Hobnob moments

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    • #9001

      Hi everybody. This is a question for Gillian, but I’d love input from fellow ELO-ers too.

      I’ve been listening to the session on Relapse – the solution (6.2). In it, Gillian tells us an anecdote about ‘all or nothing’ thinking in relation to a type of biscuit called Hobnobs that are very addictive indeed. She says she knew at the time that if she bought a packet of Hobnobs, she would eat them all, and that she could not see any reason for not eating the whole packet. Hence the advice to leave them in the shop. (it was a long time ago and she also says she is not interested in Hobnobs at all any more).

      My question relates to the fact that I do have a small quantity of addictive food in the house, such as chocolate bars or biscuits, and I am able to just eat one or two. Sometimes I feel an addictive desire for more, and I always work through it. I don’t find it difficult, and whereas a few months ago I would have eaten the whole item (to get it over with), I don’t feel the urge to do that anymore. I like the idea that the chocolate (or whatever) is there, that I can have some whenever I like, and also that it will last a lot longer if I don’t eat it all.

      What I wonder is whether this is a genuine change in my mindset towards food, or compliance? Is there any way I can ‘test’ this, or do I just need to wait and see whether it is a real loss of interest in addictive food, or whether my resolve breaks and I eat it all?

      My other question is about imperfect eating. I do eat imperfectly deliberately from time to time, because for sure I am a perfectionist. But my imperfect eating is nothing like my previous bingeing and overeating. It is quite controlled, just one slice or one extra helping etc. Am I being imperfect enough?

      Looking forward to your ideas!

    • #9002
      Julie Mann

      Louise, to me it sounds like you are a total rock star, both being able to keep treats in the house, have a reasonable planned amount, experience desire, and move on. And in purposely being imperfect and moving on. Fantastic.

      The only funny thing I thought when I read your question is that it seems like you are trying to be perfect with your imperfection when you say, “am I being imperfect enough”?

      Anyway bravo!

    • #9003
      Julia R

      I too am impressed Louise that you can have addictive foods and make a choice and work thru your desire and not have more! Yes, that is Fantastic. I had a one on one today. I am still processing it but will share. Know that you will go off track at times and eat more than your typical serving. And that is okay. It is not a matter of IF it will happen but WHEN. Gillian reminded me of the section of Relapse and referred me to the 6.5 notes. You are ahead of me cause you are studying that now. Reviewing that section today, I was reminded of the picture of chaos and rigidity!

      I have perfectionistic issues too! I also agree with Julie’s comment about trying to do your imperfect eating perfectly! I struggle with spontaneous, unplanned eating. And wanting to get this all in perfect order. Gillian says it is all trial and error. If we get it wrong, we will have another opportunity!

      If you were in compliance you would have symptoms of deprivation—rebellious quantity to your eating, sense of missing out, feeling deprived (from section on Choice). You did not mention these, so it does not sound like compliance. It sounds like a definite change in your mindset!

      I recently got off track because of various events in my life. Gillian reminded me of the “expectation” of what I always do when I over eat, when I am in chaos. And also the expectation that choosing certain addictive foods brings up the memory of pleasure.

      I struggle specifically when the desire is a high number. I cave in. Gillian suggested the MP3 and embracing the desire. That is my way out.

      Louise, you are doing Amazing! Looking forward to Gillian’s comments.

    • #9004

      Julie and Julia, thank you so much! You are my rocks. Everything you have said makes perfect sense and is very insightful. Yes, trying to be perfect even in imperfection, that is so true! And examining any feelings of rebellion is a good way to test compliance Julia, thank you. I don’t have those feelings of rebellion or missing out, so I guess I am ok with it.
      Looking forward also to Gillian’s comments and also to hearing about you one to one Julia. Thank goodness for the ELO sisterhood!

    • #9005
      Julie Mann

      Go team ELO go! 😉

    • #9006
      Julia R


      I shared my one on one in my first paragraph above. In a nutshell, I learned it was “normal” to get off track when circumstances in life throws me off. I was reminded of Section 6 and I now know how to get back on track sooner, if I choose to.

      When my AD is an 8 or higher or maybe even a 4 or 5 or higher, I give in to the desire. I was reminded of the MP3 player and making the choice to embrace my desire will help change the course for me. I realize I have been fearful of embracing the AD.

      The session was so helpful for where I am at this moment. I had all kinds of thoughts—is my issue motivation? or is it compliance? What did I need to work on? which direction did i need to go? So the session gave me direction and clarity. It was not motivation. It was not choice.

      It was knowing I got off track and that is normal. And that I did have fears about the AD. And now I am back on track and waiting for the moment to embrace an intense AD!

      Hope this is somewhat helpful to you. It is all so individual.

      And what would we do without our Cheerleader! 🎉🎈

    • #9007

      Louise, you ask if this ability to eat one bit of chocolate or biscuit is a genuine change in mindset or compliance, and I suspect it’s the former. You’ve worked through desire, created a new expectation, and feelings of addictive desire follow from that. It’s an example of the technique at work. Some people can do that (without leaving the entire item in the shops), while others find it difficult.

      As for your question about being imperfect enough – it looks like that’s been answered!

    • #9008

      Thanks Gillian, that’s helpful. It feels almst normal! And I notice it is similar to how my normal eating friends eat. Rather than expecting to overeat, I expect to feel an addictive desire.

      I am quite careful about what I buy – for example at some point I intend to eat a croissant (very addictive to me) but instead of buying a pack of 4, I hope to choose in the shop to buy an individual one, which I can eat and enjoy, without putting a huge temptation in my way. And f I don’t like that way if doing it, I can go back to my old ways, though somehow I don’t think I will – I am enjoying my meals, and feeling more alert and energetic, much more than I ever enjoyed overeating.

      Julia, I totally get what you mean about being afraid to embrace desire. It was a massive breakthrough for me when I realised I could sit with those unpleasant cravings, and if not exactly welcome them, make my peace with them. I still get intense desire sometimes, but it doesn’t control me: I can have a conversation with it, and move on.

      A while ago, Julie said she had ‘never regretted not bingeing’. I find that a really useful idea to remind myself of the positive outcomes of working through desire.

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