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Starting "Mind over Body"

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm starting the "Mind over Body" program on SP -- it looks like exactly what I need to help me overcome emotional eating, which is my biggest hurdle. To that end, I'm following Coach Dean's instructions and writing stuff down for the first step of the program, which is to "Put the I Back Into Your Vocabulary" -- make "I" statements, instead of blaming others for problems with establishing healthy habits.

My problem statement: Under stress, I turn to food for comfort. I feel as if I have no resistance and outside forces are taking over my body and making me do it. When I hear about being "addicted" to compulsive eating or certain foods, that seems to feed into the helpless feeling.

Why I think this happens: Using compulsive behavior or "substances" to alleviate emotional pain or anxiety is a pattern I've had all my life. I smoked; I stopped smoking. I drank; I stopped drinking. After I stopped drinking, I started substituting compulsive eating (I had already had a problem with it, but it got worse after I got sober). I'm so much into this pattern that it's going to be a whole psychic and life change to break out of it. But I think the time has come. The consequences of my compulsive eating are starting to bear down on me.

Analysis: I know the problem statement does use the word "I," and it comes from my perspective, but it describes my assumption that I have no innate strength and have to give in to the forces that I feel are buffeting me around and making me eat when my body has no need for food. I think I need to switch to a different perspective, and work from the assumption that I CAN make choices for myself. I'm not helpless. I've done it before. I just need to figure out how to access that strength.

My therapist says, "You're stronger than you think you are."

My sister says that the adult part of me can do this. I don't have to be ruled by the scared child, though I do have to acknowledge her and let her recover and integrate into my adult.

I'll tell myself these things when I'm tempted to eat for any reason other than hunger.
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