week 4: when “it’s not working”!!!
Okay, so you’ve been through a chunk of the content. And because this is self-led, I have no control over how fast you went through it, but I will say that at this moment it’s fairly common to feel like IT’S NOT WORKING and want to give up. Don’t do that. Seriously. This is the moment to push through and you will start to see shifts….stick with me babes.
When Eating what you want isn't working!!! Ask the question: Where is DIET MENTALITY right now?? It’s generally not possible to just one day decide to be DONE with diet mentality and have it leave forever (I WISH!!!). Instead, it looks more like a process of:
realizing you are struggling with food in some way
be aware enough to know that diet mentality is present
LOOK for the diet mentality (see the unhelpful voices below!)
examine wether or not you are REALLY allowing yourself to eat (emotional allowance)
finding ways to dismantle/dismiss the diet mentality thought swhen you have them
and move on.
This is an ARDUOUS process, at first. It takes time and energy and attention BUT if you persist is gets easier and faster and more automatic! It’s like building a new muscle:)
Extra information that will help:
The Food Police (adapted from Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch)
The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules you have around food. Rules that dieting have created.
With this voice in your head, it becomes VERY difficult to view eating as a simple, normal, pleasurable activity.
The Not So Helpful Voices
(Adapted from the book: Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch)
The compilation of all of the diet information you have collected over your lifetime – from parents, doctors, friends, magazines, movies, books, etc This voice is often not logical but it is SO entrenched in our psyche that we continue to believe what it is saying despite much evidence to refute it.
Ie: you can’t eat NOW, it’s after 7pm (or you just ate 2 hours ago!), carbs make you fat,
The Nutritional Informant: Often seems innocuous and helpful but don’t be tricked! This voice feeds snippets of nutritional information that keep you locked in a war with food and your body – all the while pretending to be making you “healthy”. IT’s there, deciding if you are good/bad, getting fat/losing weight, playing by “the rules” or not. It is not concerned with health. It uses health to manipulate you.
The Diet Rebel: this is the voice that often pops out when we tire of all the food rules. This voice says What the Hell????? You want be to be on a diet? I’m going to eat 3 doughnuts. Everyone is eating salad? I’m going to eat pasta – 3 plates of it! You can’t make me feel bad about my body! I’ll do what I want…..etc. It acts like it is protecting you but it’s actually reactive, pushing you into negative behaviours because of fear and/or frustration.
Nurture the Helpful Voices in your head.
The Helpful Voices
The Food Anthropologist simply observes. No judgement. Just watches your behaviour from “afar” and takes note. Notices when you are drawn to overeat, notices when you are compulsive around food, notices when you stop eating before you are stuff. This voice simply observes without negativity or story. This voice is very accessible and helpful. Find this voice! Notice how you behave around food and feel about your body and how those two things relate.
The Nurturer: Like a lovely grandmother or a therapist. This voice is soft, soothing, compassionate, and tells you you are OK! It normalizes your experience and offers you all the love you need when you are struggling.
Emotional vs Physical allowance
Physical Allowance: When you eat food. You allow food to enter your body.
Emotional Allowance. When you eat food. You allow food to enter into your body AND you don’t feel shame about it. You don’t feel guilt or like you are doing something wrong. You aren’t telling stories about how you’ll never do this again and starting Monday you’ll be back on track….you get the picture, right? Emotional allowance involves allowing food (all sorts of food!) into your body with EASE. (again, the only way to this point is to keep aiming for it, recognizing when you are NOT in it and instead of blaming yourself or deciding that this isn’t working - committing to continuing to pull old stories apart until you are done with them for good!)
We discussed the Hero’s Journey of Transformation
Important to understand how we transform psychologically so we can accept that bumps in the road are not just normal, they are part of the process. Right now, we’re in the “belly of the whale” or the “road of trials”…..we ‘re meeting allies, encountering enemies and finding our selves tested. This helps deepen the work. IT’S NORMAL.
As we approach the inmost cave we go through a stripping down process….we must strip away old stories and beliefs, the biggest of which is “the fantasy” the story we’ve told ourselves will magically come true if we were in the perfect body. It’s often a bit cringe worthy, childish, and magical. Are there images? From the media or movies, ways you thought a woman “should be”, how she “should look” and how life would be when those parameters were in place?
Think about your fantasy. It’s part of the homework to write it out.
There is no transformation until we give up the fantasy. Ooof! It’s not easy.
On top of that, it’s that part of the program where I need you to get thinking. Critically thinking. It’s easy when I’m talking to “buy in” to these concepts…but when you take a few moments away and you’re living life out in the world - what resistance pops up for you? I want you to make a list of allll the reasons you are still unsure about this new approach to food and weight: to allowing food, to accepting/loving your body as it is and approaching food, weight and health from a body LOVING perspective.
1. Continue the Make Peace with Food Process (really focus on EMOTIONAL ALLOWANCE, ie letting foods into your body without judgement/control - refer to "Challenge the Food Police" for help!)
2. Challenge the food police - by nurturing the HELPFUL voices of the Food Anthropologist and the Nurturer (ie observing and finding compassion). Also, the 4 steps to challenging a bad body thought we talked about in the last Q&A will be helpful!!!
3. Write out ALL of the questions/uncertainties/doubts you have about learning to love/accept your body and "the fantasy" of how your life will be different/ideal when you have "the ideal body".
4. Instagram challenge. Add accounts that inspire you and unfollow triggers.
Mix Up Your Social Media (if you don't have Instagram do it on Facebook, Pinterest, and/or in your inbox!)
Add Instagram to your phone and follow accounts LIKE:
Healthy is the New Skinny
Natural Models LA
Food Freedom Body Love
Brave Body Love
5. Continue to honour hunger and eat with awareness:)
WEEK 4 Q&A:
(note - the concept re: objections I discuss in this video is something I learned from a great #bopo activist and thought leader, Isabel Foxen Duke:)