But I CAN'T give up CAKE !!?!!!
How growing in mindful awareness helps you let go of wanting what isn't good for you
How many times have you heard your inner voice scream something like this: I just can't! I can't live without COOKIES! (or cake, or chocolate, or chips, or ---). What about Christmas? Halloween? VALENTINE'S DAY???
When I think about how to explain how Eating with GraceTM works, without dieting, without brutal sacrifice, I realize recovery from compulsive eating is really NOT about giving anything up - can you believe it? It's a growing in self-awareness practice, one-day-at-a-time, and learning to let go.
How can a non-diet, non-deprivation program actually help you stop eating compulsively, and lose weight?
We start with the screaming I can't, and ask, with kindness, So, what part of you is screaming? Usually it is an Inner Child/Teen Part, who connects the particular food with meeting a particular emotional/physiological needs.
Sarah, for instance, started bingeing on chips, candy and cookies when she turned 13 - just out of the blue, she found herself standing in front of the open fridge, open cupboards, staring, looking for the next thing to chomp on. Bags of carrots preceded the potato chip sandwiches. Six donuts before breakfast. Bowls of icing before bed.
She understands now that the combo of raging hormones, a mother who didn't know how to connect with a teen, not fitting in with peers, hating having breasts and being teased, and oh yes, her parents' traumatic divorce when she was 12 all contributed to the binge onslaught.
She understands now that she was having Feelings and Needs, and no one was home to attend to them.
It's not the binge food; it's the thought or feeling that sparks the craving for the binge food.
For Sarah, chomping was a way to express anger. Salty chips calmed her nervous system. Sweets were so so comforting, and made her feel special.
In Eating with GraceTM group and individual counseling, Sarah learned mindfulness (mindful breathing, for example) to calm her mind, feelings, and physiology down and open her awareness. Calmer, more aware, she could actually tune into the thought and the feeling that preceded reaching for the binge food.
Sarah learned that "I HAVE TO HAVE IT!" is a thought. And that slumping on the couch after work and not wanting to get up EVER is often feeling discouragement, and loneliness.
We all need a wise, loving part of ourselves, to nurture, guide and help us.
In her Eating with GraceTM work, Sarah developed an Inner Nurturer and Inner Coach inside, to respond to her needs and feelings in healthier ways that bingeing. The Shy Couch Potato needed some encouragement. The compulsive thought "I HAVE TO HAVE IT!" needed to be distracted until the craving passed, and needed the Nurturer to help her understand and care for difficult feelings.
Sarah's awareness and learning also brought her to understand that certain foods CAUSE cravings, and make cravings worse. As she studied this for herself, and felt how good it feels to be free of cravings (can you IMAGINE really being free of cravings?), the compulsive "I HAVE TO HAVE IT!" went away.
It really is possible to release wanting the foods that you crave and binge on.
When Sarah began to take care of her own feelings and meet her own needs with more compassion, love and understanding - and also when the awareness saw how clearly the binge foods actually hurt her body, mind and spirit - she actually stopped WANTING the binge foods.
This happened over time. It's growth, like the growth of a plant or the growth of a fingernail. Or the growth that happens as we learn.
Eating with GraceTM is a learning based program. It is not a diet. Diets are something you go on and go off. Eating with Grace is a healthy, sustainable, one-day-at-a-time way to learn to take loving care of yourself - a learning that releases endorphins in the brain and makes us glad and proud to be learning.
Losing weight is a side effect of learning loving self-care. What we learn then becomes who we are, one day at a time.
Would you like to learn how to stop compulsive eating, one day at a time? Learn more.