Health vs. Restriction

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    • #5627

      I’m genuinely feeling sick after a day of eating not-so-great food. Birthday cake, candy, fast food… We have been on a road trip, it’s my daughter’s birthday and I feel like I said “yes” to it all. Even “screw it” several times.
      And then at bedtime, as I do often, I seek a new plan. Not so much a diet but a way of life that is better.
      I want to cut out sugar. I want to stop eating foods that make me feel ill. I want to buy another book about eating better.
      But then I also have that voice that says “diets don’t work” and “don’t restrict or you’ll binge” “allow everything”.
      I want better health. I do. So, I’m grateful I’m here, but are there some of you who relate to being scared to be healthier, in fear it feels like a diet?
      I just don’t like how I feel and want to eat in a different way but I need to remind myself this is about HEALTH, NOT WEIGHT! (drill that in my brain!).
      Thanks for your input!

    • #5629

      Hi Liz,
      I totally get that re weight feelings!
      What sounds really good is you know how bad this other food makes you feel. For me this was the issue of choice, its my choice what I eat and I choose the consequences, no one is forcing me to eat one way or another but what makes me feel better physically and mentally? No one is prescribing what to eat, thats your choice, Im not sure if that helps?
      I also remember Gillian sayings try not be perfect in your eating, so dont be too harsh on yourself re eating cake etc, it was a birthday! Just that youve recognised how it made you feel and maybe you dont want to feel like that again?
      Last night I had some wine and then ate some awful snacks which made me feel absolutely grim, in the past I wouldnt have noticed this effect, but to be honest I knew when I bought these snacks (a while ago) I would be eating them… so more fool me! However, I dont want to feel like that again, and will (hopefully) have that awareness in future. I think we have to go through these processes to learn or find out for ourselves?
      Its a continual learning curve..
      I hope this helps, and beleive me we all know how you are feeling!

    • #5643

      Yes, I for sure know how you feel. Hang in there, Liz! I appreciate Esther’s reminder about needing to ‘go through these processes to learn or find out for ourselves.’ There might be some rationalizing for myself in this, but I really do believe it’s going to take quite a few trials and errors (understatement!:) for me to really, finally let the pattern go. I know I’ll always ‘make a mistake’ and eat in a way I wish I hadn’t. Letting the pattern go, for me, means catching how I feel after I’ve eaten it, consciously choosing a strategy to eat healthfully again without trashing myself. Being more neutral and forgiving. Like, oops! That will take awhile and, for me, lots of repetition before I’ve got it ground in. I too had a birthday with cake that turned into more last weekend. The negative impact was pretty amazing. I’ve been more anxious, work has been harder, I’ve been more stuck in my head, down on myself, etc. Goal: to really REALLY know ahead of time that I’m choosing all that along with the second piece of cake and what came after. You’re not alone! Try to be gentle and remind yourself this is a new way of thinking and it will take time to make these shifts (or at least I’m trying to say it to myself!). Even small changes, every single time I can remind myself of the true choice is a victory! I’m definitely doing the course again to help me along. Thanks so much for both your posts!

    • #5644

      P.S. The podcast with Kathryn Hanson is great! I just watched it. Helpful to me. Great job, Gillian!

    • #5646

      Leslie its certainly taking me a few trials and errors, and always makes me feel better in this supportive environment knowing we all face these issues!
      Thanks for your post too!

    • #5648

      Liz, I didn’t reply to this last week as I thought you wanted to hear from others in the forum. But want to say that your conflict between wanting better health and at the same time not wanting to restrict and wanting to allow everything is a false one, and unhelpful, although very, very common. There’s another option, and that is to “allow everything” and then freely choose not to eat in ways that damage your health and well-being. Not because you’ve restricted yourself or because you’re not allowed, but because you’re making a free choice.

      When you repeat the course, I hope this will become more clear and real for you and not just words on a page. I expect it’s difficult for you to wait until we get started again, but meanwhile, you could revisit a few videos on choice at: 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.6, and/or 4.3

    • #7827
      lara w

      This topic and thread is very pertinent to me. I really need to make healthy choices about what I eat if I want my health to improve, which I do, of course! I’m only on Week 2, but have read “Eating Less” and am listening to the modules on Week 3 “Desire.” I’m finding it very helpful to learn and be reminded of my addictive desire.

    • #7830
      Erin H

      I think one of the first awesome changes that I noticed, after learning about the first two principles of motivation and choice, was that by recognizing that I am free to eat anything (at any time, in any amount) I could also allow myself
      to not eat everything and still not feel deprived! Does that make sense? It’s like I was eating the cake because I was scared that not eating the cake would make me feel deprived or restricted. Reminding myself that I CAN but don’t have to (right now) has been insanely helpful!

    • #7831
      jodi b

      This thread is very pertinent for me too. I love what you said, Erin, I am starting to realize the same thing, that I am free to eat anything, and also free to not eat anything and not feel deprived. I have put the choice piece into practice a few times this week and was amazed that it actually worked.

    • #7847


      I want to make sure you didn’t miss my comment to you on June 2 in the thread “Translating owning choice”. You had posted that whenever and whatever you eat, it is your choice and you own it – and I replied to that.

      I know that “I really need to make healthy choices” can be a code for “I’ve got to make healthy choices”, and it’s important for everyone to see the denial of choice before we can do anything about it.

      Erin’s and Jodi’s posts here may be an inspiration for you, and please let me know if I’m misunderstanding you here.

    • #7849
      lara w

      Thank you, Gillian. I think I’m getting it. It’s a very subtle distinction.

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