February 15, 2021 at 1:54 pm #11958LouiseParticipant
Hello ELOs, new and old
I haven’t been on the Forum much, as having studied Gillian’s course twice, I am now in a very relaxed and contented place with my eating, after years of swinging between dieting and overeating. I wondered if it might be helpful, even at this early stage, to share some of the things that I have learned. There is a lot more material to go, of course, but I thought maybe the perspective of someone who has been there and got to where she wants to be might be of interest. Apologies if this is a bit long!
1. Everyone’s journey is different. Some people have a history of ‘successful’ dieting that hasn’t lasted. Others trace their overeating habits back to childhood. Others only find it a problem in later years, because they can’t exercise any more, or because the effects of years of eating unhealthy food catch up. But whatever your history with food is, your journey starts now, in the present. I realised some historical aspects about my overeating as I went through the course, but in the end, they weren’t the most significant factors in gaining control.
2. Engage with the materials. When I started the course, I was familiar with Gillian’s work, having used it to stop smoking 20 years ago. I was also familiar with her books and seminars. But Gillian’s methods have evolved over the years as more evidence comes to light, so I found it better to focus on the current materials, and really engage with them – daily. I would watch a webinar while ironing, or listen to one while driving or walking with my dogs. I did all the exercises, not just once, but over and over again as I wrote down my Non-weight Motivation, or how I felt when I wanted to overeat. Like anything that is lasting and worthwhile, it takes time, effort and concentration. Unlike diets, which are often easy to begin with due to compliance, Gillian’s approach gets easier as you go along, until it becomes second nature, as it more or less is for me now. I feel like a ‘normal person’ around food now.
3. Trust the method. After years of doing various diets (Slimming World, keto, vegan, Hay Diet, paleo and more!), I promise this approach is different because it is not prescriptive. If you have dieted a lot, you’ll be expecting someone to tell you what to eat, but it doesn’t work like that. You decide what you will eat; you learn how to change your thinking and to be responsible for your own health without feeling restricted. Making Choices for myself was so empowering for me. My life really is in my hands now. I read about nutrition sometimes, and have learned from that, but I think most people probably know roughly what a healthy diet looks like – there are no complicated protocols to follow, and you can keep making improvements as you go along, if you want to.
4. Trust your experience. Gillian encourages us to be curious about how food affects us – really noticing what happens. For example, I noticed that my tinnitus increases if I’ve eaten carbs such as rice or pasta. That doesn’t mean I never eat them – I just remain aware that if I do, my tinnitus will be worse for 48 hours. So when I make a choice, it is an informed choice, based on the consequences, not a choice based on what I am allowed or not allowed to eat.
5. Weight is not the problem – overeating is. It was only on the second time on the course that I really understood the importance of Non-weight Motivation. Before, I had always thought that Choice and Desire were where I should put all my efforts, but I discovered that integrating Non-weight Motivation is just as vital. Every time I thought about my weight, my size or my appearance, I taught myself to think of a balancing Non-weight Motivation. As time went on, this became simply ‘I love the way I eat now, feeling healthy, strong and even hungry sometimes without panicking!’
In case anyone is wondering…yes, I have lost weight! And that’s nice, but it’s not the most significant benefit by any means. It’s much more about having control, not being plagued by thoughts of what to eat and when, and generally being healthier and happier as a result of having more energy and fewer niggling health issues.
Good luck everyone! I hope this encourages anyone who is wondering quite where this is all leading 🙂
February 15, 2021 at 4:13 pm #11960Sheelagh MParticipant
Louise, thank you so much, this was so helpful to read! Sounds like this course has been very successful for you, the peace of mind must be lovely! I look forward to getting there
February 15, 2021 at 5:41 pm #11962Teresa WParticipant
Thank you so much, Louise, for taking the time to write about your experience. It is very useful to many of us!
February 15, 2021 at 7:10 pm #11966GillianParticipant
Really very helpful.
Thank you from me, Louise.
February 15, 2021 at 7:31 pm #11968Shems MParticipant
Thank you Louise, this was very helpful to read.
February 15, 2021 at 10:47 pm #11970Judith KParticipant
Oh, Louise! What hope you instill with telling your journey and things you learned. Thanks Ever so much.
February 16, 2021 at 5:58 am #11971JeanetteParticipant
Thank you for sharing!
February 16, 2021 at 8:18 am #11972RobynParticipant
Thank you for your encouraging post Louise.
February 16, 2021 at 1:50 pm #11995Sophia G.Participant
Thanks Louise. !
February 16, 2021 at 5:24 pm #12005CarolineParticipant
Thank you, Louise! That was helpful and inspiring. It was lovely of you to take the trouble to set all that out so clearly and encouragingly.
February 16, 2021 at 5:56 pm #12009CarlaParticipant
Thank you so much for sharing!Very helpful and inspiring 🙂
February 17, 2021 at 3:40 pm #12025ShahanaParticipant
Thank you for sharing this Louise. Really helpful. I have been a long time follower of Gillian work and have found the online course so helpful. I dip in and out of the videos and get something different each time.
February 17, 2021 at 5:54 pm #12026Tina GParticipant
Thank you for sharing!
February 20, 2021 at 10:27 pm #12183Renée LParticipant
Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and comprehensive list of your experience in ELO. Everything you said was so inspiring, especially the quote you ended with…‘I love the way I eat now, feeling healthy, strong and even hungry sometimes without panicking!’ This rings true for me as well.
My whole life I have been trying to change my body, but in so doing, I really missed the larger picture, which was to focus on prioritizing true health. And what I have come to realize lately is that I am the only one in charge of my health; physical, emotional, and spiritual/psychological. Gillian’s program has taught me how to change my thinking so that these goals are possible and sustainable.
I have had great success with many aspects of this program; my AD surfaces now and again and it isn’t the raging monster it once was. And when it comes to visit, I know what to do to put it to rest. I have also been able to extinguish my binge eating, which is just amazing to me! I rarely feel deprived when I choose to leave my binge foods “in the shops”. In fact, I just stopped buying them all together but feel true peace and choice around that, also knowing that I can run out and buy them anytime.
I am still a work in progress and make mistakes and slip back into old behavior from time to time. I have noticed that unless I remind myself of the three themes I will lapse back into my “default thinking” which will lead me back into “default acting/eating/thinking” which is not representative of my true self or goals. But now I know what to do to get back on track without it being a horrible derailment.
Thank you again Louise for sharing your insight and welcome to all the newcomers!
February 21, 2021 at 10:03 am #12189LouiseParticipant
Thank you everyone for your kind comments. Renee, we have definitely done this journey together and your progress has been amazing. I have loved reading your posts – so much chimes with my own experience.
I certainly keep those three themes in the back of my mind. I also make mistakes occasionally, in terms of regretting eating something, but what has changed for me is that it never becomes a ‘what the hell, I’ve blown it’ moment. Instead, I find myself reverting to my ‘new normal’ for my next meal with a sense both of relief and normality: I feel eager to eat my usual healthy food, because that is now associated in my mind with more energy, better skin, no migraines, no bloating etc etc, and best if all, no obsessing about what to eat.
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