April 24, 2019 at 5:42 pm #2719
I have been trying out working through the desire, reminding myself of choice and motivation and it is definitely slowly sinking in as a technique which is very encouraging. I have fatty liver issues so I am employing the ‘what’s best for my liver?’ motivation as much as I can (particularly as a result of the section in the course where you talk about improvement of food quality being much more important than weight loss). But sometimes, even using my liver as motivation, I still have the ‘what the hell’ reaction and go with the bad choice. And I get really upset and angry with myself because I know how important it is for my liver to get well. Should I just be glad that i’m making the better choice more than I used to? Or is there another part of the technique you have up your sleeve when it comes to specific health issues?
April 24, 2019 at 8:23 pm #2722GillianParticipant
I think what might be the most difficult about this, Sarah, is that although you’ve got non-weight motivation, which is very good, it might be more of an intellectual idea, “I know this is good for my liver” rather than an experience of, say, more energy, better sleep or improved mood. If you can ever find real, tangible benefits you gain from making better choices, that would help a lot. Maybe you can see these already, but you didn’t mention.
Yes, it will help you to just be glad to be making better choices more often. It’s a start. Be sure to acknowledge what you’ve already achieved, and that will help you to continue and build on that.
See if there’s any pattern to those “what the hell” moments; perhaps an especially compelling addictive mindset. See Week 5 for more on that. What I’m talking about is a circumstance where you’ve got a “Really, Really Good Reason” to eat in an addictive way. Knowing how you justify making your “wrong choices” would be a good step, and “what the hell” seems like it might be a bit vague.
The only other thing I’d offer for specific health issues is to find the best advice on turning it around – but I’m assuming you already have that?
Do let me know if any of this has made a difference for you.
April 24, 2019 at 10:10 pm #2723
You have hit the nail on the head about the intellectual idea of making things better for my liver. I have been tormenting myself by thinking: ‘why doesn’t this motivation work when it is such an important issue?’… I guess that could be more of the limbic style bullying (which I know was discussed a lot on the other thread today on the forum), when actually what gives me more immediate feedback on how eating less benefits me is the smaller, day to day stuff. The liver is the big picture but going to bed at night without feeling stuffed with food is also rewarding on a noticeable, daily basis. Another plus I have noticed in the past few weeks is that I have had chronic eczema on one of my hands for well over a year and it has completely cleared up. No steroid creams or anything – it’s just gone. I think this must be because I have been eating more of the good stuff and eating less in general (when I have managed to, that is!). So yes – very good to remind me of the immediate feedback aspect.
The advice for the liver is basically a Mediterranean style diet – vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, flax seeds – all that jazz. Of course when I try to implement this style of eating I can get really all or nothingy about it but I’m trying to make it my aim to have this kind of food and work through addictive desire for stuff that falls short of this. It’s hard. Sometimes I think: ‘if I had never had a food addiction problem, how would I eat?’. And the answer is I’d probably eat more or less as above with probably a dessert or some chocolate about once a week. And then I think to myself: ‘well – why don’t you just eat like that then? how hard can it be?’. I suppose the answer is that it’s hard if I’m ignoring my addictive desire because it just ends up being all or nothing and a sense of back to square one all the time. If I just said to myself ‘right – i’m doing the Mediterranean style eating now for my liver’ I would set up all sorts of compliance and therefore rebellion states of mind… The other recommendation is to leave longer gaps between meals which I have been trying with some success – though, again, it’s easy for this to slide into the dieting mentality which can then lead to ‘you’ve been so good not to eat for five hours – you deserve a pudding’!!!
I think you are right that my addictive thinking is often more than just ‘what the hell’. It’s probably more along the lines of ‘you should do it one last time and then you can really concentrate on your liver issue’ or ‘you deserve this – you’re so tired and you’ve been working so hard and you have made SOME changes so this won’t hurt’ and a whole host of other justifications.
Just on a side note which struck me as relevant. I heard a talk that an American woman called Brene Brown did. She said she used to have therapy and her therapist was always saying to her:’you need to stop alternating and start integrating’ – ie: live in the grey area of life more and stop swinging from one extreme to another. I think that applies to all of this too. She also said that learning to ‘manage paradox’ was one of the most important life skills anyone can have. And that struck a chord here too – managing the paradox of wanting to lose weight and knowing that wanting to lose weight can, paradoxically, make you put it on…
Anyway – enough late night ramblings!
April 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm #2724GillianParticipant
Sarah, everything you’ve written in that first paragraph will help you a great deal, so just keep all of that in mind as much as you can.
I encourage you to identify more of the different types of mindset justifications, and challenge them:
“You should do it one last time and then you can really concentrate on your liver issue” can be challenged by keeping your future options wide open – “I could pass on this snack and still eat nothing but sugar for the rest of my life”.
And for “you deserve this – you’re so tired and you’ve been working so hard and you have made SOME changes so this won’t hurt” maybe something like, “yes I do deserve it, and being imperfect is helpful, but is this being a bit too imperfect for me – how will I feel after I’ve eaten it?”
I love a good paradox too. And I’m delighted that you’re seeing such wonderful non-weight benefits. The eczema clearing up is what you can see on the outside – so wonder what cleared up inside that you’ll never see but will still benefit from?
April 25, 2019 at 3:07 pm #2725
Fantastic challenging tips there. Thanks very much! And yes good point about the eczema – something inside is obviously happier!
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