When I was overweight, I used to feel very self conscious about being seen eating. Because I was fat, I didn’t need to eat, right? As a teenager, I'd hide food in my room, and for years I was addicted to sugar.
I've spent most of my adult life relearning what it means to have a healthy relationship to food.
What I've found along the way is that detrimental eating habits are driven by the subconscious mind. The patterns are formed because we've associated a feeling to the food. Whether it’s control, sadness, happiness
, fear, love, or protection ... your subconscious mind runs these patterns because it has a positive intention for you.
When you feel anxious about something related to your eating habits, know that it's the subconscious mind trying to protect you. That may sound bizarre, but it’s true!
Here are some of the ways these patterns might show up in your life:
- You lie to other people about what you've eaten.
- You eat in secret.
- You binge on a food hoping it will give you a mood boost.
- You feel guilty about what you've eaten.
- You're confused about what you should or should not be eating.
- You weigh yourself every day, only to be disappointed with the result.
- You tell other people what they can or cannot eat.
- You avoid discussing the topic of food, or constantly talk about food on a daily basis.
So what's the solution?
It’s important to be aware of what triggers a particular anxiety around food. Spend time trying to understand how these behaviors may have come about. Once you're able to understand more about what you want to change, the more chance you have of changing it.
- Decide what it is you want to change.
- Take a moment to get quiet with a pen and paper.
- Close your eyes and imagine a movie screen in front of you, as though you're sitting in a theater.
- Ask your subconscious mind to visualize, in the movie screen, a picture of yourself carrying out the behavior you want to change.
- What you are doing? What do you notice around you? Is there anyone else with you?
- Focus on the feeling you get when you see yourself carrying out this behavior. Maybe it's funny or maybe you feel embarrassed.
- Next ask your subconscious mind to take you to a time in the movie before you exhibited this particular behavior.
- What are you doing? Is there anyone with you? Notice how you feel as you see yourself in this time and space before the anxiety arose.
- Now float up out of your body as though you're looking down like a fly on the wall and see yourself watching the movie screen. Fast forward the movie to a time when you first remember carrying out the detrimental habit or behavior.
- What do you see? Is there anything you notice about yourself from this particular view point and is anyone with you?
Take time to notice what you see happening, as this is a great way to acknowledge how your behavior may have formed and what you can do that you can work on changing. The key to changing behavior is by first understanding why you do it.
If you can see a particular memory or feeling associated with this behavior, use the movie screen to rewind the scenario right back to before it happened and then fast forward. Keep repeating this several times and notice how you feel about that particular memory once you've done it.
You can repeat this exercise for any memories that you find are upsetting or that you want to become vaguer and less significant.
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