Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Are Your Good Intentions Gone?

Have you ever had this experience? (I have hundreds of times!) You wake up in the morning regretting the way you ate last night and decide that today will be different. You set your intention firmly. Today you will remain conscious and choose foods and beverages that will foster health, energy and maybe even weight loss. You will be vigilant, aware, and you know that you will feel great about yourself as you move through your day making one self-loving choice after another.

You start your day with a wonderful, health-promoting breakfast – oatmeal, yogurt and fruit perhaps. You feel fantastic knowing that this day is truly a new beginning and today is your chance to turn things around. As you face the stressors of the day, however, your resolve weakens and you start slipping into the wasteland of unconsciousness and emotional eating. This means that your fantastic intentions are fading quickly into the background and your awareness is now off of your best interests and on to the problems and distractions of your routine.

By afternoon, your “best laid plans” have evaporated and the good intentions of the morning have been abandoned. As you reach for a “pick me up” of caffeine and sugar in the waning hours of the afternoon, you may make a quick decision to try again tomorrow if you even remember that you did start out with some really good ideas about how to take loving care of yourself all day. More likely, however, you are unconscious by then and won’t really notice and revisit the issue until tomorrow morning when you awaken regretting your behaviors of yesterday and once again resolving to make today the day you actually remain conscious and attend to your real needs.

So what happens between the morning yogurt and the evening bowl of ice cream? Why did you venture so far your path? How did you slip so easily from mindful to mindless without even noticing? These are worthy questions for you to ponder. It is easy to collapse into mindlessness and many of us have been doing that repeatedly for years. Now is the time to do something different. Now is the time for you to make yourself #1 all day long.

Here are a few suggestions. You can get a buddy to check in with throughout the day and ask each other how you are managing your stress and reminding each other to be gentle and loving with yourself. You can carry a small journal around with you and make a brief entry each time you feel like grabbing more snacks. You can schedule short breaks into your day when you can sit quietly and take deep breaths for a few moments. These are some ways to keep on your personal path.

You can also use The Bach Flower Remedies found in the emotional eating support kit – cherry plum, crab apple and chestnut bud. These can help you enormously as you learn to treat yourself and your body with care, stay in control and stop the frustrating cycle of overeating, feeling awful and overeating more to medicate yourself. I have been amazed at how helpful these little drops have been for my clients. You may find they provide an effective means of stopping the mindless eating and staying more conscious of yourself.

My very best wishes,
Dr. Denise

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