From the ripe ole age of 15, I was constantly told that I had no willpower – which you know translates into you’re a failure. “Aren’t you on a diet?”, my mother would ask in her judgmental tone. You’ll never lose weight if you keep eating that. And my favorite – WHY CAN’T YOU STOP EATING?
Honestly, the answer to that question is – I HAVE NO &*% IDEA!
I wanted to stop my overpowering, uncontrollable eating, I just couldn’t. Intellectually, I knew I was eating too much, but emotionally I was a prisoner to my overeating and my binge eating. I had no control! The more I tried to control my eating, the more it controlled me! The more I was told I had no willpower, the worst I felt, the more I ate! And what’s worse…I BELIEVED I was a willpower weakling so often I just conceded to that staggering belief.
Let me tell you something very important right now. YOU’RE NOT A WILLPOWER WEAKLING!
You’re a warrior who is an emotional human being who feels things exactly as you should. Of course, you are allowed to feel the frustration, loneliness, guilt, emptiness, joy, happiness, love and peace.
Chin up, don’t be a baby, don’t cry, man up, I’ll give you something to cry about. We constantly pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again without hearing the message of all those meaningful feelings. What better way to push those feelings down than with food. Makes perfect sense. Food comforts us in the good times and the consoles us in the bad, but afterwards it makes us feel all those discouraging feelings – guilt, shame, frustration.
I understand how you would think that your problem with your overeating is because of food and your lack of control around it. I know this because I believed it too.
In the past, I believed my weight issues were always caused by my out-of-control appetite and that once I conquered my quest to my perfect weight then all my worries would be over. My life would finally be perfect – everything would fall into place. Perfect body = perfect life.
Now, I’d like to show you a new approach…
Today I invite you to let go of the willpower weakling persona and pick up your willpower warrior! I know that this may be very difficult so that’s why I’m here to help you.
Do you believe you have no willpower? Like I said, willpower is not the problem. Your relationship with food is the problem. How, when, where you eat the food is your challenge.
All these years, you’ve believed that your diet struggles have been because of food and your appetite, but you’ve been sadly misled by those so-called “diet experts”. Trust me, it’s not about the food, it about your relationship with the food. A relationship is connection between two things so let’s look at the other part of the relationship and that’s you as the eater.
We, as eaters, are programmed to always seek pleasure so when we miss the pleasure component of our meal because we are afraid of our food, the brain tries to find more pleasure because it wasn’t satisfied with the food it just consumed.
Have you ever heard of Cephalic Phase Digestive Response? This is a fancy way for taste, pleasure, aroma, satisfaction and the visual part of our meals. This is the “head” part of digestion. 40-60% of our digestion and calorie burning happens from this “head” phase. So when we eat quickly, mindlessly we skip this part of our digestion. What happens? The brain can’t register the pleasure from the eating experience so it still thinks it’s still hungry and it wants more food.
When you are rushing through a meal, or checking your email, or fearing the food you’re eating, the brain doesn’t understand you’re busy and short on time – it’s just knows it’s wasn’t pleased so it needs more food until it registers the pleasure part of the meal.
A few simple suggestions:
- Slow down with your meal and take your time to experience the color, the smell, the texture, the taste of each and every bite.
- No distractions – no cell phones, no television, no books or going through the mail.
- And most importantly, please sit at the table with a plate, utensils and a napkin. You are an amazing individual who deserves the fuss of a complete dining experience.
It’s about time you understand that you no longer need to fight yourself and your appetite. You can’t force and control your appetite with willpower. Instead, let’s learn how feed the body with nourishment and pleasure with your food and incorporate the “head” part of the digestion so you can metabolize the meal properly.
Always remember it’s about time we return to the heart.