Monday, December 27, 2010

Back to the Present -

We spend most of our time living in either the past or the future. We are either thinking about what we have already done, perhaps with regret, or we are spinning off into the future, perhaps overwhelming ourselves. This may be human nature but it is not helpful to us when we are trying to let go of unhealthy habits and change our approach to life in general and to emotional eating and food control behaviors in particular.
If we allow ourselves to focus on the past, we are setting ourselves up for trouble. It is tempting to obsess about mistakes we have made and things that have gone wrong. Seldom do we concentrate on all the things we have done right or that have gone well. This is one of the many tricks of our Chew. Keeping ourselves stuck in the past ruminating about things we cannot change is futile. It is a waste of our energy and keeps us in a negative frame of mind. You can think about the whole package of Girl Scout cookies you ate until the cows come home but it won’t change the fact that the cookies are gone. There is nothing you can do now about a choice you made last night. Continuing to beat yourself up about it only makes matters worse. This is a time to remind yourself to come into the present. Let the thoughts of cookies go and think instead about what you want for yourself in the present moment. How do you want to behave right now? How can you take the best care of yourself and get your needs met in the moment? Tell your Chew that you are not listening and to “stop!” Turn your energy and attention towards nurturing yourself in the present moment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Moving Helps

I have noticed that most people who come to see me have abandoned their physical selves. Our hearts beat, our breath enters and exits and we are oblivious. We generally do not take the time to acknowledge the miraculous tasks our bodies can perform. If we are not aware of what our bodies are doing, we will not cultivate appreciation for them and this lack of appreciation will make it even easier to abuse them. Conversely, if we take the time to notice and marvel at our wonderful bodies, we will be much more likely to attend to them with awe, compassion and love and it will be harder for us to abuse them.

We need to treat our body in a friendly way. Attending to ourselves in this fashion represents one part of a picture that is forming as we learn about our overeating behavior. To understand compulsive eating and to change old patterns, we must eventually look at the whole picture. For now just know that moving your body is a central piece of the puzzle. Doing so will help you feel better about yourself and overeating will lose some of its appeal. As you feel better, your attitude will change, your emotions will brighten and you will know you are moving along nicely on your Chew Tamer’s Journey.