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    • #12260
      Teresa W

      Hi Gillian, all,

      I have been trying to implement ‘meals and plans’ and I am now in a worse situation than I used to be. I know it’s just the third day (I started on Monday), but now I spend my whole day eating while working in front of my laptop at home.

      I used to have two big meals (one of them was huge) and fast for the rest of the day. Now, I start with a non-ending breakfast and can’t stop until food is gone, in which case, if I can walk, I go to the supermarket for more food. It’s like my eating is the mountain, no end and no beginning.

      I have also noticed that my addictive desire is stronger than ever. I’m under a lot of stress at work, but I’m always nervous or stressed for one reason or another. I heard Gillian said in one webinar that being stressed is not very helpful to try to eat less and I know that my eating is worsened whenever I’m stressed, and so is my addictive desire. It is very difficult for me to stop and allow and accept the desire, in those moments it’s like I have no free will.

      I don’t know whether I should keep at trying meals and plans (my main issue is huge amounts of healthy food) or go back to fasting for most of the day.

      I am also very confused about the diet I should follow. I follow a vegan diet (no sugar, no oil, no gluten, no manufactured foods), high in carbs and low in fat. Ridiculous as it may sound, I do it for health reasons as cancer runs in my family and I try to keep animal protein as low as I can. I see that here many of you follow a low carb diet. Sometimes I wonder whether that would help to eat less, but in the past I have not been very successful with that approach either.

      I have done the first exercise of this week and listened and read the related materials. It was difficult for me to rate the affirmations and I still don’t grasp the meaning of the exercise. I’ve come to the conclusion that losing weight is a strong desire for me, but it is not something I should do mandatorily even when I think of it all day long.

      Sorry for the long post.

      Thanks in advance!

    • #12261


      You don’t say anything about the size of the changes you were wanting to put in place, and how you are using these tools. There’s so much that could be going on with this, but it will help a great deal to zero in on one small thing to change and go along moment by moment.

      I wonder if you were trying to Time and Plan your whole day ahead? When you say you “started on Monday” it seems there is some forward planning here? Like, “this is how it’s going to be now – I’ve made one choice to last.”

      Have you Worked Through and chosen not to satisfy an addictive desire at all since the start of the course?

      I have so many questions, maybe you can fill me in as to how you used Times and Plans for that first day or two. Something about that set up your rebellion later on. And yes, the stress isn’t helping.

    • #12263

      Teresa, I wonder if you are trying to do too much too soon? It sounds as if your ‘all-day breakfast’ is a rebellion against Times and Plans, but Times and Plans are tools, not rules 🙂

      When I started with them, for example, I just set a couple of Times throughout the day, to help me establish three or four mealtimes a day ( I used to snack all day – no proper meals). I usually have two meals a day now, within an 8-hour window, which suits my lifestyle. It may be that a different arrangement suits you.

      I didn’t do Plans until later, when I felt confident and happy with using Times. When I did introduce Plans, I just put a bit less on my plate, or decided – before I started eating – that I would not have a pudding this time. When I finished eating, that got my Addictive Desire going, but that was ok: I usually chose to work through it. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes I satisfied my desire, and suffered the consequences of course. Now when I make a meal,I still have a rough Plan in my head before I eat, which helps.

      I think deciding what to eat us very much a matter of personal choice, information and experimentation. No one is here to tell you what to eat. I tried low carb and it didn’t suit me, although I eat less bread, pasta and rice than I used to. I was vegan (for 33 years!) but now I eat a small amount of very high-quality grass-fed meat and occasionally enjoy really good-quality cheese or cream. I just worked out what made me feel best, physically and emotionally, by trying things out, and noticing how I felt.

      • #12266
        Teresa W

        Sorry, Louise, I meant to thank you and respond to you, but I addressed my answer to Gillian thinking she was the one who posted!🙈 my apologies.

        Thank you very much for taking the time to answer and for sharing your own experience with me. Yes, a humbler approach might work better. I’ll try to reflect on your tips and work through my addictive desire as much as possible!

        Many thanks!

      • #12268

        No worries Teresa, I wish you well on your journey!

      • #12269
        Teresa W

        Thank you so much, Louise! 😊

    • #12264
      Teresa W

      Thank you, Gillian.

      My apologies for not giving more information.

      The idea was to stop fasting for 16-21 hours and trying to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The initial plan also involved using a big plate that I could fill with food and have a piece of fruit after that. Now that I write it down, I see it might have been too much of a change and that I skipped some of your recommendations like ‘do it for now’ without thinking about later and leave room for choice. I set out the plan for the whole week as if it were a diet.

      And yes, I meant to last. Another mistake, I see.

      The thing is that since Monday I start eating breakfast but I keep on eating between meals until food is gone. I wouldn’t say I graze or snack, I eat huge amounts of anything. For instance, today I ate 500 grams of steel cut dry oatmeal (a bit more than a pound), two kilos of apples, some carrots and ten small microwaved potatoes. I started at 9,00 meaning just to have breakfast, but just ten minutes ago had the last remaining apple.

      Regarding addictive desire, I practiced on working through it during the first week and it went really well (my first week was the course second week, I got wrong how the course was meant to be done). Then, last week I started not to be able to resist (I know this is not the wording I should be using, but that is how it feels to me) and in the middle of working through it or after working through it successfully for several times between meals or after a meal, I would follow my addictive desire and eat.

      And today I am having a real bad day, I don’t notice the addictive desire, I just grab whatever and eat.

      Hope this is a bit clearer.

    • #12265
      Teresa W

      Gillian, thank you so much for your reply.

      Yes, it might be that I want to do too much too soon. I thought that having a tight schedule would help me because it’s like having rules and I like rules very much, particularly when I’m able to stick to them.

      I’ll try to readjust my expectations so they are more realistic and to remember that I can work through it in the coming weeks, months or years, as you did.

      Thank you also for your comments regarding diet. It seems to me that I tend to think I can eat a lot of whole plant based foods without gaining weight, which is not true and I know it, but I bought into that idea some years ago and now it is sort of ingrained in my mind.

      Thank you once again!

    • #12274


      It’s not just that you tried to do too much too soon, but you moved away from the free choices you made last week (which was working for you) and began to plan ahead, falling back into your old rule-making strategy.

      “I like rules very much, particularly when I’m able to stick to them.”

      It’s going to be essential for you to see that your rules have a major downside. Sticking to them is fine but they also set up the rebellion that created your “Mess”.

      • #12277
        Teresa W

        Thank you very much, Gillian.

        I guess I need to reflect on this. I thought of meals and plans as rules. I have used rules, in the form of diets, in the past to get out of my food messes. I used to be successful for a while, although never sustained the orderly way of eating in the long term.

        I also have to think about the rebellion issue. I have never considered myself a rebel, but the kind of person that abides by the rules (not so much when it comes to eating). Rules give me mental peace in a sense, I never considered them as causing my overeating, but helping me to put an end to it, even if temporarily.

        Thanks again! It’s very helpful to have someone help you see things in a different way!

      • #12279

        Yes, good.

        Maybe it’s time to review 2.3 on the Dashboard and see it in a new way, understanding that your rules mean you comply for a while or you rebel against them. But neither one brings you long term peace or control.

      • #12280
        Teresa W

        Thank you Gillian, I’ll do so.

      • #12366
        Teresa W

        Gillian, I’ve listened again to week 2 videos several times. I understand the idea, but don’t share the same understanding. I know it should not be like that, but I find that whenever I have no option to eat for whatever (external) reason, I do much better. That is the reason why I learned not to keep food at home (it was also a recommendation made by coaches/psychologists) or keep as little as possible. I am aware that controls should be internal, not external, but I don’t really see that denying options or access to food causes rebellion.

        I am also trying to work through my addictive desire, but when I’m under stress I just want to eat despite the consequences. I am aware of all the negative consequences, but they don’t stop me from binge eating.

        I feel that I might have to completely change my thinking, because I am thinking constantly about dieting and the fact that I have to lose weight. However I do not quite see the relation between thinking this and overeating. Other people think the same and they’re successful in dieting and losing weight.

        My apologies for my rumbling. I feel quite frustrated, I don’t see the way out of this. Moreover I’m stressed at work and the situation won’t be any better in the coming months.

    • #12318
      Jasper G.

      Gillian, correct me if I’m wrong. I understood that times and plans are just a way of creating opportunities for addictive desire to surface. Which will then give us the chance to practice working through it (in the way you taught us Gillian). If we are already experiencing addictive desire throughout the day then times and plans may not be needed at all? In order to learn how to deal with addictive desire we must learn to recognise it, face it and work through it with the technique.

    • #12319

      Yes, Jasper, absolutely.

      As I say in the video, Times and Plans are optional tools to use – or not.

      Some people only use one of them, or not at all.

    • #12325
      Penny B

      Hi Teresa

      Thank you for posting this – and well done you for stopping, posting and looking at how to do things differently.

      I have a really strong tendency to be an impulsive ‘sprinter’ in life – find a new toy/idea/plan and fling myself into it (of course, as a sprinter it then doesn’t last long). This is what I’ve done with ‘diets’ in the past. What I am finding most challenging with Gillian’s approach, which I really feel deep down is the right one, is accepting a slow pace and small steps. It is interesting to notice how much rubbish my mind is throwing up to get in the way (oh it would be so much quicker if I…. I’d be so much healthier quicker if I (did a drastic ‘diet’). I’ve noticed that ‘DIET’ is an anagram of ‘TIED’ (just now!) and think I am indeed ‘tied’ to my sprinter way of being and need to start loosening the knots, Gillian-style.

      Anyway that’s more than enough about me – all the best for picking back up with what was working and perhaps leaving times/plans for later if needed.

      RE: stress – great tools to use if you can are exercise and mindfulness. I do Lucy Wyndham-Read’s YouTube walking workouts (15/20 mins), and short visualizations to help manage my stress. Hope it’s OK to say that on here.

      Take care

      • #12365
        Teresa W

        Hi Penny,

        Many thanks for replying to me.

        It is very enlightening that you bring this up. I still spend half of my day thinking that I should follow a quick diet for a couple of weeks and that would make it! And then, I realize I have been trying to do this diet for the last three years and never lasted more than four days…

        Thank you for the recommendations. I exercise daily. I’ve tried mindfulness meditation a hundred times, but makes me extremely nervous. I’ll check on the Internet Lucy W.

        Stress is really my big problem. When I’m stressed my overeating is all over the place and this is what happened this week.

        Thank you again. I need to remember that patience is key here.

        Take care you too,


    • #12335


      WOW! “Diet” is an anagram of “Tied”. So true!


    • #12373


      “…I find that whenever I have no option to eat for whatever (external) reason, I do much better. That is the reason why I learned not to keep food at home…”
      I also make this recommendation, but of course it only works up to a point. For one thing, we all need to keep some food at home and for another, you go out to a shop specifically to buy food to binge on.

      “…I don’t really see that denying options or access to food causes rebellion.”
      When you make a rule, you have two possibilities: to comply with it or rebel against it. These possibilities don’t happen together, at once.You do the compliance for a while and later on you do the rebellion, but they arise from the same rules. You seem to regard the first one as doing well and attribute the second to stress at work.

      “I am also trying to work through my addictive desire, but when I’m under stress I just want to eat despite the consequences. I am aware of all the negative consequences, but they don’t stop me from binge eating.”
      You have had problems with overeating for much of your life, so I do wonder if there has been non-stop stress all this time. There are three core themes here, that only work when put together, all three of them. You are very much missing the theme of free choice, so it’s not going to work for you.

      “…I am thinking constantly about dieting and the fact that I have to lose weight. However I do not quite see the relation between thinking this and overeating. Other people think the same and they’re successful in dieting and losing weight.”
      Long term success from dieting and losing weight is so poor it’s shocking. I’ve seen some people do this course, drop out and return to their diets, and then return here with new insights. If you really still think a diet will be the answer for you, maybe that’s what you will do. But you do say in your reply to Penny that diets only last a few days for you.

      “…I feel quite frustrated, I don’t see the way out of this. Moreover I’m stressed at work and the situation won’t be any better in the coming months.”
      I did mention (in Week 2) some research showing that dieting creates stress, which is something to consider. It’s the denial of free choice that leads to cortisol release (stress). In Week 5, available from Sunday, I explain how denying choice leads to a strong attachment to a mindset that appears to free you to overeat. At least to some extent, that may well be what’s going on with you here. Even though I do appreciate that work stress is tough to live with.

      • #12378
        Teresa W

        Hi Gillian,

        Thank you so much for this comprehensive answer.

        Regarding your question about non-stop stress, the stress at work has been much worse in the last six years. I left the work I had in France and moved back to Spain three years ago. I gave up a much better salary and position thinking that in a more relaxed environment, I would do better food-wise, but it has not been the case. Certainly, when I’m on vacation or during the weekend, I don’t overeat so often, unless I’m working.

        In the past, until my forties, I would say that my overeating probably had to do more with under eating. The fact that I had a much more active social life and that I spent a lot of time with others (I don’t overeat in the presence of anyone) helped me not to overeat. I did binge eat, but it happened just once a week or once every ten days. The overeating on an almost permanent basis started like ten years ago (I’m 49 now). And my feeling of being permanently stressed starts at that point. It was then when, after gaining three kilos, I had been looking for the magic diet that brings my weight back to where I feel fine with it.

        I see that my eating behavior is absolutely erratic and so is my thinking, but unlike when I was very young and had a strong willpower or determination, my actions are not aligned anymore with what I want.

        As I write these lines, I realize how right you are, and how stubborn I am in believing that what never worked for me might work now.

        Sorry for the long post. Not sure I have been very clear, but at least, your last answer and writing this post has been a great help to see what is hindering my getting out of this.

        Thanks a lot, Gillian!

    • #12380

      Thanks, Teresa.

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