for me!! Thank you again!

    • #8181
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Hi Julia. Bravo to you AND it’s so helpful to read your post. I did NOT make great choices last night despite any wisdom or aha’s, I forgot it all in the moment. However, I’m remembering that I always get another chance to practice as there are so many evening meals ahead of me and I will get better and better over time! And I’m so happy to read about not only your choice last evening, but also during your walk. It’s such a great thing that we can apply this in other areas of life.

    • #8182
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Leslie – over and over again remembering, yes, that’s what it’s about. Taking a stand as Gillian says, and then also forgiveness when we forget. I mean I forget a lot, but the kinder I am when I forget, the faster I remember again the next time.

    • #8183
      Patti
      Participant

      The comment in today’s webinar if I don’t eat the one or two doughnuts today I will eat the box of 12 doughnuts tomorrow. Yes I connect with that one. If I don’t indulge the voice will become louder until I answer it to quiet it down. Today I understand intellectually it has to do with not giving myself permission to choose. I guess that is progress. Right now I am choosing to indulge to quiet the voice, I am not choosing to tell myself to have it another day.

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Patti.
    • #8185
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      “Today I understand intellectually it has to do with not giving myself permission to choose”.

      Yes, Patti, it’s only possible to rebel (by eating the box of 12) when there’s a loss of freedom to rebel against.

      This is progress – some people never grasp this.

    • #8188
      Alison M
      Participant

      “the kinder I am when I forget, the faster I remember again the next time.” This is wise.

      Thanks for sharing, everyone. This is a really hard mental shift for me but it is encuoraging to read of so many others having similiar struggles and pushing through them.

      Truly, “Mindset is everything.”

    • #8190
      Leslie
      Participant

      Thanks, everyone. I agree it’s really helpful to hear about challenges (and successes!) for other people. What an interesting process! The more curious and neutral I am about it, the better it goes (I loved your comment, Julie, about kindness helping you stay more aware!). For instance, what I’m trying to take a stand on and am struggling to remember is not eating/snacking/grazing in the evening before bed. My non-weight benefits about it have to do with health, enjoying not feeling overly full, and waking up feeling lighter (I love that!). So I’m trying to be forgiving with myself about being scattered in my approach and forgetting my goals a lot! Staying as patient as I can helps. Making a different plan would be good…. I will remind myself of my intention several times today. I’ll eat a good dinner tonight and enjoy it, then be done and use Times/Plans to have a snack later in the evening if I choose or wait until tomorrow morning to have breakfast… I’m working on it, but it can sure get muddled!!! 🙂 Warm wishes everyone!

    • #8191
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Leslie I love your intention to remind yourself 😉 that’s great. And my motivations are very similar to yours. We are all truly in this together.

    • #8193
      Julia R
      Participant

      Julie, Thank you for your honesty saying you did not make a “great choice” the night before (yesterday’s post). Sometimes when I read a post and someone has an aha moment I think they have it all figured out and are doing it perfectly! So thank you. And it is a reminder that sometimes I may chose to overeat or chose a sugary snack. It is about doing that less and less, as shared by our teacher! This strand is so helpful!

    • #8196
      Julia R
      Participant

      Leslie,
      One thing Gillian taught me some time ago that has helped me so much—-after my evening meal I make a plan to have my evening treat (Ex. piece of dark chocolate, cherries) ONE hour after my meal. That has made such a huge difference for me. So when I retire to the living room I look at the clock and note the time. If I eat my treat after my meal then the eating often continues through the evening. This technique has stopped or frequently reduced, the non-stop eating in the evening. Occasionally I have decided not to wait an hour and have had my snack and I did not continued eating. But my preference is to wait an hour. I feel I am more likely to follow my intention of just having one evening snack, by doing it one hour after my meal.
      Hope this helps you!

    • #8198
      Renée L
      Participant

      Julia, I love your “one hour after dinner evening treat” technique. I am going to start using this!

    • #8199
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Julia, yes, immediately after my big aha, I fell right into forgetting about choice and overate emotionally that evening. LOL, I’m nothing if not imperfect! And quite honestly, I’m seeing more and more, with my repeated rounds of this course, that my biggest work is learning to laugh at my imperfection and see it as training for self acceptance. The faster I let it go with humor/kindness, remembering I didn’t murder anyone, just ate some extra dinner that wasn’t in my “plan”, the faster I get right back to eating less…

    • #8204
      Clare C
      Participant

      This thread is great – thanks everyone – I can really relate to so much in here.

      I’m starting to have little realisations about true choice. As Julia says, I’m sure there are numerous occasions every day when I go through a process of choosing without even thinking about it and certainly without agonising over it in the way I do over food.

      Also, there are many times where I choose to take one course of action which might not have great outcomes, but then the next time I have that choice I take the option with the better outcomes. I don’t think, “Oh well, I took the “bad” option last time so there’s no point taking the “good” option this time.”

      I’m optimistic that these realisations will help me understand that I do have a true choice around food and then I can make better choices in the moment.

    • #8206
      Julia R
      Participant

      Julie—LOL! You did not murder anyone! Your input about humor is excellent. We have that voice telling us: you messed up again, etc. So to replace that with a comment with humor is brilliant! Thank you! I am going to work on coming up with a couple of statements, or may just use yours!!

    • #8207
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      🙂 awesome Julia, let me know what you come up with.

    • #8208
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      So good Clare, love it.

    • #8210
      Gen S
      Participant

      I really love the ‘one hour after dinner’ treat as well. This is definitely the time I’m most likely to overeat, so saying to myself I can have it but after an hour just gives me the space to calm down and allow my pre frontal cortex to have a chance. If know I can eat something sweet, but not eat it frantically straight away, it gives me the time to make a choice I actually want to make, rather than get accidentally swept away with limbic thinking.

    • #8211
      Julia R
      Participant

      I don’t remember the description Gillian used, but it was something like “the eating gets turned on” when we are eating the evening meal and stays on. I rarely have issues during the day, for me it is after the evening meal. So the one hour gap, does just what you describe, shifts me out of the “eating mode” of wanting more food, eating non-stop.

    • #8218
      Patti
      Participant

      This morning I had an interesting experience with choice. (Excuse me if you will, I am really digging into focusing on week 2 because for the most part I am befuddled by it and have a zillion questions). I felt a deep desire to get a coffee drink. My desires come on like panic attacks with precision like focus that I must obtain my craving, nothing else exists in the world except this task with a reward at the end. I stopped myself and said this is an addictive desire I have a choice. Do I want to get it and feel awful at the end while enjoying the moment of consuming or do I want to say I don’t have to choose to drink it now, I can have it whenever I want it. The feeling passed, I felt a sense of relief that I did not have to indulge in the desire. About 20 minutes later it came back. I said this time I want it, I am choosing all that goes along with it. I bought it, took one sip and hated it. I threw it out. I don’t see this as a win but a moment I chose both ways to address the desire.

      Why would I choose to eat foods that I know in the end cause me so much physical distress, and the truth be told I only want these foods when I have a craving for them, I never crave them when I want true nourishment. I am wondering if the panic is part my personal history of backing myself into a corner with no choice option to have these foods?

    • #8219
      Julie Mann
      Participant

      Great question Patti, I often ask that of myself (why would I choose to eat foods and/or in a way that harms me?). And it’s a big win that you threw it out. You made a u-turn…

    • #8223
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      “Why would I choose to eat foods that I know in the end cause me so much physical distress, and the truth be told I only want these foods when I have a craving for them, I never crave them when I want true nourishment. I am wondering if the panic is part my personal history of backing myself into a corner with no choice option to have these foods?”

      Yes, Patti, panic is certainly a symptom of deprivation, the feelings that arise when you believe you have locked yourself into a “no choice” situation.

      Your desire for them comes from cues (not always easy to identify and this doesn’t matter) and your past experiences of consuming those foods, which are highly rewarding to the limbic brain (often sugar).

      The two together are a dreadful combination: craving for biochemical reward – and – deprivation if not satisfied.

    • #8225
      Julia R
      Participant

      Gillian,
      I have a question about choice. I mentioned in an earlier post that I wait one hour after my evening meal to have a treat. I realize these are calories by body does not need in order to survive. This is a addictive desire where I chose a healthy choice/substitute, instead of an item with sugar as the first ingredient.
      If I chose Some day down the road to have this treat less often, would it be similar to how you phased pizza out of your life? I am thinking that your pizza was a meal and you obviously substituted another option. My example is a treat, not a meal. I am curious on your thoughts.
      Thanks!

    • #8227
      Patti
      Participant

      Thank you Julie. Also thanks for starting this thread.

    • #8235
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Yes, the “healthy substitution” is a great idea and yes, of course I ate meals instead of the pizzas I was eating less and less frequently.

      The two things to remember are:
      1. making a healthy substitution may well not eliminate your desire for the more addictive (sugary) meal or snack, and don’t expect that it should or would. So, still a good idea to “Work Through” your desire for the sugar.
      2. doing healthy substitutions will only take you so far, so aim not to rely on that too much as one outcome will be overeating healthy food, as many do!

    • #8242
      Julia R
      Participant

      Thank you Gillian! I appreciate your wisdom!

    • #8262
      Robyn
      Participant

      I’ve loved this discussion on Choice and I love the example of making a decision regarding walking near the lake. I also make decisions every day in my life around all sorts of things and never feel deprived, like I have always felt regarding food.

      I had my choices regarding food and eating taken away from me when I was about 11 or 12. I (believe it or not) gained weight when I was almost 11 and had been in hospital for 6 to 7 weeks. When I came home from hospital my weight gain was a topic of conversation and I did feel bigger, when I returned to school. My mother started monitoring my food and giving me lots of “diet type” foods. I wasn’t allowed to eat a lot of the things my friends at school would eat. This and other things started my life long (I’m now in my very late 50’s!) denial of choice and it’s been very hard to change how I think about this. I think I am coming to a much better place though.

      I also remember that I didn’t have a weight problem before my hospital visit, where the nurses overfed me ice cream, I ate too much at meals and had no exercise and that I have had a time in my life where I did have choice and my eating wasn’t a problem. If I hadn’t been made to feel that I had a problem and been left to just go back to eating like I had before my hospital visit, this may not have been the issue it has been all these years. So in effect I’ve realised, that the way my brain is now, is not how it always was. This was such a big thing for me to realise, just in the last few weeks.

      Thank you Julie for starting this thread and the input from everyone. xx

    • #8263
      Julia R
      Participant

      Gillian,
      I am processing your response to me about a healthy substitution will only take me so far and it will not eliminate my desire for more addictive food. This is a biggie for me. For the most part the evening snacks are what get in the way to being at peace with food. Ideas I have thought to change this up: Skipping the treat especially when I have had my evening meal later in the evening than my usual time (8pm instead of 7pm). Expect the AD when I do this and chose to work thru it, unless of course when I do not do so sometimes. Choosing to fade out the treat by eating a smaller amount and as I said earlier, skipping it at times. Having a change that looks like this: Occasionally having a treat-either spontaneous or planned, but not an every nite ritual. And having these times be less and less. This plan seems like a huge undertaking that feels impossible to achieve. Am I future tripping too much ?
      Please give me feedback on these ideas. Thank you!

    • #8264
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Julia,

      “the evening snacks are what get in the way to being at peace with food”

      Ask yourself to imagine that you have peace with food, and ask yourself what are you eating in the evenings after dinner?

      However, I do wonder if “being at peace with food” is too vague. Is there anything more specific that you don’t like about your evening snacks?

    • #8268
      Julia R
      Participant

      Gillian,
      It is the evening window of time that trips me up. That is when I want sugar. What I meant by saying “the evening snacks” are my concern—this comes from your comment that a healthy treat will only take me so far and will not eliminate by desire for addictive foods.
      I have been eating 72% dark chocolate. It comes in a 3 oz bar and can be broken into 5 pieces. I have one piece. If I eat more than one piece the caffeine keeps me up at night and I do not like that outcome. So I chose one piece. I eat 10-12 almonds with the dark chocolate. I can continue to have this healthy snack—what I consider to be healthy and not full of sugar. And I am honestly content with this snack. However, your comment that it will only take me so far is my concern.
      So long term do I fade it out? Based on your comment, I am thinking I may want to have a plan to change it up somehow. Hope this post has more clarity.
      And to answer your question “is there anything more specific that I don’t like about my evening snacks?” The evening is a challenge because at times this snack does not satisfy me. However, when I ask myself after dinner “What do I want to have for a snack in one hour?” I make a plan and I have the expectation to eat just that (it may be something else like berries). At times I have experienced an AD for something else and I have worked thru that desire. And chose not to have more—and more means reaching for something to satisfy my sugar craving (toast with honey, my husband’s ice cream bars/sandwiches) My challenge is choosing these tools you have provided. What are thoughts about an evening snack based on this info? I feel like your comment of it only taking me so far, sets me up for overeating, choosing sugar. Thanks for your time helping me sort this out.

    • #8276
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Julia

      “I have been eating 72% dark chocolate… I chose one piece. I eat 10-12 almonds with the dark chocolate… I am honestly content with this snack.”

      This is great, Julie. Wonderful. I don’t see any problem at all.

      “However, your comment that it will only take me so far is my concern.”

      What I meant was, in general, across the whole of your eating, just relying on making healthy substitutions and never working through desire is unlikely to work and often leads to overeating healthy foods. You are not doing that, so it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

    • #8282
      Julia R
      Participant

      Thanks Gillian for clarifying. Yes, I agree, choosing a healthy snack I can go days without experiencing an addictive desire.

    • #8286
      Julia R
      Participant

      Processing this….I am thinking I go days without an addictive desire because I am in compliance. Then I rebel. Gillian, what do you suggest? Do I put addictive foods in my life so I can work thru the desire and not be in a perfectionistic place? If your answer is in todays course, please say so. I am caring for grandchildren and unable to be on live, but will listen to the recording. Thanks!

    • #8287
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Yes, you are correct on all of this.

      Replay on site Monday afternoon (GMT).

    • #8288
      Julia R
      Participant

      Thanks! Gives me something to work on! LOL!

    • #8635
      Aimee F
      Participant

      It’s been ages since I’ve been active on here. Had lots of family issues/travel to deal with lately. This was a great thread since “choice” is by far where I get hung up!
      Anyway..there for awhile my dashboard showed both my Feb course that I took plus this new one (I think). I’d really like to go watch the webinar about “walking the lake” and choice but I can’t seem to find the new course now. um?? Like I said, I’ve been absent for quite awhile, maybe I just forgot where to look.

    • #8644
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Hi Aimee

      You are enrolled on the May/June course now, which you should be able to find in “Course” in the top menu bar on the site.

      I know it’s not very high-tec, but just email me to gain access to new courses as they come along, if you want to join in.

      The ‘walking the lake’ analogy is at the start of the webinar replay for Week 2, on choice.

      I do hope your family issues are okay now.

    • #8723
      Aimee F
      Participant

      Thank you Gillian, I see it on my page now. I love analogies so I’m going to be watching this real soon! thank you

    • #8824
      Mo
      Participant

      Excellent thread. Thank you to everyone for your comments.
      I’m still struggling with choice and very much in the rebellious mode. I am revisiting the course in hope of something clicking to enable me to actually choose freely. Fear is definitely playing a part. Lots of work to do!

    • #8825
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Mo, you may find the thread TAKING A STAND as helpful as this one.

      There are videos and written exercises on expanding your sense of choice throughout the course, but especially Week 2 and the written exercise there, which you could do every day.

      Also, two Q&A webinars if you haven’t seen them yet, and I’ll be posting a clip from one of them soon – will let you know when it’s done.

    • #8832
      MARTA
      Participant

      What is an AHA moment? Thank you.

    • #8833
      Julia R
      Participant

      Do you have Google? I asked Google What is an AHA moment: a moment of sudden insight or discovery
      Does this help?

    • #8835
      MARTA
      Participant

      Yes, of course. Thank you very much, Julia.

    • #8838
      Mo
      Participant

      Thank you Gillian

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