Since your blog's name is the actual thing we are driving towards - you have far greater insight on such matters. I do wonder how to curb my obsession (I try) and how not to obsess on the curbing (so it won't take over my life - how it might become natural). I wonder if it is possible or if it is just going to be about finding work arounds. Any thoughts?
I changed my eating habits and obsessive food thoughts with cognitive behaviour therapy. I needed help; there was no way I was going to sort out everything without a professional. In therapy, I learned why I overeat (anxiety) and I was surprised to learn that the source of this anxiety is from decades of dieting, fueled by my own dissatification with my weight and believing others who told me I was fat, either in jest or because I did not fit their ideal standard.
CBT basically stripped away twenty-five years of dieting mentaility and in its place laid down a new psychological platform to develop a healthy relationship with food and eating. To gain this freedom from food, I had to let go of the one thing thing that for so many years gave me a sense of control over eating; dieting.
Looking back, I can see how my thoughts continued to build the dieting anxiety over the years to the point where I could no longer diet. If I could go back in time I would tell myself that:
- Food is neither good nor bad.
- No food is off limits, I can eat as much as I want, but I am choosing to eat healthier foods because it will make me feel better and I want to lose weight.
- I'm not perfect, so I'm not always going to eat perfectly.
- Feeling guilty for eating "bad" or unhealthy foods (or too much) will only make me want to eat it more.
- Thin people who can eat whatever they want are not eating the amount of food I want to or all the foods that I want to eat.
- Food isn't always going to taste great and that's OK.
- The more I eat fruit and vegetables, the more I will crave fruit and vegetables.
- The more I crave fruit and vegetables, the less I will crave unhealthy foods.
- Don't hold onto an obsessive food thought or craving, distract myself or let it go. There is no need to punish myself for having a craving or eating an unhealthier food choice.
- It's not a race to get to the goal weight, so it's OK to take my time.
- Even if I eat well and exercise, sometimes the scale will not reflect the effort.
- Changing to a healthy mindset takes practice, but I can change how I think.
Am I the only one who eats, craves food and experiences obsessive thoughts because of anxiety from dieting? No, I think it's fairly common. Just think of how crazy dieting makes you think; how paranoid dieting makes you from eating certain foods or eating too much of anything even if it is good for you. The all or nothing attitude that one must adhere to in order to lose weight.
So what do I want for you to get from this post? I want you to know that if you think about food all the time, you can change; you can change how you think about food. And when you change how you think about food, you change how you eat.
If you are ready to change how you think of food, consider your own thoughts and what kind of impact it has on your eating; you can consider my list above, some points may speak to you; you can consider reading and using the techniques outlined in Judith Beck's book The Beck Diet Solution; or if you think you need professional help, consider seeking assistance from a cognitive behaviour therapist who specializes in eating issues and eating disorders.
Change starts with knowledge and a thought. You can change how you think. You can learn to think like a thin person.