Mar 15, 2012

Don't Let Your Mind Bully Your Body

This is a big one for me.  I'm battling a few bad habits that I want to address.   The first concerns food.  For 32 years, I've been eating eating eating.  I'd eat everything on my plate and go for seconds or thirds and I wouldn't give it a second thought.  Then things changed and for the past 9 months I've been eating healthy food in smaller portions.  Even though my habits have improved drastically, my overwhelming impulse is to continue eating large portions even when EVERYTHING in my body is saying "Please stop - that's enough".  My body needs very little now and I'm constantly allowing my brain to take ten or fifteen more bites than my body requires.  For whatever reason, my brain is not following the internal cues that my body gives.  So now I'm currently in the process of developing an external cue (rather than an internal one like a full tummy) that reminds me to put my fork down.  Any ideas?

The second thing I'm dealing with is also a brain vs. body issue.  Once I've over eaten or consumed a food that doesn't agree with me, I feel bad and guilty.  Its like I hear a little voice inside saying, "You know better than to eat that shit" or "Why do you compromise all your hard work like this?"   The thing is, I'm not compromising my hard work - I'm still losing weight and eating healthier than I ever have in my life!  So what gives?  Why am I bullying myself over tiny details?  I'm not eating fried chicken and doughnuts or anything heinous like that.  My mind is bullying my body over silly things like having 1/2 and 1/2 in my half cup of coffee or using a store bought salad dressing instead of the raw one in my fridge or eating a veggie sandwich with low quality bread.  Silly right? 

Art by Lori Weitzel


Betsy said...

No head space for rent! Even from our own self-talk. And to make it hold - shake your head as you say it! :-)

Anonymous said...

hi, thanks for being so honest, I am thinking that the conception one has about what a person is, has to do a lot with this situation. you mention body/mind, but our emotions, anxieties play a huge role as well. I completely understand what you go through, since in my case, it was more extreme, I used to have bulimia, but if you think of a disease, as an extreme one goes to, than we can learn something about how we function on a regular basis. Case in point, we should all look after after our souls, how you feel is as important.

Anonymous said...

First of all... Well done!
What a fantastic achievement!

We are always our own worst critic. I guess it comes down to giving yourself permission to celebrate the victories ... as well as giving yourself a little mercy or forgiveness when you're not perfect without piling on the guilt!

For the over-eating thing : I have heard 2 great ideas in the past which I am trying to make a habit of.
1) put down your fork and knife after each bite (no shoveling!!!)
2) drink some water before eating, and keep sipping after each bite.

anita said...

progress, not perfection!
and the fact're doing it; remember that your goal was to get smaller. Not to get perfect (whatever that is) or live like a monk.

"don't believe everything you think."


Redfizz said...

I agree with Anita. I bet you are a perfectionist, aren't you? It takes one to know one. ;) In fact, my counselor gets on to me about that all of the time. I am so harsh to myself. No one needs to ever punish me, because I can punish myself far more harshly than anyone ever could.

I have the same problem with overeating. If it's on the table, I will eat it. It's a behavioral issue for me. I really wish American mothers never taught their children to "clean their plates". It's so destructive to instill this behavior into us when we are so vulnerable. I wish they were like the French mothers who teach their children to eat until full then stop.

Have you considered using a smaller plate to trick yourself visually? I plan on buying a new set of dishes soon, and one of the criteria is that the dinner plate will be the smaller, non-supersized diameter. Keep up the good work!


Positively Fit LH said...

Sarah, you are so brave and strong to put this out there - I have lots of thoughts on this for you and others who struggle as well. See my Positively Fit Lake Highlands facebook page if you are interested.