The idea that disorderly eating is over forever is a dream, especially when it has been deeply embedded in the subconscious mind and has so many tangents or triggers. After living with myself and then working with clients over the decades I've seen just about everything. Staying in what I call "high level nutrition" is a challenge, but one that is very worthwhile. You might wonder if I stay in this place....well, most of the time, but not all of the time. For me, I have learned to eat healthy meals based on my nutritional needs and genetics, but I will wander over into the sugar or salt area on occasion. Believe me, it took quite awhile to achieve this level of food sanity, so I am grateful.
The steps are very important to my food sobriety. Without them I believe I would slip back. There are times when I need the second and third step to manage life chaos. This is done right in the moment. The fourth step, the imagery/imaginology step is vital to clean up and replant a more powerful image.
Let me give you an example from my own life. As I'm writing this I'm thinking what to choose. Part of me wants to discuss something "big" like the unexpected death of my son, but I don't want to go there. That wouldn't be as useful to you as some everyday experience, so let's go to the "office candy jar" and the cookies, cakes, bagels, donuts brought in by fellow employees.
My inner child is screaming, "Tell them about driving home past the pizza place." Yes, that is one of "her" favorite stories and challenges, especially if we are going to be alone for dinner. Being alone is a big trigger for "us." Remember, I'm a "secret eater", so when I don't have to hide it makes the whole process much easier.
I think I'll stick with the junk in the office. In the beginning I wasn't all that aware of how much stuff there was. I was blind to it..."comfortably blind." As I started to be "mindful" and practice "high level awareness" I was stunned, not only with how much stuff there was on a daily basis, but how much of it we ate and how often we ate it. There is a habit called "walk-by eating." Most of my colleagues had candy jars on their desks supposedly for guests or staff who stopped in for some sort of conference. Sitting in front of a candy jar all day is a dangerous activity. I began to notice that colleagues were drawn to different candy jars, always taking a piece...like it was nothing.
Every Monday I noticed the candy jars being refilled by their owners. On and on it went. When I came to the Knowledge that I couldn't have sugar like this, I retired my candy jar. I can't tell you how many people remarked about it. "Where's the candy?" So, I wasn't the only one with the problem.
Getting rid of my candy jar needed some special "step work." My thoughts, emotions, even body sensations kept me in procrastination. The "child-self" suggested that I put it in my bottom drawer or filing cabinet. What a dangerous suggestion...but very cunning. "No," said my Higher Power. "Out it must go." The child replied, "It's wrong to throw out the candy. Give it to someone else." Cunning again. "No." It was to really "go." But where? My Higher Power told me to put it in the garbage bin of the building where we worked. The "child" came with me screaming all the way. As I threw it into the bin I asked for "forgiveness" and promised not to replace it. I returned to the "second step" and spent some time in mindfulness, gratitude and full release of the pattern. Was I never to think of this again? Of course not...BUT..the image of the promise and full release was placed subconsciously.
Each time the thought returned, I placed an X on it and returned to the second step....thankful. One of my colleagues had a jar of pretzels on her desk. My child-self jumped to the opportunity. My mind was filled with "suggestions"...often loud ones, that "pretzels were not like candy" and we should visit Brenda more often.
Becoming aware of how food works in your particular body is vital to self-management. Becoming aware of the messages in the mind, the body tension connected to those messages, and the emotions connected to the body sensations is a complete revelation. Personally, I found it overwhelming and frightening. I knew from my health review that I could not have these things, especially in the beginning and also between meals due to the insulin issue, but there was my "mind"....thoughts, emotions and a very tense body literally pushing me off the chair and down the hall. I found myself "dizzy" with the child-self telling me that "if I had a pretzel I wouldn't faint." Notice the embedded fear tactic.
So, how does one come to manage this? First there needs to be Knowledge about the needs of the body and mind to keep the blood sugar levels stable. This is where "insulin" needs to be understood. Next, there needs to be motivators. For me it was about my huge hunger and fatigue. I didn't want them ever again. They were connected to anxiety attacks and once I knew this as a fact, I could plant those fears and dislikes into my mind. I also knew I had to eat the foods my body needed to protect the insulin release and at the same time to start correcting the hyperinsulinemia. Yes, this is very different from focusing on weight loss and dieting.
Practicing the first three steps and then adding in the fourth step is an ongoing process. The book I wrote many decades ago is still a best seller online. There are mp3's that go along with the ebooks. I've found this to be the most successful application of my work. The books are written in "Interactive Self-Hypnosis" and then reinforced with the mp3 Sessions. They are available on Amazon.com. The link is below.
I'm often asked "How long does this take?" I must admit when I'm asked that I feel like running away from telling the truth. Addicts or people who live disorderly lives do not want to know the answer to this question. It's like handing them an excuse for not starting. But here's the truth....it doesn't end. It must go on for as long as you live. There is no other way to a life of high level health and achievement. But, let me add this. The rewards are huge, and are not only health related. As discipline is brought to a sector of life, all other areas benefit.
The practice of mindfulness, managing emotions, thoughts and body sensations carry huge benefits to the entire mind, body and Spirit. When one is in balance with life, one is closer to one's Higher Self and Higher Power, however you see that for yourself.
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist
President and Program Designer International Medical Health Writers Ltd. Lincoln, RI www.hypnosis-audio.com
Twitter Handle - ELIZRN
Full Interactive Blog - Anatomy of the Inner Self
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