Beliefs about Food, Eating and Feeling Deprived When Dieting
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A Practical Guide for Changing Thoughts, Beliefs, and Emotional Reactions
A common story people face when changing eating habits is the feeling of being deprived. With diets our intent is to make rules about certain foods we “can’t” eat. As you become more aware you realize that there are different parts of the mind and they don’t always agree.
One part of the mind makes the rule to follow the diet. Another part of the mind reacts to the rule as if it were being deprived. The characters in our head set up a program of stories and reactions that then try to influence what we eat and how much. Because not all parts of the mind have agreed to the rule about what to eat, a conflict in the mind ensues.
We begin with the authentic desire for our body to be healthy and fit.
However, that desire becomes corrupted by the voices in our head. It turns into a voice that tells us we can’t or shouldn’t eat something. It is a confining rule that takes away our choice and freedom. It doesn’t feel good to be confined by that artificial rule. The mind reacts to the feeling of that rule and desires to change the feeling. The mind’s idea of how to change the feeling is introduced by the rebel. It proposes to break the rule and eat whatever it wants. This is a pretty limited approach to feeling “better” but the only one the rebel character comes up with. With these types of conflicts in the mind maintaining a diet becomes difficult.
An inventory of the program of voices, stories, beliefs, and emotions that the mind runs about food and diet may look something like this.
|Character||Story or Belief||Resulting Emotion|
|Judge||I can't eat that||Authoritative rule maker, Feeling Right|
|Victim||I can't eat that
(same words different meaning)
|Feeling deprived of choice|
|Victim||I don't have a choice or freedom to eat what I want||Trapped, powerless, controlled by the rule maker voice|
|Emotional Integrity||Desire to break free of the trapped and controlled feeling||Authentic feeling and desire not to be unhappy|
|Rebel||I want to break the rules and eat what I want. I will eat what I want.||Authentic desire is distorted into the voice of the rebel archetype.|
|Rebel||Action: eat unhealthy or too much (Assumes the way to change the emotion is to defy the rule.)||Temporary feeling of liberation, being free of the "shouldn't" rule.|
|Judge||I shouldn't have eaten that.||Right, authority|
|Victim||I did something wrong. I broke the rules.||Guilty, not good enough, failure|
|Victim||I couldn't control myself.||Powerlessness and out of control Loss of self respect, and even hate.|
The conflict over trying to do the right thing by the judge’s standard and then continuing to follow the path of the mind with the victim and rebel voices ends up creating emotional chaos. Because you follow one voice you don’t have to follow all of their decisions. Learning to trust our self doesn't mean trusting every voice in our head. Self awareness provides the clarity to stay out of trouble with certain self destructive voices.
Within it all is an authentic desire from our emotional integrity to be happy, and to have a healthy and fit body. But that desire is corrupted when it gets expressed through the distorting voices in the mind. This results in a chain of emotional reactions.
To gain power over your choices of how you treat your body entails getting power back from the voices and core beliefs. The core belief inventory above can help identify some of the patterns that drive a destructive behavior. You will find the steps to inventory and change these voices and beliefs in the Pathway Audio Program. It becomes much easier to make changes in habits such as eating when we become aware of all the little habits of our mind that comprise our larger behaviors.
Trying to make changes in our habits about food and our body are challenging enough. Trying to make changes with a belief system that sabotages our efforts makes it even harder. Trying to make changes when we are unaware of the ways that our mind leads us into sabotage is nearly impossible. It becomes much easier to make changes in our body when our mind and emotions are all lined up working for us instead of against us.
The relationship with our body is one of the most significant ones we will have in our life. How you treat your body can have a big impact on the health and happiness of your life. We will be married to our body until our last breath so it makes sense to spend the time making it an enjoyable and happy relationship.
Put your mind on a diet. Learn how not to feed those sabotaging voices in your head.