How to Break Free From The Inner Dialogue
Unhealthy habits can have a seriously impairing effect on your life, but it doesn't have to.
Changing one's eating habits can be extremely difficult. Food serves as more than just nourishment for our bodies; it also holds a strong emotional chain around our ankles, and unlocking that chain is 100% of the battle. There is no nice way to skirt around this obvious truth.
Perhaps you have childhood recollections of eating fish and chips by the ocean. When you have a bag of sweets, do you remember good times with friends? When you eat ice cream or croissants with chocolate filling, do you think of summer vacations or the Amalfi coast? All of these instances show how frequently we associate certain foods with happy memories and feel compelled to replicate them, especially when we're stressed, exhausted, anxious, or simply feeling lousy.
Our minds are naturally drawn to positive emotions and pursuits without even being aware of them. The hormone dopamine has a lot to answer for, but memories are the first place to start. In addition to eating, other compulsive behaviours such as alcohol consumption, excessive exercise, drug use, and even social media appraising addiction all start out the same way. The brain increasingly relies on and follows memories in order to make decisions that were once conscious decisions (and led to happy experiences). You can see from this that if you decide to improve your wellbeing and health at any point in your life, just adhering to a "diet" will only produce temporary improvements.
When I chat with my clients, a recurring theme I hear is that their parents utilised food as a comfort or reward when they were children. Perhaps it was snacking on chips while watching television at night to decompress and connect, enjoying a treat after swimming class to reward yourself, or enjoying ice cream when you were feeling down. These biases in the mind that develop and are modeled during childhood encourage making decisions based on your fondest recollections.
It either appeals to you or it doesn't to eat a plate of colourful roasted veggies. Consider yourself given the option of a vegetable-based cuisine or creamy pasta. Which option would you pick? That's exactly, the one that most strongly evokes pleasant recollections for you. Fortunately, when fresh memories support your aims of losing desired weight, the vegetable dish may eventually appeal due to the realisation of how it is connected to how you FEEL after eating. Our self-identity and belief system influence how we make decisions in "fork-in-the-road moments" in a significant way.
To make the process of altering your eating habits more difficult, it is beneficial to examine the mental scripts we have playing in the background as well as to be aware of your own particular ideals. How does what drives you and what matters to you relate to why you want to get in shape, lose weight, have more energy, and be comfortable in your own skin? Having this can provide you ammunition when you're feeling unmotivated or feel that you're slipping back into old habits.
Some helpful questions you can ask yourself in forming your statement may include:
I want to lose weight because…
So that I can….
If I keep going on this way my future will look like….
Others around me will benefit from me losing weight because…
Allow your statement to be unique to you, honour your goals and be powerful enough to drive you forward.
I understand how difficult it can be to give up some of your favourite foods that are unhealthy for you. It is a challenging discussion to have with oneself, but it is also a significant chance to switch from eating for emotional reasons to ones that are motivated by the desire to flourish.