What if you could make all the changes in your life you need to become a “normal” eater? What if you had in your power the ability to reach your eating and realistic weight goals? There is an expression that says, “If you believe you can’t, you can’t,” illustrating that belief is the bedrock of behavioral change. Although transforming beliefs from irrational to rational is an arduous task, it can be made easier when you take away the pressure and think in terms of “What if?”. There are a number of questions that stimulate thinking (and hopefully change) in the eating and weight arena.
What if you stop trying to make everyone else happy and put yourself first? What do you believe will happen? You may imagine that your world will fall apart, that intimates will be angry at or disappointed in you, or that your value to the universe will diminish. Whatever you believe is based upon what you learned in childhood about taking care of yourself and others and must be challenged if you are to grow emotionally health and resolve your eating problems.
What if you allow yourself to acknowledge and experience uncomfortable or upsetting feelings? You may assume that you can’t bear the guilt, the shame, the disappointment, the grief, the misery, or that the feeling would never go away. Well, what if you challenge those assumptions? The only way to know for sure is to connect to feelings and see how long you can tolerate them. Rarely do people have terrible things happen to them when they experience authentic feelings. They feel pain, they’re uncomfortable—it hurts—and that’s the worst of it.
What if you spent time considering whether or not you want food and/or how much you want to eat? You may feel scared that you don’t know the exact answer. You may believe that connecting to hunger, food preference, or eating enough is impossible or that tailoring your eating to you will ruin your relationships with other people. But, how else will you become a “normal” eater if you don’t challenge the status quo?
What if you asked, “What if?” about every thought, feeling, and behavior you have around food and weight? It would mean questioning all of your assumptions and expectations, values and traditions, attachments and routine. It would mean experimenting with new ways of experiencing and relating and thinking for yourself. It might even lead to discovering a whole new you. Asking “What if” doesn’t mandate that you must change. It only opens the door to the possibility that you can.
Visit the message board exclusively devoted to my new book, The Food and Feelings Workbook, at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/foodandfeelings.
PLEASE NOTE: I encourage you to comment on my blogs and will do my best to address topics/questions you raise in future blogs. Unfortunately, however, due to time constraints, I cannot provide individual responses.