How we eat is primarily habitual. Deep in our subconscious we have our “directors”. These directors tell us how to eat throughout each day. Some of these guys are really nasty. They come from all over the place; we were born with some of these directors. Others were developed because of what we were told in early childhood by our loving family (“finish your plate”). Some, we developed by our emulating others. Still, some we developed due to our lack of restraint (stuffed, yet eating that second bowl of ice cream). And lastly, some directives stem from social norms (eating a big mac). Have you had enough of these tormenting directors?
Don’t dismay, you can kick-out the nasty directors and direct your habits as you wish.
When you find yourself striving to be thin and then failing, it is your subconscious taking over. First, biologically, your body thinks that you are starving itself when you diet so it activates mechanisms which counteract what you are doing. You have put your body into what I call “mini-starvation mode”. Second, there are habits which over the years have become etched into your brain. These habits can be broken when you replace them with new healthier habits. You have heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit. That is true, but remember we are talking about numerous habits. Allow yourself time to transform your mind. Third, (partly due to the media) you have false assumptions in your head. These must be identified, evaluated and replaced with truth.
People can and do make positive health changes in their lives; you can too.
- Some change under crisis. (e.g. heart attack). Someone may have such a scare, that it creates the ability to kick out those old directors. Often in this state of heightened emotions he or she is very receptive to education, he has support and the environment may change so that healthier habits are easier to become a part of life.
- Others change because of social influences (e.g. all your girlfriends are going to the gym and losing weight).
- The most proactive way to change is to create a Vision for the new you. This Vision must be clear enough and heartfelt enough to pull you forward to achieve specific goals. It begins with courage, reflection and seeking and accepting truth. What is true about my self-image? What is true about how I relate to food? What is true about food and about health? You have the means to find this truth; but remember you find it in a journey.
Improved health habits come in stages.
The stages of change are: Pre-contemplation (when one does not see that there is a need to change), Contemplation (e.g. intending to change in the next 6 months), Preparation for change, Action and Maintenance. The Action stage itself is full of transitions into new and better ways to live. The reality is that relapse to earlier stages tends to be the rule for health changes. The good news is, that only 15% of people regress to stage 1 and there are many things to do to help you move from stage to stage. This is your journey toward health. It is up to you to walk it and ensure that you have motivation to sustain it.
Help for your journey.
When spontaneous change does not come, get help. Choose a person who understands the processes of change within each of these stages, a life coach who can help you to understand and act from your vision and your values. This coach can help you to build upon what is already working for you so that step by step you will be at a healthy weight. You will free yourself from the nasty directors and have charge over the way you live and think.