It’s important to know why you crave food, what lies behind weight gain, that changing your relationship with food will help you find your desired body shape. And the bottom line is that using tactics that turn out to be this weeks fad or last weeks flavour don’t really help, on the contrary they’re likely to be working against you.
And do you ever find yourself saying things like this to yourself:
- I’m hopeless at dieting
- I can’t lose weight
- They work for other people but not for me
But if you say some of these things to yourself and you put yourself down for it, then it’s not helping either.
Diets work for some people, but it’s usually when they have all the chairs stacked up and they’re simply ready, or that what created the weight-gain was a phase of disruption, rather than a well established pattern.
Of course it doesn’t always last and if that same person has an emotional trauma in the future there’s nothing to say that they’ll not fall off the wagon and resort to similar patterns again.
And there’s nothing to say they won’t, it all depends on how much of the pattern they changed, it can depend on so many variables, and weight gain can become more complex as we age, when hormonal issues kick in.
Listen To What You’re Telling Yourself
You may or may not be aware but your mind is always listening, whatever you say to yourself about your weight, eating and body image, is what your mind and outer experience delivers time and again. You’ve probably heard this saying:
You get more of what you focus on!
Which translates as, if you keep telling yourself how hopeless you are when it comes to losing weight, then guess what you’ll be hopeless, you may even put more on over time.
I know this from experience!
If you crave food you might find that your cravings move around, from one food to another, and this happens for a number of reasons, such as:
- Hormones, at certain times of the month or in certain phases of your life
- New habits which get more easily formed because food is the place you turn to for comfort
- Associations, foods you ate that re-visits a moment in time you shared with others
- Cultural links, with events
- Other people’s expectations of you
- Men and women being treated differently growing up
If we briefly look at the last point, as a woman did you grow up being treated differently to your male siblings, and as a man did you have allowances made that your sisters didn’t?
I know that happened in my family home, and I was very resentful in my teens, where decades later I learned that my brother’s perception was rather different to the one I took away.
Which demonstrates that events and how a shared experience doesn’t necessarily mean the same experience of itself, and important to remember.
As A Parent
Right off the bat, I’ll confess I’m not a parent, I have the experience of a child who lost a parent quite early (at 13 my father passed away following a chronic illness) which brings about a different set of challenges. That point in my life brought about substantial change in every which way.
But as a parent have you unknowingly inherited any unwanted methods of parenting form your parents. because we often continue the patterns that we were raised by. As parenting doesn’t come with a manual, there are as many parenting styles as there are parents.
Have You Become An Alien To Your Kids
It’s something you can look at. For example if your kids are struggling in an area of their life, can you assist them in finding their own solutions, rather than telling them to do x, y, and z. This can be a huge challenge for a parent, but teaching your kids to take responsibility from the outset by using a hands-off supportive approach is time consuming but it pays off massively later.
The downside is the later you start the harder it is, and most parenting doesn’t introduce the idea of taking ownership of cause-and-action until kids become adolescent, when their hormones are raging and the last thing they probably need is an unrecognisable system at home.
Raising children can be likened to making a Christmas cake (please excuse the frippery) but you toil and toil, adding all the required ingredients, at every turn, at all the various, yet rigid (systems imposed from the broader society) stages, and finally the proof of the pudding is whatever turns out of the tin on the big day.
What Is Your Family History
If you take a moment to consider your own history there are probably examples you can think of where your parents asked something of you they would not have asked of your opposite-sex siblings? Are you continuing that same pattern, because this keeps unwanted behaviours bound in! Have you gone the opposite way just because it seemed the right thing to do?
This might be a triggering topic for you, something that has you running to food for cover, as the cravings rear their sexist heads. We’re not beating anyone up here, no matter how much angry or passive aggressive your behaviour has become for you with others or you with yourself.
It is what it is, and it’s better out than in, because where family patterns have resulted in unhelpful patterns with food, types of relationships and behaviours, it’s wise to look closer to home for insights.
No-one wittingly set out to relay these patterns onto you, everyone in your life was doing the best they could with what they knew at the time.
So the next time you crave food, take for a moment to think about it if you can stop yourself in time, and see if you can track it back to where or when it started.
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Working with Jane
Changing unwanted patterns with all-things-food makes an enormous difference to everything else, especially how you feel about yourself.
When it comes to making better decisions, addressing what stops you is a very good place to start. Are you ready to take the plunge?