Addiction to food is a common form of stress management and emotional suppression. Food, just like other substances, is seen as a method of soothing or celebration, rather than feeling the emotions as they are. Dieting is the first tool used to fix weight loss. It is ingrained in our culture as ‘the solution’ to weight issues. Unfortunately, it is not a long term solution. Instead of trying to control the stress and emotions by over or under eating, dieting brings the shift to controlling food. Hence, a cycle of eating disorders can eventuate.
A pattern can begin where a diet is successful for a time. However, most dietsare generally so restrictive and full of rules and punishments that eventually a person cannot maintain it. They give in to the urges to eat forbidden foods either as a reward, to celebrate their weightloss or because they crave it and miss it. Eventually, they may become looser and looser with the control until old eating patterns return and they then face weight gain again. However, this time the weight gain generally reaches a higher plateau. In this way, people can diet their way to obesity. Once caught in this pattern, health issues can take away from the quality of life a person was born to live. The tougher it is to move in your body the harder it is to live your best life.
Food is different to other addictions. We can’t really live without it. As a professional working in the industry this is why I believe avoidance of food in the form of dieting is not conducive to long term weigh loss. As has already been said, it is the recipe for weight gain. Re-learning how to use food for its primary function, survival, health and vitality is the key to weight loss. Once our survival, health and vitality needs are fulfilled it opens people up to opportunity to be the best they can be.
However, it is not just about the food. It can’t be. A healthy life requires balance in all areas not just on the plate. The focus has to be shifted from weight loss to a commitment to a healthy life and relationships. The way we cope with our emotions without the use of food or other substances is key to weight loss. The idea of balancing food on the plate can be extended to balancing our relationships and activities in life. Too much of anything is a recipe for weight gain.
Helpful Therapeutic Strategies for Weight loss and Eating Issues
- Awareness of thought and emotions through mindfulness techniques allows each person to understand intentions of thoughts and to feel all emotions without fear.
- Understanding emotional processes in relationships can be fascinating and a helpful way of understanding the ways anxieties are pushed down or handed round family members, friends and colleagues. Someone at some point has to deal with the emotions.
- Committing to a life of health so that you can invest wholly in a life that has depth and purpose.
- Connecting to a strong support network of people like a nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga studio, and medical professional and other natural therapies can mean a person will increase their success at weight loss and living a balanced life.
Eating Mindfully and Awareness and Calm: the group experience
While I continue to see people experiencing the challenge of any issue, I am currently accepting expressions of interest for Eating Mindfully group. The groups will be conducted over a period of 8 weeks.A commitment from 6 participants is required for the group to go ahead.The Medicare rebate may be available if there are a minimum of six participants and you are eligible. The goal will be to use the philosophies at Awareness and Calm to strengthen your psychological commitment to health, balance and long term weight loss. Please call or email to put your name on the list!