The best shortcut to having a breakthrough: how I will solve my eating disorder (2/2, how I will solve my eating disorder)
How I will solve my eating disorder
Today I have had an amazing breakthrough, I realized how I could lose weight sustainably while I have been trying to do so for over 15 years… Half my life!
It happened through this very simple process:
1- To have a problem, preferably “impossible” to solve (according to you at least)
2- 2- To take a break out of a usually stressful moment, go off track, and reframe your problem. (more on this in another post, don’t forget to check it out!)
I have read everything and more about weight loss, and I know that the most difficult thing for me about it is, that the way I eat is a reflection of my whole life.
It’s like facial expression: smiling when you are happy, crying when you are sad. I binge eat when my emotions are too strong, when I feel pressured, when I am scared, when I am lazy, etc. Especially, I eat when I feel bad about myself, which is a crazy infernal loop because I feel bad when I over-eat, and gain weight. I know I am not alone in that misery: The National Institute of Mental Health consider that one young woman over 5 admits having been affected by binge eating disorder.
In other words, I should not work on what I eat. I should both work on How I eat and Why. I have tried slow-eating for instance, but never managed to build the habit… I was missing the Why.
So today, after a walk in wild unknown areas during my lunch break (going off track), I have found a nice terrace to eat at. I ordered pastas with shrimp, avocado and pesto sauce. I was waiting for the dish with my drink, enjoying the breeze, the blue sky, and the nice sound in my ears. I had literally washed all the stress away and I was feeling amazing.
When the pastas came and I took the first bite I had my breakthrough:
If I want to eat slowly and appreciate the food I am eating, and through that solve my eating disorder, I need to:
Love my food, with all my heart… and all the way!
Until now, by reading advices on slow-eating, it was all about appreciating the taste of food. Some went deeper in the underlying feeling, such as “making peace with food”. It actually worked for me as I stopped caring for weight loss. It helped me stabilize my weight. But not lose any.
The problem was that, deep inside, I was still hating my food that was maintaining my high weight, as much as I was passionately loving the taste of it, and the calming effect it had on me. Well in a love relationship, that kind of pattern is called a destructive relationship. It’s the same with food. And it’s even worse, because you can live a couple of days, months, and even years without a love relationship… That’s certainly impossible with food! This is why you should love it with all your heart, not only some aspects of it.
Loving your food with all your heart goes well beyond slow-eating. Think about it, your food is what is going to become part of your cells… In one word: YOU
And to love it unconditionally, you should love it all the way. Here are the steps I advise:
1st, welcome it
This is extremely important and the first thing I learned today. Before each bite, look at it, look at how it goes around your fork, or the feeling in your hand. Feel thrilled about making it a part of you, thankful for keeping you alive, making you smile. Too often I just barely consciously consider the food I am going to eat positively, because in one way or another I know it will be tough (too fat, sweet, not tasty enough…). But if you follow the steps, I can assure you it won’t be tough.
*2nd, appreciate it
This is pretty common in diet advices, but really go through all of it: the taste, the crunch, the warmth, etc. I usually prefer to go one item at the time (in the example of my pasta I ate shrimp and avocado pieces separately from the pasta). At least at first. You learn to appreciate each element more, and you won’t get confused.
3rd, focus on the after taste of each bite, not only after the meal
This is the second thing I have learned today. The largest reason I usually fail in slow-eating is that I too early (after 2-3 bites) realize that the food I am eating is not pleasurable any more, which, if I follow the rule, urges me to stop eating…way too early! I cannot survive with a couple of bites per meal. So I usually think that there is obviously something wrong! And then I drink a lot of water to wash the un-pleasurable taste and continue all the way through my plate.
Well, by focusing on the after taste, I realized one very important thing: I eat too hot. Eating too hot leaves a terrible after taste that transfers to the next bite. After waiting a little by blowing to a small bite on my fork (small is easier to cool down), I have confirmed that lukewarm food tastes better! and finally I could go through my whole plate, eating food with a highly pleasurable taste all the way.
This is highly ironic by the way, because I can become a crazy harpy when I cannot start my meal that is cooling down on the table for whatever reason (my friends and family can attest). Now in bonus I know that I, and my surroundings, can have that stress out of the way for good. Pfiouh.
4th, take your time, get the emotions out of the way (especially the bad)
If you go for healthy food, in a smaller quantity thank usual, you’ll likely worry about if it is enough. If you go through your whole plate, it probably is enough. If this is a large plate, 2/3 or even half would probably do.
Don’t worry, now you love your food, remember? If you feel you are starving through your day, just go and have a snack, or the doggy bag you got with the rest of your large plate, which you did not finish. Appreciate it the same way you did with your lunch, don’t hesitate to leave it aside for later if the taste is not there anymore.
Remove also other kind of stress, such as “do I have enough to drink?” Yes, you have, especially if you don’t eat too hot or too fast (then you don’t need your drink to “swallow things up” anymore).
For any other stress unrelated to food (for instance time, especially on a lunch break), just stop eating, take a few deep breaths and calm down. It’s ok, you’re free right now.
5th, after the meal, feel content, happy and grateful about the food inside you
This is of extreme importance (most people with weight issues feel guilty after eating, for whatever reason). Don’t feel guilty, that’s the worst that you can do, it fuels the crazy infernal loop I was talking about!
Even if you ate a bit too much, you’ll learn to adapt over time, by eating slowly though the steps described, selecting your food better, as you learn to love it all the way.
For now, just feel grateful to the food you just ate, for it keeps you alive and in good health. Feel happy about it, even later in the day. I did, remembering those amazing pastas I had (going through the steps made them great). It made me happy, it should do the same for you.
Loving your food, with all your heart and all the way, is just the biggest life hack to healthy eating habits.
But it goes beyond that. Like smiling when you are sad can make you happier, Loving your food with all your heart has this wonderful effect of building a positive feedback, a virtuous cycle into loving yourself.
And when you think about it, it makes sense right, practically, biologically: you are the food you eat ;-)
P.S. Do you know any other “steps” to go through the process of loving food you eat? Could you relate to this article in any way?
Did this article help? If yes, I want to hear from you!
Just send me an email.