Striving for Imperfection!

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    • #3444
      Jean DC
      Participant

      After the Week 6 Webinar, where you turned my thinking upside down when you described me exactly in the All-Or-None section, I have a couple of questions for Gillian or anyone else who has thoughts (and there was me thinking I had it all sorted by being perfect!) I spent the rest of the day working through quite strong addictive desires, because my brain sort of thought I had been given “orders” to eat sugary food and wanted to start right away, trying eating every sugary food I could lay my hands on!.I chose not to as my brain was not in the right place. I am both scared and excited by my new intention to be imperfect. Is it the “expectation” that I will get an addictive desire the reason that I will probably get one? Firstly, would it be sensible Gillian to start slowly with some “not so scary” sweet foods? I have two or three in mind that I have sometimes binge eaten in the past but at times have managed to not overeat, so maybe the expectation will not be so great. I have ginger oat biscuits in mind as I really like them but don’t allow myself to have them. Also would sweet foods I have never eaten, so have no expectation for, be a good idea? I’m thinking mini flavoured almost sugar free chocolate bars, possibly. My thinking is to work up to the more scary foods I only ate during a binge. But my thinking has been miles out so far, so I would like advice please.
      Secondly, would it be sensible to only eat the imperfect foods when I don’t actually have an addictive desire for them, otherwise I could be strengthening the desire? Then I could plan how much to have and work through the desire generated?
      I must say that nobody has ever explained to me why I should be intending to take these steps Gillian. I now have another big ‘Why” to add to my list, to be able to eat and enjoy foods I love and to stop denying myself the pleasure of doing so.

    • #3448
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Jean DC

      You ask, “Is it the “expectation” that I will get an addictive desire the reason that I will probably get one?” – this seems a bit more complex than it needs to be. When you have an expectation of eating (especially highly addictive sugar) that expectation gives rise to the desire. That’s why there’s little or no desire while in the state of perfect compliance.

      Maybe it would be good for you to review the Session 6 Webinar first – and Session 2 about choice. I see prohibitive thinking in your post here and I’m not sure if you are aware of it? For example, “don’t allow myself to have them” and “to be able to eat and enjoy foods” and “to stop denying myself the pleasure”?

      The specific details of what and when to eat are tough for me to comment on, further than the guidelines I’ve already given in yesterday’s webinar. It’s so individual – and I do wonder if you are trying to plan your imperfection perfectly? The goal is to work on resolving any fear and anxiety around your unsatisfied addictive desire for sugar; to be at peace with it.

      Even considering what you might eat as your imperfection could bring it on. If you are experiencing a real feeling of addictive desire and you are “Working Through” that and not satisfying it at least sometimes – that’s what leads to your long term success. So you do whatever it is to make that happen. Watch out for symptoms of deprivation which are the result of prohibitive thinking.

      And it will be important for you to consider the outcomes you’re creating as you venture into this world of eating sugar, but (hopefully) considerably less of it. Pay attention to how you feel after eating it; if it’s all joy and heaven and no downside at all, you’re less likely to accept feelings of unsatisfied desire for more (and more and more, etc).

    • #3459
      Louise
      Participant

      I realised after the last webinar that I have been compliant and ‘perfect’ since I started the course. So this imperfection thing was a shock to me – and like Jean says, scary. I have tried it this week, making the choice in the shop, buying food in a typical situation where I would binge. I did try to make it feel spontaneous, but after choosing to eat it, and while I was eating the addictive food, I didn’t enjoy it and didn’t feel any desire for it.
      So far, so good. But then what happened? The next day I had a massive, overwhelming desire for addictive food. My addictive desire finally reared its ugly head! I really got the ‘what the hell’ feeling, along with justifications such as ‘Gillian says it’s ok not to be perfect and to eat addictively, so I will’ (I know that one’s not true!)
      I have really struggled with my desire since then, and have not always made a good choice, but one thing is for sure – I know when it’s there now.

    • #3460
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Louise, I know this is tough, but this stronger addictive desire that’s now surfaced is excellent news, even if you’ve not always ‘made a good choice’.

      I hope you can make the time to review some of the course content as you’ll see it in a new light now and really make progress.

      Especially focus on always having choices, no matter what you eat or don’t eat. Then you will be moving yourself out of that “NO CHOICE/Compliance/Rebellion” space towards a real sense of freedom with food.

      Being free means you’re also free to make mistakes! The mistakes don’t matter, though. What matters is you work towards owning the choices you’re now making. Then you will be able to make more and more of the ‘good choices’ (and still a few mistakes now and then).

      And – I assure you this stronger feeling of desire will subside in time.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Gillian.
    • #3475
      Jean DC
      Participant

      You’ve given me a lot to think about Gillian and I’m taking my time & intend rewatching many of the webinars.Yesterday I had a novel situation for me and I’m wondering if it was a positive step. I had a strong addictive desire for sugar all afternoon. I worked through it till after my evening meal and it was still there. I really wanted the chocolate that was in the house, my favourite. I considered the pros and cons of eating the chocolate and decided that I actually wanted to eat it, and to eat as much as I wanted, just for this evening! I ate all the chocolate (rather a lot) slowly and really enjoyed it. I didn’t feel bad, regret my decision or feel I’d somehow “blown it”. Physically I knew I’d had too much, but even when I couldn’t sleep I still felt happy with the decision. Today I woke still feeling positive, and have no desire for my past “What the hell, I’ve blown it so I’ll carry on overeating” behaviour. Is this what you were talking about, consciously making a choice? I’ve certainly never felt this way before about a binge eating episode.

    • #3478
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Looks like a breakthrough, Jean. Even so, I’d be watching out for more desire now, accompanied by “I’m off the wagon now” mindset. Keep an eye on how off the wagon you want to be now, if you see what I mean.

      And by the way, when I do enjoy chocolate it’s often in the afternoon not the evenings as it does cause sleep problems for me too.

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